Author: Captain Mike Littlefield
The Squid Are In Rhode Island
Over the last few days and thanks to the new moon this month, the squid fishing has been getting better and better every night. We have been getting between a half of a five gallon bucket to sometimes a full one in a night. We expect the squid run to keep improving over the next few days until the Striped Bass move.
Squid Fishing Tactics
I will discuss below a few tactics we use to squid fish and night and during the day. Squid feed mainly at night and are attracted to light, which is why public piers are good locations for anglers. Hungry squid lurk in the dark fringes near patches of lighted water and then dart into the bright area in pursuit of food such as young herring and other small fishes.
Because a boat isn’t needed and jigging equipment is reasonable, squid-jigging is one of the most inexpensive ways to catch squid. Anglers should take a camping lantern or flashlight of significant size for unlit locations.
Gear For Catching Squid
Almost any style of rod and reel will work. Think "light and long" because it's best to have something that is sensitive and telegraphs slight changes.
Squid lures all have the "ray" of upward slanting prongs but from there it's a question of the color and shape you want to test for success.
Successful squidders use anything from six to 20-pound line but the best chances of success come with the lighter line.
The photo on this page gives an idea of the uniqueness of squid lures. It's the "hook" part that is different. Squid lures vary in length and thickness, and color and pattern, but they all have a distinctive upward slanting "ray" or two of sharp prongs.
Since the idea is to attract the attention of the squid that are watching that lighted area in the water, almost all lures are either luminous or have something embedded in them (metal, etc.) to reflect light.
Most squid jigs are made out of tinted, relatively clear plastic. Common colors are blue, pink, green, red, orange, amber and no-color (clear). Commercial jigs commonly range in size between two and four inches although some are twice as long and pencil thin.
If using an unweighted lure, anglers should buy some one-ounce lead weights to maneuver the lure down to the desired depth.
Squid generally start feeding just after dark and then often tapers off until midnight or later.
A variety of fishing methods can be used to fish for squid. These techniques include use of dipnets and forage fish jigs. However, use of squid jigs is by far the most popular productive method.
How To Jig For Squid
Single lure: If using a single lure, cast it out some distance from the dock (or boat or bulkhead) and allow it to sink to a depth where the squid may be lurking. Retrieve it with a series of steady jerks or "jigs."
Multiple lures: If using multiple lures, drop them into the lighted area of the water. Lower them down to the chosen depth (which frequently is just off bottom) then slowly raise them up and down in the water column.
Again knowing how challenging squid can be, no one style of lure is a constant winner. The specific environmental conditions dictate what is going to work or isn't.
Depth: Depth is a critical factor in the pursuit of squid. Having jigs working at different depths often spells "luck" or lack of it for side-by-side anglers.
Keep in mind that squid are congregational beings and stay gathered in schools.
How To Catch A Squid
Squid hole up in the darkness near lighted water areas then lunge into the brighter arena when they see something that looks edible. They don't "bite," however. They deftly wrap their tentacles around their intended prey.
The feel: Squid are those ghost-like "streaks" in the water and it's good to keep their fleetness in mind. Squids propel themselves backward by forcibly expelling water through a tiny nozzle that is part of their anatomy. They also can swim backward and forward, using their fins.
When a slight change in the behavior of your gear is felt, jerk upward to set the hooks immediately. Then keep a steady upward motion when reeling or lifting the catch to the surface. The hooks on squid jigs are barbless and most of the time the squid isn't really hooked, only entwined in the prongs so any slack in the line will lose the catch.
What Squid Look On Your Depth Sounder
This is what squid look like on my Helix 10 SI
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