Updated: Oct 9, 2020
Crankbaits can be an intimidating lure at times, but you can catch a ton of fish on them! Crankbaits are also a very fun way to fish! One of my favorite types of crankbaits is a squarebill crankbait. I mean, who doesn't enjoy casting out a crankbait, reeling it back, and feeling that giant bass try and rip the rod out of your hand!
Fishing crankbaits and more specifically, squarebill crankbaits, can be a great way to catch bass. My hope for you after reading this article is that you feel more confident to go out and fish a squarebill crankbait, and have the knowledge to catch more fish!
The first item I want to address in this article is the specific squarebill crankbaits that I like to use in my fishing. I have absolutely fallen in love with the 6th Sense Crush series of crankbaits. They come in various sizes and 6th Sense offers tons of awesome color options. I tend to fish the 50S (silent) or 50X (rattle) models the most. I also like to keep my color options somewhat simple. I tend to carry a shad color, bluegill color, and a dirty water color. My suggestion for you is to pick the colors that most mimic the bait fish in your particular area. Some of my all time favorite 6th Sense Crankbait colors are the 4K Shad, Wild Shad, Bluegill Spawn, and Black Magic.
When fishing a squarebill and any crankbait for that matter, you need to know what the depth range is for the particular bait you are using. You need to know this information because it will tell you what depth you need to be fishing for that bait to have the most success. For example, if you're throwing a squarebill with a maximum depth of 5 feet, then typically you're going to want to fish that bait no deeper than 5 feet. The only time this is not the case is if the cover you are fishing extends up into the water. If you're fishing an offshore rock pile in 10 feet of water, but the rock pile extends up into 5 feet, then you're going to want to fish a bait that is going to come in contact with the rock pile in the 5-7 foot range to ensure you are coming in contact with that cover.
You always want to be hitting something when fishing a squarebill crankbait. You want to be coming in contact with whatever structure you are fishing. If you are fishing rocks, then you need to be coming in contact with those rocks to maximize your success. If you're fishing brush, then you need to be fishing the bait through the brush, and coming in contact with the limbs. If you're fishing grass, you need to be ripping the squarebill out of the grass when it gets stuck. All this contact made with the cover is what triggers those bass to bite.
Other important factors when it comes to squarebill crankbait fishing is the rod, reel, and line you are using. I love to use the 7'2" 6th Sense Fishing Lux model. I feel everything I need to feel while fishing the squarebill. The rod also loads up when I get bit which enables me to get the best hooksets I can, but is also forgiving enough to not pull those treble hooks out of the fishes mouth. The reel I like to use is a Daiwa Tatula SV in a 6.3:1 gear ration. I think using that gear ratio is very important. Fishing a faster gear ratio reel causes me to fish the bait too fast, but the 6.3:1 gear ratio allows me to slow down enough to get more bites, but is still fast enough to catch up with the fish as they run. Line size is a huge factor when fishing a squarebill. You need to have a good quality line. I love to use Sunline FC Sniper the 10 or 12 pound test rating. Heavier line sizes will make your bait fish shallower. If you need the bait to go deeper, then changing line sizes and going with lighter line will help you reach deeper depths.
Shallower flat areas are great places to fish the squarebill. These areas enable you to have your bait in the strike zone for longer periods of time when compared to steeper banks. Another great time to fish a squarebill is post spawn in a bluegill pattern. Bluegill patterns are also great around the bluegill spawn, and into the summer months when the bass are eating those bluegill. In other times of the year, shad patterns will be great options as well. I fish a shad pattern most of the time, but the bluegill colors have their place as I've mentioned. Don't be afraid to experiment with colors though. Colors like Delta Craw have their place and get crushed on the California Delta. You never know, the "non-traditional" color may be the next big thing at your local lake, and you can be the one to discover it!
I hope this article was helpful and something you can take with you on your next trip out to he lake and put into practice. My goal with these articles is to help you catch more fish, and introduce to quality products that are going to assist you in catching those fish!