Processing squid
  |  First Published: May 2015

As the waters cool over the coming months and westerly winds promote clean, clear conditions inshore, anglers will notice an increase in the number of squid.

This will be especially noticeable within Moreton Bay’s channels, around the shallows of the bay islands and the foreshore areas, including Wynnum, Manly, Wellington and Victoria points, Scarborough and numerous other locations.

Squid prefer clean, clear water that flows over structure such as reef, rubble, weed beds, rocks and the like. At night they are attracted to areas with lights by the baitfish and prawns, which are drawn in by the illumination. They are highly accessible for land-based anglers and boaties alike and best of all they are delicious.

Squid can be caught on both egi (a prawn shaped lure with rows of barbs at the rear) and baited skewers suspended beneath a float. The areas around the harbours, canals and foreshores are worth prospecting with many anglers plying their trade at night. High-powered head torches can be used to locate squid prowling close to the surface. From here it is a simple matter of casting your egi and retrieving it with a slow wind or a series of hops and pauses. However, don’t expect instant results as squid can get quite cagey in more heavily fished waters.

Often, you will need to keep changing jigs and retrieves until you get a take, or the squid departs. Baited skewers are generally suspended under a just neutral buoyancy float and cast out from the rock wall or jetty or drifted behind the boat. Once the float is pulled down, it is a simple task of slowly winding in your prize.

Once you have some tasty squid for the table, the next stage is to process and cook it. Squid are relatively easy to clean and will taste delicious when cooked on a high heat for a short period. The more you cook it, the tougher it will become but it is even very tasty when consumed raw. There are four main ways that I will cook my squid and all are delicious.

The first method is to coat small pieces in a mix of rice flour with cracked pepper and ground salt and then deep fry for 30-45 seconds and consume with an aioli or sweet chilli dipping sauce. The second method is the conventional crumbed calamari: Roll the squid in flour, dip in beaten egg with a splash of milk and then coat with panko crumbs and deep fry for around a minute or so until the panko crisps up. The third method is to split the tube lengthways into four or so strips and then throw these straight on a piping hot BBQ grill for 30-45 seconds. Remove, dip in a mix of olive oil, splash of soy sauce, garlic and limejuice and consume. The final method is to get the wok smoking hot, add some butter and crushed garlic and stir fry small squid pieces for around a minute, flipping them regularly.

I am sure you will all have your favourite methods and there are plenty of great squid recipes to be found online but just make sure you don’t spoil the squid by overcooking it. Here is how I process my squid.

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