Wednesday, April 30, 2014

All about Eging and a Simple Eging Guide

Eging has always been a favourite past time of mine albeit the lack of spot these days. Back then, eging had not received that much attention yet. I've been scrolling through my blog and rewritten some of the eging experiences that I have shared.

Before you read this simple guide, check out the below links first!

Eging Tackle Writeup by Taufik
Difference between Male and Female reef squids!
Eging Techniques - Hand Placements by Taufik
The Original Eging Techniques post in 2009!

Introduction

Eging is simply another word that the Japanese use for Squid Fishing. Hence, it is no surprise that the squid jig lures that are used in Eging are known as Egi. Eging is done by casting out an Egi and retrieving it in such a way that the squid is fooled into grabbing hold of it. The squid probably thinks it's a prawn, fish or another squid!


Eging is a fun hobby and can be done day or night!
Squid Fishing in Singapore has always been done using the traditional method of scooping squid by using light from an oil lamp to attract them to the surface. The squid that are caught here are often arrowhead squid or known locally as “sotong”. This is a common practice when fishing for snapper/ang cho in Southern Islands and still is popular today!

The past few years of JDM and Japanese tackle exposure have seen a good number of people in Singapore take up Eging from our shorelines and jetties. This is mainly due to the availability of Eging products brought in from Japan by more niche and specialized tackle shops.

If you have always wondered what some fisherman with long rods were doing when they were casting out a “prawn like” thing and then whipping their rod up and down, here’s the article for you!

Type of Squids

Arrowheads do take jigs too!

Giant Cuttlefish aka baktao loves jigs too!
There are many species of squids all over the world but here in Singapore you will find that in general, there are only three species of squid that will take your Egi. There is the commonly found Green Eyed Reef Squid (Che Bak), Arrowhead Squid (Jiam Tao Sotong) and Baktao (Cuttlefish). Usually we are targeting the Green Eyed Reef Squid here as it is the most common of the three.

Differentiate Between a Female and Male Squid



Eging Tackle


I guess most of you guys would still be wondering why Eging rods are so long and you’ll be wondering “Do I really need such a long rod?”
It really depends on personal preference and the terrain in which the individual operates in. An Eging rod is designed to provide extra lift, extra sensitivity and the height of the rod makes it possible to lift the squid jig out of tricky situations i.e rocky terrain. The Egi rod guides also prevent line wrapping and wind knots. Now the question is will you bring such a rod to an enclosed area like a boat to do some Eging?

Therefore, a light rod around 6 feet with a small reel and braided line will suffice for common Eging application.

Choosing the right squid jig will be very important. There are many squid jigs in the market from the very expensive Yamashita to the very cheap Daiso. For a squid jig to be good, it MUST sink nose first into the water and stay in an upright position. This will let it have some darting action so you can work the jig. Squid jigs that fall to the side when sinking or on the seabed are a complete disaster and a result of poor manufacturing.

Where to Do Eging?


Eging places must have lots of surrounding seaweed, coral and baitfish as squids love such places. They use the seaweed as coral and to spawn while baitfish provides an ample source of food for them. It is no surprise that squids are normally attracted to light because the light attracts the baitfish!

One of my favourite places. KTM resort!

It is unlikely to find squids near estuaries or sandy beaches with no snaggy terrain. However, in the case of arrowhead squid, they can be found anywhere in the deep blue sea as they are free ranging. Use a light source to draw them near to the boat!
 
Reefs with rocky outcrops are a good hangout for squids!

There are a number of places in Singapore to do Eging like...
  1. Labrador Park
  2. Changi Boardwalk
  3. Punggol End Jetty
  4. Bedok jetty!
  5. KTM Resort (Batam)

How Do I Hook A Squid?




To get a squid, one must let the squid chase the jig and finally grab hold of it with its tentacles. The second part is to set the hook into the squid. Sometimes, the squid auto strikes itself when it moves backwards but it is always best to set the squid.

This is probably one of the most important areas of Eging as a poor hook up or no hook up will keep you frustrated! In fact, I myself had always bungled this part when I first started Eging. This was because instead of striking when the squid takes the jig, I just reel it in to later see the squid fall off the hook!

In most cases during stroking (we’ll come to stroking later), the squid will take the jig on the pause and when this happens, your next stroke will automatically set the hooks into the squid. It will be fun if you can feel the squid taking the jig on the pause and then prepare yourself. If the squid takes at the end of the stroke, what one can do is quickly lower the rod, reel in slack line and do another stroke immediately. That will get the squid on the hooks.


In slow crank, it will be trickier as one must feel the squid run off with the jig before striking. Reel in slack line and strike using the stroke. The tricky part is that some squids tap the jig so lightly that you will not even know that it’s a take! Newbies like me faced this problem last time as during slow crank, we just felt a "heavy" thing at the end of our lines and we reeled it in. We thought by doing this we can get the squid!

The last situation in which you can get a squid is when you spot a squid hovering on the water. Casting at it will definitely scare it away so the best method is to cast near it and then work your jig. Wait for it to wrap its tentacles around the jig and strike! The strike is just a flick of the wrist and is similar to striking a prawn

Be sure to try all methods as all of them cover different depths, areas and squid behaviour!

Eging Techniques

There are some techniques that are commonly used by the pros and will get your squid. Using a combination of these methods can often prove very deadly!

Slow Crank

 
The slow crank method is what the Japanese call "zuru-biki". It is basically casting the jig out and slow cranking the squid jig on the bottom of the seabed. The jig is slow cranked until the squid takes it and you can set the hooks in. It is an effective method for some and it is good if you want a slower pace of fishing. However, it is highly unadvisable to use slow crank on a rocky or snaggy terrain as you will lose your jigs to the snags.

Vertical Jigging

Another common method is Vertical Jigging. The most common application of this method is boat jigging or pier/jetty. This is because the squid might be just below you beside the jetty pillars or even below the boat! In this method, one lets the squid jig sink to the bottom and slowly jigs it up. When the squid takes, one will note the depth and later on concentrate on that depth. Sometimes, the squid might be on the surface of the water!

Stroking

 

Stroking is one of the most fundamental and important area of Eging. It can be said to be the heart and soul of Eging. The Japanese call this method "Syakluri". It is the method of activating an Egi by the upwards motion of a rod from a set resting position with the rod pointing down slope towards the water. Using varying amounts of stroking, we get the Egi to dance and attract squids.

Then we let the Egi sink by giving some slack line or we can let it have a curved fall by reeling in slack line. Many people disregard this area but it is important because you can cover different depths of the area which will result in better chances as squid operate at different depths. It is also possible for you to work the jigs in a snaggy area as it is less likely to snag. By studying the action and sinking rate of your squid jig, one can work wonders with the jig and hit the correct depth where the squid are residing.
Eging at kelongs with buddy (s)... priceless!

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