It took Nick LeBrun only a few casts to decide that Bill Lewis’s new SB-57 crankbait was going to be a fixture in his tackle box this year.
A touring pro from Bossier City, LeBrun committed to a whole day of fishing the new lure recently, and it didn’t take him long to start convincing the largemouths to play along.
“It’s a great bait, and it didn’t take me long to figure that out because I didn’t have to cast it very many times before I started catching fish,” he said. “The thing that excites me about it is that honeycomb pattern makes it rattle a little bit different, and it also makes the lure strong — even though it’s more thin than most crank baits.
“The lip is another thing. It’s a hybrid bill — not a typical square bill or a coffin lip. It’s a unique blend that helps the bait deflect well off cover. That’s really important when the fish are being a little bit finicky, especially early in the year.”
LeBrun, a member of the pro staff for Louisiana-based Bill Lewis Lures, said while this bait will catch fish anywhere, it’s also special for home-state bass.
“The first thing I think about for fishing it in cypress tree lakes is that during the spawn and the early post-spawn, it’s going to be great to deflect off the trees,” he said. “It’ll work just cranking it by the trees, or any structure, but when the big ones get finicky, bouncing it off the tree seems to be something they can’t resist. This new lip design should minimize hangups. You can’t catch fish when you are hung up. That’s for sure.”
Tickle the grass
LeBrun said the lure will be great for shallow bass on big lakes like Toledo Bend. It is designed to work in 3 to 6 feet of water, and not just around hard structure, but grass, too.
“This bait is going to give anglers fishing the shallow grass, like on Toledo Bend, an option to get right on the grass but fish slower,” he says. “It’s typical in our lakes to rip a red Rat-L-Trap over the grass and barely nick the cover. But when the water is cold, a slower presentation sometimes works. This lure maintains it’s action at very slow retrieve speeds, and it comes in strawberry craw or glitter crawdad colors, two excellent choices. I also think my overall favorite will be the sneaky shad, a shad color with a little chartreuse in it. Another good feature of it is that it has a very slow rise when you pause it.”
The SB-57 is named from it’s construction — a square bill that is 57 millimeters long. The honeycomb wall construction allows the bait to be 25% thinner than normal crankbaits.
LeBrun recently finished his rookie season on the FLW Tour after winning the BFL All America in 2018.
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