Squid fishing from an anchored boat


Squid fishing from an anchored boat

We have seen squid fishing in a broad way. In this article we are going to see it from a more specific point of view, fishing from an anchored boat.

It is one of the most common methods in this area, because it often guarantees captures when you are in a spot in which “they will bite if they are around”. For big boats, with cabin or with a big air draught, the wind is not a problem (it can cause too fast gliding when we are drift-fishing). Once anchored, in a big boat, it holds on swell and wind, and also, we are sheltered in the stern.calamar

For this kind of fishing, knowing fishing spots is a must. Those positions that are often effective. Once located, the anchorage itself is important. We have to keep in mind that on a 40 or 50m bottom, or even more, we have to let out a lot of rope to let the anchor grip the bottom. This means a huge ratio. We can see it in the picture, from the place where the anchor is, we can spin in a big ratio depending on the wind and the currents.

Due to this, to anchor properly we have to take in mind where the wind and the current are coming from. Check how they act on the boat (the direction in which they move us) and calculate how much rope we should release according to that. This way, we will throw the anchor ahead of the spot, and we will let the wind and the current to move us and leave us exactly on the spot. If we don’t do it right, we will end far from the location. This can be applied to all types of anchored fishing, and we will address this topic more in depth in another article.

How anchor

The spots we should often look for are the underwater crests. Drops in depth, from less depth to more depth, the more vertical the better. During the first and last hours even in the highest parts. Although in anchored fishing we will play at waiting for the school of squid to pass where we are. In drift-fishing is in which we will look for them more. Even that, when we arrive at the spot, with the fish-finder we will check the spots in which the fish are moving.

This article of introduction about how to read a fish-finder can be useful.

Regarding to the rig, I personally prefer to keep it simple. We will put the ones that we use the most, but there are so many varieties as fishermen almost. In our experience all of them work, the important thing is to use the proper weight.

Plomo-y-pez-despuésThe weight will be a matter of taste when there is not a big current. There are people who like to fish with a lot of weight, I personally prefer to use as less as possible. To have an idea, with small or no current, I often use 1gr per meter of depth. In 40-50m depths one 50gr weight (to avoid waiting a long time until it reaches the bottom). 70-80gr will work exactly the same. It is a matter of personal  taste. While the current increases we will put more weight to avoid the line creating a big angle and to avoid the baits working worse. Getting to 130-150gr and even more. The more weight we use, the less sense to the bites (and more to pull for lifting it).

If we use squid minnows (potera) it’s important to take in mind it makes more resistance than a flat weight, due to the crown of pins.


About the lines, as we already said in the introduction chapter, if it is with reel a braided, a 0.20 is more than enough, and the current doesn’t put too much drag on it. If it is with bare hands, a 0.70.

In the baits I have two preferences, depending on the rig. Let’s start from the base of two types of PAJARITOS, the ones with weight which sink from the head, and the ones which are neutral underwater, staying horizontal and without floating or sinking.

In the rigs where I put one weight and a Squid minnow (PAJARITO), I prefer to use the ones with weighted head (the ones used for fishing with a rod). This makes us to be moving them all the time, but it gives the sensation of being alive, with the bait shaking the head all the time. If we leave it without moving it, it will stay fallen from the head.

This is a neutral example, it doesn’t sink or float, it remains horizontal:

potera-dtbHere we can see the other one, with the weight. It sinks from the head. They can be weighted and not be seen from the outside, but having it inside:


In the rigs where I mount a branch or right on the ring, I prefer the neutral ones.

With current, which itself pull the bait, I prefer the neutral ones. But like anything, It’s personal taste and anybody can say the opposite. What I assure is that this rigs are effective (maybe there are other more effective, but these ones don’t work bad).

It’s important that the line after the weight is a little bit less resistant than the main line, so if we lose the rig, we lose the less possible. The branches and the POTERAS have to be always tied to a weaker section. It’s not the same to lose one POTERA in the bottom, than to lose a full rig with several baits.

Something to take in mind is to not let the lines fall vertical and close to the boat. They can get tangled with each other easily. We will try to let them out far away.

Keeping an eye on the rig is a must to detect any bite. If we don’t do it, we will lose catches. Here is helpful the use of rods, which will tell us when a squid bites. Regarding to the movement, it’s made by the rolling of the boat itself. The bigger the swell, the bigger the movement.

If we use hand lines, we have to be checking them constantly.


Fishing from an anchored boat give us the advantage of losing very few rigs. The boat is not moving and we don’t change the depth, so the weight doesn’t get tangled up in the bottom. We also avoid the risk of gliding and get caught up with a non marked or abandoned commercial net.

In the fishing action, when we feel a bite we should rise the catch without hurries, but without stopping. When they are big we will not hesitate on leave them a bit of line, letting them scape a little to avoid ripping them. Squids have a weak body, it’s easy to lose them if we pull too roughly. However, they always pull in the opposite direction, so a relaxed pick up will allow us to lose just a little of the catches. And in those moments of big battles, just let them a big of space.

When they arrive at the surface, close to the boat, they often have some last strong pulls right before  grabbing them or put them in the landing net. We have to watch out and be careful with this.

We shouldn’t lose our patience. Some days we are hours and hours without a bite, and suddenly all of them arrive together. In these bad moments it’s important to keep calm, secure the ones to seem bigger when they bite in different lines and avoid messes. It’s good to have some spare line ready, or another rod, so in the case of a rig getting useless we put it aside and use another.

Thanks to the experience, and a little bit of work with the fish-finder before anchoring, we will be able to find the best spots, Sometimes they are on the underwater crests, sometimes more on the reefs or even in a flat platform. There is no exact science.
And regarding to good spots, it’s always said that when you see some boats fishing squid close, it’s a good spot. WE just have to use the fish-finder to find the best spot