How to catch and cook Sydney Harbour squid

Fresh squid is one of the best baits you can use, particularly in Sydney Harbour. The waters are renowned for kingfish, cobia and amberjack … so, if you get the bait part right – you’ll have a cracking day on the water!

In the cooler months, southern calamari are typically your target as they’re pairing up and ready to spawn. They tend to travel in small schools and will range anywhere up to a kilo or a kilo and a half in size.

Our guide was Stuart Reid from Sydney Harbour Fishing Tours. He’s trolled these waters full-time for 20 years now… and has tried just about every technique to know what works best, and more importantly, where to find the squid!

A tip – squid love structure. They’re particularly fond of kelp beds, jetties, bridge and boat moorings. We fished in about seven metres deep – so another tip – just let your jig drift down, wait about 20 seconds, pull in the slack and then just give it a bit of a wiggle.

Once you land your first squid– you’ll be hooked! But the only conundrum you’ll face is – when you catch a beautiful big squid in the Sydney Harbour – do you eat it? Or use it as a bait to chase something bigger? The decision is all yours.

Scotty chose to cook up his catch – which he did on the Gasmate from BCF after Stuart had cleaned, scored and cut up the calamari. All he used was a bit of olive oil, some garlic paste, a sprinkle of chilli flakes and a squeeze of lemon. You’ll want to get your pan nice and hot, and it’ll only take a couple of minutes. Once cooked, just dress up your dish with a bit of parsley.

So, if you’re keen to chase some squid – you’ll need a place to stay with a comfy bed after a day on the water. You’ll find one at the Ibis Sydney King Street Wharf… only a stone’s throw from the harbour. Let them know Creek to Coast sent you! When it is safe to travel, we can’t wait to visit our southern neighbours once again. A big thanks must go to the Ibis Hotel for hosting us earlier this year.

As for the gear and squid jigs we used – head instore to your local BCF or shop online!

Previous articleAn intimate experience with Whales in Hervey Bay
Next articleYou sure can’t keep a good team down!