SEQ Squidding – By Ben Keen & Peter Kaye

This time of year generally means dinner tables in the homes of SEQ fishos are loaded with just about the best feed you could hope for, a calamari entree with a snapper main – yeehaaaa!!

Squid are not the most difficult catch in the ocean but they have a couple of really positive things going for them.

Firstly, as mentioned, they are delicious to eat. Secondly, they can be found quite readily. Thirdly, they are an all day proposition so you can generally go and pick up a few after the morning bite drops off or the arvo bite picks up. Lastly, the kids love catching them.

The only real drama with catching squid is that they can leave your boat looking like a crime scene so you might want to consider some “processing protocols” to avoid too much cleaning.

DO NOT point them towards the boat once they are on the surface – you have been warned straight off the bat.

Targeting squid

You will find a couple of species of squid in the bay, tigers and arrows. Arrows are quite small whilst the tigers can tip the 1KG mark.

In Moreton Bay, squid will generally hang around weed beds and shallow reefy locations in the cooler months. Pushing up close to the islands on a high tide is a good starting place.

It goes without saying that having an operational Minn Kota will make this far more effective as you will be able to accurately pepper locations without fear of running aground.

Squid will often follow from the shallowest of locations so it really is important to get as close to shallow structure as possible.

Squid also love clear water. If the water is murky, move on. Squid in the bay love a good ambush spot, they quite often sit just out of the current waiting for unsuspecting prey to wash past. If you find bait around generally the squid won’t be far behind.

Generally look for calm, clear, shallow, reefy, non-green zone locations and you are on the track to being a winner, winner, squid dinner.

In terms of method, several different techniques can be utilised. Anything from just a slow wind, to letting the jig sit on the bottom and giving it some aggressive rips in a repetitive motion can work wonders. Some days they are super aggressive and other days they are a little timid.

Initially you will feel like you’re snagged, but then you will feel the squid lunging and see the telltale ink bomb in the water.

Slow and steady once hooked is also important because an erratic action will result in lost calamari rings.

Also, hooked squid will often be followed out by a support crew.

A good pair of polarised sunnies are essential when chasing squid, and the use of your peripheral vision will see your catch rate skyrocket.

Quite often they will follow out the jig right to the boat, if you’re not on the ball you could let the opportunity go begging like NSW in the 2017 Origin series.

A quick scan around a hooked squid and you may sight followers, and whoever is fishing in your boat should get their jig in firing range quick smart – double hook-up, yewwww!!


In terms of gear, light combos are all that is needed. A nice “whippy” rod will absorb the lunges from the squid.

Most importantly, make sure that you do utilise a fluorocarbon leader at around the 10lb range. Mainly because the areas being worked are abrasive and anything less might be at risk should you brush something sharp.

In terms of jigs, the River 2 Sea Kraken Half Nudes have been hard to beat so far this winter.

The profile is half cloth so you get the texture advantage but the underside is uncovered so they perform very naturally in the water.

I used the 3.0 weight that may be considered to be on the heavier side for the bay but I found this weight gave plenty of control and a great casting distance.

Colours, well, where to start?? The Krakens come in a huge range of colours. I had most luck with the naturally inclined colours, but I know that there are many differing opinions on this so grab a few and see what happens.

Top tip though, start with a bright colour in low light, it has the added advantage of being more visible whilst working it back to the boat. In the brighter parts of the day I like the more natural colours.


As soon as you have landed your squid, it needs to be dispatched. Squid spikes are available from leading tackle retailers such as the Tackle Warehouse in Camp Hill.

A couple of quick spikes above the eyes and you will notice that the squid turns white immediately. Then straight on the ice!!

In terms of avoiding squid explosions, I would recommend considering a customised shelf (see photo) such as the one Peter Kaye has designed.

The great thing about such a set-up is it will allow you to control the dispatch on the outside of the boat and quickly relocate the squid to the esky without any messy complications. Trust me, whatever you need to do to avoid a squid ink disaster needs to be done.

In terms of preparation, there are a couple really good videos on that will take you through the process. Check them out and save yourself some pain.

All in all, whether you are getting a quick feed or having a bit of fun with the kids, squid fishing is a great way to spend a few hours on Moreton Bay.