Squid worm dingle dangle

Squid is a favourite bait for most species of fish. By Dean Dickinson

The dingle dangle has become widely used along our coast, as it allows one to use bigger baits when using a circle hook. It also gives the bait a more natural appearance in the water. The float places the bait in mid-water, and the wire that attaches the bait to the hook allows the bait to move freely, giving it the appearance of a live bait fish.

I have used a clear squid skirt in the front of the bait, removing the tassels from the skirt with a pair of scissors to make the bait look more natural, with two eyes. I have used No 6 piano wire with a 1/0 adrenaline circle hook to make up the dingle dangle, and tied blue foam onto the wire to help the bait to float. You can use any colour; red will work well for this bait, mimicking a blood worm.

Because the hook is completely exposed, you can use a smaller hook than you would normally. This is an ideal bait to use when targeting kob, steenbras and baardman especially, but most fish that eat squid will take this bait. I have also landed eagle rays using this bait.

Find a nice patch of working water puffing with sand and cast the bait into it, as this is the perfect place to get a pull on this type of bait presentation. If you haven’t had a bite after a few minutes, pull the bait a few turns, moving it through the water; this often triggers a bite. This is a good bait to use with a running trace and a ball sinker, allowing the bait to move freely through the water. This bait will also work well when fishing in a river. 


Take a clear squid skirt and cut off the tassels. Thread the wire through the head and cotton a thin strip of foam onto the hook. Then cut two thin strips of squid to cotton around the foam on the dingle dangle. 

Using a chokka hammer, smash both strips of the squid, releasing the smell from the bait and tenderising it.

Make sure the strips of squid are longer than the foam, to allow for the two tail ends to hang off the bottom of the bait. These will look like a natural tail as they drift around in the current. 

Using ghost cotton or latex, cotton the two strips around the foam, leaving the tail pieces to hang off the bottom of the dingle dangle. Pull the eyes of the squid over the front of the bait to finish off the presentation, giving the bait a very lifelike appearance.



Baby squid: dynamite in small packages

There are a few different species of squid to be found along our coast, and all work as bait – some just better than others. By Dean Dickinson

I currently live in Port Elizabeth, but after finishing the army in the early ’90s, I moved to Durban for a few years. The time spent there made me realise how blessed we are to live in such fish-rich waters in the Eastern Cape.

One of the baits I was introduced to was the bay squid, a tiny squid the size of your thumb that must be the most sought-after bait in the country, especially by the club anglers in KwaZulu-Natal. Back then they sold for what I thought was a fortune – R10 each. I believe they are now around R30 each, which would work out to around R3 500 to R4 000 per kilogram, based on how little they weigh.

Nonetheless, they are worth every cent, as I have never come across such lethal bait. I only ever managed to get my hands on a few while living there, and every time I did, I caught a fish. One thing I did notice, though, was that as soon as the head of the squid was eaten, the fish wouldn’t take the rest of the bait on the hook.

It is important, when using bay squid, to cotton the head on properly, as this is the trigger to all of your bites when using the squid. I popped in to Commercial Marine recently and found these Adcan Marine baby squid, which look almost identical to bay squid. I think these should work fantastically well anywhere along our coast, but especially in KwaZulu-Natal up to the Zululand stretch, for any fish, from brown skate to Natal stumpies and giant sandys, as well as kingfish and many more species.


Start by cottoning some foam onto the shaft of your hook; then remove the skin to expose the white flesh.


Using a sharp bait knife, split the squid along the centre bone to expose the guts, and remove the stomach and head in one piece. Set aside to cotton onto the bait later. Using a chokka hammer, lightly smash the flesh to release the smell.


Split the body in two parts and cotton onto the hook one at a time, covering the foam, to form the body shape of the squid around the hook.

Place the head and guts on the back of the shaft of the hook and cotton on using Kingfisher latex cotton. Make sure the head is tied on securely.



To make this bait more lifelike make the eyes of the squid bulge  by  using  a few winds of cotton  under  and around the eye , we do this for the tiny bay squid in natal and will work well for this bait as well.