Stocking up on squid
  |  First Published: October 2004

OCTOBER normally provides tough fishing around southern Sydney. Many anglers turn their thoughts towards the season ahead and plan to chase the early run of kings that turn up towards the end of October and into the start of November.

Fresh bait is the key. Squid is the number one bait when chasing the mighty yellowtail kings of our southern estuaries, so it’s time to stock up on a few for the freezer. If you freeze the squid as single packs you will find the quality is still there once the kingfish arrive. Frozen squid is never as good as a live or freshly-caught squid, but at times squid are a little hard to find and it always pays to be prepared.

Last season I found the frozen squid I picked up from Johnny at Brads Bait and Tackle to be of top quality. It produced plenty of kings throughout the season, so keep this in mind this year.

To catch squid is rather easy at times, and you will find that many of the public wharfs around Port Hacking are top squidding grounds. Plenty of smaller fish hang around these areas, and after dark they provide easy prey for squid. Lighting around the wharf will only help when you’re chasing a few squid.

Botany Bay, Bare Island and into Yarra Bay around the many small rocky outcrops should produce a few squid. The Kurnell Headland from Sutherland Point and halfway along the point is also worth a try. I have found squid in both spots many times.

The method that works for me is to work the side of the Bay that is protected from the swell where there is plenty of kelp for the squid to hunt around. Cast long and allow the jig to sink close to the kelp before lifting the rod tip, giving the jig a sharp upwards motion, then allow it to sink again. Work the jig all the way back to the boat with this up and down action.

Jigs are many and varied, with a big range of colours and prices, so grab a few for yourself and stock up on some great kingfish bait.


October is flathead time, and at this time last year I found them at their best with good catches most days.

October is just before the start of the breeding season for flathead in Botany Bay and the Port Hacking River, and most fish kept are starting to show signs of roe. At this time of the year the big females move downriver and hang around the mouth ready to breed. Smaller males gather in small groups around the same areas. You’ll often catch a large number of smaller males and the odd large female in one area, providing great fishing. Please release the larger fish as these are our breading females that will provide great fishing in future years.

Last year and throughout this year, Squidgies have provided me with top results from deep water to the shallow flats in Botany Bay. My colours choice changes each outing. All colours have caught fish but these are the big producers: Gold, White, Green, Silver Fox, Black Opal, and Pink.

Dusky flathead have a legal length of 36cm and a bag limit of 10 per person, so if you keep just enough for a feed and release the rest our fishing will improve. The signs are starting to show since the closure to Botany Bay and the fishing is getting better and better. If we all chip in and do our bit, our children should have some mind-blowing fishing in years to come.

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