Can You Catch Squid In NSW? What You Need To Know


NSW Catching Squid

Loved for their delicate, mild-tasting flesh full of vitamin B12 and B6 and their high protein levels, squidOpens in a new tab. is a popular seafood in NSW. Squids are found around NSW’s coastline, from shallow inshore reefs to the deep, open waters offshore. However, before you wet a line in NSW, there are a few things you need to know.

You can catch squid in NSW, but there are restrictions on the size and quantity. The legal size limit for squid is 10 cm (4 in), and the bag limit is 20 squid per person. Squids are caught using jigs that are cast out and retrieved in a jerking motion, which attracts them.

Understanding the rules and regulationsOpens in a new tab. on squid fishing in NSW is essential, as breaking the law can result in heavy penalties. This article will explain everything you need to know about catching squid in NSW for a successful and enjoyable squid-fishing experience.

Squid Fishing Requires A Fishing License

Before you go fishing in NSW, you need to have a recreational fishing license. It allows you to fish for sport or recreation in NSW waters, and you must be 18 years or older to buy a license. You can apply for a recreational fishing license onlineOpens in a new tab. through the Service NSW centre, valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. 

Licenses vary in price depending on the type of fishing you want to do and how long you want it for, but a standard 12-month adult license costs $35.00. Other licenses include:

  • $7 for three days
  • $14 for one month
  • $85 for three years

Size And Bag Limits For Squid Fishing In NSW

The NSW Department of Primary Industries imposes size and bag limits on squid fishing to prevent overfishing and protect squid populations. The minimum size for squid is 10 cm (4 in), and any squid below this size must be returned to the water immediately. 

The maximum number of squids you can take is 20, meaning if you are caught with more than 20 squids, you will be fined and may have your license suspended.

You Can Catch Squid All Year Round

In NSW, squids can be caught all year round. However, the best time of year to catch squid is from May to August. This is when water temperatures are cooler and squid are more active. 

Since squid feed at night and are attracted to light, squid fishing is best done after sunset or early in the morning. The light from the jig attracts the squid, making it easier to catch them. Additionally, you can go at high tide as this increases your chances of catching squid.

Squid Fishing

Squid Fishing Techniques

Like any fishing, having the right equipment is vital for successful squid fishing. Different techniques work better in different areas, so it is important to do some research before you go squid fishing.

The most common type of squid fishing in NSW is jigging. Jigging involves using a jig, a type of lure cast out and retrieved in a jerking motion. This attracts the squid, which is then caught on the hooks attached to the jig. 

Jigs come in various sizes, colours, and weights and can be purchased at most bait and tackle shops. It is essential to choose the right jig for the area you are fishing in and the time of year. 

For example, it is best to use a heavier jig during the winter months as squid are less active and need more incentive to bite. A lighter jig is best in the summer months as squid are more active and will bite at a smaller lure.

You can also use bait to catch squid. The most common type of bait used is cuttlefish, but prawns and small fish can also be used. The bait is attached to a hook and cast out into the water. Squid are attracted to the bait and will bite at it, getting hooked in the process.

Squid fishing from a boat is the most common way to catch squid, as it allows you to cover more ground and fish in deeper waters. However, you can also catch squid from the shore. 

Popular Squid Fishing Spots In NSW

For any angler, knowing where to find their prey is essential for a successful fishing trip. This is no different when squid fishing. NSW’s coastline is home to many different squid habitats, so there are plenty of spots to choose from. 

The in-shore shallow reefs provide excellent locations with good weed growth and plenty of nooks and crannies for squid to hide in. Some popular squid fishing spots in NSW include:

  • Jervis Bay: With its abundance of seagrass beds, Jervis Bay offers good squid fishing all year round. The squid here tend to be smaller, so smaller jigs are best.
  • Botany Bay: Botany Bay is a popular spot for boat and shore-based squid fishing. During the day, the squids are found in deeper waters, so boat-based fishing is best. The squid comes closer to shore at night, making shore-based fishing a better option.
  • Murray’s Beach: If you’re looking for an excellent shore-based squid fishing spot, Murray’s Beach is a great option. The beach here is sheltered from the wind, making it a calm and peaceful area to fish.
  • Sydney Harbour: Touted as one of the best squid fishing spots in NSW, Sydney Harbor is a great place to fish from both a boat and the shore. The harbour is large and has many different squid habitats, so whether you’re using bait or jigs, you’re sure to have success.
Caught Squid

Distribution Of Various Squid Varieties

Squids can be found in many different habitats throughout NSW. They are commonly found in estuaries, bays, harbours, and along the open coastline. They can also be found offshore on the continental shelf and around islands in deep, open waters.

The Mitre squid, Arrow squid, and Southern Calamari squid are the most common species of squid found in NSW waters. The Mitre squid is found in Northern NSW through Botany Bay and Port Hacking, down to Wollongong and the Shoalhaven River. 

Arrow squid are found in similar areas to Mitre squid but are more common in estuaries and up to 500 meters (1640 ft) in deep offshore spots in the southern parts of NSW. Southern Calamari squid is found throughout NSW waters, usually to a depth of 100 meters (328 ft) or less.

Final Thoughts

Squid fishing in NSW is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and bring in a good haul. With its abundance of squid habitats, there are plenty of spots to choose from. Ensure you have the proper licensing before hitting the waters, as this can result in hefty fines and penalties.

Jigging and bait fishing are effective methods, and you can fish from a boat or the shore. Remember to adhere to the size and bag limits, and you’re sure to have a successful fishing trip.

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The website is run by myself Daniel Clarke, I’m lucky enough to have been living in Hervey Bay, for 29 years so I’m classed as a local I have seen many changes over this time. I have been running websites since early 2000 and also have a tech business in Hervey Bay.

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