It’s that time of year again when the local Dorset Piers and harbour walls seemingly become squid magnets both for the anglers targeting them but also for the cephalopods themselves. These wonderful creatures have seen a large increase in popularity over the last few years and with some of the best spots so close by it would have been crazy not to get out and target them.

Bournemouth Pier was the chosen location for this early season foray. One of the important things to remember when targeting squid is that they are predominantly sight feeders and therefore flat calm sea conditions with good visibility are the correct conditions to be fishing in.

Personally I like to fish for them with a 3000 size reel and a lightish spinning style rod loaded with 15-20lb braid straight through to a single squid jig. To be clear this is purely a preference thing and you will see a lot of others fishing with multiple jigs and often a glow-stick or float. From experience (a little like any lure fishing) if you are prepared to spend a little more on a jig it normally results in better returns, my personal preference is the Yamashita jigs which are available online here as well as in a number of tackle stores. Buy here

The way you fish these lures is almost as peculiar as the species you are targeting with a simple flick out cast and then a very slow lift and drop style retrieve. It wasn’t more than about 20 minutes after setting up and with the light levels dropping fast that I was in to the first of many squid of around 6-9 inches (which seems to be the average size early on in the season). With the smaller squid about in such good numbers the smaller sized squid jigs (65mm-85mm) seemed to out fish the larger sizes.

The seeming abundance of the squid at this time of year seems to add to their popularity with most people on the pier getting amongst a few. I would say that the numbers falling to my lure seemed to be a lot more steady when compared to a lot of the others around me, as I said it seems to be worth investing in a better quality lure as with the above. It wasn’t long before I had myself enough squid not only for dinner but also to freeze as bait qfor when I next needed them.

Despite the large numbers of squid I was bringing in my dad who I was fishing with had a more modest evening but as is often the case he had saved his best till last with the final squid of the evening being comfortably the largest (approx 1.5lb in weight).

These beautiful creatures will be around for another couple of months off of the local piers. If you have never fished for them or never had to much success then I really would urge you to get out and give it a try. Its a brilliant way of spending an evening and a great way of stocking up your bait freezer and for the more adventurous a brilliant source of fresh delicious local seafood.

Details on the piers and when to fish and how to access them can be found here.