There is a whole myriad of different baits that anglers use. And many anglers swear by different baits. I’ve heard from other people that squid can be very good for catching fish from the shore.
But I have never really tried it before. And fishing is a process of experimentation. You need to be open to try out different and new approaches. So, I decided to do a little research to find more information and answers to the many questions that I had in my mind.
Namely, is squid good for surf fishing? Squid is an excellent bait for surf fishing because many different fish species do eat squid. The squid can be cut in different parts or used whole. It makes for a very presentable bait that successfully attracts fish.
When it comes down to baits and fishing, there can be a lot of secrecy involved. Often this can be considered the secret source if you will, that turns average anglers into outstanding ones — the secret sauce which brings the fish to the table.
So, let’s take a look at this particular bait and if it can make a difference!
Is Squid Good for Surf Fishing?
Squid is probably one of the most popular and best baits for catching saltwater fish and freshwater fish, as well, now that I think about it.
You may be surprised, but a lot, and I mean a LOT of different fish species eat squid. You can use squid to catch:
- Striped Bass;
- Pollock, and so much more.
You probably already know that shrimp is one of the most widely used baits. However, much to my surprise, I found out that squid can be just as good if not better at attracting fish.
The specific texture of the squid makes for an exceptional bait, and many anglers report having noticeably more bites once they started using squid.
What makes it an excellent bait is that it is very soft, smelly and you can easily shape and cut it into strips that behave very naturally in the water.
The advantages of squid don’t stop here, however. It is relatively cheap compared to many other types of bait.
Best of all, it provides for so much versatility, and we will get to that in a bit.
How Do You Prepare and Store Squid Bait?
Planning and preparing your squid in advance is the best way to make sure you have the right kind of bait when you need it and that it is also clean and presentable. Another advantage is that you will ultimately not be wasting as much squid bait.
Luckily enough, you don’t need much to prepare a decent amount of squid bait. Here’s what you will need:
- Some fresh squid;
- A few zippable bags or another container where you will keep your bait;
- Some salt; and
- A knife;
What you will be doing is cleaning and washing the squid, salting it, and packing it in your container of choice.
Salting your squid bait helps to preserve it. Salted baits are usually more durable, resilient, and you can expect them to sink faster compared to fresh baits. (In fact, that applies to other types of fresh bait, too.)
The most commonly used way to store squid is by freezing it for later.
You can keep it in your freezer safely for at least a few years. Make sure to store it in smaller packs; that way, you will not have to defrost all of it.
You can take it out of the freeze a couple of hours before going fishing to give it enough time to defrost.
However, the rule of thumb is usually that the fresher the bait, the better it is. So, try to avoid using old squid that may have started to smell a little funky.
How to Use Squid for Surf Fishing?
Squid may seem like a great, easy to obtain, and cheap bait, but it will not do us any good if we don’t know how to present it to the fish properly.
So, let’s take a more in-depth look at what techniques most professional anglers use for presenting it to the fish.
How to Present the Squid
The different people seem to prefer using different parts of the squid. However, every single part of the squid can be used successfully for surf fishing.
1. Using Squid Strips
The body cavity of the squid is used to prepare squid strips.
Most anglers prefer to cut the squid in little rings or long straight strips of about 1 inch long and a 0.25 inch wide.
These stripes make for a great easy to spot bait that flutters quite nicely in the water. However, you need to clean it and gut it first.
There is a long line of cartilage or backbone that goes along the body of the squid. Make sure to remove the spine and any internal organs.
Many anglers may throw away the head of the squid because this is where all the ink is, while others claim that the head can do a pretty good bait as well.
I would recommend keeping an open mind about it and experimenting with all parts of the squid.
2. Using Squid Tentacles
The second very popular method among anglers using the tentacles.
All you need to do is cut the tentacles where they start beneath the head. This is an easy and quick method that will provide you with about 12 tentacles that you can use as bait.
They are like a piece of muscle that is very strong, and it will not rip apart. The way they turn and twist in the water can be very attractive for the fish.
3. Using the Whole Squid
Some people also like to fish with the whole squid.
This is the preferred method when fishing for some of the larger fish species.
For more information on how to use the whole squid, and the squid tentacles as well, make sure to check out this video:
How to Place the Squid on the Hook
When placing the squid on the hook, make sure to run the hook through the squid nice and tightly.
Some anglers don’t like having parts of the squid hanging down loosely while others leave parts of the squid strips hanging from the hook.
Which method works best is hard to point, so you may want to experiment with what works best for you.
Another point about using squid as bait is you don’t need to use big pieces of squid. And you don’t need to worry about the bait not covering the whole hook. You don’t need to do that.
Some fish can be caught on almost anything, and it is not about hiding the hook. The downside when you try to hide the hook in a big piece of bait is this frequently leads to you not being able to set the hook when you pull. You will be ripping the squid bait out of the fish’s mouth that way.
Can You Combine Squid with Other Bait?
You can easily use squid in combination with other types of bait. It is a great addition to any cocktail bait.
For example, one very popular but relatively expensive type of bait is the blood worm.
You can pair a piece of blood worm with a squid tentacle, and that way, you will still have a presentable amount of bait on your hooks while cutting down on the cost significantly since squid is generally speaking much cheaper.
Final Words on Using Squid for Surf Fishing
Squid has been used as bait for catching a wide range of different types of fish since forever, well maybe not forever, but I am sure you know what I mean. And anglers use it for both saltwater and freshwater fish.
It can do for an excellent surf fishing bait, too, so giving it a try may potentially make your next fishing trip a lot more exciting.
As you can see, squid also has its set of different drawbacks as it can be a bit messy and sticky.
However, it is a type of bait that is readily available in almost any grocery or tackle shop, it is cheap, and it doesn’t take much time to prepare and store.
If you are still unsure, I would suggest giving it a try on your next fishing trip to the beach.