By Michael Sutherland
You can’t beat a fresh feed of calamari. This makes squid one of the more rewarding things to be able to catch and take home for you and the family to enjoy.
Clear water is key. Squid are sight feeders as you can tell by their two giant eyes, so the best time to target them in Moreton Bay is during the cooler months when the water is nice and clean. You won’t find these guys up muddy rivers.
Time n’ Tide
Tides also play a big part when targeting squid in certain areas as well. High tide is usually the ideal time to chase them because it brings in the clean fresh water and it also allows you to move up into the shallow areas where they like to feed.
A few main structures they like to hang around are sea grass beds, which are everywhere around the bay, shallow reef/rocky islands and also jetties or areas that have lights shining into the water at night which they congregate around to hunt the baitfish attracted to the lights.
Deciding what jig size to use is important depending on what depth of water you’re fishing in. When fishing up against a shallow bank I usually use a size 2.5 jig. Being a small jig means it sinks quite slow to allow maximum hang time for the squid to attack it before it hits the bottom. It also imitates the small prawns that are usually in the shallows well.
The deeper you start fishing the bigger your jig will need to be to get down nice and close to the bottom where the squid will be hunting larger prawns/baitfish. Unless you’re fishing under lights at night, the squid will then come up to the surface around the light where the baitfish will be hanging.
Gear and technique is pretty simple. Let the jig sink enough until it’s close to the bottom and then 2-3 short sharp jerks of the rod to imitate a fleeing prawn and repeat.
The squid will always eat the jig as it’s sinking so you’ll always load up on the first jerk of your rod which will set the hooks. You want to have a nice light rod and your drag fairly loose so you don’t rip the small barbs out of the squids soft tentacles when the squid starts to pull against you. Then all you have to do is a slow steady wind into the net trying to avoid lifting the head out of the water facing somewhere you don’t want covered in ink! Which can lead to a few laughs while catching these guys from experience.
I like to use around 10 to 15lb leader to give me a chance of being able to pull the squid jig free if I get snagged up in weed or rocks on the bottom, super light leader will result in a lot of lost jigs.
I hope this information helps you get out there and catch a few of these tasty cephalopods.