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I have had success using squarebills for largemouth. I've never really used them for smallies. Most the smallmouth waters I fish are fairly deep, clear water. Crankbaits need to mostly be bounced off the bottom, usually rock. I'm wondering who has had success with them for smallmouth and how exactly you use them. And of course, what are your preferred brands and colors. For largemouth, I like Strike King KVD 1.5's a lot. Mostly natural Shad and bluegill colors. 

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I’ve had success with the KVD 1.0, 1.5, & 2.0. I have also had good success with the “freak” from luck-e-strike, series 1&2 tasty Shad and pale brown craw. I work the parallel to main lake shores, and every possible angle over points. I do real well with them prespawn and again in the fall. Another bait not a squarebill though is the KVD Flatside crank. That has produced in the summer-late fall for me. My lake is almost all rock especially late in the year as they draw it down for irrigation so cover is limited. Hope this helps.

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2 minutes ago, Swbass15 said:

I’ve had success with the KVD 1.0, 1.5, & 2.0. I have also had good success with the “freak” from luck-e-strike, series 1&2 tasty Shad and pale brown craw. I work the parallel to main lake shores, and every possible angle over points. I do real well with them prespawn and again in the fall. Another bait not a squarebill though is the KVD Flatside crank. That has produced in the summer-late fall for me. My lake is almost all rock especially late in the year as they draw it down for irrigation so cover is limited. Hope this helps.

Great tips, thanks! 

When you work parallel to the banks, something I like as well, how deep are you fishing and do you try to maintain contact with that rock bottom? I have fairly steep drop offs and I would probably only be hitting bottom for about the 1st 1/3 of a cast. 

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The SK 1.5 & 2.5 have been effective in mid to late August for me on the brown bass - especially when I 'burn it'. 

 

 

A-Jay

:smiley:

 

 

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@Smbass19 yes I try and bang it off the rocks as much as possible, I’ve broken the lips in some. But if I loose contact where it drops off I’ll fish it erratically with stops and jerks thrown in. But usually when I loose that contact there is a fish waiting at that drop to eat

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Do you guys prefer the rattling version of the 1.5 (only available at BPS) or the silent?

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On Lake St. Clair, we throw a lot of SPRO Little John's (original size) and in various colors....Cell Mate, Nasty Shad, Spooky Shad, Olive to name just a few.  We tear them up!!  Add in Walleye, Musky and Pike and we get some food fish as well (especially walleye).  Of course we catch the by-product fish as well.....Largemouth/Goggle eyes/white bass/sheepshead but we always have them tied on ready to throw.  

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I use them to troll. Usually 2.5 mph gets them down 9-10 ft and you can cover a lot of water slamming bottom the entire way. H20 express makes good cranbaits that won't fall apart 

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I've caught a lot of Smallmouth on the KVD 1.0 and 1.5. The last couple of years I've been throwing both the Spro Fat John 60 and it's smaller 50 counterpart with great success. Both of them run fairly shallow, with the 50 being 0-2'. Unfortunately I fish rivers mainly, so I can't vouch for them on lakes, but they've come through cover great for me, have killer action and hit the bass

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12 hours ago, Smbass19 said:

Do you guys prefer the rattling version of the 1.5 (only available at BPS) or the silent?

I have thrown both. Early in the year rattling works great but for me by mid-late summer and fall a silent produces better for me. Seems weird but at that time I’ll have rising water, less vis, and pressure on my home water but switching to the silent bait produces much better.

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I have particular good luck with squarebills on two different rivers I fish that are fairly shallow, have a fair amount of current and have a lot of rock.  KVD 1.5 and Berkley Squarebull.  Grind them hard and fast off the rock, you’ll lose a few but they do pretty well when other lures, specifically plastics are largely in effective..

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I've caught lots of smallmouth from our lakes on a KVD 1.0. Chrome sexy shad is one of my favorite colors for them. I fish them on a spinning rod with 8lb test and bounce them around rocks on shallow points and rock piles. 

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Try a SK 5xd in Gizzard shad if the water is deep and clear.

 

Allen

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Up here in the north, a 1.5 in sexy shad works great on a windy day, burned like a spinnerbait over cabbage beds or rock shoals. Sometimes, you can’t reel it fast enough!

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Most mfg. have a square bill version. Over the last few seasons I've bought a few of the SK's in 1.0 & 1.5's I like the bait, fish seem to like it also. Gizzard shads seem to work well for me but I gravitate toward some Rapalas and Big O's as a go to square bills. I'm not fishing as deep as you. I'm chaseing River smallies for the most part. My larger smallmouth so over the years have come with crankbaits but  I prefer to fish soft plastics. 

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I heard silent crank baits aren't actually silent, they are just silent to humans and not fish?

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To me silent means it lacks a rattle. Can split rings still make noise yea, are they producing noise fish here possibly but the idea is they lack that noisy rattle. I haven’t had much success fishing those in clear water like they are recommended for. Also the recommend fishing them when fish are highly pressured. I do know at times the fish on my lake bite a silent crank better than a loud one. 

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I've had good success using the Spro fat papa 55 for smallies in rivers, specifically the craw colored ones. I bounce them off of rocks. 

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On ‎1‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 9:27 AM, Smbass19 said:

Do you guys prefer the rattling version of the 1.5 (only available at BPS) or the silent?

I have heard the bass can't hear the frequencies of the rattles -- although it's possible they catch some overtones put out by them still.

 

I would focus more on the amount of water that they move. A crank like the Norman Fat Boy that moves a lot of water will attract a lot of bass when they are actively feeding, but when the bite is more subdued you may want a less aggressive crankbait. They will at least feel if not hear water displaced by your lure.

 

My favorite crankbait is the Norman Fat Boy. KVD 1.5s are also generally a good bet for most situations. And neither are super expensive. I also really like the Lucky Craft RTO for later in the fall.

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I have not caught a lot of smallmouth on crankbaits but most of the ones I have caught were on a rapala DT4 in bluegill color.

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Great information & tips on how to fish cranks in cold water.

cheers

 

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Good subject.I recently caught a nice sized smallmouth bass on a squarebill crankbait while fishing in a river and have caught many species of fish on squarebills.

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