PUGET SOUTH SOUND SQUID provide some great opportunities this winter. Like a taste of Calamari, want to pass some time on the water in between salmon bites. From late May through February, adult squid can be found in almost all marine waters from Port Angeles to southern Puget Sound. There are always squid around, however different areas will have peak times during the year.
Local lighted public piers draw squid and jiggers looking for that gourmet meal.
To outfit yourself you will need a rod reel almost any type will work. Light line works better, 6-pound will out fish 20. Several squid jigs available at most local tackle stores.
Almost all the jigs will be either luminous or have something shinny to reflect light. Most of the jiggers I have run across use green, red, pink or blue colored jigs.
You can use up to 4 jigs on one rod. If you jig off a public pier thread a large corky on your line above the jigs to float free, this makes keeping tack of you line in the water much easier.
Light is the key, the more you have, and the more squid you will attract to your gear. Many jiggers bring a generator with a portable flood lights to hang down near the water to draw squid in.
Best jigging is normally just after nightfall cloudy nights are better, as is the slack tide.
Jig just at the edge of the light beam, squid will dart in from the dark to hit the jig.
Varying your depth can also increase your catch.
I use a daytime method that many anglers are now catching onto during the winter squid season.
I’m out in the boat maybe after morning of blackmouth fishing I go squid jigging. I target drop-offs outside of harbor mouths. I like a drop of at least a 100-150ft. It needs to be dark down there as the squid just migrated from the dark surface water to deep darker water to avoid being feed for local predators. I slowly cruise the area watching my Lowrance unit setup to scan the bottom on a SonarHub CHIRP setting and on Structure Scan. The Structure Scan allows me to look sideways out a few hundred feet to find the balls of squid on the bottom and the CHIRP quickly lets me know I’m on the squid. This technique is much like locating shrimp balls during the pot season in the spring.
The fishing is slightly different then off the pier. You can use the same rod but you’re going to need to fish more lead. I run 2 up to 4 oz. to hit bottom with my jigs. Also glow jigs are key to this type of squid fishing, charge them up with a camera flash.
Pick a day without a lot of current movement it’s much easier to stay on the squid without backing into the current the kicker motor to hold position. Many time you have to really be sensitive to the take, a sensitive tip on the rod helps a lot feeling the squid hit the jigs. The other setup that works quite well is a cutplug herring. Yep, just like salmon mooching, in fact you can do double duty for blackmouth. The squid will hit the herring and you reel them in, however this method is way slower to get a limit as its normally one squid at a time.
Limit is 5 quarts or 10 pounds and a shellfish license must be displayed on your person why jigging.