Cape Cod Squid Fishing With Capt. Rob Lowell
Introduction to Squid Fishing On Cape Cod:
Here’s my approach to squid fishing on Cape Cod. Winter on Cape Cod can be so long; looking ahead to the arrival of the squid in Nantucket sound always helps get me through! Not only are squid delicious, loading the freezer with native bait is a sure way to set yourself up for success in the upcoming haddock, cod, and fluke fisheries. There is nothing quite like covering your boat in ink while you fill buckets. This is the perfect time to do some boat spring commissioning and an excuse to get out fishing.
Outfit For Cape Cod Squid:
Any basic 7’ light tackle spinning outfit will work for squid fishing on Cape Cod. The same outfit you might use for schoolies. Sharpies like very soft parabolic rods to aid in preventing hook pulls on squid. Think SIMPLE! Small, lite rods with lite line, lite leader, and moderate fast action so you can feel the bites.
Lures for Cape Cod Squid:
Pink is perhaps the most popular color but the four primary colors for squid jigging on Cape Cod are Amber, Pink, Glow and Green. Pink plus one other color is a great starting point. Here’s the lure we used in a recent video with Capt. Mike:
The typical squid rig consists of a “hi-lo- rig with two dropper loops with squid jigs connected to them connected with barrel swivel and 1to 2 oz bank sinkers for weight. Some days squid can be finicky other less so. If you have it handy, 10-20 pound clear fluorocarbon is ideal for squid fishing on Cape Cod.
Finding Squid On Cape Cod:
Look for reports, really. Unless you want to brave the elements and go out every day, looking for the report is the best way to find out when they’re in. Peak season usually occurs during a full moon in early May so keep an eye out for that. A handy tell-tale sign of the squid being “in” is looking for boats leaving Hyannis or Mashpee boat ramps covered in ink. The owners of these boats eagerly anticipate squid fishing on Cape Cod and usually have it dialed in much better than the rest. Follow the spawning habits and you’ll find the squid! Look for rough bottom with structure where squid can lay eggs. Two good areas to start are Popponessett and Collier’s Ledge.
Approach to Cape Cod Squid:
You’ll see the fleet if there is a concentration of squid. Many of these boats will be anchored so be respectful. A few quick drifts around the area will typically yield results. Find your most productive spot and try to anchor right over it. That can be a small pile of rocks or structure where the squid lay their eggs. You don’t have to be right in the fleet to catch the squid.
Drift over the area until you start catching. Mark this spot on the GPS and either continue drifting over it or anchor on it. If the squid bite shuts off it might be due to a slack tide, tide change, or they have moved. Stay flexible, there is no law that says you need to stay in the same spot all day. Move around.
See what everyone else is doing, try not to intrude. Find your own spot in or around the fleet and see which way the drift is. Either get on the anchor or make some short drifts to find where the squid are. You can mark the squid on the sounder as small cloudy areas near the bottom or mid water column.
Anchor when the drift is too fast to jig or when the squid are piled up tight. Squid fishing on Cape Cod is a team sport. If everyone else is anchored, don’t be the guy drifting through the fleet and coming close to everyone. You won’t make many friends!
Drift if the drift is slow, and more people are drifting. Try to blend in with the crowd and not step on toes. I like to drift if im outside the fleet and the squid are spread out.
You can mark the squid on the sounder as small cloudy areas near the bottom or mid water column.
Move when you stop catching!! Especially if you were catching before and the tide changed, or if you see everyone else catching some ways away and you’re not.
Techniques for Squid Fishing on Cape Cod:
- Drop jig to bottom and slowly reel to surface while jigging
- Try To Avoid setting the hook!!! there are no barbs
- Bring squid to surface, keep tension and let it ink out.
- swing into boat keeping squid pointed away from face!!!
- Flip jig drop squid into bucket
Key Locations for Cape Cod Squid:
Popponessett to Hyannis, and surrounding contours are ideal squid locations on Cape Cod. This area is a spawning location for squid. Squid migrate in from the ocean to spawn in Nantucket sound and this is a well-known area to fish them.
Times and Tides:
Try to avoid slack tide when Squid Fishing. Just like stripers and bluefish, the squid are moving when the water is moving. That doesn’t mean you can’t catch them at slack though. Some days it heats up randomly and others it’s a steady pick. Move around and drift with the tide, keep an eye on other boats. If they are crushing and you are not, try to see what they’re doing differently.
Night is definitely preferable. However, most people don’t have big lights to attract the squid. Once the sun is up it’s usually a consistent bite throughout the day and slow at slack.
Fishing in April/May in anything more than 10-15kn is not fun. I prefer to squid fish on calm days, or with wind from the north.
Tide Station On Navionics:
Lewis Bay Entrance
Squid Fishing Cape Cod Filmed May 4, 2021
Tips for Catching Squid At Slack Tide
Squid can caster at slack tide. Check out this fun tip with Captain Mike where he uses the keeled Hogy Squid Jig to free cast for squid.
A favorite area to bottom fish for large fluke (use cut squid). Fish depths of 15 – 30 feet on the north side of the rip.
NOAA chart number: 13237
Lat & Long: 41°31.5’ x 70°29’
Best tide: Either but incoming is best in the spring and early summer. Action slows at slack.
Hazards: Very rough conditions develop when a strong tide is in opposition to wind direction.
Link To Tide Chart: Click Here
Link to marine weather: Click Here