I must admit I was introduced to squid fishing much later in life than I care to admit. I dabbled with it in my early twenties when I realised that it was squid that were attacking my pilchards, fished under a float, while I was targeting tailor off the rocks on the NSW South Coast. Having twigged as to why the float was slowly disappearing under the water, it wasn’t long before an inexpensive jig was sent out and we had some calamari to go with our fish for dinner. As silly as it sounds now, we never went and just targeted the squid. I must get back there one day and have a crack at them.
How times have changed. I now have more squid jigs than I may ever use, their average price would have bought five of the ones I used back then and then you have the accessories that in my case I ‘must have’.
Keeping this in mind, you’d think I must go squiding all the time? Well that is not the case. If I am lucky I get away to South Australia a couple of time a year where the family has a beach house at Port Vincent. I definitely take advantage of the great squiding available there and I have occasionally dabbled at targeting them land based here on the East coast. So am I obsessed? I don’t think I am. However it is something my entire family enjoys, so I would say it’s a passion.
There is a plethora of squid tackle available today. Any tackle store with a decent range of jigs and accessories will have a dedicated section for squid that will take up several metres of floor and wall space. To those starting out this can be a little confusing and I unfortunately don’t have all the answers for you but hopefully some of the below at least provides a light at the end of the tunnel.
Although there are specific ‘Egi’ rods (Japanese for ‘squid’) available, they are not a necessity when you are starting off. I am a massive fan of an all graphite rod that has a fast taper. The graphite ensures you can feel what is happening at the end of your line and the fast taper to absorb the lunges of the squid you are going to catch.
Big reels are not required. 1000-2500 sized reels with a slow retrieve ratio are the go. I don’t mind spending a bit of money on a reel. If you consider the number of casts and retrieves you do over time, they pay for themselves.
The slow retrieve ratio relates to a couple of things. You are unlikely to need to stop a squid’s blinding run for cover, but more importantly the hopping retrieve used by most squid anglers tends to create a loose loop of line on the spool (wind knot waiting to happen), the slower retrieve ratio tends to reduce this from happening and the frustration that results from it.
Ideally braid is the best line to use. 6-10lb is all you will need, matched with a similar breaking fluorocarbon leader. The fine diameter provides great castability and the low stretch further enhances how much you can feel at the end of your line.
This is a difficult one as the range of jigs available these days has come a long way from the green, blue, orange and pink jigs in the 4 for $10 bin. I won’t tell you which are best or must haves, as pretty much every jig will catch squid at one time or another.
A few key points are however written on the packaging, weight and sink rate, the base foil (silver, red, gold) and the cloth or no cloth in some cases. It is amazing to look at the research and development that is behind some of the more expensive jigs.
As an example the Yamashita brand has teams of people looking at everything from heat absorbing cloths, the ideal pitch of an internal rattle to attract squid to your jig or how to the best use UV attractants. Keep these things in mind next time you are looking at the great wall of squid jigs.
Plenty of things to spend you money on here. My top 5 are Fastach clips; they make it so simple to change your jigs quickly and easily. EGI spike; quick way of dispatching your catch, minimizes mess and improves the taste of the end product. Scents; squid can be amazingly tentative at times and scents can turn a looker into a taker. Mother of pearl targets; these little stickers are stuck onto the back of you jig. It is almost like a target for the squid aim at and improves your hook up rate. Net; can be the difference between being inked and not being inked.
There are 3-4 popular retrieves (sharp triple hop, double hop, slow wind or do nothing). Vary what you are doing until you find out what switches them on and then repeat.
I love taking the family squidding; in fact they generally ask me to take them. My two girls at 14 and 10 not only love catching them, but won’t let me clean them without them or in most cases even let me help clean them, which is a bonus.
My last trip to Port Vincent had the whole family casting jigs of the marina wall with varying success, but with plenty of smiles.
Could I be obsessed by squiding? Most definitely, but for now I am happy for it to be a guilty pleasure.Reads: 906