Squid is a popular seafood staple. Seafood enthusiasts swear on it as one of the hottest non-fish seafood menu items. It’s great as fried calamari, grilled, added in soups, noodles, stews, pasta, and other popular dishes. They are delicious and in-demand seafood that fishers target specifically.
While sought after on their own, smaller squid are also used as excellent bait for bigger gamefish as well such as tuna, snapper, or marlin. Those who didn’t set out to go and catch squid end up keeping them for lunch and dinner, or using the small ones for effective gamefish bait.
Squid Catching Tactics
When catching squid, keep in mind some of its more peculiar properties that are key in catching them effectively. Here are those main squid reminders to remember:
- They are more active at night
- Squid are attracted to light
- Their primary foods are small shrimp and baitfish
- They are attracted to colourful, luminescent fish lures
- Squid prefer calmer waters and will usually hide in rock formations or seaweeds
- Squid jigs outfitted with barbed hooks are the main type of squid hooks to use for catching them, or by using live bait.
- Their location changes during their peak hours, and they can be found everywhere,
Location and Timing
Catching squid effectively depends on three main factors. First is the time of day. There are plenty during early mornings, the late afternoon, and during nighttime. But they can also be everywhere. It is said that when you don’t get squid at a certain spot for more than twenty minutes, keep moving around and hunt for them in their other usual spots.
Squids seem to roam everywhere. But they can usually be found in rock formations, seaweed, corals, reefs, and even near the coastlines. But they are best found when they are lurking for their favorite shrimp, small crustaceans, and small active baitfish. Beyond coastal areas, they are abundant off the seabed shelf.
It is recommended to venture into shrimp and baitfish territory in the deeper cold water areas to hunt for bigger calamari, cuttlefish, and squid. This is effective during night time, where you can find them near the edge of the outer coast just beyond the seabed. They will also show up near piers, wharves, and ports. Night fishing squid jigs armed with light can easily scour and attract them from their hiding places.
During early morning and afternoons, it is best to scour around near ports and bright sunlight spaces that hit baitfish and shrimp with ample lighting. They are attracted to their colours and will pursue them. Most of the time, smaller squid will hunt in groups to capitalise on shrimp and colourful baitfish, so mingle with the available types of baitfish you see in the area using either your live baits or special squid jigs. If you fail to see any, move around their usual hiding spots and explore, as they tend to be present in different spots.
Effective Baits and Catching Techniques
Attractive, colourful, and highly illuminated squid jigs that are shaped like small fishes and shrimps are the most popular fare for the in-demand squid. The upright position of the jigs causes attention-seeking upward movements which attract them and effectively hook their tentacles. They tend to pursue baits that are noisy and full of movement. Those that resemble active shrimp and baitfish are attacked by squid, so pay attention to their movement in the water to help you snag some squid during daytime pursuits.
Nighttime Squid Jigging
At night, use light liberally to collate and corner them and their favorite prey upwards from the colder deep waters. You may be able to snag some shrimp and other shiny baitfish as a result. From here it is easier to catch a good-sized squid or two when you successfully enter their territory and bring out their prey. During the night, they will flock to pier, wharf, and bridge areas with night lights, and illuminated docking areas.
Squid are easy to lure in the night. Using night lights along with your squid jigs will also attract most of their prey, namely shrimps and active baitfish. Using light to your advantage to attract them and their prey will help you triangulate their positions and lure them out. Many commercial squid catching vessels use numerous squid jigs while using nightlights to make them follow their jigs and effectively catch them.
*Mornington Pier in Victoria is one of the best spot to catch squid.