The Humble Squid

Gary Brown delves into in the Humble Squid in this article and provides you with everything you need to know , from tackle, techniques and cooking !

Not everyone likes to catch squid. Not everyone likes to clean squid. Not everyone likes to eat squid.

The authors squid took a liking to a pink squid in the racks at Foster, NSW.

The authors squid took a liking to a pink squid in the racks at Foster, NSW.

Personally I don’t know why! They would have to be one of the easiest things to catch (most of the time) throughout the year. They are fairly easy to clean once you learn how to do it and they would have to be one of the tastiest things to eat that comes out of the water. And you shouldn’t forget that everything in the saltwater likes to eat a squid.

That means then, that the Humble Squid has everything and more going for it.

So, what is there to know to make it much easier to catch squid, then clean and eat them.

Adam from with his first squid out of the Port Hacking

Adam from with his first squid out of the Port Hacking


Whether you are fishing from the shore or out of a boat in the estuaries you can most of the rids that you may have at home, as long as is has got a fair bit of flexibility in the top part of the rod. I not saying you shouldn’t use a game, fly or luderick rod. I am sure that you would find it much easier to use a rod between 1.8 to 2.1 metres in length that has a medium to fast taper and is in the 2 to 6 kilo range.

This is what happens when you get the landing process wrong. Ink everywhere

This is what happens when you get the landing process wrong. Ink everywhere

For the estuary I prefer to use either my Berkley E. MOTION BEM06101L 2 to 4 kg rod mounted with a ABU Garcia REV0250 threadline that has been spooled with 2kg Berkley Fireline Exceed for my lighter jigs, size 1 to 2 and my 3 to 6kg Berkley E. MOTION BEM071LH rod mounted with a Pflueger Salt 040SW threadline spooled with 5kg Berkley Fireline Exceed for the size 2.5 to 3.5 squid jigs.

Currently I have so many different brands of squid jigs that I have lost track of which ones they are. As you will see from one of the accompanying photos I also prefer to have a number of different colours. It pays to have a few different colours and size. You never know what they may like in the morning, they may not like in the afternoon.

John from Fergos tackle at Taren Point in Sydney just loves his squid.

John from Fergos tackle at Taren Point in Sydney just loves his squid.


There is no proper way to catch squid. You may find that the next time you are targeting squid you may come up with your own sure fire technique. The trick to being a successful squider it to be flexible. The breaking strain and diameter size of your leader is a critical aspect when it comes to catching more squid. Try to not go any heavier than 4 kg’s.

The treble, Calamari, Cuttlefish, Arrow squid

The treble, Calamari, Cuttlefish, Arrow squid

Synthetic cloth squid jigs are, by far, the most popular method of fishing these days and most of them that you buy won’t break the bank. A jig must sit horizontally in the water or most squid will shy away from it. Research has shown that orange or pink jigs are best in the early morning and late evenings while green or blue works well during the day. At night, squid will hide under the shadow of your boat. By casting a strong light on the water, squid will scoot out into the light to eat jig.

Luminous jigs are now available and are ideal for this situation. The best fishing times for squiding are certainly early morning and late afternoon or on overcast days. During the middle of the day you will need to fish deeper. Have you ever thought about berleying for your squid? There is no law that says you can’t. So why not try it the next time you are out on the water.

You could also try adding scent to the body of the squid jig or rubbing a pilchard or mullet over the sides of the jig.

To keep squid alive for live baiting you will need plenty of fresh running water

To keep squid alive for live baiting you will need plenty of fresh running water

When choosing your location to fish for squid, look for beds of sea grass with patches of weed. If you are a shore-based angler you need to cast your unweighted jig and let it sink to near the bottom. Work it back slowly to shore with small jerks, making shore to leave a gap between each jerk. Squid certainly seem to prefer a stationary bait at times and, although they get excited by the jigging motion, wait until it stops to attack.


Here’s one way how to do it: 2. At the top of the body, there is a clear piece of cartilage. Pull it out and discard.

3. Use a long sharp knife and cut from the head to the tail. Then cut length ways in half.

4.Use the back of the knife to scrape ways the fine membrane that is on the inside of the tube.

5. Cut into small strips and pat dry.

6. The squid is now ready for you to start your recipe.

If you are going to eat your squid, make sure that you use a squid spike to kill them straight away. Don’t let them die slowly

If you are going to eat your squid, make sure that you use a squid spike to kill them straight away. Don’t let them die slowly


There are so many things that you could do with your squid in the way of cooking it. So to make it a bit easier I am going to refer you took one of the many squid recipes that are on the Sydney Fish Market web site.

Click on the following link for deep fried squid.

Or maybe you would like to learn more about how to do it for yourself.

Why don’t you book into one of the cooking classes at the Sydney Fish Market?

Click on the following link to view: or maybe you like to learn more about how to BBQ your seafood?

Then you should try the BBQ School at Willoughby in North Sydney.

Click on the following link.

Check out the colours on the squid from Port Phillip bay.

Check out the colours on the squid from Port Phillip bay.

Gary Brown

About Gary Brown

I have been fishing from a very early age (around # to 4) in the estuaries from Qld to Victoria for bream, whiting, mullet, flathead, leatherjackets, john dory and luderick. Having owned my first boat at 12, I was able to fish further afield in many different estuaries up and down the NSW coast with my dad. In my early teens I started to fish from the beach for bream, whiting, tailor and salmon and then progressed onto the rocks for bream, trevally, tailor, salmon, drummer, luderick and snapper. I also targeted snapper, morwong, other reef species off shore, plus a variety of tuna. In his teens Gary brought his first boat and started fish out to sea on the south coast of NSW where he could chase snapper, tuna, morwong, pinkies, leatherjackets, mulloway, bonito and many other fish species. Over the past 22 years I have been teaching many anglers how to improve their fishing ability in my “How, Where, When and Why to Fish” classes throughout tackle shops in Sydney. In 2002 I had my first book published (Fishing Sydney’s Waterways) by AFN and it has been revised 3 times. Since then I have now had 4 more books published: 2005 Beach and Rock Fishing Australia. 2010 Fishing guide to South of Sydney. 2011 How to catch Australia’s Favourite Saltwater Fish. 2013 Land based Fishing GUIDE FOR Sydney Harbour. I have also produced along with Scotty Lyons 2 dvd’s; A Day on the Bay and Port Hacking – The Jewel of the South. Over the past 11 years I have successfully competed in a number of bream tournaments. Ranging from ABT, BETS and the Southern Bream Series. I am currently sponsored by the following companies: Pure Fishing/Pflueger/Shakespeare now for 22 years as one of their Pro Anglers. Australian Fishing Network (AFN) Tackle Tactics. Strike pro.

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