Squid fishing with jigs, or egi, is a popular pastime, particularly in our southern states. Places like Port Phillip Bay, Western Port, Adelaide, Albany and Perth can see dozens of squidders at a time congregating on public piers and rock walls all trying for a fresh feed of calamari. Luckily for anglers, these cephalopods are so abundant that most anglers don’t go home empty handed.
What many squidders don’t know, however, is it’s possible to bait fish for squid. Fishing in this way is good for pressured waterways, or if you simply want a more relaxed way to target squid!
Squid can be targeted on bait in the same areas where you would use jigs. Any weed, rock or rubbly bottom is fine. Gearing up is also very easy. The same light rod and reel combos are sufficient, and the only extra bit of kit you will need are a squid float and a jag or skewer. Squid floats are usually bright on top, like most floats, and may have reflective material on the sides for visibility and added attractant for the squid. Squid jags are usually a metal rod with prongs on the bottom, much like the ones on jigs.
Neptune Tackle Squid Pin Jag and Barbed Pin Jag are two great models for the job, and floats you can’t go past the Drifter Squid Float, Jarvis Walker Teaser Squider Float and STM Little Squider Float.
The trick is to thread a dead bait, such as a pilchard, herring or mullet onto the straight rod part of the jag. Above it you’ll have your float, fixed in place with a toothpick or a knot. The distance between float and bait doesn’t need to be longer than 1.5m.
With everything in place, you can simply cast your rig into squiddy territory and wait. When a squid grabs your bait, they won’t usually pull the float under. Instead, the squid will move off slowly with the bait, and you may notice the float moving around slowly. At this point, the only thing left to do is load the rod up gently and wind the squid in!
You can also fish a jig under a squid float if you want, or if you run out of bait. It’s always handy to have a float rig out while you cast your jig, as this will maximise your chances of landing a few squid.
If you’re new to squid fishing, or just want to relax while you squid fish, make sure you grab a few floats and jags and get out there!
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