If you're bass fisherman, then you know that the lipless crankbait is the bait you want in your fishing box. It's great for catching roaming fish chasing bait fish. However, there is an alternative you could use— a square-billed shallow running crankbait. They both are used in the same situations, but sometimes the billed crankbait will outperform the lipless crankbait. Wade Bourne of MyOutdoorTV shows you more about the square billed crankbait in this video.
Many expert anglers use a square-billed crankbait in place of a spinnerbait for "chunking and winding." They tie one of these lures on and start covering water, casting to any area or piece of cover where a bass might be hiding.
Square-billed crankbaits run shallow – usually 4 feet or less. They have a tight, frantic action, like a fleeing shad. They are reaction baits that move fast and trigger bites from fish that have to decide quickly whether to strike or let the "baitfish" get away.
Square-billed crankbaits are easy to fish. They are good over deep structure where bass are schooling, along weed edges, and along windy banks where rolling waves are pushing shad into the shallows. Following are more tips for using square-billed crankbaits to catch shallow-feeding bass.
- Match tackle to lures being used. Medium-action casting rods and 10- to 14-pond test monofilament are a good match for larger square-billed crankbaits. With smaller baits, go with spinning tackle and 8-10 lb. test mono.
- Use a bait that matches the natural forage in size; in other words, "match the hatch."
- If the water is clear, use natural-colored baits – chrome, white, etc. If the water is stained to dingy, use brighter colors – blue/chartreuse, tiger stripe, etc.
- Keep square-billed crankbaits tuned to run a straight track. If a bait is running offline, use needle nose pliers to slightly bend the line tie in the opposite direction, then recheck and continue making adjustments until the lure is running straight.