Around inshore striper waters, you will often encounter large squid in the spring that have moved onto the shoals to spawn, followed by juvenile squid relatively soon after the spawning season is over. Needless to say, small squid are a bass delight in June and July. Small squid school up, but not as tightly as some of the other baitfish we may encounter. Swuid have an amazing ability to change color in an instant, ranging from white and pale pink to bright combinations in pink, red, orange and even tan/brown. When unhurried, squid will often hang in small schools, moving back and forth with the current, but when harassed, they can move at amazing speeds by sucking water into their mantles and forcing it out of the siphon they originally used to fill their mantle. In essence, squid are “jet propelled,” which is why I would recommend a medium to a fast retrieve when fishing squid imitations for striped bass.
- Hogy Top Imitator: It’s hard t beat our Hogy Original line-up in sizes 7” and 9” for imitating squid in amber, bone and bubble gum rigged on a lightly weighted or unweighted swimbait hook. Also popular is our Pro Tail Eel series in pink, bone and squid in all sizes, especially when a deeper presentation is required. Our new Charter Grade Squid Plugs are a perfect choice when you want to experience the thrill of a bass exploding on a surface plug. Lastly, our new Charter Grade Poppers in amber and translucent pink are great topwater squid imitations.
Trouble Shooting A “Too Much Bait” Scenario: Hogy Original soft plastics are an effective squid imitation when presented in a number of ways, from casting up-tide and swinging them through along a rip, both in front of the white water as well as in the face and backside of the waves. This technique works well when there are enough squid in the rip to keep the fish interested, but not large concentrations. If you see fish feeding aggressively on large numbers of squid and a sliding, swinging type of retrieve isn’t drawing the attention you would like, then the skippy retrieve, which will simulate a frightened squid that is fleeing for its life, will elicit a competitive strike response.