Squid Fishing Techniques | Tips & Tricks
Are you ready to catch some squid and have a blast while doing it? If so, you've come to the right place! Squid fishing is an exciting and rewarding activity that requires the right techniques to be successful. In this post, we'll explore 3 of the best squid fishing techniques out there and provide you with some tips and tricks to help you reel in those slippery suckers like a pro. So, grab your gear and let's dive in!
Twitch & Retrieve
The Twitch & Retrieve technique is a great way to entice squid to latch onto your jig. It can be performed from a boat or land-based, making it a versatile technique for all types of anglers. To start, cast your squid jig into the water as far as possible over a nice seaweed patch and let it sink to the bottom. Note: in conditions where the current is flowing fast, you’ll need heavy squid jigs to get all the way down to the bottom. Once it's settled and you can feel the jig has reached the sea bed, give your rod two quick jerks or "twitches" toward the sky to make the jig dance, followed by reeling in the slack line. Repeat this process at a steady pace, making sure to pause and twitch the jig intermittently to replicate the movements of a fleeing, injured bait fish. Squid are attracted to this type of movement, so keep at it until you feel that nice tug on your line, that being a squid! Once you’ve retrieved your jig all the way back in, cast it back out there and give it another crack. When hooked up, try to reframe from the pump and wind action because the squid can potentially unhook themselves in that retrieval method. The best way is to consistently wind your reel at a steady pace, always keeping your line with tension and constant pressure on it. If you do multiple casts in the same area and have no luck, you might be able to cover more ground by casting into a different area where there is cork seaweed visible as this gives the squid cover when stalking their prey and hunting for food.
If you're out on the water, the "Drift Fishing" technique can be a great way to cover more ground and increase your chances of catching squid. This technique is most commonly used on a boat, but can also be performed on a jet ski or kayak if that’s what you’re into. Drift fishing is essentially when the boat is not anchored, but drifting with the current. In fact its one of my favourite ways to target squid. When you pull up to a spot where squid are known to congregate, it's important to first stop the vessel and determine which way the current is flowing and taking you. Once you have a good idea of the current, it's time to start drifting. For example, if the vessel is drifting towards the offshore, you’ll need to position your vessel inshore of spot “x” so you can drift over it towards the offshore.
The squid jigs are cast out the back of the boat and allowed to sink to the bottom of the ocean while being towed behind the vessel. This method effectively brings your jig right past the squids beak so to speak, grabbing their attention on the way past. When drifting for squid, the best places to catch them are often over cork seaweed patches where the squid can take cover while hunting their prey. This technique allows you to cover more ground rather than being anchored in one spot, increasing your chances of finding squid in good numbers. When you are drifting over spot x, and the squid are on, you need to be repeating the process over and over to make sure you get a good feed to bring home to the wife and kids.
Hand-lining is a traditional squid fishing technique that is still used today, even by the pros. This technique involves using a hand-held spool with line and a squid jig attached. Hand-lining allows you to toy with the jig in a very authentic way that entices the squid and gives you feel for the squid jigs movements directly in the palm of your hands.
To hand-line for squid, cast your line out and let it sink to the bottom. With the hand reel in one hand, and the other grabbing hold of the line, give the jig a couple of twitches followed by a slow retrieval. This technique is basically the same as the Twitch & Retrieve method I spoke about earlier, only this time you are holding a hand line. Some key benefits of hand-lining include not having to lug around long fishing rods and bulky tackle boxes and also being able to have a better feel for when squid are lurking your jig. There is a certain sensation you can feel when squid are close by and ready to latch onto your jig. This technique may be old but its not dead and is still widely used out there.
Tips & Tricks
1) Choose the Right Time: Squid are most active during dawn and dusk, so plan your fishing trip accordingly.
2) Use the Right Fishing Tackle: Invest in a quality squid jig, and make sure to bring extra jigs with you. A light weight rod with a fast action tip is recommended, along with a light reel spooled with braided line is preferred for its sensitivity and low stretch.
3) Find the Right Spot: Look for areas with seaweed patches, rocks, or artificial reefs. Squid like to use these structures for cover while hunting.
4) Match Your Jig Weight to the Water Depth: Squid can be found at various depths depending on the time of day and water temperature. Use a jig that matches the depth you're fishing, in order to get the jig down to the bottom (especially when the current is flowing quickly.
5) Experiment with Retrieval Speed: Squid will often follow a jig but not strike if it's not moving at the right speed. Try different speeds and rhythms until you find what works for the day.
6) Change Your Jig Colour: Squid can be fickle and may prefer one colour jig over another. Experiment with different colours until you find what works best for the day.
7) Add a Light: Squid are attracted to light, so adding a light source to your jig can increase your chances of a catch. A small LED light can be attached to the jig for extra visibility. In addition if you are out squid fishing in night or low light conditions, a prawn light can also be used to attract them too!
8) Keep Your Jig Moving: Squid are attracted to movement, so keep your jig moving as much as possible to entice them to strike. Preferably as I mentioned above in the twitch and retrieve method.
9) Pay Attention to Current and Wind: These factors can affect the way your jig moves through the water. Adjust your technique accordingly to maintain control and keep your jig in the strike zone.
10) Squid Jig Attractant: Lure attractant or pheromones as I like to call it, can definitely increase your hook up rate with squid. Simply coat your jig in some lure attractant and be the one to catch the first squid and the most squid on the boat.
11) Practice Patience: Squid fishing can require a lot of waiting, so be prepared to spend some time on the water. Keep experimenting with different techniques until you find what works for the day. Remember, a successful catch can be worth the wait!
By using these squid fishing techniques and tips, you can increase your chances of catching more squid. Whether you prefer Twitching, drift fishing, or hand-lining, there's a technique that will work for you. So grab your gear, head to the water, and start catching squid.