Squid Fishing on Cape Cod

Are you ready? Don’t blink or the season will be over. While I have historically fished for groundfish exclusively early in the season (cod and haddock), adding squid makes me very happy. And the transition to porgy fishing is a natural–when the porgy move in, the squid move out. We are not traveling out 20+ miles into the North Atlantic, where the spring weather often blows. We are fishing out of Bass River in South Yarmouth and traveling about 5 miles west to the grounds outside of Hyannis. And I can run two trips a day.

Fried calamari
Fried calamari

Why squid? Why not? They are decidedly better tasting than the squid you get at any store. Some guys get it for bait for the whole season. They also do it because it’s fun, easy fishing. 20′ of water and very light tackle. They are creepy, changing color immediately. grabbing you with tentacles that seem alien. And sometimes, the technique matters. A LOT. We have had days when we were drifting and the only bites came if you cast the jigs in a certain direction…and then the bites were immediate. No one doing anything differently would catch them. (so we talk a lot; bust balls a lot…AND ADAPT).

Sometimes the color of the jig makes a difference. Sometimes it is the size. I bring a pile of different ones to cover all bases. Some of my customers really get into it and bring a ton of different jigs. Some are fancy. Some are 40 years old.

Eating Squid… Well, if you don’t deep fry some there is something wrong with you. There. I said it. Fresh is way better than anything you’ve ever had. But if you get a bunch and don’t want to become pre-diabetic, maybe you want to cut some calories/fry batter….Marinate it and grill it. It’s a fast grill–hot grill and maybe a minute or two on each side. Save the marinade—any leftovers go back into the marinade and go into a salad (cold) the next day. They become so tender over night that it’ll change the way you eat your squid.

What to do when you catch a lot of squid? Well, freeze it in portion sized bags/vacuum seal them after you freeze them on parchment paper…That’ll ultimately be the best way to preserve them. You can clean them when you are ready to eat them. From all of the experts I’ve had on my boat, that’s the way to do it. It’s also way better than cleaning all of the fish at once.

There is an old adage for cooking squid “30 seconds or 30 minutes”…Nothing in between. A bit of an exaggeration, but it’s trueish. Make a stew, tomato based and add your squid for the 30+ minutes. Holy crap is it good. Add lots of onions, stewed tomatoes, fennel, fish, and what ever else you have laying around. And have good bread to go with that.

So, please make plans to get on one of these boats and try something new.. It’s fun. The season is short..from about April 20-May 10, maybe a shorter season depending on a bunch of variables. See you out there! To make reservations call me or text me at 508-269-1882