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Jig for squid in South Puget Sound this winter

Fun fishery can be simple to pick up and offers a culinary delight

If you want to keep cabin fever at bay this winter, there is a fun and popular fishery waiting for you, and the delicious food it can put on the table will make you glad you braved the weather.

Squid fishing is on now through February in South Puget Sound after the migrating animals worked their way in from the ocean over the past several months in order to spawn.

Squid can be relatively easy to catch and it’s a family friendly form of fishing. The reward that can come from learning to jig for squid is delicious calamari however you like it prepared.

Squid jigging has seen a boost in popularity in recent years because the sport is accessible and can boast high success rates in good years.

To help you get out and give it a try, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has plenty of resources:

Our latest blog post has all the details on squid and their biology, the rundown of squid fishing gear and how and when to use it, and where you can go to try your luck.

You can legally fish up to four squid jigs in tandem in Washington, although many use a two- or three-jig setup to keep it simple and avoid tangles. For easy gear changes, using small snap swivels is recommended between your mainline and jig and between each jig in tandem. Always put your lightest jig at the top, heaviest at the bottom to avoid tangles. (Tom Ryle/WDFW)


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Squid jigs come in a variety of sizes and styles. Pinks, green, and blues seem to be most popular with veteran anglers. It’s good to have a variety of weights and sizes so you can see what’s working for others and change your setup accordingly. (Tom Ryle/WDFW)


Squid jigs can be “charged” with bright LED lights to glow, which helps attract squid and entice them to strike. (Tom Ryle/WDFW)


Night fishing on incoming tidal currents can make it difficult keep track of your line, especially from elevated piers along Puget Sound. By running a large, brightly colored corky up your mainline, it will float on top of the water making it much easier to see where you’re fishing in relation to the people next to you. (Tom Ryle/WDFW)


Any rod you have lying around will work for squid fishing, but most experienced anglers recommend a longer light action rod so you can feel the subtle strike of a squid hitting your jig. Pictured is a 9-foot medium action rod and it works just fine, so don’t fret if you don’t have the ideal setup. Just use what you’ve got and have fun. (Tom Ryle/WDFW)


We also have a webpage dedicated to squid fishing that features all the basic information plus links to fishing locations throughout the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound, detailed directions on cleaning and preparing squid, and a selection of recipes.

WDFW squidding webpage

Anglers 15 years of age and older must have a valid Washington shellfish/seaweed license to take part. Licenses can be purchased by telephone at 360-902-2464, online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, or at hundreds of license dealers across the state. Visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/dealers to find a license dealer near you.

Good luck to you in giving this fun and tasty fishery a try!


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