everything you need to know about BAIT...


Lugworm Ragworm
Crabs Shellfish
Mackerel Other fish
Sandeels Squid
Chumming Regulations
squid, whole, cleaned and as calamari!

Squid:  Squid is not as commonly used as a bait in Ireland as it is elsewhere in the British Isles.  Perhaps this is down to its limited availability, but since it freezes so well, it is surprising that it has taken this long to catch on... personally the only thing I have seen caught on a squid-only bait was a lesser weeverfish, not something that you would recommend but it was awful weather to be fair.  We felt sorry for the weeverfish!

Collection:  Aha!  Squid is 'collected' in the local fish shop or fishmongers, and is usually of the frozen variety.  On summer outings, and especially at night, you can encounter them when jigging for mackerel, but they are rare enough.  That said we have taken plenty of octopus out of Clew Bay, but off the bottom in very deep waters, especially around Clare Island.  We never used it as bait though...

Storage:  Squid is possibly the best bait to freeze, in that even after defrosting it still retains its structure, that tough rubbery consistency that ensures that your hooks will stay put.

Bait Presentation:  This really depends on how much squid you intend using on the rig or hook.  You can cut it into strips or if available use bits of the tentacles.  You can use larger chuks for big cod baits, perhaps teamed up with lug (for scent) or rag (for movement).  You can even use entire small squid, tentacles and all for a really big bait... on a pennel rig.

Rigs or Traces:  As always, the rig or trace depends on the target species.  Small strip baits work well on a float rig during the summer, and also well on a long flowing trace from something like a three hook competition rig off a boat, with the squid strip put on the final hook.  Squid is often used in combination with other baits to make up really big baits for big cod, coalfish, pollock and other wreck residing fish.  In the north of England they now use a  "kebab", with several different baits all skewered onto a hook, and by all accounts it works very well. Perhaps it is the wild combination of varying scents...

Fish Species:  Squid can account for almost any type of fish in the sea, depending on what size of bait is used, but I would have difficulty in recommending its used as a "standalone" bait,as I have never had any success with it... although it has worked well for me in combination with lugworm... maybe I just need more practice! Time to go get a rod.

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