Squidnation was founded in 2004 after avid fisherman and owner Bill Pino witnessed the effectiveness of spreader bars in the Mid-Atlantic Tuna fishery.
Fishing on his 32 foot Incommunicado - Bill watched two of the top local charter boats limit out on yellowfins using spreader bars. At that point, Bill decided to give spreader bars a try but couldn’t find a supplier without ordering online. Bill thought that full body squids may cause a bit more commotion then the shell squids that he had seen being used. He designed certain color patterns and contacted some manufacturers of rubber fishing lures and began producing some squids for personal use.
The Ocean City season was winding down but it was time to test his experimental squid bars. Bill and his crew set out towards the Washington lumps and quickly jumped on by football sized yellowfin tuna. The next week Bill was a guest on an overnight trip charter trip on the charter boat Espadon with Captain Sylvain Cote’. On Oct 2nd at 8:00pm, Bill deployed a 12 inch squid spreader bar, complete with the newly designed squids. As he was setting it in the short rigger position it was ripped from his hands by a 186lb big eye. That was Bill’s first big eye tuna. A few days later he set out on his own boat Incommunicado and was slammed by a quadruple header of Big Eye Tuna all falling prey to his new funky colored squid bars. Word had started to spread and Bill was soon making spreader bars for all his friends and quickly followed by orders from friends of friends. Within a few weeks Bill had orders for over 100 bars and a business was born.
The Rasta Bar - as Bill would call it - became the hot item the following year and orders spread amongst the charter and private fleets from South Jersey to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We were astonished at the numbers of bars that were selling. By this time Squidnation had a selection of 5 colors and 3 sizes to choose from. Most of these colors and sizes were produced at the request of avid tuna fisherman. Squidnation became known for the company that could make special colors and sizes and produce them in a relatively quick timeframe. Listening to customer needs and requests became a cornerstone of success for SQUIDNATION.
A year later a charter captain suggested that the Squidnation Natural Squid would look good on a dredge bar. We tried it and were astounded. The Squidnation Maulers lit up electric blue and made for an impressive looking bait ball. The marlin loved it also, as well as all the other game fish in the Mid-Atlantic canyons. Pretty soon we were using it exclusively on all our marlin trips. The Squidnation Squid Dredge soon gained as many followers as doubters. The Predator Team fished the Squidnation Squid Dredge out of Ocean City for an entire season and won the private boat marlin release division of the Ocean City Marlin Club. The team amassed an impressive 103 white marlin releases during that year and fishermen started to take notice of the effectiveness of the Squidnation Dredge. Slowly the popularity made its way south, way south all the way to Costa Rica.
For more information about Squidnation, Press Inquires, Distribution requests, or if you just want to share your fish story
Call us at 888-SQUID-4U.