How to Catch Squid: 10 Squid Jigging Tips for Beginners [2022 Update]

Updated on September 16, 2022 by

Squid fishing is a great type of angling but it can be unfamiliar compared to catching fish. I have put together these 10 tips to help you to get started as a beginner in squid fishing. 

Squid are both entertaining to fish for and are delicious to cook. Squid fishing has gone through a revolution over the last few years as new tackle and techniques were developed to better target squid.  

Have a read through this beginner’s guide to give you an overview of how squids behave, when you are most likely to catch them, what rigs to try, and what bait and attractants to use. 

Squid fishing uses a different kind of rig and attractants than other types of fishing so you may need to add some more tools and gear to your tackle bag. 

Squid Fishing Tips Jig

What is the best month to go squid fishing?

Squid fishing can be done all year round, although the best month to catch squid is generally in the spring months of April to May.

Loligo Squid migrates into the bays of southern New England around the full moon of May as the water temperatures reach 50 degrees.

What is the best time to go squid fishing?

A popular time to go squid fishing is at night with artificial light as an attractant. 

You will often find anglers chasing squid down by their local bridge over deep water after dark with powerful lanterns.

During the day squid can be caught during their major feeding times of sunrise and sunset. If you intend to try catching squid during the day then I would suggest going deeper than you would otherwise. 

Squid prefer calm water and are less likely to be caught with high wind, and choppy conditions. 

Where is the best place to go squid fishing?

The most common place to find squid is around seagrass in calm water. Squid lay their eggs in weeds so targeting seagrass or weed beds is a popular spot. 

They aren’t frequently found in water shallower than 6 feet deep like a sandy beach. 

Squid are fussy around murky water as well as changes in salinity.  

​Squid are a schooling species so if you catch one you are likely to catch many. Keep moving around until you find their school. 

Squid are also commonly found around docks and bridges. They are attracted to the permanent lighting at night. Fishing after dark for squid down at your local bridge over deep water is a good option.

What is the best bait for squid?

Dedicated squid jigs have been developed and improved over the last decade or so to the point where I wouldn’t bother with anything else. A squid jig looks like a prawn-shaped body with two or three rows of steel spikes angled up from the bottom.

As you jig the lure up, the spikes hook into the squid’s tentacles when it attacks. A squid doesn’t bite the bait as a fish would.

This means you need to retrieve the jig in a smooth motion so that the squid doesn’t fall off. A squid will not fight strongly against the retrieve so you can be careful with your retrieve motion.

My personal squid jig
My personal squid jig

How do you rig a squid jig?

I recommend using an 8-10 pound line on your main line with a maximum of 20-pound leader. The leader will help you to stay clear of any weed beds. Squid have large eyes and see well at night so applying some stealth is a good idea.

Make sure you get a few different types of squid jig in your tackle box. Sometimes squid seem to prefer the smaller 3-4 inch jigs rather than the larger 8-9 inch jigs, so make sure you have both available. 
You may also want to attach a sinker below your jig or a weighted bead above your jig depending on how buoyant it is. The last thing you want is your jig stuck on the surface.

What is the best color squid jig?

Pink squid jigs are my favorite color and seem to catch the most squid. 

Orange jigs are also successful when the water visibility is not very clear. 

Of course, as is the case with all fishing lures – it depends on the type of squid and the time of the day. Make sure you have a variety of squid jig sizes and colors so that you can change depending on what is working at the time.

Keep an eye on your neighbor angler’s squid jig if he is catching a lot and try to mimic it.

Are squid attracted to light?

From experienced anglers, squid are definitely attracted to artificial lights at night.

JT, an experienced angler from New Zealand has this to say from Black Magic Tackle:

“Some years ago they took the lights away from the sea side of Tamaki Drive in Auckland, to make way for more pedestrian room.  This made an immediate effect on squid fishing with the numbers caught dropping significantly”

There is also a very interesting scientific experiment conducted in 1999 by Prince of Songkla University in Malaysia. 

“From the results of the experiments, it could be postulated that both big fin reef squid and mitre squid are strong phototaxis animals that are easily attracted by artificial light.”

They also found that squid are not sensitive to the color of the light and respond the same to all light colors.


Squid fishing is a fun and different type of angler that most fishermen will love. If you have never tried it before then I would strongly encourage you to give it a go. 

There are some other great articles online to give you some more tips so have a read through these other guides for more information. 

If you are an experienced squid fisherman then please leave a comment below with your advice and wisdom so that we can all learn your tips. 

I have also put together a complete guide to USA fishing species and what gear you need to catch them.

That brings us to the end. Thanks for reading all the way through. 

Happy fishing! 

Photo of author

Captain Russ Egan

Captain Russ is an avid fisherman. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Curado Baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.