Squid are one of those species that few people realise can be targeted effectively in the UK, and that few realise are stone cold predators. When squid or cuttlefish come into an area, the fish leave. It’s like a seal or dolphin has arrived.
Squid move very fast in the water, using jet-propulsion to shoot their rubbery bodies through the water. They have beaks which look very similar to those you would see on a bird, and I’ve had a chunk of my fishing rod bitten off by one of these – you don’t want to get your fingers caught up in their mouths. The tentacles of squid use suction pads to grip onto their prey, and a squid can support its own body weight with only few suckers, which is a reminder of how inescapable the grasp of a squid must be for its prey.
Squid move in ‘squads’, which hunt collaboratively, relying heavily of their excellent vision. This is one of the signs that squid are far more intelligent than fish species. They can elongate their tentacles, shooting them out to grip prey before drawing them in to be eaten alive with their beaks. There’s no wonder all the fish leave when a squad of squid show up…
Squid Fishing Season
Squid are caught in winter at night, especially in stormy conditions. However, they are sometimes caught in the summer months too, occasionally being caught with mackerel feathers on summer evenings.
Squid are best targeted by boat or from harbour walls at night time. It’s a great help if the area is lit up, as squid are attracted to the light and the huge squads of squid are often visible from the harbour wall, so you can cast right onto them. Cuttlefish like rough ground and will come well into the shallows to feed. They hover over kelp beds eerily, like UFO’s and strike lightning fast.
How to Catch Squid
Squid are best targeted with squid jigs at night with the use of bright lights to draw them in. With the right lures, they are quite easy to catch when they’re there, so catching them is primarily a location and timing challenge. You need to figure out where to go and when to go. Another strategy is simply to always have a few squid jigs with you, just in case they show up.
Squid jigs do not have hooks, since squid easily slip hooks and are usually hooked by the tentacles. Their mouths are small, hard and not the first thing that makes contact with your lure. Instead, squid jigs have metal needle like projections which are capable of gripping the squid. Like many predatory species, squid will often hit lure on the drop (OTD), favouring the sight of lures that appear to be naturally falling. This is why jigging is the most effective method for them.