Crankbaits 101

In this video from @FWaterNation, we show you how to fish lipless and square bill crankbaits. Check it out!

No one knows for sure who invented the crank bait but its origins date back to the early 1900’s and it has come a long way since. Technological advances in materials, lip design and lines allow you to present a crankbait to run at a desired depth and action that you like. In this article, we are going to talk about two specific types of crankbaits that can be very effective year round, the lipless and the square bill. Both of these baits have distinct advantages when fishing certain conditions and can really help you fill the live well.

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Lipless Crankbait

The lipless crankbait exploded when Bill Lewis introduced his Rat-L-Trap in the late 1960’s. Since then, just about every freshwater, hard bait manufacturer makes some sort of lipless crank bait. These baits have many advantages such as fishing different depths, different retrieves and around vegetation. Often times, allowing your lipless crankbait to get in the grass and then ripping them out will cause a bass in the area to strike out of sheer instinct. These baits have a tight wobble creating vibration and you can get them now with bb's in them, tungsten, or silent models. They are fantastic search baits and are excellent with schooling bass.

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Square Bill Crankbait

Square bill crankbaits or simply “square bills”, are just that, a crank bait with a square lip on them. They are most often used in shallower depths although companies are now making square bills that will dive deeper. The square bill allows the bait to “hunt” in the water. This means that it will often dart off to the side during the retrieve creating an erratic reaction. You can magnify this by adding the occasional jerk to your rod when retrieving. The square bill also helps the bait deflect off of cover such as rocks and wood. Both of these actions often create a reaction strike because bass are very instinctual creatures and will often eat even when they are not hungry.

If you don’t have a couple of lipless and square bills in your tackle arsenal, you need to head to the nearest tackle shop and stock up. Here is a video that can help you learn how to fish them better.

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