By Grayson Fong
Wintertime can be a field day for anglers. Snapper, mulloway, mackerel and tailor are amongst the noted species synonymous to the cooler weather but one that really gives me true goosebumps are everyone’s favourite… Squid!
These delectable cephalopods can often be found most times of the year but have been known to come into areas, especially ones of shallow waters, to spawn during the months of winter. For those interested in chasing squid on shallow reef laden flats, here is a short guide to get you started.
Any reel in Daiwa’s LT Range is perfect for a perfect start as the squid’s initial runs are not long. Most comfortable in the hand and balanced with the size rod you will use, will be a 2500-3000 size in which many anglers already possess for their light game outfits so that is fine to use. Our squid dedicated Emeraldas range is an ideal starting point for new anglers, with reels in the range suiting a broad range of budgets.
Many factors come into play when choosing a rod when chasing these cephalopods with one being jig cast weight. I use an Emeraldas 2.5 sized jig in which I find a seven-foot or longer rod best, with a rating of Light to Medium Light accommodating the 10 grams of lure weight perfectly. Secondly, seven-foot is a great length for fighting squid as it is essential to keep their head up during the fight to limit the chances of your jig falling out.
LINE AND LEADER
My pick of lines in the Daiwa range is J-Braid Grand in 8lb. Great abrasion resistance when fishing around shallow reefs with 8lb more than adequate strength for our application. My choice of leader is Daiwa J-Thread in 6lb as fishing light increases your bite rate especially with a species that has incredible eyesight. You will also be fishing in clearer waters (see below) which makes sense to go as light as you can but those choosing to chase squid land-based, upgrading to 8lb helps if you were to get your jig stuck on the bottom.
LURES AND RETRIEVE
Our Emeraldas lure range is very extensive and suits many applications when it comes to colours and fishing depths. For my shallow water squidding I find the Emeraldas Nude 2.5 a perfect size as it’s 10g weight providing a slower sink rate, reducing the chances of snagging the bottom as you are retrieving. The best retrieve I have found for the Emeraldas jig is a slow roll ensuring the lure stays on the same plain and tracks at the same speed through the terrain you are fishing. As the areas can be undulating with rocks and reef outcrops, a steady horizontal presentation maximizes your chances as squid-like to hang out in these areas and ambush bait at any time.
TERRAIN AND WATER
I first started to fish for squid over 35 years ago and have found both terrain and water clarity to be paramount when chasing squid. These ambushing cephalopods love clear water! So searching for these area that consistently have clean water is crucial when maximizing your chances of catching good numbers. As for terrain, shallow reef and rubbly flats with the occasional weedy outcrops are ideal as this area allows squid to lay still and ambush bait as it passes. Fishing depth ranging of about 4-6ft can be optimum as it allows you a good vertical range when retrieving a fast sinking jig.
I hope this is a good starting point for any budding squid fisherperson with the tenacity to chase something that is not only visually fun to catch, but an awesome table food to boot. Be prepared to make many long casts in your search but trust me the reward is well worth the labour.