How To

Squarebill Crankbait Fishing Springtime Smallmouth Bass

Squarebill crankbaits aren’t the first lure category to come to mind when chasing spring smallmouth bass. Wired2fish’s Kobie Koenig makes us rethink this as he explores prespawn smallmouth waters with a squarebill in hand. He demystifies spring smallmouth location and how to trigger hungry prespawn bass using squarebill crankbaits instead of other popular spring smallmouth lures.

FEATURED TACKLE (retail links)
• CRANKBAIT – Rapala Ott’s Garage (OG) Rocco Squarebill Crankbait, color – Rootbeer Crawdad:
• ROD – ARK Invoker Pro Series Casting Rod, 6’10” Medium:
• REEL – ARK Fishing Gravity 5 Casting Reel, 7.5:1:
• LINE – Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon, 12-pound:

As the seasons shift and water temperatures rise, smallmouth bass transition from deep to shallow waters. Kobie shares that the perfect starting points for pursuing prespawn smallmouth are high hard spots or points extensions adjacent to basins. Despite seeming obvious, these areas are goldmines as the fish have yet to be pressured and congregate heavily in these zones.

Koenig also emphasizes the importance of understanding the underwater terrain. Smallmouth bass are notorious for favoring harder, rock-bottom areas, especially during spawning seasons. Kobie uses side imaging to spot these areas, showing viewers how to discern the transition from soft to hard bottom.

This video highlights the benefits of using a squarebill crankbait, an often overlooked yet effective tool in smallmouth bass fishing. Fishing fast and covering water is essential to locating bass this time of the year. Koenig demonstrates how the bait’s ability to deflect off cover—be it rocks or reeds—triggers a reaction strike, making it an excellent choice for aggressive and curious fish.

Lastly, Koenig discusses his preferred rod setup for squarebill cranking smallies. He prefers a shorter medium power rod with a parabolic action, a high gear ratio reel, and a 12-pound fluorocarbon line. The slower action reduces tearing treble hooks free from skin-hooked fish, while the faster reel lets him maintain contact with the bait at all times. This combo allows for quick and effective control over the crankbait, increasing the chances of a successful catch.

• FISH FINDER (bow stack) – Humminbird APEX 13 CHIRP MEGA SI+:
• FISH FINDER (console) – Humminbird APEX 16 CHIRP MEGA SI+: Humminbird SOLIX 15 CHIRP MEGA SI+ G3:
• 360 SONAR – Humminbird MEGA 360 Imaging:
• LIVE SONAR – Humminbird MEGA Live Imaging TargetLock:
• TROLLING MOTOR – Minn Kota Ultrex 112lb-36V Trolling Motor:
• BOW GRAPH MOUNT – Precision Sonar Over and Under Bow Mount for Deck:
• CONSOLE GRAPH MOUNT – Precision Sonar Lund Pro-V Bass Smart Bracket Console Mounting System:
• SHALLOW WATER ANCHOR – Minn Kota Raptor, 8′:
• BASS BOAT – Lund 2075 Pro-V Bass:
• MOTOR – Mercury FourStroke, 250hp:




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