MARANG, TERENGGANU – 23 APR 2016
Squid jigging, or Eging, is an annual attractions that Terengganu is famous for. The city of Marang, Terengganu is so famous with their squid, that they have made squid monument that represent the attractions. Squid jigging season starts by middle of April until late June. This season somehow turns Terengganu into some kind of fest, which attracts from the old and young, seasoned angler to the amateur crowds, and from the rich to the poor. They’ll come and try at least once in their lifetime to catch their own squids.
Squid jigging is considered as a family outing among local, especially among east coast crowd. With a mere line and squid jig and some weight, you are up and ready to catch your very own fresh squid. Usually there will be a lot boat out at sea during squid season, and the light illuminate the darkness of the South China Sea will lure squid closer to the surface makes it easier for us to catch’em. Literally a fiesta of light out at sea!
Squid jigging can only be done at night, thus we departed for Marang’s fisherman’s port at 5pm on Friday. Our gears and food supplies for the night were packed and brought together with us. Most of the boat in Marang are traditional fishing boat, and during squid season they earn extra income by taking people out for squid jigging. I wish the were strapped with twin 100hp engine, the slow moving fishinng boat took us almost 2 hours to arrive to the fishing spot where our boat anchored. We straightaway unload our jigs into the waters.
There are several type of squid jig that we can use. Here are examples of setup commonly used in Marang’s waters: Dead body jig, or candat mayat as commonly called by locals, shrimp jig (candat udang), twist jig and bait jig (candat umpan).
Cikgu Zamri made the first score by landing a nice 1 foot long specimen. Soon after that, one by one landed, and we easily achieve our first 3kg total squids caught. After dawn, about 9pm, things got silent a bit. We then starts feeling hungry, and the boatman offered to make us some dinner. Squid jigging is quite different than “jigging” with metal bait. Squid jigging only requires up and down movement from the sea floor where the squid congregate. So if you are in the right spot, we can land the squid easily.
Hj Rosdeen was our first casualty that night. He had to drive all the way from Bangi to Terengganu the night before. Insufficient sleep has taken a toll on him when his tolerance is being lowered and cause him to get seasick. He then straightaway land his head on the deck and sleep until morning. I guess that is the only challenges when you go out sea fishing at night. It is far more easier to get sea sick as our brain struggle to balance our self.
Things were very slow that night where we only managed to catch about 7kg of squids until 11pm. We then changed our jigging spot to a place nearer to Pulau Kapas, and anchored there until next morning. Our jigging activity were slow at first. Based on my previous experience, squids start to get active again early morning. Therefore I decided to land my head first and get some sleep. Hj Mus, Cikgu Zamri, Cikgu Zul however keep on trying their luck. When I woke up around 3am, they already caught up to 12kg of squids.
Around 3 am, we starts to see many squids swimming around the boat. I decided to change my setup, to an Ultralight. I paired up my Shimano Biomaster C2000s with Sabpolo Finesse Trickster rod, and using 6cm yamashita squid jig. This time, my setup is for topwater game. Few times casting, I manage to land one fine specimen, more than 1 foot long squids. The fight was awesome, non like I will ever felt if I’m using my light set.
From 3am until 7 am, we managed to catch more than 12kg of squids. All the action was done mainly topwater using shrimp jigs, and bait jig. When its dawn and the sun starts to rise, its time for us to head to land. Overall, it was a good experience and an introduction to some of us about the squid jigging. In the end, we managed to haul in almost 20kg of squids. Even though it might not seem much catch among the 8 of us, it is enough for us to have a taste of Marang fresh squid. Thank you.