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Crankbait Fishing: How to Use the Square Bill

The Square Bill Crankbait has a long history of success, producing heavy bags early and late in the season for decades. Recent tournament success has re-sparked popular interest, so we’re digging into the details – why is a square bill crankbait different than any other shallow water crankbait?

How To Fish A Square Bill

Taking the name from its dive lip, the sharp corners of the “square-bill” are ideal for banging off cover like rocks, wood or docks without getting hung up. A disruption in the swimming action caused by crashing the bait into the cover is usually what triggers the bite. This crashing action and performance in cover is what separates the square bill from typical round bill crankbaits.

Designed for shallow water (6 ft. or less) and meant to be fishing in and around cover, the square bill makes an excellent search bait. Look to fish in areas with lots of cover, stumps, rocks or docks, working to bounce the bait off of the cover.

While the square bill is a versatile bait that can catch fish year-round, Spring and Fall are the primary seasons of usage as fish tend to be more concentrated in the shallows.

Selecting a Square Bill Pattern:

Some of the best colors early season colors are the craw patterns. For spawn/post spawn in stained water, try a Sexy Shad or more vibrant colors with chartreuse. In clearer water, stick to natural colors such as Bluegill or Summer Sexy Shad.

Ready to pick your square bill pattern? Shop here!

Other Gear:

Rod: Cranking square bills will work best on a casting rod with medium to medium/heavy action and moderate to medium-fast action.

Reel: A medium fast casting reel, 6.2:1, 6.3:1 or 6.4:1 ratio are probably the most common and will help you not reel too fast.

Line: Seagaur InvizX fluoro in 12-15 lb. test or PowerPro SuperSlick V2 braid in 20lb test.