How to Catch Squid, Octopus or Sotong in Singapore
How to Catch Squid, Octopus or Sotong in Singapore?
The fishing term used by Anglers is call Eging. Eging is known as a form of squid fishing which originated in Japan which uses a traditional squid jig lure also known as a “Egi” to catch Squids on a fishing rod preferably around 8 feet light action rod with any reel size of around 1000-2500 which your comfortable with. The eging technique from Japan in the recent years has been adopted by Singaporean anglers to not only catch out local Arrow head and green eye squid but also various species of cuttlefish and octopus.
The 5 Steps to Catching Squids
Step 1 - Choosing The Right Lure for Your Squid Fishing
For squid fishing, the lure that we use is called an Egi. They comes in a variety of sizes, colours, weight and sound.
They come in various shapes and have their own unique sizing system. We find that the best size to use in Singapore is 2.5 so keep a look out for those!
Apart from sizes, egi comes in hundreds of different colours from blue and browns all the way to pinks and oranges. We generally use colours that contrast the surrounding such as red, pink and orange. Many Eging finatics tend to change lure not due to the outside colour however, to change the colour "base" of the egi. The base is what we call the material below the coloured mesh, which is generally white, gold and rainbow. As the sun is rising/lowering anglers tend to use an egi with a golden base as it is deemed as a more natural presentation and white and rainbow colours for the rest of the day.
In our local waters we tend not to use fast sinking egis as most of the areas we fish are quite shallow, however, heavier egis that sink faster can be used to hunt cephalopods in deeper areas. To make an Egi heavier, you can simply add some weight. Furthermore, fixing the weight to the Egi existing weight helps maintain the 45 degree sinking angle the squid love so much.
The egi can either be silent or have a rattle sounds, anglers generally like to use the egi that have a rattling sounds however, they can be quite costly to purchase. The reasoning behind using a rattling egi is to call in squid that are hunting from a distance they may not be able to see the egi from.
While no egi can capture all criteria, anglers sometimes have up to 20 different ones on their fishing trip.
An affordably egi that does cover most criteria would be the Everest Egi Squid Jig. Everest Egi comes in 3 different colours (Red, Pink & Orange), Size 2.5 (ideal for SG waters) and has a rattling sound. Another good Egi is the Yamashita Egi.
Step 2 - Choosing The Right Egi Rod & LineTo catch Squid, it is recommended to use a dedicated Egi Rod. These Egi Rods are parabolic in action but quite stiff as they are designed to work the jigs back in a very agressive manner. The action of the Egi rod is very specific. It's unlike a soft plastic rod which tends to fast or extra fast action. That is also why the Egi Rods are normally 6 to 8 ft tall.
Step 3 - Best Time To Catch Squids
Squid feed at night and are attracted to light, so it's easiest to catch them after dark. The best time to catch them is also during high tide. They tend to feed just after dark, and often in the middle of the night. Many anglers will also bring portable high-powered lamps to light up the water as squid are attracted to bright lights. Squid are also attracted to glow sticks. At night simply attach a chemical light to the line about 35 to 40 cm in front of the Egi. Squid find these bright-coloured glow sticks irresistible and waste little time homing in for a closer look.
Step 4 - Finding The Correct Eging Spots
Best Five Eging Spots in Singapore;
2. St. John
3. Kusu Island
4. Labrador Jetty
5. Marina South Pier
6. Bedok Jetty (My Fav Spot)
Apart from these five location, you also need to look out for selected spots preferred by squids. These spots includes sea grass beds, places with lots of seaweeds (kelp beds). Squids loves the seaweed as it provides with many small fishes (which is their food) and a place to spawn.
You can also find them around reef, even in open water over a sandy bottom and man made structures such as navigation poles or jetties.
Step 5 - Luring Techniques To Catch Squid
There are 3 ways to use your Egi.
1. Constant Retrieval
This method is easy and simple to use. Its best if you are fishing along shores, near the surface where the water is not too deep. Simply cast Your Egi, wait for the egi to sink to the required dept and slowly retrieve it in a constant speed. And always be on lookout for squids who will follow your egi.
2. Retrieve Egi, Pause & Retrieval
Same as constant retrieval except that you need to retrieve and pause. As you pause, this will force the egi to move up and down in a vertical zigzag motion. This method can be used in slightly deeper water but becareful not to let the egi touch the bottom as it may get snagged.
3. Deep Luring
Deep Luring is ideal for deeper waters such as jetty and offshore. It is more fun and tend to get better catches. You need to add additional weight to the egi line to get it to sink to the bottom of the sea especially. The weight can be tied between 30 to 40cm from the egi. Once you are done, slowly drop the weight to the water and it it sink to the bottom. once the weight is at the bottom of the sea, you can start jigging up and down. Start from the bottom to mid water level. Again becareful not to get snagged.
Once you have mastered the 5 steps above, you can expect to catch many squids in Singapore. Current these are the five common squid species caught by anglers;
1. Green-Eye Squid - Pulau Hantu
2. Arrowhead Squid - Bedok Jetty
3. Cuttlefish - Bedok Jetty
4. Seagrass Octopus - Bedok Jetty.