Spring offers a transition for squid anglers in Victoria- the change between the winter months with monster squid, and summer with excellent numbers of average sized squid. Whether you’re fishing Melbourne, or Portland, or anywhere in between, squid fishing is an incredibly popular pastime during summer.
Squid can be fished for on a $5 handline, or a $2000 specialist egi (Japanese for squid). However, the most popular choice would be a rod between 7-8 foot, with a medium light action. A specialist squid rod is the best choice, and is surprisingly inexpensive compared to what some may believe. A few brands worth checking out for squid rods include the Okuma Epixor, NS Black Hole, or Storm Gomoku, which are available in stock or to order in the Tackle Shack. A squid rod typically has the following features- at least 7’6 to 8’6 in length (to aid casting), low profile Tangle Free guides, a slower action (less pulled hooks), long butt section (to aid casting) and even custom hook keepers. A reel in the 2500 or 3000 size is best- nothing fancy is needed, but a smooth drag at light pressures is essential. Braid is the best pick for line- 8-15lb (0.8-1.5PE) with a 10lb leader is the go. Squid jigs come in more colour options than any other lure, and choosing a colour can be mind boggling. A few popular choices we have here in the Tackle Shack are the leopard shrimp (light brown) in the Fish Inc Egilicious, white in the Shimano Sephia, as well as blacks, and pinks. If I had to pick one more colour to add it would be an orange. It gets even more complicated once you add foil colour (body of the jig below the cloth) to the mix, but trial and error will be the pick here.
Tides are a controversial topic- everyone has their favourites. Tides also vary between locations, especially in the massive tidal bays surrounding Melbourne. In the south west, I always like a low tide myself, but some do prefer a high tide for the clear water. Low light periods around sunlight or sunset are best, and some of the best squid fishing can occur after dark in harbours, especially near lights such as those found at the Warrnambool Breakwater.
In the south west, our top spot picks for day-time squidding are; the back of the Warrnambool Breakwall, the reefs surrounding Portland and the North Shore, Killarney Beach and the reefs surrounding the Port Fairy Lighthouse. At night, give the inside of the Warrnambool Breakwall, Port Campbell pier, or the inside of the Portland Harbour a go. Many anglers also fish for squid offshore, as they will often eat baits or lures dropped down for bottom fish. For offshore squid, running a couple of jigs on a paternoster rig is effective. When choosing a squid spot, reef is key, especially with sea-grass or light kelp. Fish the sandy edges, as well as over the reef.
Squid make one of the best baits out for just about any fish that swims. Live squid can be fished for kingfish, whilst fresh squid will catch everything, from mulloway, to whiting to sharks. And of course, they make fantastic food (also known as calamari), with hundreds of recipes available.
Whilst they seem like such an simple creature (which they really are, only living for a year!) , it’s possible to write all day about squid, tackle and recipes- so get out there this spring and get addicted to the cephalopods like the rest of us.