Catching squid in Puget Sound is a relatively straightforward fishery with the correct setup and gear. If you're looking for something to do in the Fall & Winter, and like calamari, it's a great opportunity between October and January. They can be caught outside this window, but if you're new to the sport, we recommend you go in late October, or anytime in November and December. Keep an eye on our yearly report which gets updated throughout the season for what areas are doing the best and recommended times.
The species of squid caught in Puget Sound are anywhere from 6-12 inches long, and are larger toward the end of the season. They envelope the lure and do not traditionally fight like a fish does. The rods and reels we recommend below for squid also work great for trout, smelt, bass, crappie, pink salmon, and a few other fisheries in the Pacific Northwest, so if you're just getting started, our setups will last you for more than just squidding.
The typical setup for pier or boat jigging is a long, lightweight spinning rod and reel with 8-12lb test line, an indicator (often called a "cheater" or "corkie"), a swivel, and one to four (1-4) jigs. You'll also need a bucket & WA state shellfish license. Below are the options we recommend for each item. We also have some combos available with everything already set up so you're ready to go.
Shimano FX Spinning Rod Medium Action $19.99
Shimano FX C3000 Spinning Reel $19.99
SMI Snap Swivels Size 12 (8 Pack) $0.99
Weighted Squid Jigs
Unweighted Squid Jigs
Izorline Chartreuse 10lb
Ted's Complete Squid Fishing Setup $59.99
Take the line coming from the top of your rod and thread it through the indicator (direction does not matter) and then through the small eyelet of the swivel, as shown in the picture below. This allows the indicator to slide freely along your line while it floats on the water as your squid jig sinks. The indicator is only for you and others to help avoid tangling up with another angler.
Tie a clinch knot to the swivel with the loose end of the line.
After threading the line through the small eyelet of the swivel, form a loop and wrap around the line 5-7 times.
Next, thread the loose end of the line back through the loop you formed.
Use your mouth or water to lubricate the line (prevents friction burns), then tighten the knot by pulling the loose end and the end connected to your rod.
Make sure to tighten the knot well, and finally clip the hanging tail of line to about 1/8"
Unsnap the swivel, add your squid jig, and re-snap the swivel.
Step 4 (Optional)
Rig additional jigs using swivels and line (same knot as above). This can be repeated up to a total of four (4) jigs.