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How to fish for squid

How to fish for squid

Captain Maurizio Pastacaldi enthusiastically shows a squid caught at sunset

Last week, we published an article showing a delicious recipe prepared with local fresh squid because all those who, like us, love the sea and fishing in general certainly cannot buy it at the supermarket!

Since the dawn of time, squid has always been caught with the traditional “seine” technique, a particular method of fishing that employs a fishing net of large diameter that hangs vertically in the water with its bottom edge held down by a lead weight and its top edge buoyed by floats. Over the last few years, however, the “Rising Sun” fishing lines have significantly contributed to make squid fishing available to anyone and “made in Japan” technology and inventiveness have progressively taken over the Mediterranean practice and tradition.

Squid fishing “in practice”

First of all, we should clarify that every coastline of our country has its own seasonality and reality which need to be discovered in order to achieve the desired result with the help of both a good fish finder and a good dose of experience. Anyway, we can say that, throughout the course of a day, squids prefer stay in the immediate vicinity of forage fish, like jack mackerels, shads, boxfish, on 40-meter sea bottoms; at dawn and at dusk, they can be found on less deep floors (about 20 meters in depth).

How to fish for squid

The best method to catch squid is drifting, with light fishing reel and rod and a lead weight of about 50-150 gr. Multifiber on the reel is another important aspect which ensures great performances; thanks to its little diameter and special weave, this material enables anglers to drop their lures in the water more easily and “feel” better the moment when squid takes the bait.

It is highly recommended to use only high-quality multifiber with a diameter ranging from 10 and 15 hundredths of diameter. The traditional method to join artificial “squid/oppai” jigs to the fluorocarbon mother-line consists of a loop taken from a “dropper loop” fishing knot. But we will deal with it in another article in the next few days.

How to fish for squid

“Oppai” jigs

They are artificial teardrop lures, often made of soft material and covered with a coloured gauze of about 7 cm in length; they should be mounted in series on the fishing line in order to have more chances of catching fish. My advice is to use more colours. If you have no time and or you simply prefer to enjoy a ready-to-use option, special “fishing kits” are currently available on the market.

How to fish for squid

Squid fishing at anchor

Beyond technique, it is good to know that this nice cephalopod, joy and delight of our palate, lives very close to anchorages.

Many yachtsmen, especially sailors, love enjoying the sea and staying at anchor to spend their nights, enjoy a little peace and escape daily routine. It is not clear why but lights, sounds, everything available on board makes the food chain gravitates towards boats and squids, too, are part of this community.

When staying at anchor, if you are not a squid fishing addicted, our advice is to place a pair of simple rods and oppai jigs in the time between sunset and dawn on a seabed of at least 12 meters in depth.

How to fish for squid

Squid chromatophores

Meantime, everyone can get on with his life on board, taking a look at the top of the rod every now and then..Its sensitivity, in fact, will be our alert. Waves will animate lures, making them fatal to all cephalopods, including octopus, cuttlefish and squids. Areas and seasonality play a key role; autumn months are the best ones but two rods certainly do not compromise life on board, so… good catch to everyone!

The squid in a nutshell

This cephalopod generally lives in 20-250 meter depths and, at night, it comes to surface looking for food. It has a fusiform body, with two large rectangular swimming fins along each side. Its size commonly ranges between 15 and 25 cm but it can be up to 60 cm in length in bigger species. The squid has 10 tentacles with 4 or more series of suckers. Squid common food includes fish, shellfish and small crustaceans.

How to fish for squid

One final remark: in this article, we’ve talked about squids but we should have used the more specific term “calamari”. In some regions of Italy, in fact, calamari is often wrongly used as a synonym with squid. Well, this debate has often confused anglers but the difference is simple: unlike calamari, squid has less prestigious organoleptic characteristics, longer body, dark fluorescent mantle, different tentacles and fins and bigger size, which can be up to 30 kg. Moreover, it can be found in deeper depths.

How to fish for squid

The sunset is the most propitious time to catch squid

By the very nature of the word, fishing is all about catching fish. The term fish also includes squid. Squid are generally smaller and less aggressive than most fish species, but they provide for a different kind of excitement. I love squid fishing and the resulting food is delicious, not to mention, easy to cook.

If you want to know what the fuss is all about, here are some tips, tricks and techniques that will help you catch squid.

WHERE AND WHEN TO CATCH

Squid can be caught all year round in Australia. They can be found around the coast, specifically in shallow sand, rocks and weed beds. You have better chances of catching squid at daytime and in clear water. However, you can still catch them at night. Squid are attracted to light, so a fishing spot under a bridge or road light is often a great spot.

LURES

Unlike fish, squid have a different way of catching their prey. They use their arms and tentacles entangle their prey and then pull them towards their beak. You can actually use a traditional treble hook and a lure to get the squid’s attention. However, you might have a hard time catching them. The most proven method is to use a squid jig which has treble hooks attached.

A squid jig consists of a body that is made to resemble fish and several rows of tiny sharp points, which allow the squid’s tentacles to get caught up. They come in various sizes, compositions, weights and colours. Some are even luminescent. They glow in the dark if you leave them in the sunlight for a bit.

Squid are often moody, which means it is a good idea to have a variety of squid jigs with you on any given fishing trip so you can mix it up.

As a rule of thumb, though, squid lures with plastic bodies and reflective inserts tend to be most effective in the daytime, while those with textured bodies are best used at night. Both natural and bright colours appear to be effective in catching squid.

You can actually fish for squid using any rod and reel. You can even use a handline if you want. However, the best results can be obtained when using a standard length graphite rod; something in the 6-7 foot range. There are also rods specifically designed for catching squid.

They have a soft tip with a fast taper to enable your squid jig to move optimally in the water. I recommend using 10lb braided or fluorocarbon line on a size 2000–3000 spinning reel. You can work with single or multiple squid jigs at once.

TECHNIQUES

The basic technique for catching squid is to cast your lure out and let it sink. When the lure is about 5–10 feet below the surface, whip your fishing rod upward and aggressively a couple of times. This action mimics the movement of prawn, which squid love to feed on. Afterwards, allow the lure to fall back down again. Make sure you have moments where the lure is motionless as this is usually the time when the squid strikes.

A slow retrieve is preferred so that the squid has ample time to latch onto your lure. If you retrieve too fast, they might detach from the lure. Also, you must have a smooth drag to prevent ripping out their tentacles as they take the bait.

When the squid tends to be more aggressive, you can opt to have a faster and strong retrieve. Be careful when landing your squid. Their typical defence mechanism is to shoot ink or even bite.

Squid fishing is immensely popular because they’re a lot of fun to catch — regardless of whether you’re a novice or expert angler. Follow my basic advice and I am sure that you will end up with a decent catch.

Is there any advice you can add to this article? Share your experience below.

How to fish for squid

Squid fishing has had a radical re-birth in recent years, with improvements in tackle and techniques revolutionizing the way we target the humble squid. And although the old’ school techniques and equipment still work, the new age gear available today has seen marked improvements in results.

I love my squid fishing and always have. Not only good fun, but they also offer succulent seafood and some of the best bait available for a host of species. There aren’t many reef fish than can resist a fresh strip of squid or larger predators that can resist a live squid; in short, everything loves eating squid!

We have just entered our peak squid season down here in SA, with good numbers of southern calamari entering our shallow bays around the Eyre Peninsula. Even though we can target calamari year-round, we have a definite ‘peak’ season which begins in around May and extends through until approx August – and this is when we see the best numbers and most consistent action.

How to fish for squid

Squid live around areas of broken reef and weed growth – basically, environments that offer cover. Down here in SA our best squid grounds are found in water from around 2m deep down to around 5m. It is possible to catch squid in deeper water, but for consistency and numbers, these shallower margins tend to hold more squid and make for easier fishing.

I like to look for areas of low-lying reef with obvious seaweed growth. The patch is generally more productive if not too large; if the area of weed growth and scattered reef is too significant it will house too many other reef fish which tends to disperse the squid. Often a patch of broken reef amongst seaweed the size of a standard garage is enough to hold reasonable numbers of squid. Quite often the squid will be holding just to the side of the heavier seaweed and scattered reef, so it pays to fish along the visible edge of this structure.

Good places to look are in front of headlands and protruding points in bays where the water slowly tapers away. This is only valid for protected areas such as bay and Gulf waters where the swell is minimal – if any. Other likely areas include seagrass meadows inside bays – although these squid are generally more dispersed.

Because squid are a schooling creature, it’s important to keep on the move and cover likely ground until a patch is found. I opt to drift fish for the majority of my squid fishing, and by fanning casts around the boat, it allows you to cover a lot of area in minimal time. Obviously it’s hard to maintain a slow drift if the wind is blowing, but this is where the use of a drogue or using your motor to slow the drift is useful.

It’s important to deliver the squid jig down deep – as close to the weed as possible. If you are drifting too fast, using too heavy mainline or using the incorrect-weighted jig, you’re taking yourself out of the equation. It is imperative to keep the jig down deep, even if this means dealing with the occasional snag on the bottom. Good quality squid jigs such as Shimano Egixile will sink and rest ‘nose-first’ on the bottom to reduce fouling.

When slowly drifting over a likely patch, I cast out the side of the boat, and allow the jig plenty of time to sink through the column. I mainly use 3.5 sized jigs, and by knowing the sink speed of a 3.5 jig is approx 1 metre in 3.0 seconds allows you to gauge the sink time.

How to fish for squid

Once my jig has reached the necessary depth, I give 3 or 4 sharp bounces to raise the jig through the column, before allowing to sink again and repeating. Squid respond well to an erratically worked jig, so don’t be afraid to throw in a fair bit of action. Quite often the squid will attack the jig as it sinks.

My personal squidding results have improved sharply since switching to Shimano Sephia Egixile squid jigs a couple of years ago. The Sephia Egixile squid jigs are a superbly crafted and perfectly finished jig available in a wide range of colours to suit all situations.

And what ‘makes’ a good squid jig you may ask? Properties such as a narrow nose for side action, a deep belly for lift action, quality components, and of course overall finish and colour schemes – all of which Egixile jigs are renowned for. As for colours, I believe it’s important to have a range of colours as squid can alter their feeding habits very quickly. I like using darker colours in low light situations, with the brighter fluoro’s and white during the day.

Although specialised Egi outfits are available on the market, my outfit of choice is a 2-4kg Blue Romance rod coupled with a Shimano Stradic FL 2500HG and spooled with 10lb Power Pro Super Slick V2 braid. When choosing a rod intended for squidding, try to choose a slower tapering rod with a parabolic curve, as this will allow you to work the jig effectively and also handle the unique propulsion of a squid without tearing a tentacle.

My catch rate has soared since switching to Egixile jigs, and when coupled to the correct Shimano outfit, the results can be amazing.

How to fish for squid

Squid are one of those species that few people realise can be targeted effectively in the UK, and that few realise are stone cold predators. When squid or cuttlefish come into an area, the fish leave. It’s like a seal or dolphin has arrived.

Squid move very fast in the water, using jet-propulsion to shoot their rubbery bodies through the water. They have beaks which look very similar to those you would see on a bird, and I’ve had a chunk of my fishing rod bitten off by one of these – you don’t want to get your fingers caught up in their mouths. The tentacles of squid use suction pads to grip onto their prey, and a squid can support its own body weight with only few suckers, which is a reminder of how inescapable the grasp of a squid must be for its prey.

Squid move in ‘squads’, which hunt collaboratively, relying heavily of their excellent vision. This is one of the signs that squid are far more intelligent than fish species. They can elongate their tentacles, shooting them out to grip prey before drawing them in to be eaten alive with their beaks. There’s no wonder all the fish leave when a squad of squid show up…

How to fish for squid

Squid Fishing Season

Squid are caught in winter at night, especially in stormy conditions. However, they are sometimes caught in the summer months too, occasionally being caught with mackerel feathers on summer evenings.

Where

Squid are best targeted by boat or from harbour walls at night time. It’s a great help if the area is lit up, as squid are attracted to the light and the huge squads of squid are often visible from the harbour wall, so you can cast right onto them. Cuttlefish like rough ground and will come well into the shallows to feed. They hover over kelp beds eerily, like UFO’s and strike lightning fast.

How to Catch Squid

Squid are best targeted with squid jigs at night with the use of bright lights to draw them in. With the right lures, they are quite easy to catch when they’re there, so catching them is primarily a location and timing challenge. You need to figure out where to go and when to go. Another strategy is simply to always have a few squid jigs with you, just in case they show up.

How to fish for squidCuttlefish are also great fun and taste just as good as Squid!

Squid jigs do not have hooks, since squid easily slip hooks and are usually hooked by the tentacles. Their mouths are small, hard and not the first thing that makes contact with your lure. Instead, squid jigs have metal needle like projections which are capable of gripping the squid. Like many predatory species, squid will often hit lure on the drop (OTD), favouring the sight of lures that appear to be naturally falling. This is why jigging is the most effective method for them.

How to fish for squidCuttlefish

Catching squid in UK waters using a rod and line was unheard of just a few years ago. Today, however, it is growing in popularity to such an extent that squidding is becoming common around the south and west of the British Isles. Due to the unique way in which squid feed they caught on specialised lures known as squid jigs.

How to fish for squid

A selection of squid jigs fitted with crown hooks.

Squid jigs are shaped like small fish or prawns but instead of having a treble hook or J-hook attached they are instead fitted with two circular rows of small hooks which are known as crown hooks. When a squid attacks the jig their tentacles and arms become caught on these hooks, providing a solid hold and allowing the angler to reel the squid in.

Squid jigs come in a range of colours (there is no consensus over which is the most effective) and can be unweighted or have an additional lead weight attached to aid casting. Some are also fitted with further hook points on the body of the lure, and may also have additional attractors added such as feathers. As squid are attracted to light some of the more expensive squid jigs have an internal light, although anglers can add their cheap chemical light stick and luminous squid jigs are also available. It should also be noted that many anglers successfully catch squid with jigs that have no additional source of light fitted and some even claim that catch rates are higher with standard squid jigs which do not emit light. Many of the less expensive squid jigs are made out of weighted plastic, but more expensive designs may be coated in fabric or cloth which imitate the appearance and texture of the scales of a fish. Many anglers believe that cloth or fabric squid jigs are more effective and it is worth paying for these lures.

How to fish for squid

A jig which can be fitted with an internal light to attract squid.

Squidding is becoming increasingly common around much of the UK. Squid jigs are now widely available from fishing tackle shops and online retailers and the range and design of squid jigs will continue to expand as angling for squid continues to grow in popularity.

How to fish for squid

A few years ago myself and a group of friends started targeting squid from the open shore and on piers. It started off as just a little bit of fun with a few cheap jigs fished under floats; a method we knew had been used for a long time by other anglers in the south west.

We fished not knowing much about seasons, tides, moon phases or weather conditions and had very limited success, although the squid we did manage to land always seemed to be massive, with a healthy number around 4 – 5lb in weight taken over a period of around four years.

How to fish for squid

A large squid for author Steve Perry

As time went on, we started squidding earlier and earlier in the season in a bid to figure out the most productive times and tides to locate these amazing creatures which are lovely to eat, but more importantly the best bait you will find for targeting species such as conger, cod, bass, huss and several species of ray. I’ve even used them to target much larger species including my first ever shore caught common skate which fell to a large English squid that I had caught myself.

How to fish for squid

A massive common skate makes short work of a squid bait

Over the years we began to establish the best conditions needed to target squid in numbers.

A full moon and the associated spring tides during October, November and December appear to be most productive time with the high tide falling two or three hours after sunset producing the largest numbers of squid. When it comes to weather conditions, calm frosty nights and clear water are favourable when it is not unusual to land anywhere between 40 and 60 squid in a few hours. It would seem that squid numbers are definitely up on the south coast with the season now starting earlier and ending later so there is greater scope than ever to start jigging for squid in the UK. It’s brilliant fun and only requires very basic tackle meaning it is perfect for introducing young anglers to the sport.

When it comes to squid jigs, there are so many on the market that our biggest dilemma was deciding exactly what to go for, and why. A little online investigation revealed that squid fishing is huge in Japan and one company in particular, Yamashita, appeared to dominate the world of squid jigs. At just under sixteen pound a piece, these jigs are considerably more expensive than the poorly finished versions we had experimented with until now, but none the less, we ordered some up with a view to putting them through their paces.

Squid Fishing Jigs

Once we had established the most productive fishing times, we were keen to focus our attentions on the jigs themselves and our online research pointed towards the fact that the Yamashita jigs were insulated, or as the manufacturer referred to this fabric coating, “Warm Jacket”. This increases the body temperature of the jig by a degree or so which makes them all the more appealing to the feeding squid.

My fishing buddy, Sam, was the first to have a cast with one of the new jigs and it didn’t take long to realise just how effective they are. By the end of this first session, I began to regret leaving my new jig at home as Sam went on to out fish me on a ratio of at least five to one! Over the next couple of seasons, we enjoyed some very productive sessions with bags of squid in excess of 40lb landed on the Yamashita Warm Jacket squid jigs. This range of squid jigs are undoubtedly the best squid fishing jigs we have used to date.

How to fish for squid

The Yamashita squid jig takes another squid

We began to note the following patterns over subsequent sessions-

Selecting a jig to suit conditions on the day can pay off and it’s notable how some colours seem to work better than others, depending on water clarity. In calm, clear water, natural colours, blues and browns seem to be a real killer. If there is any colour in the water, pink and orange jigs can work wonders and if it is particularly dirty, a small glow stick attached a few inches above the jig can make all the difference.

How to fish for squid

A selection of Yamashita Warm Jacket squid jigs

Freelining the jig without any additional weight is undoubtedly the most simple and effective method we have used. Being able to spot your squid and casting to it is very productive so lights around piers and harbours should be used to your advantage. Not only will you see the squid easier but they will also be attracted to the lights.

If the squid are not visible, cast your lure out and work it back sink and draw fashion. By covering some ground, you’ll soon work out if the squid are present. Nine times out ten, the jig will be taken as it falls down through the water so be careful not to pull it way from the squid in the excitement. It’s easily done! A regular lure or spinning rod and reel loaded with light braid is all you need, and a fluorocarbon leader of around 15lb should be connected to the lure itself.

Location

Weymouth harbour, Brighton and the Torbay area are all recognised as venues capable of producing some good squid fishing. But there is no reason why you shouldn’t give it a try anywhere along the south coast of the UK. The Channel Islands also offer some excellent prospects.

Conservation

Squid fishing is a great way to get some bait for the freezer or provide a tasty meal, but as with any form of fishing, always take only what you need and will use. Look after your catch in a cool box with some ice packs to keep it in tip-top condition.

As a foot note, squid fishing can be a messy business, so a large towel to remove ink and slime from your hands is something you wont want to be without.

How to fish for squid

A nice catch of squid that will be put to good use after freezing down. Only take what you need!

4 thoughts on “ How To Catch Squid In The UK ”

Boscombe pier is the place to go.

What rod do you recommend for shore jigging for squid?

  1. VMO Post author September 21, 2018 at 11:35 am

The Shakespeare Ugly Stix GX2 Spin 9′ 15 – 60g is excellent. The soft tip is great for working the jig but there is enough backbone in the blank to haul a squid up the wall, with caution, if need be.

Hi, has anyone tried any squid fishing in the west i.e Minehead harbour wall etc, or is the waters not clear enough. Would like to take my boys but can’t find any info on areas etc in the west for fishing for squid

We have whole squid available which is made of Loligo vulgaris. The Loligo vulgaris is also known as the European squid. This type of squid is a commercially valuable species that lives in the Atlantic Ocean, which is also known as FAO fishing area 27.

Catching area

Since the European squid lives in coastal waters from the North Sea to the west coast of Africa, we primarily catch it ourselves with our own Dutch fishing fleet. After the squid is caught we only take the best ones and we immediately process and freeze them to keep the freshness. As a supplier we sell our squid whole round. We also have squid rings and squid tubes available, which are made of the Todarodes pacificus, at our ‘Fish Worldwide’-page.

Squid has a light seafood taste and it is a little bit chewy. When you cook it you should pay attention to the time since squid will taste rubbery if you overcook it. There a lot of different ways to eat squid. Most people like to eat the arms, tentacles or the body of the squid, but even the ink is edible and will taste slightly salty. The only parts which cannot be eaten are the beak and the gladius of the squid. Squid is really healthy since it contains a lot of vitamins. One hundred grams contain only around 82 calories, which depends on the way in which you prepare it of course. Squid also contains a lot of protein, which are necessary for growth and repair and the structure of all living cells.

We mainly export our whole squid to the countries Italy and Spain. However, the European squid is actually eaten in a lot of countries. Especially calamari is a well-known dish which includes squid. Calamari is the Italian word for ‘squid’ and this dish consists of fried and breaded squid rings served with Parmesan cheese and marinara sauce. Squid can also be served as a risotto, in a salad or with almonds and smoked paprika, which will be a really healthy and delicious dish. You can also roast the squid whole in olive oil, fish stock and serve it with garlic and parsley.

How to fish for squid

There’s something incredibly serene about being on the water at night, so it’s no wonder that night fishing has become an increasingly popular pastime for Australians. Not only can it be a cathartic experience for the solo fisherman (or woman), but many times this overnight activity is a great adventure for the entire family.

Night fishing can help you achieve a larger haul, but there’s a lot of preparation and equipment needed to reap the benefits from a late night excursion. While fishing rods, safety gear and bait are a must, many people often overlook another essential accessory; LED lighting.

Having proper lighting when night fishing and squid fishing can make your adventure safer and overall more productive. LED lights do a lot more than just brighten up the situation during a nighttime expedition, they can also be used to stay safe and attract more fish to catch, specifically squid.

Stay safe

One of the top concerns when it comes to night fishing is safety. Investing in battery-powered, light-emitting diodes (LED) can help you keep track of things in the dark. Many of these fixtures can be clamped to different parts of a craft, so bright light can be available where it’s needed the most.

It’s best practise to always organise your boat in the hours before heading out to open water. This will help you to easily find equipment in the dark and avoid any tripping hazards. These battery-powered lights are a great tool for helping you navigate around your vessel safely in the dark.

Having clamp-on LED lights also helps in avoiding injuries from wrangling a fish. From cutting lines and casting a rod, there needs to be a decent amount of light to accomplish these functions without getting accidently cut.

Finally, most boats are required to have navigation lights on from sunset to sunrise per the Maritime Safety Queensland. These red and green battery powered LED lights indicate the size of the boat, the direction it’s travelling, if it’s anchored and the angle to which others see it. These waterproof lights are essential at night to alert others to your location and avoiding accidents.

Catch more fish

The hours just before sunset to just after sunrise are actually the best time to catch fish, and using LED flood lights can further improve your chances of reeling in a big one. As Fishing Magazine explains, fish are usually more dormant during the day because of biology and their external environment.

Rough waters due to stormy weather, human presence and water clarity can all contribute to fish laying low during the day. Survival instincts and eyesight draw some fish, like mulloway, pearl perch and barramundi, out to hunt at night.

It’s all about finding a balance with light to attract these fish without scaring them off. Flood lights are a great way to attract larger fish closer to your vessel as long as you are being quiet about your presence. Projecting light on the water will attract small prey, like plankton, which will then attract minnows to feed and so on until large game fish begin to accumulate deeper in the water.
Underwater LED lights can also be used for the same purpose, but make sure they’re not super bright or they may scare some fish away. And always, brush up on your local fishing licence rules to make sure you’re in compliance.

How to fish for squid

LED lights emit a bright enough light to penetrate the water and attract fish.

Squid fishing

Squid fishing has been growing in popularity along the Australian coast, and the midnight hours are some of the best times to take to the salt water and try your luck. Squid are especially fond of super bright light, so utilising a battery powered waterproof LED light to attract them is the way to go.

The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation of Australia recommends the squid jigging technique that is popular in southeastern Australia. By positioning super bright lights along the vessel, you will attract squid who are eager to feed. Using a line with barbless lures under the water and a spool, squid will be caught and fall into netting on the side of the boat.

Blue and bright green LED lights are ideal for squid fishing. They are bright enough to penetrate the water and considering they are battery powered, can have a long life span.

Find affordable LED lights

Investing in battery powered and waterproof LED lights can enhance your entire night or squid fishing experience and doesn’t cost a fortune. Not only will you have safer travels, but proper use of LED lights on or in the water can help you achieve a bigger haul. With many affordable styles and applications available, there’s no reason not to improve your boat with LED lights.

If you’re interested in more fishing accessories, take a look at the offerings in our online store, or call us to find out about discounted products.

A: You can’t collect squid (southern calamari), octopus or cuttlefish in Marine National Parks and Sanctuaries.

What is the scientific name of a Calamari (Squid)?

How To Catch Squid – Pro Fishing Tips

Fishing For Squid (Southern Calamari) – The best Squid Fishing Tips in Victoria

Squid or Southern Calamari, are a highly sought-after target species throughout Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bays. They are one of the best eating species, more tender than squid and are great fun to catch. There is nothing better when you have a few people on board, reeling them in and avoid pulling them in to soon so you or your mate don’t end up covered in black ink.

How to fish for squid

They are found in most patches of weed and reef throughout both bays, throughout the whole year. You can catch some big Calamari from September to December, down around Queenscliff to Sorrento when they are protecting their eggs. Western Port Bay is also great to target the big guys.
They make excellent bait for Snapper, Gummy Sharks, and King Fish but they also taste great and we love eating them. The beauty of Squid fishing is they can be caught year-round. We often spend time catching them so that when you come aboard, we have the best fresh bait available.
The fins of calamari extend almost all the way down the hood. Squid on the other hand have fins running for only for a short distance on the sides of the body, forming an arrow.

Family Charter Fishing Trips – How To Catch Squid Fishing Tips

Our family charter days (1st Sunday of the month) are great fun and Calamari are especially great for young kids wanting to have a good fishing experience. The correct way to land the Calamari is to use a landing net which is also ideal for handling squid, allowing you to hold them over the water with the head pointing away from you so that they can finish ejecting ink (Back onto the water on not over your clothes!). This doesn’t always happen and is where the fun can start when people get impatient reeling in Calamari. If you don’t take the time to use the net correctly, you can get inked trying to lift them in. It can be confusing and accusations fly regarding whether it was on purpose or by accident. Regardless, it is hilarious to watch and be a part of and it’s always great to see people having a fun day on the water.
We typically fish in areas where there are grounds of broken reef, weed beds, shoals and rocks, drifting around these areas to find them. Calamari like a structure where they can ambush their prey, take shelter from predators and also lay their eggs. The depth of water varies from 2 metres to 12metres.

How To Catch Squid – Continued

There are several different methods to fish for Calamari; bait fish with pilchard using a float, or silver whiting on a spike sitting under the float, or place jigs under a float at a particular depth just sitting out the back of the boat as we drift.
We also allow you to cast and retrieve the squid jigs as we drift. Sometimes we will help you work the jig in the water with several large and short erratic lifts of the rod to have the jig work up and down and move around in the water then pause and wind a little more line in retrieving the slack line and have the process repeated again until the jig is back to the boat.
We use a Squid jigs ranging from sizes from 2.0-4.0 with huge variety of colours to suit conditions. Some days the squid prefer the light-coloured jigs while other days bright coloured ones. It’s a matter of working out which ones are working best on the day.

Hooking Squid – Fishing Tips

Once hooked maintain steady pressure and a smooth drag to reduce the chances of tearing the jig free. As the squid gets closer to the boat, keep an eye out in case other squid are following the hooked squid and if so your mate can cast another jig in to the following squid, or you can steer the hooked squid toward a second jig that you may have suspended in the water, either under a float or at a fixed depth from the rod. We usually have a second rod secured in one of our custom rod holders, so that it won’t be pulled into the water and also make sure the drag setting is loose enough that the squid can surge and pull drag, rather than tear the jig free.

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Fishing data obtained from Victorian Fishing AuthorityThis article “How To Catch Squid” was written by Malcolm May of I’m Hooked Fishing Charters