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How to Fish Big Squarebill Crankbaits for Prespawn Bass

Squarebill crankbaits are the go-to lure for prespawn bass throughout much of the country. The big profile coupled with a hard wobble helps bass find the bait while excellent deflection (and anti-snagging) characteristics trigger reaction bites. Shaw Grigsby discusses how to fish squarebill crankbaits when bass push into the shallows during the spawning season and why he prefers bigger baits.


His rationale for bigger is grounded in basic biology – a big prespawn bass burns less energy eating a single bigger meal versus several smaller offerings. Bigger baits often result in a better average size while still attracting plenty of bites from smaller bass too. As Shaw notes, the key to success with squarebill cranking is making regular contact with cover – these baits are purpose-built for bouncing off any available hard cover and tickling the tops of grass.

Accurate target casting to cover elements is imperative to success. Shaw details his preferred ‘upsized’ rod and line for handing bigger baits and fish around cover. Lastly, while a straight retrieve catches fish, he hits on the importance of working the bait by pumping, pausing, and twitching the bait. Off-cadence directional changes are often the trigger to get fish to commit.