When Chuck Norris was thinkin’ ’bout makin’ a comeback, he knew he needed his favorite crankbait to make a comeback too — the ol’ Xcalibur XCS square lip. And so the BOOYAH XCS squarebill was born — cuz it uses the EXACT same plastics and molds as the Xcal, just with better colors.
Okay not really but that’s how it shoulda gone down. A little more on fishing this real good and real AFFORDABLE bait in the fall:
> Your fave crank stick or a 6′ 6″ M-MH Mod F rod, 6:1-ish ratio reel, 12-15 lb fluoro.
> Shad colors like lucent shad (^), citrus shad or TN special. Deflect ’em off targets in the backs of creeks. Don’t get mad if you bust ’em up, that’s where they need to be!
I like “perch” too, kinda a cross between bluegill ‘n perch. Git you some more info:
Is this the greatest crankbait you haven’t fished yet? Well, the bottom line is pros love it. And they love stuff that deserves love, like puppies, Cinnabons, high-mileage flip-flops and stuff that helps ’em catch green-heads. Like this bait, designed by a guy who spent all his time as a kid fishing crankbaits: one David “watermelon” Fritts.
I’ll say this: The bait’s lighter and smaller than I expected but not too small and not too light. Personally I’d fish it on a 6′ 10″ ML or 7′ M Abu Fantasista Premier Rod, or pretty much ANY Kistler Magnesium Rod (they’re that good!) or the off-the-books/unofiicial Alpha Angler smaller-crank rod, where Jake “the maddest scientist” Boomer takes the 6′ 10″ MF DSR dropshot spin-rod and makes it into a casting rod. You can ask him to do that….
All that said, in the ICAST-ish issue this year David said he likes this for fishin’ his latest cranks:
Here’s a dude with the hot-sauce beard tellin’ ya more:
You don’t gotta be Hank Cherry to jerk your way around a lake! Here’s a couple pro-type dudes who like to jerk in the fall. First Clent Davis:
> “I love to throw the Yo-Zuri 3DB 110 Jerkbait over and around laydowns in the fall. The best laydowns are usually the ones laying over deeper water since bass tend to want to suspend this time of the year.
> “Every day is a different cadence. Some days they want it worked slow and paused, and others you can’t fish it fast enough. The Yo-Zuri 110 is definitely a fish-catcher in the fall all the way till the water gets down to 50 degrees.”
Here’s Brandon Cobb:
> “I look for baitfish activity. Usually baitfish move towards creeks and rivers in the fall, so that’s where I start. Look for cover where fish will ambush the shad moving in. Docks and laydown trees are usually a good place to start.
> “I like to use the jerkbait with a normal jerk and pause retrieve however it is slightly faster for fall fishing. Fish usually are actively feeding, so there’s no need for long pauses.”
Brandon likes to start with “natural shad,” but Clent likes “clear pro blue” (pictured ^) in clear water and “pearl shad” or “ghost sexy shad” in off-colored water. Gitcha more:
Shad overall smaller this time of year? Check. Mike Bucca an evil genius? Not sure about the evil part, but otherwise — check. Never a bad time to fish this bait? Check. I really dig it man. That’s ^ “theadfin shad” but I don’t think it matters which one you pick. Just reel it like you’re a fish that want’s to get smashed by a way-bigger fish!
For this deal I like mono line — Sufix Advance Mono is great, just downsize 1 size from your typical because it’s burly enough to handle it — or real good fluoro. Real good = thinner but still strong, and to my thinking that means it doesn’t weight the bait down and kill its action a little like a beefier fluoro would do. Seaguar InvizX is great, or if you just got some birthday money you can go up to Seaguar Tatsu. Seaguar Gold Label I haven’t tried with it yet but believe it’s the thinnest you can get.
How you fish it: Cast it our and real it in, as slowly as you can stand it…maybe slower….
When’s the last time you pulled a Fat Free Shad outta your box? If you don’t own this bait in “citrus shad” (^) you are literally missing out one o’ the most fish-ketchin’ crankbaits of all time. No exaggeration. If that color’s too much for you, check “foxy shad” or “TN shad.” Tippage:
> Since this bait runs a little deeper you might want a little longer rod — like a 7′ to 7′ 6″ M to MH. Maybe a little-slower reel too — like in the 5 range — and 10-15 lb fluoro depending on the depth you want.
> …channel swings, humps, flats or other drops in the 10-15′ range.
Here’s former Bassmaster pro Frank “what accent? do I have an accent?” Scalish showin’ ‘n tellin’ ya ’bout it:
Berkley says this new bait has balsa-like rolling action, a tight tail and that weighed disc deal that helps make those Frittside baits all that…meaning plastic that acts like wood. It’s gettin’ pretty tough to doubt what Berkley says, not just cuz of their army of science-types…
…but because their pro guys back ’em up. Here’s what Bobby Lane says ’bout fishing the 5.1″ 1/2-oz version:
> “Jerkbaits are misconstrued as not always being a bait that catches the big ones but that’s very untrue. I’ve caught 8-lb largemouths…4 1/2-lb spots, 5-lb smallmouth — they catch big fish. Have confidence in that.
> “The wind is your friend no matter which direction it’s blowing out of…doesn’t matter — find the banks that have wind on them. Typically one side of the lake will have just a bit more wind than the other, so find that side and go there. Jerkbaits are reaction baits and the fish just trigger to it better when it’s a little windier, makes it look more lifelike.
> “The retrieve is important. It’s not always a rip-rip-pause retrieve that works. Once you catch one decent fish, try to re-create that retrieve on every cast because there’s something specific to it that the fish are keying on. Once you’ve got the retrieve figured out, you can go behind other boats and clean up on the fish they missed because they didn’t figure it out.”
He likes 4 colors for fall: TN shad, purple glimmer (^), black gold and black silver, with the first 2 typically thrown in sunnier conditions. 12-lb Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon (Palomar knot), Abu REVO AL-F Reel (8.0), 6′ 10″ ML F Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier Rod:
> “…super-sensitive and allows you to feel bites even on a cold day. I also like a bit smaller rod for fishing in the cold because it’s usually pretty windy, and with the smaller rod I can whip or underhand casts and have more control over them.”
Don’t think jerkbaits have to measure 110 to catch ’em but check me on that…lol. These 2 baits — like everything Hiroshi Nishine makes — are stick. They are good. Will your feesh like ’em? Only one way to find out!
If your bai’s on the smaller side, the 95 is your deal. If the baits’ bigger or you don’t care and just want a bigger bait, the 115 is it.
Several white and white-ish/baitfish colors to choose from includin’ “pearl white” (^). Lotta great colors and cool things about the bait — interesting that all Nishine hard baits come with a Nishine snap, so I always use it. Hiroshi is a DETAIL dude so….
Here’s Hiroshi talking about and showing the action of the 115SD — pretty sweet:
8. Bill Lewis SB-57 and Echo 1.75 squarebills
Why does Bill Lewis have 2 completely different lookin’ squarebills? Maybe blame Mark Daniels Jr — or actually maybe Bill Lewis head dude and master of hair-imonies Wes Higgins (we’re both hair-challenged lol) for darin’ to roll out Bill Lewis’ first LIPPED bait a couple-3 years back — the Echo 1.75. Then I guess MDJ got wind of it and wanted to do another few baits with this n that, one of which is the SB-57 (TN shad ^).
So you take a pro who knows his crankbaits and hook him up with a guy who knows hard plastics n colors cuz he’s been raisin’ ’em since he was a kid, and you got some good baits! The Echo is slightly longer and heavier than the SB-57’s 2.25″ and 3/8-oz, but it doesn’t get as deep as the SB-57 (3-6′).
Should also mention the Echo kinda rattles like a ‘Trap, but the SB-57 — which has Mustad Triple Grips — is silent…but deadly…lol.
Here again is MDJ givin’ the full rundown on his SB-57 rig: