MLF EMBEDDED: Squarebill is King in Challenge Cup Elimination Round
By Joel Shangle
May 29, 2018
VIDALIA, Louisiana – A quick observation by MLF veteran Brent Ehrler said it all during the third Elimination Round of the 2018 Lucas Oil Challenge Cup on Louisiana’s Black River-Cocodrie Lake Complex.
“I just don’t really have the confidence to slow down with a worm,” Ehrler said as he fished a pair of shallow laydowns midway through Period 2. “I feel like (the fish) are on wood, and I can hit so many more spots with a crankbait, cranking that wood.”
No sooner had Ehrler uttered the word “crankbait” than a 2-pound largemouth jumped on his Lucky Craft LC 1.5 squarebill.
“That fish wouldn’t bite a worm, but I throw a crankbait in there and he (immediately) bites it,” Ehrler said. “I’m not throwing a single cast with a worm the rest of the day.”
It was a similar story all around the complex.
Bobby Lane racked up 10 fish for 18-9 in the first period, eight of those fish on a chartreuse/black back squarebill crankbait. Third-place finisher Kevin VanDam caught all 12 of his scorable fish on a Strike King KVD 1.5 Squarebill. Four of the top five finishers in the round (Edwin Evers, Lane, VanDam and Brent Ehrler) relied on squarebills for 65 percent (31 out of 48) of their scorable bass.
All told, 52 percent of the scorable bass caught in the round were on a squarebill (43 of 83 fish).
“As the day moves on and the sun starts to shine, fishes’ ambush points get much smaller,” Evers advises. “That’s perfect for a squarebill. To me, it’s just a great search bait, and you can throw it so many places. A squarebill works on rocks, docks, riprap, logs, you can throw it over grass. It’s just a very versatile bait.”
Don’t be surprised if the squarebill continues to play a role in the upcoming Sudden Death Rounds.
“The squarebill shines more and more as the year goes on,” Evers says. “The faster retrieve triggers more bites, and those fish have seen so many baits over the summer, the squarebill just looks and moves right.”