How to catch squid

Updated February 21, 2017

Squid are a delicious seafood (fried calamari is enjoyed by many) and also make excellent bait for other sea creatures. Bait and tackle stores and restaurants alike seek them. The freshest bait and seafood are those you can catch yourself and use promptly.

Preparing your trip

Choose your location. Squid are found in the ocean. If the water is not too shallow (some experts at TrackAir Adventures consider 4.5 metres (15 feet) of water ideal), you can catch squid off a jetty or a rocky shoreline. Otherwise, you can catch squid from a boat, which can often access prime squid habitats. Look for an area with rocks, a reef, sea plants, or other areas that would make good hiding spots for squid.

Decide on a good time. Early morning and early evening in warm weather (spring and summer) are ideal.

Prepare fishing lines. Use a squid jig, which is akin to a fishing hook but has multiple non-barbed prongs off a main shaft. They may be baited with a small fish or have a prawn (small brightly colored fake fish) attached. Squid jigs can be purchased from local bait & tackle stores or online from outlets such as Squid Jig Warehouse.

Catching squid

Cast your fishing line with attached squid jig and let it sink slowly. If in a boat, allow the craft to drift, thus covering more ground.

Allow the line to sink lower down for larger squid.

Give the line several slight jerks to attract squids' attention. Wind in and re-cast if no squid appear after a few minutes.

Wind your line steadily as soon as a squid grabs the jig. Keep the line taught so as not to lose the squid.

Deliver the squid into a waiting net. Since squid are often hooked precariously and can slip away easily, a net can be a necessity.

Put the squid on ice or into the desired container.


Since squid travel in schools, often several can be caught at once when one is located. Look for squid in a relatively calm area, as they do not seem to like strong currents.


Handle squid carefully-even if they have released some of their black ink in the water, they may still have some to spray on you.

Things You'll Need

  • Fishing pole and line
  • Squid jig with bait or prawn
  • Net
  • Cooler or other container with ice
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