I use crankbaits each time I’m on the water; you’ll never see me without one rigged and ready to go. Not only does their fast and aggressive action trigger inactive bass into biting, but these lures also allow anglers to cover large expanses of water quickly and efficiently.
I’ve been testing the Evergreen SH-3 for about a year and I’ve become a big fan of several of its design features. There are a lot of very generic crankbaits on the market these days, but this particular plug is extremely unique for many reasons.
This isn’t your typical round-bodied crankbait. The Evergreen SH-3 has a 2 3/4-inch hexagonal body that results in one of the most aggressive crankbaits I’ve ever had the opportunity to use.
Throughout the retrieve, this crankbait feels very similar to a bladed swim jig. With a medium-heavy rod, you’re able to feel the prominent vibration all the way up your forearm whether you’re burning it or slow-crawling it along the bottom. The increased vibration and water displacement has made this one of my go-to crankbaits this year when fishing stained to muddy water. Even with just an inch or so of visibility, the bass have been able to track it down with their lateral lines and absolutely choke it.
It only dives to about 3 feet on a long cast, making it an outstanding choice when fishing submerged vegetation. Because it has such an aggressive wobble to it, you’re able to feel the smallest amount of grass on your hooks which allows you to fish vegetation much more efficiently. When you feel the wobble stop, one of two things has happened: You have grass or a bass.
There’s no question in my mind that bass can get conditioned to particular baits and sounds; especially on highly pressured fisheries. I go to great lengths to choose crankbaits with unique sounds because in my experience, it certainly makes a noticeable difference throughout the year.
The SH-3 is a super-loud crankbait that you’ll be able to hear throughout much of the retrieve. It has a large tungsten ball inside that creates a clacking sound reminiscent of some one-knocker lipless crankbaits I’ve fished.
Distance and accuracy
Weighing in at 11/16-ounce, this crankbait allows you to make extremely long casts without much effort at all, which will help anglers eliminate and cover water quickly when searching for a productive shallow-water pattern.
In addition to its bulky size, the internal tungsten weight of the SH-3 also serves as a highly effective weight transfer system throughout the cast. Even when fishing in windy conditions, you’ll be able to cast this plug remarkable distances with very little spinning or helicoptering in mid-flight.
Accuracy is also a major key to shallow-water fishing success and this crankbait can make even a mediocre caster look like a pro. It loads your rod very well on the back cast and allows you to keep the lure low when casting to isolated cover. Just a simple roll cast will land the SH-3 softly into the water without spooking nearby bass.
With a little practice, I’ve also become pretty good at getting this crankbait underneath boat docks. This is a big plus in my book because bass rarely see crankbaits in this setting, which results in a lot of bites that other anglers routinely miss.
Ready to fish without modifications
When I buy a crankbait, I expect it to be ready for the water. I’m not a tinkerer—I like to fish instead—so I’m not crazy about tuning and changing split rings and treble hooks before I use a lure.
Fortunately, this crankbait is 100 percent ready to go right from the package. The split rings are beefy and the hooks are incredibly sharp—perhaps some of the sharpest stock hooks I’ve ever seen on a crankbait. They also seem to maintain their point quite well, even after repeated collisions with rock, wood and other hard cover.
The Evergreen SH-3 is an awesome shallow-water crankbait that has proven to be very effective in many different situations. It’s a bit pricey, but rest assured: It’s a high-quality plug that catches a bunch of nice bass.