Squid Jigging form Kayaks at Redondo Beach in Seattle.
I have been wanting to go squid jigging in Puget Sound ever since my days working for Gamakatsu back in the 90's. Its a popular activity in the winter, and usually done at night, with lights off the piers around Seattle and Tacoma. Every year I would say that I would go, but it just never materialized, until yesterday - and boy did I pick a good day to go.
It all started last week wile working a customer appreciation event for Outdoor Emporium in Seattle. While there I ran into Brad Hole, the Hobie Kayak Pro for Outdoor, and we chatted about all we have in common chasing multiple species out of our kayaks. Brad mentioned that squidding is really good right now, during the day, out of a kayak, and that I should come up for a day. Well, first of all I did not know you could even squid jig during the day, and the thought of doing it out of a kayak made it even more enticing. I told him I was in and we set a date for the following Tuesday.
Tuesday came around, and the weather was absolutely horrendous. Huge rain and wind, so we had to cancel. I figured that was just par for the course for my squidding adventure - it just never seems to work out. Brad was persistent and called me a few days later to say that the weather looked great for the following Tuesday and there should be plenty of squid around so I agreed to meet him up there.
Just FYI, Brad has a great instagram page called kayakfishingwashington, you should give him a follow as he puts lots of cool stuff on there about fishing and cooking and kayaking.
Follow Brad Hole on instagram @kayakfishingwashington
Tuesday finally came, and I loaded up my Hobie PA 360 14' , and headed up to Redondo Beach to meet Brad. I met up with Brad in the parking lot near the boat launch, and he got me lined out on the program. We got our Kayaks ready, put on our drysuits and launched at Redondo Beach. The basic plan was to move around until you marked a school of squid on your graph, then drop down on top of them with your jig. For the first hour or so we did not find any big schools. Brad picked up 4 squid, but I was still on the egg.
We ran into another kayaker that told us to head over to where all the boats were jigging, he was just there and said the school is big, and he got his limit quickly.
First squid EVER for BMO!
It was about 1/2 mile over to the area, and on the way I was watching my graph, looking for a school of squid. On the way over, I marked the biggest school I had seen yet, dropped my jig to 120 feet and BANG!!! BMO got his first squid! As I lifted it out of the water the little guy sprayed ink and water all over me - the perfect way to catch my 1st squid! I tossed him in the bucket and dropped back down quickly - and was instantly greeted with another squid. This time I let hime spray his ink in the water before lifting him into the kayak.
By now the school had moved away and I was back to searching. I got close to the area where most of the other boats and kayaks were congregated and saw them catching squid, but did not see any on my graph. As I crept closer, a fellow kayaker said "Get over here right next to me, I'm right over the school". I came over and dropped down and was on the squid again.
More Squid for BMO!
I have to say that everyone here was so nice and helpful. It was really cool for that guy to invite me over to where he found the squid. The kayak fishing community in seattle is great - and helped make this an amazing experience.
Squid bucket filling up!
By now we were all in a big school of squid, and the catching was very consistent. It did not take long to get a limit once we found this big school.
We called it quits around 4:00, loaded up and headed back home. It was a great day and a great way to scratch this off my bucket list. Many thanks to Brad Hole, and the entire Seattle Kayak Fishing Community.
Thanks for reading,