Ten legs and plenty of fun
  |  First Published: December 2003

WE ARE going to look at squid and how to catch them from your local wharves and rock walls.

Down our way a lot of anglers fish for squid in the local bays and estuaries because they are quite plentiful and because they taste pretty good, too.

The most common method of fishing for squid involves using a squid jig, which looks like a big prawn with a heap of small barbless hooks at the back end. You cast this into the water and let it sink a little before slowly retrieving it and using the rod tip to add a few jigs or twitches. Squid can’t help themselves most times and it’s rare for one not to try and attack the jig and get caught by the rear hooks.

Squid fishing does take a bit of skill and sometimes when you get a squid they squirt black ink everywhere, so don’t wear good clothes because squid ink stains them and it is very hard to get it out. When I was in Year Six I invited one of my mates over and we went fishing with my Dad in Jervis Bay. It was a bit rough to go outside so we hung around in close to the shore in case the wind started blowing harder and it was too dangerous to fish. We went in close chasing squid but it was really quiet.

There were no squid so we had a break and after I had something to eat, I threw my squid jig in the water and was winding it back slowly. I felt some pressure on the end of my line so I struck and it was a squid. Just as I was about to grab it, it splattered squid ink all over me and it was so uncomfortable it wasn’t funny.

Squid fishing doesn’t require high-tech tackle. You can use a light threadline outfit with 3kg to 4kg line and a 6kg trace about a metre long. I’ve found the best jig about 12 cm long in colours like green, pink and blue. You can fish from a boat but most wharves and headlands in sheltered bays and large estuaries will provide squid if you are land-based.

Squid hide among weed beds so be sure there is some kelp or weed on the bottom where you fish and the water should be around two to four metres deep. They don’t like turbulent water so pick a place that is calm and sheltered from waves and water movement.

When you do catch some squid, be sure to clean them where you catch them and don’t take them home to clean because they make a big mess. Wear old clothes or you’ll be in big trouble!

My mate Jake Gould and me with a couple of squid we caught.

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