Quality squid opportunities
  |  First Published: April 2014

Here we are, already a third of the way through the year! With the seasonal transition taking place, the option is still available to target both warm and cold water species. Our waters are still quite warm for this time of year so going after a few different species in a session should be on the cards.

If you’re fishing for drummer and groper, take another spinning rod so you can cast some metals if the action is slow. If it is mulloway that are eluding you, take some plastics and hit up the large schools of trevally hanging near the washes. It’s an awesome time of year to fish because of the potential to double-up on species.

Our local rock and beach guru, Alex Bellissimo, has been getting into some nice tailor on his second rod at the ready. He always has a metal or plastic prepped in case a school of pelagic fish comes past. Until a couple of years ago I would always release tailor because their quality on the plate generally left my tastebuds wanting. However, I’ve since discovered that they’re excellent when smoked. You really have to try them this way because there’s no species that tastes better when smoked.

Our rock ledges have been firing, with some good sized kings still being caught. Tony Mendoza is one guy who chases them all year round with great success. On a recent land-based trip Tony landed a 10kg fish on a live yakka whilst fishing the bottom with a 40lb outfit.

We are beginning to see a good few trevally showing up in many anglers’ bags, and these will hopefully stick around through to winter as they make great sport. Berley consistently and they should appear at the boat for some light gear fun. We even target them land-based at night with soft plastics. Little Manly Point, East Manly Esplanade and Fairlight Rocks are all great locations. Our favourite plastics are the 2” and 3” Gulps and the 60-80mm Squidgy plastics.

Chasing mulloway on soft plastics is also taking off, with most anglers preferring daylight sessions when targeting these tricky customers. The most success is had by the kayak brigade, as the ability to go to where the fish are is far superior to waiting for one to come past. Fishing with 6-8kg kit and 30lb leader with a 5-6” soft plastic will get you on the money. Make sure you choose a heavy gauge hook when selecting a jighead as jewfish have powerful jaws that will crush your finer gauge hooks and spit them out like a cherry pip.

Some of my favourite pre-rigged lures include the Squidgy Pro range Super Slicks, Fish Candy or the new Spanyid soft vibes, and the Ecooda or Zerek pre rigged prawns.

Finally, when targeting mulloway you should berley hard. I know it attracts a lot of undesirables but jews eat a lot of different fish and action attracts action.

If the lure caper is not your bag there are plenty of quality squid opportunities around Sydney. River squid (commonly called ‘arrow squid’) and southern calamari (‘green eyes’) are being taken inside and out of our harbours and bays. The impressive southern calamari in the picture was jigged outside South Head in 20m of water.

Inside Pittwater and Middle Harbour the river squid dominate in large schools. Getting a feed or enough bait can be easy if you locate a school of these voracious predators. My best advice when squidding is to cover ground and work the entire water column. If they are there they will hit your jig, as they are particularly aggressive in large schools.

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