Squid, Southern calamari

(Sepioteuthis australis)

Commonly referred to as Squid!

Squid would have to be one of Australia’s favourite target species. They are relatively easy to catch and can often be found in large numbers providing great fun for the entire family. Squid are a species that can be harvested each season without any fear of depleting future stocks making them the perfect target for many anglers looking to feed their loved ones. Squid also make an excellent live or whole dead bait for larger species such as mulloway, Yellow tail king fish, Samson fish and Amberjack.


Southern calamari squid can be found right along the entire southern half of our continent and are becoming an increasingly popular recreational species.


Southern calamari squid live for a maximum of one year and can reach a total tube length of 50cm although are usually encountered at around 30 – 40cm weighing in at roughly 1 – 2kg. Sexual maturity occurs at around 7- 8 months of age when the squid are 15 – 20cm in length.  Southern calamari squid will generally spawn in 3 – 5 meters of water during the warmer months of the year.


Calamari squid prefer water depths of around 1 – 10 meters with broken sand, weed and reef bottoms. The water also needs to be very clear and between 18 – 22 degrees.  Jetties, wharfs and ocean marinas are all great locations to target squid from shore with shallow offshore reefs and weed beds more suited to boating anglers.


Southern calamari squid can be easily identified by their long tubular, cone shaped bodies with heads full of tentacles and large eyes. Two tentacles are commonly longer than the others and are used to secure prey and also during mating. Their colourations may vary according to different environments.

Taste rating

  • Ninety Taste Rating

Southern calamari squid are exceptionally good eating!

Sport rating

  • Thirty Sport Rating

Southern calamari squid are better known for their eating qualities than their sporting abilities although larger specimens are great fun and quite challenging on ultra light spin gear!

Tackle requirements

Small spinning outfits are generally used when targeting calamari squid, reels in the 1000 – 2500 class loaded with 4 – 10lb braided
lines are ideal and rods can vary from short fibreglass and graphite models for boat usage to long graphite and boron rods for shore based use. Attaching your braid to a light 4 – 10lb fluorocarbon leader will also increase your chances incredibly, improved albright or back to back uni knots are ideal for this purpose.

Recommended baits, jigs and rigs

Quality squid jigs are a must if you want to catch good numbers of quality calamari squid consistently. Yo Zuri, Yamashita, Bredon, and Daiwa all make top quality jigs in various shapes, sizes and colours. Lighter jigs in the 1.8 – 2-0 sizes are suited to shallow, calm conditions such as found in estuary systems and larger jigs in the 2.5 – 4.0 are preferred for deeper or faster flowing water. Conventional metal Squid spikes inserted into fresh, whole fish such as yellowtail, blue or scaly mackerel, small herring and whiting then wrapped in bait cotton are also very effective on large squid and cuttlefish.

Handy hints and tips

Southern calamari squid prefer calm, clear waters of depths between 1 – 10 meters with broken reef, weed and sand bottoms. Try to get your squid jig as close to the sea floor as possible without getting snagged and retrieve  with a couple of short sharp flicks followed by a long pause. Always use quality squid jigs as they will produce far more squid for you in the long run. Once you have landed your squid try not to point it at yourself or anyone else, they do squirt black ink which is impossible to remove from clothing.

Preferred fishing times and tides

Calamari squid can be caught during most times of the day although this may vary at different locations. High tides and periods of very little to no water movement are ideal. After dark is also a prime time to target calamari squid around ocean marinas and inshore jetties and wharfs, they are attracted to these areas by lights and the small bait fish that congregate because of them.


[What The Fish]