This is a unique lure that has been developed in New Zealand by Catch, from a ground-up concept. It’s unusual in that it has been designed to be a jack-of-all lures. Catch explain it can be cast, trolled, jigged, and fished from boat or shore. Wellington angler Jason was presented with a range of Catch gear to trial, and here we will focus on his use of the Squidwings, as without doubt, how you fish it dictates how successful it will be.
Jason Grimmett was sure the sign hard on the bottom were kingfish. Sure enough, it wasn't long before a nice big king smashed his Shady Lady 200gram squid wing on the first drop. After a good fight he landed this nice 24kg kingie.
Given a choice of gear the Squid wing became Jason’s favourite jig very quickly due to its versatility.
His experiences with the lure, how it has worked for him and a few tips for using it might help you figure out how to fish the Squidwings.
The Wellington coastline can be extremely rugged and exposed, famous for its often wild weather, a kayak is regularly a better option inshore than getting out on the boat in those famous southerlies.
Jason has fished the Squidwings from the east coast of Wairarapa, west coast from Makara up to Kapiti Island and the wellington harbour and south coastlines, and even given it a crack in Fiji.
Available in 60, 80 and 100 grams, Jason chooses a weight to suit the conditions.
Inshore or on the kayak, generally 60 – 80 grams is best, with the bigger units deployed where there is more current or the water starts getting deeper.
His favourite colours are Ballistic Blue and Shady lady for the 60 to 100gram range.
The Catch Squidwings classic colour range. New colours are available on the 200 gram models that can be found on the Catch Fisshing website.
Fishing a local blue cod competition with fellow 'Mani-yaks', Bam and Shane, the ballistic blue Squidwings in 80 and 100 grams were perfect for fishing the Wairarapa coast, where they proved deadly on some nice XO blue cod.
The way to fish the Squidwings depends on the type of fish you are targeting.
If you are pursuing bottom fish like blue cod or snapper Jason uses a slow lift and wind technique.
He’ll work it up two lifts then repeat two to three times then find the bottom again.
They can be fished ideally on the drift, but work at anchor.
Blue Cod seem to love this lure.
While Jason was working on a commercial fishing boat out of Wellington the captain would let him jig while waiting for the tides.
He out-fished the cod pots one day - 16 in the pots to 36 cod on the Squidwings made the boats quota, even a nice double hook up on a single Squidwing!
When it comes to targeting kingies, Jason just drops to the bottom or uses the colour sectioned braid to get to the depth were sign is indicating on his sounder.
You can mix up the techniques to see what works on the day. A fast mechanical jigging action can be effective, and if that is not producing try a couple of slow upward and drop it again. Rinse repeat wind up, three to five times is good, then drop to the sign again.
A very tasty treat snared on the newly developed Catch L'll Squidwings
These lures have also proven effective on the very tasty john dory.
If you are targeting these fish, Jason recommends a method similar to fishing soft baits.
A cast, and slow lifting motion keeping the lure close to the deck as you work it back to the boat.
With a Fiji holiday coming up Jason modified a few of the 200gram Squid Wings for tropical conditions by up-weighting the hooks to 12/0 and 13/0 just to cope with the unique Island conditions.
The hooks on the stock Squidwings are stainless and heavy duty, capable of handling a significant fish but Jason was hoping for marlin, so upgraded to suit.
Trolling at around 6 to 9 knots, the lures hold themselves in the water and distribute a nice bubble trail through their skirt.
A great catch anywhere you are, yellowfin tuna are always welcome aboard
Trolling a pair of 200gram lures at about 7knots, the Shady Lady colour landed a nice 34kg yellowfin tuna.
The marlin did not appear, but several tropical coral trout and reef species fell to the 200gram Red Ripper jigged on the bottom.
Jason matches his rigs to his Catch equipment. Here’s the rigs he likes:
Lighter rig: Catch acid wrap 150 jig rod with the JG2000 reel, loaded with 40lb colour depth braid and 60lb flourocarbon leader.
Heavy rig: Catch acid wrap 250gram rod matched to the JG5000 reel with 60lb colour depth braid and 80lb fluorocarbon leader.
The newly developed 28 gram L'll Squidwings have proven deadly on snapper, blue cod, john dory and other favourites
Catch Fishing have recently designed a spinoff of the original Squidwings model.
Reducing the head size down to 28 grams, the Lil’ Squidwings, unlike it’s bigger ‘parent’ has a hollow body. A small kabura hook and skirt set makes this a lure that can be fished like a soft bait, or just like a kabura.
So far Jason has had huge success with this lure on blue cod, favouring the White Warrior pattern.
For more information check out the video: