How many of you have tried squid at your favourite restaurant and absolutely loved it? I know I have. I wonder also how many anglers actually fish to purposely catch squid? Probably not that many. Targeting squid is not the norm for most anglers. Bass, Cod, Plaice to name a few are always at the top of most anglers catch lists, not only for their fantastic sport but also because they all taste pretty good too.
Well here’s something you might not have known, while you’re busy targeting bass from your local pier, you could also be a stones throw away from this seafood delicacy without even knowing it.
The ideal time to target squid is early Spring and the piers scattered along the south coast of England are the perfect venues for catching this alien looking predator.
Spring signifies a change in the seasons as winter is firmly behind us. The temperature on land and at sea starts to rise, while fresh winds from the north clear our seas. The now clearing crystal waters of the south coast present the ideal conditions for the idyllic squid to come inshore in search of food.
Targeting squid is not that different to targeting your favourite fish. Although squidding is pretty new to anglers in the UK, dedicated squid lures have already started to infiltrate our tackle shops as more and more anglers decide to give it a go.
So what do you need to catch squid? There’s no need for hi-tec rigs that include bait clips, cascade swivels and the like. If you are fishing from a pier a simple 9 – 10 foot pier rod is ideal. Combo this with a medium sized fixed spool reel loaded with 15lb line. The business end of catching squid is pretty simple too with many anglers preferring to use a sliding float rig as it’s very simple and presents the squid lure very well. A sliding float set up will also allow you to vary the depth you are fishing or squidding.
Squid lures are designed to replicate squid themselves. While squid can be caught using a fresh fish bait, the majority of squid caught will have fallen prey to these brightly coloured imitation lures. At one end of the squid lure you will find multiple layers of needle sharp hooks. These actually look more like needles and do not carry any barbs. They will actually trap the squid’s tentacles as the squid tries to intercept the lure. It’s advisable to use a drop-net if fishing from a pier as the squid’s tentacles are very delicate and will actually snap off if hauled up the pier wall. Care should also be taken when casting and handling a squid lure as the sharp needle hooks can inflict a nasty injury. Squid lures range in colour from bright blue through to orange. Which colour works on one day might not work on another so it’s advisable to carry a number of different colours. Squid lures are also available in a few different sizes with 11cm to 14cm being the most widely used. Some squid lures are also equipped with a weight head and this will allow the lure to look more natural as it is retrieved or fished in the sea.
Once cast out, it’s time to wait. Every now and then it’s a good idea to gently move the float a few feet to inject a bit of life into your lure. This may result in a nearby squid’s predatory instincts being activated and a take on your lure. Remember to vary the depth that you set your float if you are not getting any takes.
When you catch a squid pay careful attention to its beak. This is razor sharp and will inflict a nasty injury if your fingers get too close. Be warned the tentacles are very sticky and are closely followed by the beak!
It is not uncommon for a caught squid to display varying strains of colour particulary red. Red is a sign to keep away. In the squid’s stressed state it’s not surprising that it will want to startle any nearby threat (including you) in order to get away!
Squid fishing is a little bit different, but can still be super fun. Squid are delicious to eat and are readily used as bait. If you haven’t already given squid fishing a go, why not have a try this spring. I think you will find it a very relaxing and a very enjoyable day.