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Squid fishing can be a a fun (and messy) activity. There are a lot of techniques which can get you squid, but each can have its day when it’s outperforms the others. This guide is aimed at going through the most effective techniques for all conditions. We will cover boat, land based, dead bait, live bait as well as jig fishing. The most common method is using a squid jig and rod. This is also known as “egi” in fishing circles. This technique works for both land based and boat fishing, although your skills will be tested more while land based fishing. To be successful using this method, it’s important to understand why squid are attracted to the jigs. Squid are a fast growing cephalopods that eat a variety of sea life, including fish, prawns and even other squid.
Squid can be caught at any time of day and night. Depending on where you fish, tides can play a big role, predominantly because the tide can really upset the action of your squid jig.
Looks out for weedy or grassy bottoms. They can be found in water as shallow as knee deep right through to 30+ meters. Since squid don’t have swim bladders, they aren’t something you can spot on your fish finder.
western port bay
Port Phillip bay
Hillarys Boat Harbour
Squid will eat almost anything, but since they have very soft flesh, a traditional hook wont do the job. Since most squid specific hooks have a straight pin, most people tend to use pilchards, whiting or any other small bait fish.
Typical squid jigs that you can find at your local tackle store will be the prawn style. They come in a range of sizes, weights and colours. They also come in a variety of prices, with cheap ones costing as little as $2 and the top end ones costing up to $50. The thing is, most of them will catch a squid given the right conditions. However, this is where some experience and experimentation comes into it. There are days when, if using the wrong colour jig, a cheap jig can outperform a flashy expensive jig. But here are some tips in choosing jigs:
– Get a range of sizes and weights. If you fish deep water, get heavier jigs.
– Choose a range of colours. Don’t be afraid of colours which look nothing like a prawn or fish. Some recommended colours are white, natural and fluro. The jigs with reflective or lumo coatings are worth a look.
Once you have a selection of jigs, it’s time to tie it onto the end of a line and go fishing. The swimming action of your jig is critical in getting the attention of a squid, so rigging the right line, rod and reel combo is key. There are some egi specific rods/reels out there, but if you have a light weight, say 2-4kilo, rod with some braid on it, you are on the right track. Since squid have very good eyesight, when selecting leader line, light weight and transparent (fluorocarbon) are the criteria you want to have on top of the list.
Since it’s a good idea to try a range of jig colors while fishing, a egi snap can save you a lot of time. These are light weight snaps which don’t effect the action of your lure. There are a few available, a good one to try is the twisted snap which you can find in some stores.
If you’re in the tackle shop and don’t know what jig to get first here are a few favourites:
– Shimano Egixile in white
– Yo-Zuri aurie-q in SLOE
– Sumizoku Harimitsu in AC
Get a range of sizes as this will let you fish various depths and conditions. Sometimes the size makes more difference then colour.
Time of day:
We have caught squid in all time of the day, there is more of an influence on the tides than the position of the sun. However, night time is when cephalopods tend to alwyas be on the hunt. A good trick at night it to use a good quality head torch and shine it around your jigs, you will be able to see squid stalking the jig from the edge of the light beam. If you have a boat, drifting at night works well too, again if you have some lights on, this will bring the squid to you. There is a good reason why professional squid boats are lit up like a Christmas tree.