Fishing With Squid: What Can You Actually Catch?

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Using squid is one of the more popular baits on the market. It’s almost always one of the best sellers if you go down to your local bait shop and in this post, I’m going to be talking about what type of fish you can actually catch with squid.

If you just use a small piece of squid you’ll be able to catch almost all species of smaller fish swimming in your local waters. I’ve used it in saltwater and freshwater and have caught red snapper, lingcod, trout, and other panfish. Using squid seems to catch a lot of smaller fish but if you want to catch something bigger you can troll with an entire squid to catch salmon or other bigger fish in the area.

There really isn’t one specific fish you’re likely to catch with squid. I’ve caught a number of different types of fish using it and it’ll all depend on what’s in the water. The main downside to using squid is that you have to sift through all the small fish before you land the big guy. The good thing about squid is that it’s available in pretty much all bait shops, in your grocery store, or even if you want to catch your own (which is more fun in my opinion).

How To Catch Squid

If you don’t want to catch your own squid then you can just go to the bait or grocery store and pick some up there. I like to catch my own whenever I can and it’s actually pretty easy to do. Here’s a video that will show you how to catch squid:

The first thing you’re going to need is a fishing rod (obviously). It doesn’t really matter too much what you use but in my opinion, the best fishing rod for squid would be a spinning reel on a light rod. I use a spinning reel so I can cast with it and I like a light rod so I can feel the squid grab my line. Squid isn’t normally that big and they don’t fight a whole lot so you can get away with using the lighter gear.

The next thing you’ll need is fishing line. In my opinion, the best fishing line for squid would be braid with a fluorocarbon leader. I like using a 20 lb braided line because it doesn’t have any stretch and you can feel the squid grab on much better. It’s also stronger than normal fishing line so your line won’t break if you get snagged (you’ll be jigging). Using a 10 lb fluoro leader should do the job as well.

The final thing you’ll need is a squid jig and a weight. For the jig, the color you use will depend on the day. Sometimes one color will work one day and the next day it won’t. That’s why I’d recommend you grab a few different colors. Here’s a squid jig kit on Amazon. For the weight, I like using something that has a raindrop shape to it. Here’s one on Amazon. I normally start with a 1/2 oz weight but if there’s current you’ll have to go heavier.

All you have to do to set things up is tie your weight to your braided line. The weight will sit on the very bottom and then you’ll attach your fluoro leader and jig around 16 inches above that. The length of your leader will only be a few inches. You’ll then cast your line out, let it sink to the bottom, and start jigging it slowly.

What Gear Do You Need

Now that you have your squid, the next thing to do will be setting up your gear and fishing with the squid. If you’re going to be trolling, all you have to do is attach the squid to your normal setup and you’ll be good to go. I’m going to assume most people will be casting and jigging so we’ll talk more about that.

The rod and reel I normally use will be the same one I used to catch squid. You want a casting rod that’s fairly light so you can cast it a good distance and feel the fish bite. Either a light or medium rod will do the job.

When it comes to fishing line, I’ll usually stick with a 20 lb braided line with a 10-12 lb fluorocarbon leader. It’s not the only thing you can use but it’s what I feel the most comfortable with. I like braid because it casts better, is more sensitive, and it lasts longer. I like fluoro because it’s invisible to the fish. I use the Surgeon’s knot to attach my leader to mainline:

The rig you’ll want to use is going to be a Carolina rig. All that is is a single hook with a weight above it (around 12-16 inches). What you’ll want to do is attach your weight (I like a 1/2 oz bullet weight) to your braided line and then put on a swivel. The weight will help you cast and make your line sink (you might need more weight if the current is strong). A swivel will hold your weight in place (you can also use beads or whatever). You’ll then attach a 12-16 inch leader and put on your 2/0 hook.

After that, you’ll want to cut off a piece of squid and attach it to your hook. Put the hook through the squid so you have the majority of it hanging off the hook. It’ll also stay on the hook better if the squid is cured/dried out. You can also get some braid and wrap it around the squid and hook to secure it in place.

How To Fish Using Squid

If you’re going to be trolling, it’s a pretty simple concept that I don’t think I need to explain. It’s a bit different though if you’re going to be casting and retrieving (or jigging). It’s not going to have much action by itself so it’s important that you fish it the right way.

The first way you can fish with squid is by casting it out, letting it sink down, and then slowly retrieving. The piece of squid will look like a baitfish swimming along and this method works great the majority of the time.

The second way you can fish with squid is by casting it out, letting it sink to the bottom, and slowly jigging the rod up and down. All you have to do is wait for the hook to hit the ground, lift it up, let it sink back down, and repeat.

The final thing you can do is cast it out and quickly reel it in so the squid is swimming close to the top. I don’t find that this works the best but it does work when the fish are really aggressive and are close to the surface.

Happy fishing. If you want to catch more fish, use more hooks.

Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!

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Jon Webber

I'm by no means an outdoors or fishing expert, but it's something I've been interested in for over 20 years. This site is where I test out different gear and techniques to see what actually works.

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