Crankbaits: It's Hip to be Square
Fishing a square bill crankbait is a full contact sport.
When it comes to that baits in your tackle box, it's no mystery that square bill crankbaits deflect off structure and create bait awareness. This bait can excel in a ton of situations – submerged trees, rocks, boat docks and log jams. The square bill earns its keep starting in early spring and really always stays tied on to one of my rods throughout the season. I use it to probe the shallows and beds and have it knock into whatever gets in its way. When the bait deflects off of an object, it appears to be wounded from the impact, and the bass can’t resist it. The wobble lets the bass zone in on its location.
Another location the square bill is useful is on rocky or boulder filled waters. In the North East we have many glacial lakes that offer so much rock structure in the water. I keep the bait in contact with the rock and let it deflect, only pausing a few seconds to give the bait a stunned appearance. This really gives a life like mannerism to the bait and can really entice the bass to strike.
On one of my favorite waters to fish is filled with boat docks, and when I’m fishing fast the square bill really lets me dissect and eliminate water. Using the bait to bump into pilings and any fallen timber around the dock will usually be met with aggressive strikes. It’s a bait that has proved to be a pivotal bass catcher and one every angler should have in their arsenal.
Fishing effectively and efficiently, the square bill really lets you cover water fast and can really work as hard as any Chatterbait or Spinnerbait. It’s another search bait that I use to locate the bite and let the fish tell me what they want. It mimics the natural forage habits so beautifully, that it is almost guaranteed to get bass to strike. When the bait comes through grass, give it a few good pops and it will break free from the vegetation. The disturbance the bait will make in the vegetation can ignite a strike.
If you feel the bait get hung up, don’t pull back and add pressure. The first thing you will want to do is to pause the bait and allow its natural buoyancy to let the bait rise away from the structure. By simply doing this you will avoid getting hung up and save your bait for another day!
A seven foot medium heavy rod is my go to for this bait, and I really feel it gives me the sensitivity and strength to fish it successfully. The Rapala DT Fat or the BX Brat are great baits to tie on and get your square bill cranking on. They are made with quality components, and paired with VMC hooks and balsa core, they are impressive. I really like to target fish in the 3 to 6 foot depth range with these baits. Add in a medium heavy rod, and I’m armed and ready to go!
Article Provided Courtesy of BASSIN' Magazine