Winter Squid Fishing at St Helens

After the last month of being cooped up inside an office and the weekends tied up with other various activities I was desperate to get on the water.
Being behind the counter in my tackle shop everyday I end up being privy to a fair amount of fishing information, stories and reports......the last few weeks have been no exception.

Continuous reminders of how great the fishing has been on Georges Bay, St Helens (my front yard...literally) had me busting to drag the little Haines out of the garage and give her a run chasing some garfish and Squid.
With the weekend approaching and it finally free from any plans I was set and ready to go, even more so after receiving a few images on my phone late in the week of some very large Calamari that had been seen schooling up in the bay.

Sunday morning broke in a rather chilly fashion so a midday start was in order to let the sun warm the air a little first, gentleman's hours some would say, and of course I needed time to scoff some warm buttery croissants and hot chocolate on the deck for brunch before I headed's tough on the coast.

A quick call to my mate to arrange the meet time and before you know it we were on the water.
Straight down the channel to some crystal clear water and a nice hole that usually produces without fail but not this time, our worst fears hit us as there was not a Squid in sight.......plan B and a second area along the Akaroa Beach just offshore on the edge of the weed as it drops into deeper water.
This area often produces good numbers of Squid on the lower tides as they sit deeper in the water and school up.
The jigs were sent deep and within a few lifts of the rod Troy was into our first Squid.....not a huge model but a good start.
He had a few mates hanging with him so after a few quick happy snaps we were back into it, jigs over the side, down deep and bring the fish up.
Within minutes I was on, a bigger fish this time and as he came to the surface Troy dropped his jig off the back of it and it was attacked by another big Squid....double hookup, fish on!!
A quick net job, expel all the ink and up for a few happy snaps......of happy anglers.
A couple more fish hit the deck after that, all we needed for a feed, and we called it quits and off to find some Garfish.
The Squid fishing in St Helens can be fantastic at this time of year but sometimes takes a little bit of lateral thinking to find numbers.
I normally like to try and sight fish to them but as explained our first shallow water area failed to produce so plan B was to try deeper water especially on the low tide.
The water depth was around 15 feet and the Squid were on the bottom in some light current so it was a case of letting the size 3.0 Squid Jigs slowly descend close to the bottom and using slow lifts and drops to entice the fish into striking.
The winter months can be fantastic on the East Coast and produce great sport so don't sit back in your house reading about it on the internet, get out there and have a crack, its always worth the effort.
If your on the coast drop in and see me, Jamie, at St Helens Bait & Tackle and I will put you onto the fish.


Troy with a brace of squid



Squid in the water