Squid is one of the tried and true methods of bait for most types of ocean fish. Squid is easy to cut, has lots of natural scent, and stays on the hook very well. The problem with using squid is that it is messy, and you have to keep it on ice or it goes bad in the warm sun. Surf fishing and rock fishing along the coast is a fun and addictive way to fish. Making your own salted squid bait will increase your catch, whether you are fishing for rockcod, rockfish, lingcod, cabezon, surf perch, halibut, greenling, striped bass, crab, or other game fish along the coast. Adding bait dyes to the baits will give it more fish enticing bling, and adding salt to your squid will make it last longer and stay on the hook better.
How to Use Squid for Bait
There are many ways that you can use squid. You can tip your hook on your lure to add some natural scent that fish crave. You can add it to other bait that tend to fall off easy, like sandcrabs, so that if the sandcrab does fall off during the case or with the current and waves, that you will still have bait on your hook so you can still catch fish. You can fish with it alone on your hook. Some people like to add a bead just above the hook for a little extra attractant.
What to Buy to Make Salted Squid Bait
You can usually buy squid in a supermarket or a bait shop. It does not have to be bait quality, it can be food quality as well. In fact, I buy mine at my local grocery store, so that I can salt and cure my squid before taking it to the ocean on my next trip. When you buy squid it usually comes in a box, and the box may look similar to the box below.
How to Salt Your Squid for Bait
Thaw the Squid
The first thing you have to do is to thaw out your box of squid. It usually only takes a couple of hours to thaw out your squid.
Drain the Squid
Once your squid has been thawed out, you can pour out the squid juice from the box to make it less messy to work with.
Remove the Head of the Squid
Pull out one squid at a time and cut off the head. You can salt the head too if you want. Some people like to use the heads, some people don’t like to, it’s a personal preference.
Slice the Squid Length Wise
Then slice through one side of the squid down the full length of it to allow you to spread the squid open.
Remove the Gunk From the Squid
Pull out the gunk on the inside, including the hard clear piece on the inside so all you have left is the squid itself.
Remove the Skin From the Squid
Pull or scrape the colored thin outer skin off the squid so that you can expose the inner white meat fully when you use it as bait to release as much scent into the water as you can.
Spread the Squid Flat
Spread the squid out flat to make it easier to slice into strips.
Cut the Squid Into Strips
Slice the squid lengthwise into strips that are about ¼ to ½ inch wide. A squid will average four to seven inches long. You may want strips that are that long, or you may want smaller strips. If you want smaller strips you can cut them in half or thirds, whatever your preference is.
Salt the Squid Strips
Get a container or ziplock bag to store the squid strips in. Sprinkle a good layer of salt in the bottom of the container. Add a layer of squid strips and put another layer of salt on tops of the strips, enough to coat the top of these strips and the bottom of the next layer. Add the next layer of strips, and continue to repeat the process.
Add Additional Fish Attractant to the Squid
I like to add food coloring (neon pink, neon chartreuse green, neon yellow, neon blue, etc… ) to a small batch of strips too, to change it up a little. To do that you would need a second container of ziplock bag, and mix up some food coloring with the squid strips before you salt them. You can also mix a teaspoon or so of glitter to give them some bling and glimmer as well.
Simple Shake and Bait Technique for Squid
You can put the strips in a container and bag with the salt, food coloring, and glitter, and shake them up, if that is easier.
Storing Your Squid Until Your Fishing Trip
Refrigerate your salted squid until you are ready to use it. If it will be more than a couple of days you can also freeze your squid. I also re-use my squid that has been cured with salt as it takes a long time to spoil, so I throw it on ice on my way home, then back in the freezer and ready for the next trip.
Putting the Salted Squid Bait on Your Hook
•Thread your squid on a bare hook •Hook through just the top part of your squid strip to let it dangle freely •Add it to a hook with other bait, like sandcrabs •Add a squid strip on a lure for extra natural scent
Pautzke High Octane Fire Dye Bait Dye System
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Pro Cure Bad Azz Bait Dye
The Pro Cure Bad Azz Bait Dye is the perfect dye for big bait jobs. Whether you’re dyeing a few dozen herring, squid, bait fish, or ten pounds of shrimp or prawns, this is the way to go. This pure concentrated bait dye goes along way in dyeing large amounts of bait.About The Author Mike Mendenhall is the the founder of Mendenhall Outdoors. This website is an extension of the Mendenhall family’s lifestyle and passion for the great outdoors. Everything that they learn, and experience, along the way that they find may be valuable to our website visitors is on the site for you to enjoy. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive free products from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase. The Best Salted Squid for Fishing Bait Experience Awaits!