Squarebill Crankbait Tips For BIG Spring Bass | Setup And Technique

Squarebill Crankbait Tips For BIG Spring Bass | Setup And Technique


The squarebill crankbait is an amazing lure when it comes to landing fish. This type of crankbait is made to knock around rough cover and draw fishing out to strike. That's what makes fishing a squarebill so fun! Take this months Strike King KVD Squarebill out for a spin this season and see for youself. Here are some tips from Jeff Burlingame with @Burly Fishing to help you see more success!

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Video transcript:

Jeff Burlingame:

What's going on guys. Welcome back to the Monsterbass channel. I'm Jeff Burlingame from Burley Fishing and today I'm here to talk to you about squarebills, specifically this squarebill, the Strike King KVD 1.5, which is a fantastic squarebill that is worth a lot of money. It actually helped KVD win the Bassmaster Classic in 2011. It is a fantastic squarebill and it straight catches fish. More importantly, we're going to talk about how it can help you land more fish and maybe even your PB.

Speaker 1:
Before we get to that, if you guys are looking for more awesome content from other creators in the fishing industry, stay tuned to the Monsterbass channel, consider subscribing, smash a like on this video, ring that notification bell so you can see when we drop more content. And check out our lives. We go live a couple of times a week with Rick. So stay tuned, have the notifications on, you'll see him. Hop on in and talk to us and chat. It's a ton of fun. And if you want even more content, come check out my channel, Burly Fishing. Hop on over, comment on one of my videos, say you came over from Monsterbass, I'll say hi and consider subscribing. We also go live every Thursday, 8:00 PM Eastern. We go on right after Rick is live on the Monsterbass channel. So just stay on YouTube and come over and talk to me. I'd love to see you there.

Speaker 1:
All right, so let's get into this squarebill. So this is the Strike King KVD 1.5. We're sending this out in a nice spring color. So this color right here is a watermelon craw. It's actually got somewhat of a see-through, translucent body, if you will. Nice craw pattern coming down the side. We've got awesome little red flakes which are going to add a little extra flash, extra pop. But if you fish these things before, you know that they're made really well, they stand up well, you can beat them up, you can run them around cover. In fact, that is the story. That is how KVD won the 2011 Bassmaster Classic. He was just pitching her around cover and just knocking it all over the place. And that's kind of the deal. That's what you want to do with squarebills.

Speaker 1:
And in fact, that's why I love them so much. So it's fun to just throw out a deep dive and crank in open water and just run it back. Vary your retrieved speed, all of that stuff. But I got to tell you, there's just nothing that really compares to taking a squarebill and just bumping it off of everything that's in the water. I'm a shallow-water fishermen. I'm a kayak fishermen. So that makes it a little bit different for me. And I also fish in Michigan water. So I'm up here in Michigan. We're fishing small lakes, we're fishing rivers, which vary from small to big, but there's tons of cover and the bass seem to always be up in that shallow cover. So something like a squarebill, especially one like this one that dives three to five feet, just seems to work.

Speaker 1:
I can pitch this thing into a tight cover. I can throw it around rocks and timber or brush piles and things like that, and just run it on through, vary the retrieved speed, hit a few different spots and generally I'm getting fish at that point. The nice thing about this one too is it's silent. So you can vary up between bigger, louder, or silent models of a squarebill. And then you can have small, louder, silent squarebills. I like the silent in the spring because it seems to get me more bites. I'm by no means a pro fishermen. I ain't no KVD, right? But what I do know is that throwing this nice, subtle, small body, small profile, silent squarebill in the spring has landed me a huge number of bass. So it is something that I like to do at this point in the season.

Speaker 1:
Now let's talk about, one, how we're going to set this thing up and then two, where we're going to fish this thing. So setup wise, I'll show you two of my setups that I throw crank baits on. My first one here, it's a seven three Silverado duckett. She's a little beat up. She's a little worn, but that's because I use her a lot. But it's a medium heavy. The thing I like about the duckett is that with the fast action it's just really whippy. So for crank baits, if I have a little more plush rod, it's a lot easier to play the fish. So you got trouble hooks on there. If I got a broomstick handle rod, a heavy, something like that, I jack their jaw, as I'm trying to retrieve them back to the boat, it's easier for them to pop off. So with a whippier rod like this, throwing a lipless squarebills, deep dive and cranks, anything like that, it's just easier to keep them pinned.

Speaker 1:
The other one I started throwing at the end of last season was the Okuma Serrano. So this one right here is also a medium heavy. This one's even whippier. So this one is a fast action, but this rod tip is nuts. So this one makes it really easy to play the fish. I kind of like this one a little bit better actually, but both of those rods, great options. So as far as the reels, the Serrano has the Okuma Serrano reel, great low profile reel, I mean it's all around, hits all the basic things that we need. This is a low gear ratio. Both of these are. The other one I'll show you in a second too. So this one's a 6.5 to 1 gear ratio. It just means that the spool makes 6.5 revolutions per turn of the handle. So it's not pulling a ton of line. I like the low gear ratio because it just makes it easier to vary my retrieve speed.

Speaker 1:
I'm not typically burning, especially in the spring, those crank baits or body baits that I'm throwing around. So squarebills, something like that, can vary the retrieve more easily with a low gear ratio than a high gear ratio. It's a little harder to take a 7.3 to 1 or an 8.2 to 1 gear ratio and turn it down, go slow with that. You're literally just inching that reel. It's not fun. It's not ideal. With this, I can go a steady retrieve and it's right about the pace that I want to be bringing it in it. So throwing something like that, the Serrano is a mighty fine reel.

Speaker 1:
The other reel that I'm throwing on the duckett right here as a Shimano SLX DC. This is the 151 model. So this one is a 6.3 to 1. Again, 6.3 revolutions of that spool per turn of the handle. I like the SLX DC because it's super smooth, easy to cast. I don't really worry about backlash whatsoever. And again, in that low gear ratio, it's just easy to vary the speed.

Speaker 1:
What kind of line are we throwing this thing on? So this month in the Monsterbass bag, you might've received some Trilene. So Trilene is a mighty fine monofilament line. It's pretty dang strong. It's easy to cast. You could use it just as a leader. I do like for myself personally to have a braid backing and then go to this as a leader instead of the entire spool. A lot of guys will spool the entire reel with monofilament. But if you think about it, probably two of the best lines that you're going to throw a crank baits on is fluorocarbon and monofilament.

Speaker 1:
Fluorocarbon is essentially invisible and it sinks. Monofilament is a little more visible, still not as much as braid, obviously, and then floats a little bit. The difference mainly is that fluorocarbon is easily damaged. It will fray. So if we're running cover, fluorocarbon might not be the best deal. If we go monofilament, it's a little more durable. So if we're pulling this around, again, rocks, timber, trees and lay downs, all sorts of brush and things like that, your chances of the line nicking the cover is pretty dang high. So your chances of breaking off with fluorocarbon skyrocket.

Speaker 1:
Fluorocarbon I love to use if I'm just fishing grass, right? It's grass. Okay. It's not that big a deal. If there's trees, there's rocks, I change it up, right? So a monofilament might be a little bit better. The other reason that mono could work really well is that this is a shallow crank. It's three to five feet. So yes, it floats. We don't care. We're not going that deep. And if we want to, we could step up our gear ratio on the reel, crank bit harder to get that thing down to that five foot mark. But with mono, low gear ratio, you're fishing that three, four foot column of the water, just fine. So monofilament would be my play as the leader. If you want to spool your whole reel with it, obviously you can do that too. It's whatever works. In this case, we got 12 pound test, which should be fine. I'm probably fishing somewhere at 12, 15. Okay.

Speaker 1:
So there's our reel, there's our rod, there's our line. We got our squarebilly ready to go. So where are we fishing? So with a squarebill, my favorite thing is to pinpoint cover. So let's take the river first and then we'll hit the lake. If we're on the river, as I'm just moving up and down the banks of the river, which is typically where I'm targeting, I'm looking for cover. So if I see a fallen tree, pitch in right along the tree, riding it back to the boat. If that tree comes out to a point then drops down, I might pitch length wise with the river, bring it that way. Either way, I'm running along the edges of that tree. If I got rocks on the river bottom, I'm just running right through them. So I'll pitch it straight out, middle of the river and just crank back through, knock along all those boulders, all those rocks. Typically you'll get a bite on that too.

Speaker 1:
I mean, think of it this way. This is a craw design, right? Crawfish, on the bottom of the river are an easy forage, especially where I'm at for smallmouth. So the smallmouth, they're looking for these guys to be coming out from under a rock and then shooting over to the next spot. And they literally move like that. So the way this moves with its erratic action will be similar to those craws. It's going to be knocking around the rocks. Smallmouth bass is a predator. The predator is looking for easy prey. Craw, out in the open, easy prey. So if you run knocking around, they can hear, they can see, they're going to be targeting or keying in on this bait. Right? So just think about hitting things with it. That's really it. A squarebill is a knock-around bait, hit things with it. If you see a target, smack it with that squarebill and just run it back to the boat and then vary up your speed. I guarantee you're going to catch a fish. Hopefully you catch your PB.

Speaker 1:
Now, if we're on the lake, lake is a little bit more difficult than the river. A river is essentially just water moving at speed through cover. Everything is covered. There is really not a lot of spots until you find the dead water pools, which is where you go pike hunting, by the way, up north with me. But when you find those pools, it's a little bit different. Most of the river is just cover. You can pitch almost anywhere and you're going to get a fish, especially if you're throwing a squarebill. On the lake, you've got a key in on spots. So I told you about KVD's 2011 Bassmaster Classic win. He was using his electronics to find the cover. Once he found the cover, he was making precise casts and running through it. Right? So if I find a rockpile, because three to five feet, as long as it's a shallow rockpile, I could throw something like this. If it's a little bit deeper, maybe a deeper diving square. If it's a little bit deeper than that, maybe a medium diving crank, maybe a deep diving crank, you see what I'm getting at.

Speaker 1:
Now, you find that cover. If you have electronics, great, easy. If you're a bank fishermen and you don't have electronics, which by the way they make castable electronics, you guys should go check that out. But if you're not using electronics, then use your eyes. So if you're wearing polarized sunglasses, it's going to be easier to find a target that cover. What I look for as a bank angler is I'm walking around, looking for trees that lay over the bank, down into the water. And if I have a squarebill, I just cast past it and bring it back in. You got a big chance to catch a fish that way. You can also, if the water clarity is good, look for rocks and brush on the bottom. And when in doubt, just parallel the bank. So you step up to the water's edge. Here's me. Here's the water's edge. I turn, parallel the bank and I run it right back. You got a pretty good shot at catching a fish that way too. And then look around under tree overhangs. Typically branches are falling in. So you probably have some brush around that point.

Speaker 1:
The opportunities are endless, but if you're out in a boat, you got a boat, chances are high you have electronics. So use your electronics to find that shallow cover and just run the squarebill right over it. Vary the speed up. Make sure you're feeling the contact on the line, which is also why I like having a braid backer because that braid gives me the sensitivity. And then you just throw on a six to nine foot monofilament leader so that you have the less visible line that floats a little bit, but is durable and will help you catch those fish.

Speaker 1:
So there you have it. Lakes, rivers, great spots for squarebills. We talked rods. We talked reels. We talked lines. We talked this awesome bait right here, which has won some people a lot of money, specifically KVD, and should be a bait that you guys keep in your arsenal this spring. So, hey, again, I'm Jeff Burlingame from Burley Fishing here on the Monsterbass channel. Our goal is to help you catch your PB and have fun out on the water. Hopefully you do that with this month's Bassmaster classic bag. Be sure to comment below if you do, if you like this bait or if there's other baits in the bag that you really like. And in fact, what are you throwing this spring? I'm really curious. I love to hear from you guys. So put it below. We'll comment back.

Speaker 1:
And again, if you want to see more content like this from other amazing creators, be sure to subscribe to the channel, smash like on this video, ring that notification bell so you can see when we drop more content. Come and hang out on one of our lives with Rick. We love talking to you guys. So hit us up in chat. And if you'd be so kind, you can hop over to Burley Fishing and check out my channel. I would love to see you guys over there more often. Feel free to subscribe and comment on any of my videos or come hang out with me live right after Rick, every Thursday at 8:00 PM Eastern. Love to see you guys there. Let me know you came from the Monsterbass live and we'll definitely shout you out and chat. All right, you guys, thank you so much for watching this video today. Hopefully it was helpful for you guys. Get out there and get your PB and we'll see you on the next video.

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