This article was written by Black Magic Brand Ambassadors Brendon Hogg and Karl Wilkinson, better known as the Krakka Yakkas. Brendon and Karl are experienced kayak anglers, chasing Gummy Sharks, Squid, Snapper, Whiting and other saltwater species off the coast of Victoria (Australia). You can follow them on Facebook or Instagram .
In Victoria, and particularly where we fish in Western Port Bay (near Melbourne), you can catch Squid anytime of the day or night. The same applies in most Squid fishing locations around New Zealand and Australia.
Squid have a short life cycle of about a year, which means they can be targeted all year round, but the bigger ones will tend to come in April through to August. Their short life span also makes Squid a sustainable species, which is great for eating and can be used as bait to target many other species.
We target them around reefy areas with weed, as that’s where they are hunting bait fish and breeding.
And we always catch more fish when the water is clean and clear, as opposed to dirty or murky.
Different ways to target Squid
We use a lot of different techniques for fishing for squid.
A pretty simple technique where you cast out from the kayak, when your jig is in the strike zone, slowly wind your line back in, while giving a couple of short, sharp lifts. Repeat this process as you bring the jig back towards you, hopefully luring the Squid away from their cover.
Depending on the flow we change the jig size from a 2.5 jig for low tide flow to a 3 – 3.5 jig for faster tides. You use the heavier weighted jigs to get down to the bottom in faster moving tides – the lighter weight jigs can get caught up in the current and may not reach the bottom.
Deep water fishing
When we’re fishing in deeper water with a heavy tide flow, we use our standard Hyperglide and Fluorocarbon setup, but we add a dropper loop knot 300mm from the bottom of the line. This is so you can change your sinker weight easily. Then add 1m of leader to a Squid Snap, then attach your jig.
When fishing in deeper water, we use 3.5 jigs with red or white reflective foil. Usually, we drop over the side and drift over reefy areas to cover more ground.
Shallow water fishing with a float
If you’re fishing in water no more than 6m deep, look for weed beds on sandy edges. The idea behind this technique is to suspend your jig under a float, so you don’t have to worry about it snagging on the bottom.
Add a float stopper or a stop knot to your line, then add your float. Connect your line to your leader with a swivel, then run 2m of 15lb Fluorocarbon leader down to your jig.
You can adjust the stopper to ensure your jig will get down to the optimal depth based on where you’re fishing.
Gear you need
Rod and reel – We suggest a 1-4kg rod with a 1000 reel for shallow water, moving up to a 2-4kg rod with a 2500 reel for deeper water.
Braid – We recommend using 12lb – 16lb Hyperglide 13x Braid. 12lb is suitable for most areas, but if you’re over a bigger or more complex structure, we’d recommend using 16lb. We use Hyperglide when fishing for Squid for its amazing castability. It will give you the extra distance you need to hit your target, and its thin diameter delivers a faster sink rate through the water column, getting your jig to exactly where you want it to be.
Jigs – Because Squid are usually targeted around structure, it’s common to lose jigs. So, make sure you take a tackle box full of jigs in various sizes and colours. Depending on the weather, water clarity and tidal flow, you will need different colour and size jigs to attract your Squid. Our favourite Black Magic Squid Snatchers are Red Head Glow, Ghost Glow, White Glow, Green Red and Brown/Red, but you need to find what works best for you and the location and environment you’re fishing in. Black Magic have a great guide on what jigs work best in different situations – check it out here:
On the kayak – You will need a shallow net to scoop up your Squid when they get close to the kayak – leaning over the side to grab your leader increases the risk of tipping over. You’ll also need a chilly bin or esky to put your catch in after you’ve humanely killed them.
Safety on the kayak is important. Always wear a life jacket – there are lots of lightweight, compact options available these days which don’t impact your movement but keep you safe.
Get yourself a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) so you can let authorities know where you are in case you get into trouble.
But to ensure you don’t need to use it, we recommend that you only head out in the kayak if the wind is under 10 knots if you’re inexperienced. Know your limits and don’t take any risks.