Tips For Catching Bigger Bass Fishing Squarebill Crankbaits

Squarebills are the 4x4 of bass fishing meant to fish in and around shallow water and heavy cover situations. Here are some basics of squarebill fishing to help you be successful on the water with your squarebill fishing!

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Video Transcript

 

Benjamin Nowak:
What is going on everyone? My name is Benjamin Nowak with MONSTERBASS and in today's video, we're going to be talking about one of my favorite ways to catch fish when they push shallow and that is with a square bill crankbait. A square bill crankbait, really is the 4x4 of bass fishing. It's made to come through, have you cover really well, cover water super efficiently, and it's a great way to go out and get a lot of really big bites from really aggressive fish. Cranking is my favorite way to fish, whether I'm deep cranking, shallow cranking, it's such a fun bite, because you're just cranking along and your rod just gets pulled out of your hand typically.

Benjamin Nowak:
So, it's a really good way to catch a lot of big fish. Now, I'm not going to go over color selection too much in this video. I have another video on that that I'll leave linked up here in the corner for you guys to go check out if you're interested. We're really going to talk about baits, where you're throwing it, when you're throwing it, and the gear that I'm using to throw this bait so you guys can be successful, as well as a couple of the retrieves that I like, but I keep that pretty simple as well.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now, what you're going to notice is that I really keep a small selection of baits and the reason for that is I really think the biggest key is putting the bait where the fish are. Color doesn't necessarily matter as long as you hit them on the head. You get it in front of their face, they're going to eat, and that's the thing with square bill cranking is you're really getting into tight, heavy cover, short cast, small roll cast. It's not necessarily like flipping and pitching where you have really heavy gear, but you want to put the bait right in their face, and that's really what's going to trigger the bite a lot of the times. Deflection, reaction, putting the bait in front of their face, they're going to come out and crush it.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now, one of my all-time favorite colors is just a white-sided crankbait. This is a KVD Strike King 2.5 sided bait. I like the 2.5 side, especially early season and late season when those fish are keying in on bigger baits and you get a little bit dirtier water. That bigger size square bill is going to be really effective, because one, they're keying in on bigger bait fish, and two, they're either more aggressive and they're feeding in dirtier water situations. So, a bigger style bait's going to work.

Benjamin Nowak:
I also like this because it's going to deflect off cover a little bit better than some of your smaller crankbaits, like your 1.5 and your 100 sizes, but really, that 2.5 size is a great bait for really early season pre-spawn and really late season when those fish are in the fall feed.

Benjamin Nowak:
Another color that I like when the fish are feeding on bluegill is this KVD bluegill color. The reason I like this, especially up here in the north, where you have that tannic or kind of tea-colored water is because it stands out and it flashes really well with that golden hue in the bait. When that sun is penetrating, when you get some light penetration, that bluegill color just looks really natural. It's going to also work down south in Florida areas where you have that tannic-colored water. Gold seems to be a really good color for those tannic style bodies of water. Again, I like that 2.5 size because a lot of the times, you're talking around bluegill, you're talking bigger bait fish, so that 2.5 size is going to get a lot of bites.

Benjamin Nowak:
But when I do like to downsize is sort of post-spawn, when those fish are starting to move ... there's always going to be group of fish shallow, but when they're starting to move off of the spawn, I like to go down to that smaller size crankbait. This one, I'm going with my 1.5 sizes, my 100 sizes, when those fish are getting a little bit more finicky and Alex Rud really opened my eyes to this, the difference in changing up the size of your square bill to catch more fish, because I was throwing at 2.5 size struggling, and he came behind me with that 1.5 and just absolutely smashed them.

Benjamin Nowak:
So downsizing, as those fish start to move away from their bank, get more post-spawn, into that summer pattern. You can still catch them shallow, but going to a little bit smaller bait can make all the difference. Now doing that summer pattern, I'm going to go with reds, I'm going to go with light craws, and I'm going to go with translucent style baits. These fish are getting finicky. They've seen a ton of baits. A lot of guys are fishing early spring. They're getting excited to go out fishing. So, going with baits that either look really natural like crawfish or translucent colors like this are going to fool those bass that I've seen. These colors or chartreuses, they've seen all these baits already. Going natural is what's going to get you more bites. So, that's when I'm going to pick out my craw colors, my natural craw colors or my translucent style baits like this because it's going to draw those bites from those worried fish that have already seen a bunch of baits.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now let's talk about kind of where I'm throwing this. I've already mentioned shallow cover, but it works really effectively around wood and rock. The reason for that is that square bill lip. So, the reason a bait is called a square bill is because if you look at the front of the bait, it actually has a squared off bill. This is going to help deflect off of shallow cover really effectively, but it's not necessarily going to come through grass very well. So, typically wood, rock, shallow cover of those sorts is where this bait is going to shine. Now, if I'm fishing around grass, I go to something totally different, maybe a swim jig, but wood and rock, a square bill's going to get my nod, because I can throw it around there, its going to bounce off, deflect off, act really erratic, and that's what's going to trigger those bites.

Benjamin Nowak:
So, anywhere that you have those types of shallow cover, that's where that bait's really going to shine, or if you're in shallow water and there's a mud bottom or sand bottom, it's going to work effectively there, too. Anywhere that you're in shallow water situations with a little bit of cover. If you're in grass, switch to something else. I promise you, it'll be a little more effective that way.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now the gear that I'm throwing it on is a crankbait style rod. Now what that means is it is a softer power rod than some of your traditional rods. So, it's got a deeper bend in the rod, and that's going to help those fish stay pinned on those little trouble hooks. When you hook these fish, you're going to want a soft rod with more of a moderate bend, because it'll keep those fish pinned. It's going to allow the rod to fight the fish so that you don't necessarily have to as much. A lot of times with those graphite rods, what you'll notice, that fish will come up and try to shake the bait and the rod's not going to give enough, so those hooks are either going to pull free or the fish is going to have too much leverage on your bait, and they're going to throw it. So, using a softer power rod ... I like a glass or a composite rod for this, is going to allow you to be more effective.

Benjamin Nowak:
I'm throwing a Ark crankbait rod, seven foot four, medium heavy, moderate action. That moderate action is really important like I just mentioned. The reel that I like to throw is a medium speed reel. It's a six-speed reel. [inaudible 00:06:20], 6:3:1 reel. That 6:3:1 allows me to keep this bait kind of moving at a pretty medium, moderate speed, but if I need to, I can speed it up, and the line that I like to throw is 15 to 20 pound fluorocarbon line. If I'm fishing on really heavy cover, and I want this bait to kind of stay up in the water column, I'll go to heavier line. Heavier line is going to make this bait dive shallower. Lighter line is going to make this bait dive deeper. So, heavier cover, heavier line. Shallower water, heavier line, and if I need that bait to go deeper or I'm fishing in real sparse cover, I'll go to lighter line, that 15 pound test. So, 15 to 20 pound test fluorocarbon is my line of my choice when I'm fishing a square bill crankbait.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now, for those of you guys that like to pond fish, a square bill is a great way to pond fish. A lot of you guys have that submergent vegetation. It comes out three foot below the water. That's where a square bill is really going to shine for you guys, as well. As long as you're not hitting the grass, a really good retrieve when you're fishing areas where you aren't necessarily catching in grass, but grass exists, is you crank that bait along and you pop it. What that's going to make this bait do is crank it along and when you pop that bait, it's going to kick to the side, then when you start cranking again, it's going to come back through. So, don't be afraid to throw a little pop in your retrieve or stop and go. It's going to make the bait act erratic and that's what's going to trigger strikes on a square bill crankbait.

Benjamin Nowak:
So, if you guys have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comment section below. I'll be down there responding to each of those personally, and as always, thank you guys for watching. Hit subscribe to MONSTERBASS's channel, and I'll catch you guys next time.


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Tips For Catching Bigger Bass Fishing Squarebill Crankbaits

Tips For Catching Bigger Bass Fishing Squarebill Crankbaits

Apr 22, 2020 Fishing Tips

Squarebills are the 4x4 of bass fishing meant to fish in and around shallow water and heavy cover situations. Here are some basics of squarebill fishing to help you be successful on the water with your squarebill fishing!

Join today and save $10 off your first box. 
Use code SAVE10 at checkout.  JOIN NOW

 

Video Transcript

 

Benjamin Nowak:
What is going on everyone? My name is Benjamin Nowak with MONSTERBASS and in today's video, we're going to be talking about one of my favorite ways to catch fish when they push shallow and that is with a square bill crankbait. A square bill crankbait, really is the 4x4 of bass fishing. It's made to come through, have you cover really well, cover water super efficiently, and it's a great way to go out and get a lot of really big bites from really aggressive fish. Cranking is my favorite way to fish, whether I'm deep cranking, shallow cranking, it's such a fun bite, because you're just cranking along and your rod just gets pulled out of your hand typically.

Benjamin Nowak:
So, it's a really good way to catch a lot of big fish. Now, I'm not going to go over color selection too much in this video. I have another video on that that I'll leave linked up here in the corner for you guys to go check out if you're interested. We're really going to talk about baits, where you're throwing it, when you're throwing it, and the gear that I'm using to throw this bait so you guys can be successful, as well as a couple of the retrieves that I like, but I keep that pretty simple as well.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now, what you're going to notice is that I really keep a small selection of baits and the reason for that is I really think the biggest key is putting the bait where the fish are. Color doesn't necessarily matter as long as you hit them on the head. You get it in front of their face, they're going to eat, and that's the thing with square bill cranking is you're really getting into tight, heavy cover, short cast, small roll cast. It's not necessarily like flipping and pitching where you have really heavy gear, but you want to put the bait right in their face, and that's really what's going to trigger the bite a lot of the times. Deflection, reaction, putting the bait in front of their face, they're going to come out and crush it.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now, one of my all-time favorite colors is just a white-sided crankbait. This is a KVD Strike King 2.5 sided bait. I like the 2.5 side, especially early season and late season when those fish are keying in on bigger baits and you get a little bit dirtier water. That bigger size square bill is going to be really effective, because one, they're keying in on bigger bait fish, and two, they're either more aggressive and they're feeding in dirtier water situations. So, a bigger style bait's going to work.

Benjamin Nowak:
I also like this because it's going to deflect off cover a little bit better than some of your smaller crankbaits, like your 1.5 and your 100 sizes, but really, that 2.5 size is a great bait for really early season pre-spawn and really late season when those fish are in the fall feed.

Benjamin Nowak:
Another color that I like when the fish are feeding on bluegill is this KVD bluegill color. The reason I like this, especially up here in the north, where you have that tannic or kind of tea-colored water is because it stands out and it flashes really well with that golden hue in the bait. When that sun is penetrating, when you get some light penetration, that bluegill color just looks really natural. It's going to also work down south in Florida areas where you have that tannic-colored water. Gold seems to be a really good color for those tannic style bodies of water. Again, I like that 2.5 size because a lot of the times, you're talking around bluegill, you're talking bigger bait fish, so that 2.5 size is going to get a lot of bites.

Benjamin Nowak:
But when I do like to downsize is sort of post-spawn, when those fish are starting to move ... there's always going to be group of fish shallow, but when they're starting to move off of the spawn, I like to go down to that smaller size crankbait. This one, I'm going with my 1.5 sizes, my 100 sizes, when those fish are getting a little bit more finicky and Alex Rud really opened my eyes to this, the difference in changing up the size of your square bill to catch more fish, because I was throwing at 2.5 size struggling, and he came behind me with that 1.5 and just absolutely smashed them.

Benjamin Nowak:
So downsizing, as those fish start to move away from their bank, get more post-spawn, into that summer pattern. You can still catch them shallow, but going to a little bit smaller bait can make all the difference. Now doing that summer pattern, I'm going to go with reds, I'm going to go with light craws, and I'm going to go with translucent style baits. These fish are getting finicky. They've seen a ton of baits. A lot of guys are fishing early spring. They're getting excited to go out fishing. So, going with baits that either look really natural like crawfish or translucent colors like this are going to fool those bass that I've seen. These colors or chartreuses, they've seen all these baits already. Going natural is what's going to get you more bites. So, that's when I'm going to pick out my craw colors, my natural craw colors or my translucent style baits like this because it's going to draw those bites from those worried fish that have already seen a bunch of baits.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now let's talk about kind of where I'm throwing this. I've already mentioned shallow cover, but it works really effectively around wood and rock. The reason for that is that square bill lip. So, the reason a bait is called a square bill is because if you look at the front of the bait, it actually has a squared off bill. This is going to help deflect off of shallow cover really effectively, but it's not necessarily going to come through grass very well. So, typically wood, rock, shallow cover of those sorts is where this bait is going to shine. Now, if I'm fishing around grass, I go to something totally different, maybe a swim jig, but wood and rock, a square bill's going to get my nod, because I can throw it around there, its going to bounce off, deflect off, act really erratic, and that's what's going to trigger those bites.

Benjamin Nowak:
So, anywhere that you have those types of shallow cover, that's where that bait's really going to shine, or if you're in shallow water and there's a mud bottom or sand bottom, it's going to work effectively there, too. Anywhere that you're in shallow water situations with a little bit of cover. If you're in grass, switch to something else. I promise you, it'll be a little more effective that way.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now the gear that I'm throwing it on is a crankbait style rod. Now what that means is it is a softer power rod than some of your traditional rods. So, it's got a deeper bend in the rod, and that's going to help those fish stay pinned on those little trouble hooks. When you hook these fish, you're going to want a soft rod with more of a moderate bend, because it'll keep those fish pinned. It's going to allow the rod to fight the fish so that you don't necessarily have to as much. A lot of times with those graphite rods, what you'll notice, that fish will come up and try to shake the bait and the rod's not going to give enough, so those hooks are either going to pull free or the fish is going to have too much leverage on your bait, and they're going to throw it. So, using a softer power rod ... I like a glass or a composite rod for this, is going to allow you to be more effective.

Benjamin Nowak:
I'm throwing a Ark crankbait rod, seven foot four, medium heavy, moderate action. That moderate action is really important like I just mentioned. The reel that I like to throw is a medium speed reel. It's a six-speed reel. [inaudible 00:06:20], 6:3:1 reel. That 6:3:1 allows me to keep this bait kind of moving at a pretty medium, moderate speed, but if I need to, I can speed it up, and the line that I like to throw is 15 to 20 pound fluorocarbon line. If I'm fishing on really heavy cover, and I want this bait to kind of stay up in the water column, I'll go to heavier line. Heavier line is going to make this bait dive shallower. Lighter line is going to make this bait dive deeper. So, heavier cover, heavier line. Shallower water, heavier line, and if I need that bait to go deeper or I'm fishing in real sparse cover, I'll go to lighter line, that 15 pound test. So, 15 to 20 pound test fluorocarbon is my line of my choice when I'm fishing a square bill crankbait.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now, for those of you guys that like to pond fish, a square bill is a great way to pond fish. A lot of you guys have that submergent vegetation. It comes out three foot below the water. That's where a square bill is really going to shine for you guys, as well. As long as you're not hitting the grass, a really good retrieve when you're fishing areas where you aren't necessarily catching in grass, but grass exists, is you crank that bait along and you pop it. What that's going to make this bait do is crank it along and when you pop that bait, it's going to kick to the side, then when you start cranking again, it's going to come back through. So, don't be afraid to throw a little pop in your retrieve or stop and go. It's going to make the bait act erratic and that's what's going to trigger strikes on a square bill crankbait.

Benjamin Nowak:
So, if you guys have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comment section below. I'll be down there responding to each of those personally, and as always, thank you guys for watching. Hit subscribe to MONSTERBASS's channel, and I'll catch you guys next time.

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