What's not to love about targeting squid around Melbourne and Victoria. It's a great form of fishing and fresh calamari is just about as good as it gets from an eating perspective. Around Melbourne, there are plenty of locations both for land based anglers aswell as boat and kayak fisherman to get into the squidding action.
Squid fishing truly is a unique style of fishing. You can throw out a jig and let the natural currents do all the work for you or you can flick and retrieve just like a soft plastic. Allowing the jig to sink for a few seconds then adding wild repetitive lifts to imitate a wounded prawn followed by a decent pause is often a recipe for success. A key different when squid fishing is control when getting a hit, the natural temptation is to strike but doing so will often lose you a squid. Instead, a subtle lift to keep line tension and constant slow reel is all that’s required, it takes some practice but not too long to start understanding.
Squid fishing has gone to new heights around Melbourne, nightly piers are packed full of keen anglers hoping to get into the squid action around Port Phillip Bay around the Mornington Peninsula. Areas such as Rye, Frankston, Sorrento, Blairgowrie and Portsea are greeted with an abundance of scrumptious cephalopod’s that had anglers traveling from far and wide through day and night eager to get their piece of the action. With wind and tidal changes, they started to migrate their way past Queenscliff, Geelong and finally along the bay towards Williamstown, Altona, and Werribee which had social media blowing up daily with rapid bag out sessions of calamari.
Thankfully I too got amongst the action this past month, keeping a close eye on social media reports I first traveled to the Mornington Peninsula targeting the noted hotspots. I was amazed at how the piers were packed regardless of the time of day or night. On one night I arrived at Blairgowrie pier at 11.30 pm and could not even get a spot on the pier which is a testament to how good the squid fishing is currently. Finally, the wave of squid came into my area of town and I gladly spent time in the kayak around Altona and Werribee drifting the clean shallow waters in search of a good feed of calamari. Kayak fishing for squid truly is a fun form of fishing, yes it can get cold out there, and you often have to wash the ink away after a productive session but it’s a rewarding way to fish.
Some of my favourites have been the Shimano Spehia, Shimano Egixile, the Yamashita Lives, Gan Craft Egi-ya and the Savage Gear egi shrimps. Do colours and sizes really matter that much? It’s a debatable topic that draws mixed responses. Some anglers argue that certain colours and shapes consistently out fish others. I have seen this firsthand on many occasions, or maybe the simple logical conclusion is that certain variables work on certain days depending on the weather and conditions there presented with.
At times its marketing hype that makes us more excited than the actual squid were targeting. I too get drawn into this hype and for whatever reason saw fit to stick with bright coloured jigs which worked a treat for me. Companies such as Yamashita have put some real science into selecting colours suitable for the time of day and conditions. Look that up online its quite fascinating.
Techniques with squid jigs
A Hopping technique
This is the most common technique, cast your squid jig and wait a few seconds for it to sink, then do several quick erratic lifts wind in the slack and pause for a few seconds to let the squid jig slowly sink once again. Repeat this process until your squid jig is back where you are fishing. The idea behind this technique is that your imitating a wounded shrimp or bait fish, often as the squid jig is slowly drifting back to the bottom is when you get most of your catches.
The slow roll
Cast your squid jig wait a few seconds for it to sink, then simply do a slow continuous retrieve of your reel knows as the slow roll. This is great technique to use when beginning.
The good thing about both these techniques is that there easy to learn and master, and very effective.
Squid fishing from piers, jetties & rock-walls
Something I had never seen before until this past month was noticing how many pier anglers targeting squid who would attach a small lead sinker to their squid jig. This was either a standard sinker attached to the front of the squid jig or lead molded to the shape of the squid jig which slides onto the front of the jig. The theory behind this is to cast out further and get the squid jig down lower to the bottom where the action often is. If you are fishing a sandy bottom it also gives you more opportunities to throw in some erratic lifts followed by some pauses without getting snagged. I often choose just to throw out a heavier 3 or 3.5 gram which still managed to produce results. However, I was impressed with this technique which was working very well for those who look like that had been using this technique for some time.
Choosing the right squid jig
There are many rod combos out there on the market specifically for targeting Squid. These are often referred to as Egi combos. These rods are generally quite light and long in length in most cases between 7 foot and 9 foot.
A good entry level egi outfit might include the Shimano Catana Egi CTA762MLEGI which is a 3-6 kilo capacity rod and 7 foot 6 rod in length with a Sienna 2500 reel. Then moving up to a Savage Gear LRF 8 foot 3-6 kilo coupled with a Stealth 3000 reel or a Nitro custom squid outfit. Then you can move up the budget scale to something like a Daiwa Emeraldas combo 8 foot 6 in length and the Shimano Sephia in 8 foot 6 coupled with a Stradic 2500.
Squid hotspots around Melbourne & Victoria
Many areas in Port Phillip Bay and Western port and around the Mornington Peninsula. Areas such as Rye, Frankston, Sorrento, Blairgowrie, Portsea, Queenscliff, Geelong, Williamstown, Altona, and Werribee
Final word from the author
I love fishing and I'm happy catching any type of fish regardless of the size or species. I love targeting squid, there easily accessible, there great fun to catch and easily one of the best eating species to target. Remember to always check fishing regulations and catch limits in your area. Where possible practice catch and release you don’t need to hit your bag limits just keep a couple for a feed.
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