Last year, I went for my first eging(squid fishing in Japanese) trip with Shimano. It was to test their new Keimura Egixile squid jigs. That was a fantastic trip as we caught plenty of giant squids ranging 600gms to over a kilogram ones. Since then, I had been bugging them to go squid fishing with me again. Well, about 2 months ago I received a phone call from Shimano office asking me to organize an eging trip again
I proposed a 2 days trip - On the first day at Pulau Berhala(Nail island) and second day for boat eging in Kuala Rompin. My sole reason why it is a land and sea affair because I wanted to test the Shimano Egixile jigs to prove that it is working effectively for both shore and boat eging. It is a different approach for shore eging as compared to boat eging as this style needs to cast with light poundage line, feel the trigger of the strike and have to land the squid from an angle.
Many fishermen do not know that the Exigile squid jigs can be used to catch squid from the shore as well. For those who are interested in trying out shore eging should find a spot with clear water, preferably with some bottom structures like small rocks and seaweeds. 1-2hours before the highest tide would be the best time to hunt for squids from the shore since they moved together with the current flow. The best tide to fish for them is between 2.6m -2.9m water level. And for eging at night, the best is not to have any full moon because you probably would experience poor catches and might even catch none.
In Singapore, I have a group of regular eging buddies joining me on this trip. Therefore, I am confident that we are able to bring out the true potential of the Egixile jigs given any kind of condition.
About Exigile squid jig
Based on my experience on various brand, types of squid jig and design, I discovered that the Sephia Exigile jig could produce traces of tiny air bubbles to attract the squid’s attention. The special porous cloth on the jig body which trap air from the atmosphere also has a certain degree of transparency when submerged in the water. Revealing its internal transparent body, a lifelike feature to the real prawn.
From my knowledge about Sephia Exigile squid jig, it is known to produce excellent visibility in deep water where light is at its dimmest. As ultra-violet rays travel deeper than sunlight in dark water. The outstanding feature of Keimura material for creating a higher visibility effect is essential for targeting squids in deeper and darker water. As for shallow water, the jig works equally well with its vibrant colour and sinking action. A close examine on the Exigile squid jig also shows there is a ring made of luminous material which creates a live-like real prawn with its glow in dark eyes underwater.
For years till now, I had been using the Sephia Exigile squid jigs. So far, they did not disappoint me and I'm currently trying out the newer colors to see how they would fare. Generally, I will start using the color in the following sequences; Pink, Red, Orange, Green, White and sometimes I would use natural colors when squid activities is low.
I have done a fair bit of eging in Malaysia and its seems to me that green and white jigs are the best color to use. However, it is also interesting to note that whenever there is a feeding frenzy, the squid would feed on any colors you throw at them. The most interesting part is that I found out if the egixile is properly tuned by adding on more weight (By coiling soldiering iron, electronic fusion lead). I could attract the larger squid as it tends to be more aggressive and swim faster than the others. At least, that's what I felt during this trip...
On the first day, it took us about 90mins to reach Pulau Berhala from Kuala Rompin. Previously, I have heard much about eging from the island and even watch the eging video in ShimanoTV numerous time. The island was known to hold good numbers of squid during the season and things were looking good afterwards.
At the island where my peers and me were doing shore eging. I would add more weight to the size 3.5 Exigile jig by coiling about 5-7 turns of solidering iron to counteract with the current. With the new Sephia Xtune eging rod I was able to flip out the jig with a gentle cast. Most of the time, I would let the jigs sink at least 10-15secs before I start whipping the rod to impart action to the jig.
Usually, I would set very light drag settings on my reel for whipping the jig. That is because squid have very dedicated flesh, therefore if the drag is too tight it will tear the flesh apart whenever there is a hook set. It is also important to note that if the drag is too tight, it will move the egi out of the range too quickly thus reducing the amount of time the jig stays in the strike zone. And if the egi moves too fast, the squid might not be able to catch up for a strike.
My first few cast with a pink Sephia Egixile size 3.5 pink jig didn't show any results and I moved on further downstream. It was then I had my first strike as the jig was on its way down, promptly I set hook swiftly with the new Sephia Xtune S808 M/ FF-ST eging rod. Immediately, I felt a heavy tug and the squid began to strip line from the Sephia CI-4+ C3000 HGSDH. It really fought hard and took quite a fair bit of line out.
As I was enjoying pulling back the squid, at the same time I pulled out my Autoking gaff and lay it nicely on the ground waiting to land the squid. It eventually came back and when I saw the size of it, I knew I couldn't lift it up with the rod as I might risk losing it. Hence, I reached out for the gaff I prepared earlier and landed the squid.
Knowing that the squid activity was particularly high at the spot I was fishing at. I quickly shouted out to Eric, Kelvin and Jake who are not far from where I am standing to come over. They came over and I directed them to cast in the direction I gotten a hookup.
At 12pm, we opted to leave the island as the wind velocity build up and for safety reasons, we had to put a stop to shore eging on the island. Upon hopping up to the boat, we had our lunch before heading out to the nearby ujams(man-made Fish Attracting Device or FADs) for boat eging.