River bass in the springtime are a sucker for squarebill crankbaits as they stage and slowly make their way toward spawning locations. Professional bass angler Bob Downey provides excellent insight on finding prespawn river bass and how to trigger them using squarebills when water temps range from the 45- to 55-degree mark. *Product listing at the bottom.
As in many reservoirs and river systems, channel swing banks adjacent to the main river channel and leading toward shallow spawning pockets are ideal locations to find prespawn bass. These areas provide immediate access to shallow and deep water, which can be essential during volatile spring weather. Downey explains how to find these spots using detailed lake maps and advocates doing a fish finder mapping recon before you hit the water.
Few baits let you cover water as fast and trigger bites like a squarebill crankbait. Downey details how to fish squarebills like the Luhr-Jensen Speed Trap through rock and wood-infested river miles. He shares his go-to rod setup for making accurate casts around shoreline cover and sticking and keeping bass pinned. For Downey, this means a shorter, moderate power fiberglass rod and a reel spooled with a quality fluorocarbon line. Lastly, he shares his criteria for choosing crankbait colors based on water clarity.
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- CRANKBAIT – Luhr-Jensen Speed Trap, color – Brown Mud Craw
- ROD – St. Croix Legend Glass Cranking Rod, 6’10” Med Hvy
- REEL – Daiwa Tatula Elite Casting Reel, 6.3:1
- LINE – Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon, 12-pound
- FISH FINDER – Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP MEGA SI+ GPS G4N
- MAPPING – LakeMaster PLUS Digital Charts
- TROLLING MOTOR – Minn Kota Ultrex Trolling Motor