Ben O'Brien Profile

Ben O’Brien

Fishing Journalist Sponsored Angler

Ben is a Sydney based sponsored angler. A trained Marine Biologist, Ben focuses his fishing on the many species around the greater Sydney area, with occasional forays elsewhere. Ben has written multiple magazine articles, including how-to articles on Sydney squid fishing.

Ben’s Top Tips For Sydney Calamari

  • Squid have large and well evolved eyes and are exceptional visual hunters. But they are also highly intelligent and on the menu for lots of predatory fish, making them fast to learn not to take a jig. This makes them quite an interesting target.
  • Calamari fishing is about finding the right structure. Use Google Earth to find kelp grounds, which often extend out 20-30 metres from the rocks along the shoreline.
  • Kelp is a key squid holding structure, particularly when it’s adjacent to broken reef, weed beds and sand patches. Jetties are also great areas to try, especially under lights at night. Arrow squid are often in more open water, but calamari are structure oriented.
  • A common mistake is to put your boat too close to the structure. Start fishing well out from the likely holding places and then work your way closer as you fire casts further into the structure.
  • A little bit of rain in Sydney catchments usually causes a period of tough fishing for squid in the harbour and it’s usually better to head to areas outside the harbour.
  • On bright, sunny days Ben uses more natural pilchard or whiting coloured squid jigs, whilst on cloudy overcast days he switches to a brighter coloured squid jig. In really low light conditions he’ll switch to jiogs that contain rattles, such as a Yamashita Live.
  • If the wind is up Ben suggests switching to a heavier jig to keep the lure near the bottom, but the squidding can be great on both windy and glassed out days.
  • Ben finds that a full moon usually doesn’t fish all that well and prefers to fish during the morning on the darker moon phases. A run in tide tends to congregate more tightly and are easier to target.
  • Land based calamari squid fishing is possible around Sydney. Try any of the head;ands and anywhere else ou can get a squid jig near kelp, as well as piers, wharves and jetties.

Ben’s Calamrai Fishing Tackle

  • Ben likes his 7 ft Samaki 2-5kg spin rod with a 2000 size Shimano reel loaded with 10lb braid and a 2m fluorocarbon leader,

Ben’s Recommended Calamari Jigs

  • It’s important to carry a range of squid jigs in various sizes, colours and sink rates. Around Sydney a size 2.5 jig is a good all-round size and will take squid of all sizes.
  • The Yamashita Live jigs in rainbow, pilchard and whiting colours are very good. Usually Ben prefers sizes 2.5 or 3 jigs and likes to work the lure around 40-50cm above the kelp.
  • Working the lure with small double hops ensures it doesn’t rise too far above the kelp to where the squid won;t rise to take it. It’s important to allow the lure to sink from time to time, the vast majority of the squid take the lure while it’s on the freefall.
  • Drifting along with a rainbow coloured 3 or 3.5 size jig simply floating along behind the boat can give you an extra opportunity to pick up squid while your casting jigs on a second rod.

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Ben’s Sponsors

EJ Todd supports Bens fishing endeavours and are the importers of a range of high quality brands, including the Yamashita Squid Jigs that he uses exclusively for targeting calamari.

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