Looking at Lures - Trolling for Squid

Michael Bok is always looking at "new ways to skin a cat'.

Trolling lures for squid is a technique that  Michael has spent quite a lot of time trying. Contrary to what most people think you can catch squid by trolling a lure, rather than just jigging for them. It requires a little bit of homework and research to produce results, but it is worth the effort.

Different ways of catching fish always add new challenges to fishing. The first step is to find an area that you know that squid frequent, find out how deep it is and what sort of bottom it is.

We catch most of our squid around the sea grass beds. Next find out what time of year that squid frequent the area. At the moment (late October), Coles Bay has a large population of squid that have come in to breed.

Sure, once you have found out this sort of information, you can anchor over an area and try to jig up the squid, but given that we really only need to take a few squid each trip to get a good feed, why not try a different approach to catching them.

Having trolled for squid a few times now, we have had sometimes caught squid trolling when we couldn't raise them by jigging. The jigs we were using were the medium sized ones about 150mm, as they need to be heavy enough to drop down whilst being trolled.

Preferred colours were orange or pink based jigs. Try different colours in different areas or times of the day.

Once you have worked out the area you want to fish over, proceed to troll over the section in a figure 8 pattern. We trolled at about 2-3 km/hour, a similar speed to that which you would troll a cobra type lure at for those of you who do not have an accurate method of gauging their speed.

Whilst you are trolling, you will have to work your jig by lifting and dropping your rod tip. Troll the jigs about 20 metres behind the boat. When the boat goes round the outside curves of the figure 8, the line gets a belly resulting in the lure dropping down even deeper. At this same time drop your rod to the down position. As the belly in the line straightens, lift your rod tip. This gives the jig a darting motion.

Most of the hits we experienced were just as the line dropped going around the figure 8 or just as the line tightened.

Once you hook a squid, throw your engine out of gear, otherwise you will pull part of the tentacle off the squid and retrieving the squid will be difficult. As we threw the engine into neutral, we actually got extra hits on the other lines.

Unless you like getting squid ink everywhere in your boat, it is well worth getting your squid off in a landing net, not in the boat. This gives them the chance to empty their ink sacks in the sea, rather than over you or all over the boat.

On our last trip to Coles Bay, we caught 10 squid, some of these had hoods that were about 45cm, fairly large for a Southern Calamari.

We also had the unfortunate pleasure of being squirted by a squid whilst it was still in the net in the water. It is amazing how far and hard they can squirt and how much of a mess the ink from one squid can produce.