How to tie squid for striped bass and bluefish

When the rips start to dance and the squid start to fly, I often mark the beginning of summer. Striped bass flock to these bits and shoals to feed on the sand and squid buffet all summer long, but those few weeks in June and July can be really off.

When looking for a fly to target these ripped Stripers, profile and durability are at the top of my list. Rips can be chaotic, so baits need something they can register quickly as food, and 20-30 day old fish have a tendency to rip flies, so both of these factors are key. Not only does the Squid Gurgler thing have a great profile and can last bite after bite, but it is definitely fun to fish. Bass come out and crush this fly on the surface as it drags, so what’s not to love? Here’s a step-by-step guide to tying this fly, so sit down in your vise and start dancing!

  1. Start with a large saltwater hook. I like to use a hook that is at least 1/0 and up to 4/0 or 6/0

2. Tie in a bucket bunch at the bend of the hook shaft as the base of the tail.

3. Attach 3 long saddle clips around the tail as tentacles and then two feather bases (the fluffy part only) on either side of the hook shaft.

4. Attach to the foam gurgle body (a long rectangle with at least 1.5 hook arms long and just under a wide gap), another piece of clipper or schlappen, and then the synthetic rabbit zonker tape.

5. Palmer the rabbit tape and then the forward snap into the eye of the hook and tie off. Then pull the foam forward and tie to finish the body of the boulder.

6. Cut the foam to the desired length. Don’t be afraid to leave a little extra because you can always take out more.

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