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Bill Lewis MR-12 Crankbait Review

It’s hard to believe how often bass anglers overlook the mid-range depths. We tend to put everything in a proverbial box and believe the bass are either deep or shallow, but what about the “in-between” depths? This depth range is very important throughout many times of the year, especially during cold fronts and seasonal transitions. 

I’ve been tinkering with the Bill Lewis MR-12 Crankbait for the last several months and I’m convinced it’s going to be a catcher when the bass are tough to catch. From its rounded bill to its tight-wiggling action, it’s a quality bass fishing lure that will get a bunch of bites. 

The Bill Lewis MR-12 Crankbait has an awesome bill design

The Bill Lewis MR-12 Crankbait sports a spoon-shaped bill that has worked incredibly well when I’ve fished it around rocks and other hard cover. A bit more care needs to be taken around laydowns but in regards to riprap, boulders and other assortments of rock, this particular bill shape allows the lure to crawl back to the boat without any issues. 

It’s fairly buoyant as well which really helps when you’re slow-crawling it through hard cover. If it starts to snag or bury in cover, you can simply pause your retrieve and the plug will float above the obstruction and you’ll be able to continue reeling without any issues whatsoever. 

You can catch ‘em behind other folks

My home lake gets absolutely hammered by fishing pressure and the Bill Lewis MR-12 Crankbait is a lure that, in my opinion, is perfectly designed for these kinds of fisheries. Everyone wants to get right up on the riprap of these bridges and crank a squarebill until they’re blue in the face. That works sometimes but what works even better is when you can back off and target an entirely different depth range of rocks. 

On 12-pound fluorocarbon and a medium-action rod, this lure will touch 13 to 14 feet based on my testing. This allows you to back off heavily fished shallow cover and target fish that are normally ignored. If you end up getting one of these crankbaits, you need to throw it where other anglers’ boats normally sit, if that makes sense. While everyone casts at the bank, this secondary cover can be a huge deal. 

Outstanding components

I’ve really appreciated the attention to detail put forth by Bill Lewis. The split rings are good and my gosh, the hooks are about as good as you could ask for. The split rings don’t bend or warp and the hooks are razor sharp stand up excellently to big fish. 

If I spend good money on a bass fishing lure, I don’t want to take the time to mess around with changing components. If I was okay with doing that, I would have bought a cheap bargain-bin lure that requires a bunch of modifications.

Thankfully, however, the Bill Lewis MR-12 Crankbait comes ready to fish right out of the package. You won’t have to tune it, mess around with the hooks or anything of the sort. It’s ready to fish and personally speaking, that’s what I expect when I unpackage a new crankbait. 

The bottom line

When fishing gets tough whether it’s due to weather or fishing pressure, this is an outstanding option to try. This is a high-quality crankbait that doesn’t really pull any punches. No crazy marketing, no wild packaging or anything or anything of the sort. Take it out of the package, tie it on and start fishing it. You’re going to catch fish and if you’re anything like me, you’ll appreciate a bulldog-of-a-lure that simply gets the job done. 

This lure is available at the following retailers: