Saltwater fishing in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina is excellent for various species whether you are fishing inshore or offshore, an abundance of fish feed on squid. Squid is readily available at bait and tackle shops and is easy to rig. Here is what you need to know about using squid bait the next time you cast a line in saltwater. 

How Is Squid Caught For Bait

Squid is caught in mass quantities by commercial fisherman. The technique used to catch squid is called trawling.

Commercial fisherman drag purse seins behind boats near the bottom. The funnel-shaped net traps squid within before hauling to the surface.  

What Kind Of Squid Is Caught For Bait

Shortfin squid is most commonly used by anglers when it comes to specific squid species. Over 50 million pounds of shortfin squid are caught annually by commercial fisherman.

The shortfin squid is most commonly colored orange but adjusts based on habitat. A Shortfin squid measures between seven and twelve inches in length. Lastly, a brown line extends along the center of the squid. 

Where Can You Buy Squid Bait

The next time you’re planning a day of fishing, determine where squid is available for purchase. Fortunately, squid finds its way on the shelves of the vast majority of fishing shops located in the coastal regions of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. 

Bait Stores

Let’s clear the air; a bait store and tackle shop are different. Bait stores sell bait while tackle shops sell tackle. Yes, slight overlap does occur but count on a bait store to carry squid consistently. 

Tackle Shops

As mentioned before, overlap does exist between tackle shops and bait shops. Because squid bait is sold frozen, tackle shops are likely to stock squick. However, tackle shops do not have tanks holding live bait. Call ahead before making the trip. 

Chain Sporting Good Stores

Venture to a chain sporting goods store when you require fishing gear and bait. The one-stop shops include Walmart, Dicks, Cabelas, Gander Mountain, and more. Make the call before counting on these stores to have everything you need. 

Internet

In the unlikely event that frozen bait squid is unavailable locally, utilize the internet. Squid bait is available for purchase online shipped directly to your front porch. One of the most notable bait suppliers is Baitmasters. 

How Is Squid Bait Sold

Squid bait is sold in frozen blocks. Whole squid is laid into cardboard boxes and frozen before being sold to anglers. Anglers can cut the bait into pieces or present the entire bait. Remember, seven to twelve-inch bait is large for inshore species; therefore, offer the squid on the hook in small portions. Troll squid in its entirety for offshore species.

What Does Squid Bait Cost

Fortunately, squid bait is low in cost compared to other baits available for anglers. Expect to pay between five and six dollars for a one-pound frozen box of squid. 

While you’re at the store, purchase a minimum of two one-pound boxes to avoid running short on your fishing adventure. Remember, when fishing inshore cut the squid into pieces rather than presenting whole. Offshore anglers troll the whole squid rigged for pelagic species. 

When squid bait is left over, throw the box inside of a bag back in the freezer for a future trip. 

What Fish Will Eat Squid Bait

Inshore and offshore saltwater fish dine on squid. Here is the list of fish that most frequently strike squid.

Inshore 

Squid remains firmly on the hook; therefore, it is an excellent bait for anglers of all experience levels. Fish are challenged to pick the bait free from the hook because of its rubbery texture. 

When targeting redfish, croaker, stingrays but use caution when handling, bonnethead sharks, and more, utilize squid. Remember, you wont need to change your bait often.

Offshore

We can break it down between bottom fishing and trolling when it comes to offshore fishing. Squid is excellent when targeting sea bass, snapper, sharks, and other bottom fish. However, we will include swordfish in the mix of bottom fish. When targeting swordfish, a whole squid is required.

Squid, which has been rigged for trolling, catches nearly every pelagic, including tuna, wahoo, dolphin fish, and more. Rig the baits yourself or purchase pre-rigged squid before heading offshore to the blue water. 

How Do You Bait A Squid

Squid are known for their strong scent, which attracts fish from afar. When baiting squid on a hook, slice the tubes into half-inch wide and two-inch-long sections. Place the squid firmly on the hook and push through the barb. 

Once a fish strikes the bait, inspect the condition and replace it as necessary. Remember, a mangled piece of squid becomes less effective than a fresh slice. 

Are You Ready To Use Squid Bait

The next time you head out fishing in coastal Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, pack a box of squid. Squid is effective for catching various species and durable to avoid becoming picked free from the hook. Squid is readily available at fishing stores and chain sporting goods stores. Lastly, purchase a saltwater fishing license before heading to the boat or the banks.