How to Catch Octopus

  • Reading time:12 mins read
  • Post category:Fishing Tips / How To
  • Post last modified:June 24, 2022

Captured Octopus

It is very important to know! The octopus is a nocturnal predator. It can swim fast and move along the bottom. A master of camouflage. Continues to move and use its suction cups for another 30 minutes after its internal organs are ripped out. Has intelligence.

How To Catch Octopus – Best Ways To Catch Octopus

Earlier we have already introduced you to catching squid. In this article, we’ll tackle larger and heavier prey and talk about catching an octopus.

All over America, you can find a lot of these delicious and graceful shellfish, and not taking advantage of the opportunity to catch at least a couple of them is a big mistake.

After reading this article to the end, you will understand that catching an octopus is not a very difficult activity and you will learn how to quickly and easily catch an octopus in various ways.

Easiest Ways To Catch an Octopus

Although octopuses come in many different species, there are many ways you can catch them regardless of the species. We have listed many of them below.

Rod With Net End

A very popular way to catch an octopus is with a rod, at the end of which there is a net with a fish inside. The technique is as simple as the day – you simply insert the rod into dark and protected corners where the octopus can hide, it clings to the net without shelter, and you simply drag the octopus to the surface.

If you are going to catch a lot of octopuses, then you can take some special net cages and line them up. Their peculiarity is that the octopus will see the fish and climb into the cage from above, but will no longer be able to climb back out. Easy prey for you. You can lift and leave these cages all day long and have a very good catch by the end of the day.

Catching Octopus With Pots or Traps

Catching Octopus With Pot

One of the oldest and most traditional ways to catch an octopus. Nevertheless, it is very effective and works to this day.

First of all, you need to decide on the type of pots and choose the one you need. Depending on the type and size of the octopus, you will need different pots. You can check it online or call your local fishing store to find out what size pot you need depending on which octopus species you are. Dozens of different pots are now available in stores, ranging from classic earthenware to modern traps.

After choosing and purchasing the pots, you need to tie them with a rope. Be sure to use a strong knot to avoid losing the pots. If you are using multiple pots, be sure to tie them together with a rope a few yards apart to cover a larger area at the bottom. If you don’t have a lot of experience fishing with pots, tie them up before getting on the boat, because it will be much more difficult to do this on the waves.

The next step will be to get the boat to the water and install the pots. Choose a location where there is plenty of fish and where the squid can lurk to hunt them. A fish finder can help you a lot with this. Coral reefs and rock are excellent pitcher locations.

Then, throw the pots into the water, spreading them out so that they are in the same place, or inline if you have knitted them. Make sure afloat is tied to your line so you can easily find your traps when you decide to retrieve them.

Then you just have to wait for the octopus to climb into the pot. It is difficult to determine when the pot is ready to be removed, so we advise you to wait a long time before doing this. It can take a couple of hours or a whole week, so it’s up to you how careful to be in this moment.

When lifting the pots, make sure that the octopus does not exceed the size and weight allowed in the area. Also, remember that you are catching a live octopus and you need to prepare storage space before you take out the pot. When you raise the pots to the surface, you need to be as careful and quick as possible, as octopuses are very quick to leave and can easily escape.

I caught 3 monster OCTOPUS with crab pots!

Spears or Speargun

Here, as with the pots. First, you need to decide which spears or speargun you want to use for the octopus. Different types of spears and spearguns are used in different regions and for different octopuses. How to choose a spear gun for hunting, you can read our post.

Then you need to choose a dive site. The depth to which the octopus descends is often shallow, so both beginners and experienced divers can catch it with the help of spearfishing. From the places, it is better to choose a reef or a rocky bottom, where octopuses like to arrange a den for themselves. Drop anchor on the boat and dive. But before that, carefully study the legislation of your state or region, as some of them are very protective of their inland waters.

Catching Octopus With Speargun

Then you need to find the octopus. Look at the bottom to see if there are broken crab or cancerous shells or shellfish body parts. Octopuses often like to dwell in snags and crevices, so be doubly careful when you find such places.

Before using the spear, it is better to lure the octopus out of your hiding place. Poke around the cover with the spear until the octopus starts grabbing the spear or running away. Once the octopus is within your reach, thrust a spear into it or fire a spear gun. Aim in the area between the eyes so as not to make the animal suffer and kill it quickly. Do not forget that you can always miss, so carry a knife on your belt so that you can always kill the octopus if you lose your arrow or spear. We also recommend that you carry a hook with you so that you can tear off the octopus since after the shot the octopus spreads its limbs and sticks to them.

Amazing Hunting Giant Octopus Underwater!

Spoon or Jig

This method is not very common for catching an octopus, as it is quite difficult and causes much more problems than other methods. But if you have a strong line and rod, this is doable.

The brighter the color of your jig or spoon, the more likely the octopus will grab it. We recommend using red, orange, or yellow. As soon as you feel a jerk, do not immediately pull the bait to the surface. Most likely, the octopus is just holding on to the line but has not yet had time to fix itself well. Play with bait before pulling out the octopus.

Octopus Jig Bait

But catching an octopus is only half the trouble. You also need to pull it to the surface, which is very difficult, since the octopus often breaks off and falls back into the water. As soon as you get it out of the water, get some kind of net ready, because octopuses will very easily escape from the boat.

How to Catch an Octopus with a Fork

Many fishermen catch octopus with a regular fork. The essence of this method is that you bend the teeth on the fork so that it looks like a small, thick hook. Then you tie your fork to a strong line and stick the light-colored cloth or bag 1 to 2 inches above the fork. So that the design looks like a small octopus or squid. A fishing rod is not necessary here, many fishermen cast and pull the line with their hands. Some fishermen also fork pieces of chicken or crab meat onto a fork.

After that, you need to lower your fork bait to the bottom in a secluded place where the squid can hide. Then the process is as simple as possible – you just wait for the squid to grab your bait and pull the line with the prey.

How to Catch an OCTOPUS With a Fork – How to Fish From the Shore With a Fork

Diving with a Gaff

Many divers use gaffs instead of spears or spear guns. A gaff is a long pole with a thick hook at the end. Divers insert this rod into the secluded places where the octopus is hiding and pull it out of the shelter. You can attach chicken or crab meat to the end of the hook.

How To Catch Octopus With Chicken

Chicken legs are also used to catch octopuses. Their essence is that you attach hooks to a small bar or rod, wrapping them with a rope, and then attach the chicken legs with the same rope. Then this rope or line is lowered to the bottom and the octopus very willingly and quickly grabs your device with the bait. This is a very cheap but effective way to fish for octopus.

How to Catch Octopus with Chicken Legs

How To Catch Octopus With Large Hooks

This method, like the previous one, will require almost nothing from you. All you need to do is find a large hook and a pair of ropes. Its essence is that you put the tentacles of a squid, an octopus, or just a few ropes on a large hook. Then you attach this hook to a sturdy line or rope and attach it to a long pole. Then, at low tide, bustle a hook into crevices, burrows, under rocks or stones. The octopus will grab your bait with almost 100% probability and you can easily get it to the surface.

Lures & Bait For Catching Octopus

One of the favorite treats of octopus is crab meat. If you are not going to use live fish or other octopus, then crab meat is a great bait. The only drawback of this bait is the lack of bright and shimmery colors that could attract an octopus-like fish. But if you can get the bait close enough to the octopus’s lair, you can be sure that it will grab your bait very quickly.

Any live bait is also a great choice. Octopuses are very fond of eating smaller fish and live bait will give you more advantages over other anglers. The good thing about live bait is that it moves just like a regular fish and attracts the attention of an octopus. You do not need to spend as much energy on the game as you spend with jigs or spoons.

If you are using artificial bait, try brightly-colored baits that can reflect the sun’s color. The shiny and vibrant lures are great for capturing the attention of any octopus you come across.

Where Can You Find An Octopus?

The octopus will not hide in rivers, ponds, and lakes, since the octopus is a marine species and is found only in the seas and oceans. Octopuses often like to hide in low tide areas, chasing crabs or fish that are trapped by the tide. Also, if you find a large cluster of mussels, then most likely an octopus will hunt nearby, as they are very fond of mussels. At low tide, octopuses can be easily found on the rocks, and at high tide, in dark places.

Octopuses are very fond of shallow water, as there is a lot of food and it is simply easier for them to find food there. In fact, the octopus climbs into deep regions only when the raging water does not allow it to remain on the rocks or near the coast. Therefore, on days with high and violent waves, you are unlikely to find octopuses in your favorite places. During the breeding season, you can find rocks filled with whole clusters of octopuses.

There are two very good spots that attract the attention of octopuses. The first is the border of stones with sand since their octopuses look for crustaceans, mollusks, cuttlefish, etc. The second is rocky areas with a lot of seafood like mussels and shells. In remote and little-known areas, you can find dozens, if not hundreds, of octopuses. Especially if there is a lot of food for them.

Summing Up

We hope that our guide was useful to you and now every octopus will know what you should be wary of. Yes, catching it is not an easy task, but thanks to the many available methods, you can try each one and choose the most convenient and suitable one for you. Have a nice fishing!

Sergio Smirnoff
Sergio Smirnoff
Professional fisherman with 40+ years of experience.
Fishing and the ocean is a passion of my life. I am passionate about all kinds of sea fishing: fishing from the shore (spinning, float, baitcasting), from a boat, and spearfishing day and night.

I live in Tenerife (Canary Islands) for the last 10+ years and share my daily fishing experiences on my website. Many years of personal experience as a fisherman and the vast experience of my friends allow me to write professionally on any fishing topics (from choosing a flashlight and equipment to deep-sea fishing).

All of my advice is based on practical real-world experience and will be useful to both novice anglers and professionals. Read more about the author.

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About the author: Each article is verified by the fishing expert Sergio Smirnoff. The articles are written by professional and amateur fishermen with 20+ years of fishing experience.

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Owen Phillips
Owen Phillips
7 months ago

Your ways of catching octopuses are understandable. I have caught octopus more than once from a boat on a fishing hook, or from the shore on a soft wobbler and often without a telescopic net, I have lost my prey. The octopus would perform last-minute actions (before being pulled completely out of the water) that allowed it to break free and escape. He is adept at clinging and resisting. If it weighs more than 1 kg, you need a net to get it out. Many fishermen collect small octopus at low tide in shallow water. This is barbaric. Catch only large specimens. Octopus is easy to cook and delicious to eat (pure protein).

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