Southern Calamari are spread right throughout Port Phillip Bay and one of the most important factors to catching them is finding where they are first. I like to split squid grounds into two types of areas.
Shallow reef structures surrouding the edges of the bay are probably the easiest to find. These areas tend to range from around 1 to 6 metres deep and can be found right around Port Phillip and are most easily identified by exposed rocky cliff edges. Where there is rocky structure above the water line there tends to always be structure beneath the surface aswell. These reefs can extend out anywhere from 4 metres to 200 metres from the shoreline. The key to fishing these areas is to judge your line of drift and position yourself to cover the maximum amount of area as possible. I tend to prefer an offshore wind for these areas as I can position my boat as close to shore as possible and allow myself to drift out without being concerned about running too shallow and hitting the reef.
The other type of area is the weed flats. These areas tend to range from around 2 to 18 metres deep and tend to be more common down at the southern ends of the bay and much further from shore. They are also much larger and can easily span areas the size of multiple football fields. They can be found by both visually looking down and finding the dark patches of weed breaking up the sandy bottom or adjusting your sounder to show the vegetation on the bottom. Once again position the boat to cover the most amount of ground in your drift. Jigs can be fished alot deeper here and I tend to allow the jigs to hit the bottom more so than the rocky areas as they are easily retrieved out of the soft weed if they get snagged.
An Important factor when fishing both areas is to regular look down and make sure you are still drifting over structure. Even the smallest patches of weed can hold good numbers of squid but when the bottom goes completely blank with sand it’s time to drive back up and start another drift.