IT’S time for anglers to hit the road and head for Terengganu, in the east coast, to jig for squids.
In the past few weeks, keen anglers who returned from such trips reported that they had a bountiful catch with the squids “biting” non-stop.
Candat sotong or squid jigging is an annual affair in the east coast. From now until the middle of July, there will be plenty of sotong jarum to catch off its coast.
During this season, thousands of female sotong jarum would mate and lay as many as 70,000 eggs on the sandy and rocky seabed.
While the eggs take eight weeks to hatch, the female squid would die as soon as they lay the eggs.
Candat sotong is so popular that the sea off Terengganu would look like a big floating pasar malam, where fishing boats equipped with floodlights would swarm the sea to carry out the activity.
In fact, this season would be the busiest time for many of the local fishermen to take anglers out to sea.
The fishermen are said to be making more money, allowing their boats to be rented out instead of going out to the sea to fish.
While sotong jarum species are abundant during these outings, two other species – sotong torak and sotong mabang – can also be found.
The best time or peak season to jig for these squids is from mid April to end of June.
So, if you are planning for such an outing, the right timing would be during full moon and when the tide is high. Squid jigging is normally carried out at night.
Squid jigging is a fun activity for anglers and non-anglers. It does not really require a skill for anyone to take part.
The equipment used is also inexpensive. Instead of a rod, one can opt for the handline, which can be obtained for less than RM20 at the tackle shop. A 100m line with a minimum 20lb line is needed for this activity.
For those using the rod-and-reel, a light poundage line and a medium-light action rod are recommended. No baits are required when catching these squids. Instead, lures are needed.
While there are many squid lures to choose from in the market, the best are the “ultraman” or “redhead” used by the local fishermen.
These local lures, which come in a pack of five pieces, can be obtained from the local tackle shops. Anglers who have used them swear by their effectiveness.
Based on experience, anglers should get these red-and-white cloth-covered lures as part of their preparation before they hit the road instead of looking for them at the tackle shops in the east coast, where they may be sold out.
When chartering a boat, make sure there is a spotlight onboard. The powerful light is shone into the water to lure the squids nearer to the boat for anglers to catch them.
The Apollo or the paternoster rig style is recommended if more than one “ultraman” lure is used.
Depending on the state of the current, a sinker is needed to bring the jigs down to the bottom of the sea.
If the weather is not favourable and the sea is choppy and rough, my suggestion is to abandon the trip. Don’t get seasick or risk life to anchor in the middle of the sea, as such conditions can be dangerous to small fishing boats.
Good luck and happy fishing!
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