Southern calamari are a bread and butter species for many anglers in our southern states, and can often save a slow day if other species such as King George whiting and snapper aren’t biting! Their abundance and willingness to take baits and jigs makes them a much-loved species in larger population centres such as Melbourne, Western Port, Geelong, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart. They can be caught all year, however larger specimens tend to move into shallower, more accessible areas during late winter and early spring. During the warmer months, better numbers of smaller models can be caught.
Finding southern calamari isn’t difficult, and as with a lot of cephalopods, they like to have somewhere to hide. Squid are like jelly beans to a lot of larger predators like snapper, kingfish and a variety of others, so it’s always in their best interest to have somewhere to hide if these predators move in!
Squid of all types prefer clear water, and if fishing close to or from the shore, light offshore breezes and high tides are a recipe for clear water.
Any areas with weed, rock, coral or shale should harbour southern calamari, and while water depth isn’t critical, deaths between 4-12m are a good starting point. If fishing from a rock wall or pier - which is a popular pastime in the southern states - long casts into the deepest water possible should put you in good stead. Once your jig is in the zone, it’s just a matter of trialing different retrieves (in accordance to your jig) to help uncover what the squid are responding to on the day.
When in a boat, fishing in this same way can produce good results. Some anglers also choose to sit a rod in the rod holder, and let the wave action work the jig for them. Fishing with baits rigged on jags such as Neptune Tackle’s Barbed Pin Jag under squid floats like the Jarvis Walker Squidder Float and STM Little Squider Float is also very effective.
Kitting yourself up with a range of jigs of varying size, weight and colour will ensure you can adapt to the conditions and still gather a feed or handful of succulent squid baits!
The Yamashita Egi Oh Q Live Squid Jig and Yo-Zuri Aurie Q Egi Hard Body Lure come in a range of great colours, and are proven on southern calamari from the east coast to the west coast.
If you’ve ever wondered why so many people fish for these tentacled critters, it’s because it’s great fun and a good way to gather a gourmet meal! Make sure you give it some thought, you’ll probably really enjoy it!
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