Squid fishing is booming in popularity due to it being an accessible and enjoyable style of fishing for families and avid fishers alike.
Squid can be caught right throughout WA, but are particularly popular in the southern half of the state, where they can be found in big numbers and generally offer easy and rewarding fishing from both boat and shore.
The simple nature of squid fishing makes it easy for family fishers, as you have the choice of boat based squidding or shore based squidding. People can place their boat in likely locations, such as over the ribbon weed beds, and simply drift along waiting for squid to find the jigs. This is a perfect way for young children to experience some exciting fishing without the need to be constantly casting and retrieving. Not to mention that kids love it when the squid shoots out a jet of ink close to the boat!
While some fishers still like to use baited pencil jigs for squid, most dedicated squidders these days use the prawn-style jigs first introduced into Australia from Japan more than 30 years ago. Jigs are available in a vast range of colours and styles these days, and come in various weights to suit different squidding scenarios. Most serious squid fishers will carry a wide range of colours, sizes and weights and rotate through them until they find the right jig on a particular day. A jig that works well one day might be ignored the next, so flexibility is key and colour preferences are very much an individual thing.
While the Australian approach has generally been to simply drift and let the movement of the boat provide the action on the jig, the Japanese like to work their jigs aggressively, letting them sink to near the bottom and then ripping them upwards, before letting them sink back down again.
Squid will invariably be found close to ribbon weed beds, which are generally found in shallow water of less than 10m, and these are the perfect places for boat fishers to seek them.
For shore anglers, squid will also come in very close to shore, particularly if there is weed in the shallows and especially at times of low light such as sunset and sunrise, and casting jigs can be very productive.
Squid are also attracted to light, and more specifically the small baitfish they can find in it, and there are a few well-lit jetties along the coast when they can be found in good numbers at night, such as the famous Busselton Jetty. Likewise, they will often be attracted to the back of a well-lit boat.
Cleaning squid can be a bit messy, but the reason so many people are prepared to put up with it is the eventual reward of a superb feed of succulent calamari at a reasonably cheap cost that the whole family can enjoy. For more squidding check out our How to Catch Guide for Squid.