Drew Lamason has imported frozen squid from Argentina to keep up with demand. Picture: BRENDAN RADKE
Argentinian illex squid for tuna bait or not...?
Saturday, December 23, 2017, 03:50 (GMT + 9)
TONNES of squid are being shipped to Cairns to cope with a region-wide shortage as local fishermen snap up the popular bait before the festive season ends.
Great Barrier Reef Tuna operations manager Drew Lamason said squid was more popular as bait than it was for cooking.
“We sell Argentinian squid that we use on our trawlers and we also sell that to the public,” he said.
“For deepwater fishing you use squid because it stays on the hook much better than pilchards.”
The Christmas holidays and good boating conditions have seen a shortage of squid used for bait in Far North Queensland. Shari Stevens and her father Gary Stevens bought a bag of frozen squid for bait before heading offshore to fish. Picture: BRENDAN RADKE.
He said this year’s excellent weather during the Christmas period had every keen fisherman ready to get out on the water.
“People flood through the doors when there’s good weather, people buy squid non-stop in huge bags,” he said. “If it’s zero knots out there it goes crazy. The next two days will be busy with people getting their bait.”
Tweed Bait North Queensland manager Mathew Robinson said four tonnes of squid were shipped into Cairns yesterday to satisfy demand.
“It doesn’t matter how much squid we put out in Cairns, you’ll still run out when you’ve got every person in the Far North heading out on the water,” he said.
“Cairns sells about four tonnes of squid on a weekend with good weather.”
He said good-quality bait squid could be cooked up for the table if it wasn’t all used.
“Most countries use this kind of squid for eating,” he said.
By Danaella Wivell, The Cairns Post