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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

October 4, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Anglers are doing the jig for squid in Puget Sound

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Squid jiggers can get a jump start on catching squid, the small 6- to 10-inch slimy tentacle-laden blobs.

“Most guys are starting to do some squidding, and I know aguy (on Tuesday night) who got about three pounds at a pier on the Seattle waterfront,” said Jerry Beppu, owner of Linc’s Tackle Shop in Seattle and a longtime proprietor on the business of squid jigging.

Squid are highly sought out each fall and winter by anglers and cuisine fanatics alike, and are known as calamari in culinary world.

Millions of squid swim in huge schools around Puget Sound, and have a short life cycle of about 18 months. They return starting now to spawn annually and will feed heartily on small baitfish and crustaceans.

Jiggers can load up on a daily limit (five quarts or 10 pounds) with the best time being December and January although the quest for squid begins around Labor Day.

The most popular places to catch them are along the Seattle waterfront at Piers 57, 62, 63, 70 and 86 or the Seattle Aquarium Pier.

Other good spots are the Des Moines Pier; Edmonds Pier; Point Defiance Park Pier and Les Davis Pier in Tacoma; Redondo Pier; Illahee State Park Pier; and the Waterman and Indianola piers in Kitsap County.

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Any lightweight spinning rod and reel will work. Anglers raise the rod tip up to about 10 o’clock and then lower the jig to make it look like an injured fish.

Most squid schools tend to be just under the water’s surface to about 20 feet down. Working your lure from top to bottom is the best way to find them.

The weighted jigs come in a wide range of colors, and some will also use an unweighted lure with a small one-ounce lead weight or glo in the dark jigs.

The best time to catch them is at high tide. They tend to feed just after dark, and often in the middle of the night. When fishing is good they’ll even bite in the early-morning hours.

Many anglers will also bring portable high-powered lamps to light up the water as squid are attracted to bright lights.

The squid don’t bite the jig, but will wrap themselves onto the jig’s pin-like ends. Keep a steady upward pressure, and don’t give them any slack, otherwise they’ll let go.

 

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