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Squid & Cuttlefish

eging for squid & cuttlefish

A decent sized cuttlefish minus the bright colors.
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Eging The Squid & Cuttlefish

The cuttlefish is a cephalopod mollusk gray or greenish, with brown stripes more pronounced during breeding season, which can reach a maximum size of 35 cm. The body has the shape of a flattened oval, on sides which there are two caudally separated fins. These fins are shaken to move around in the environment. The head, which protrudes from the mantle, has a pair of beak for mouth, similar to the beak of a parrot. This beak is able to pierce the exoskeleton of crustaceans and tear flesh of preys. Around the beak, there are four pairs of short tentacles lined with suckers, and two retractable prehensile tentacles, with only the suction cups at the end, which are used for defense and to catch prey. The eyes are protruding, with a large pupil in the shape of "W" and have evolved to be as efficient as those of vertebrates.

Inside the body there is an internal structure commonly known as "cuttlebone", and a glandular pouch containing a liquid rich in melanin, commonly known as ink (sepia). This ink is released when the cuttlefish is in a dangerous situation or feel threatened, forming a cloud that hides it from view of the enemy. Cuttlefish, like most advanced cephalopods, are animals with considerable camouflage capability. On the back are special cells called chromatophores, not only enable color changes depending on the seabed where they are but also for emotional purposes, predatory or defensive.


The color difference between live (more pronounced brown stripes) & dead specimen.
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Habitat

The squid lives in muddy or sandy bottoms with debris from the coast up to 100 meters deep, posidonia beds and sometimes in rocky areas. They are carnivorous and predatory, very active especially at night. Mainly feed on small fish, crabs, shrimp, aquatic worms, cephalopods (including other squid and cuttlefish), and other shellfish. It captures prey quickly by using its two longer tentacles.


They can be caught during the day even though active at night.
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Reproduction

Like all cephalopods, the squid and cuttlefish has separate sexes and being semelparous, they reproduce only once in a lifetime. Several studies have shown that in the Adriatic Sea, there are two distinct populations of cuttlefish, which have different periods of reproduction; a population reproduces in the spring and the other during fall.

As for the squid, it migrates closer to the coast to mate. To attract the female, the male's body lines will appear bright red. And to note a particular behavior observed several times: if it is rejected or removed by other dominant males, it tends to take color of a female. By pretending to be a female, it approaches the true female (without arousing suspicion of other males) for fertilization.The male produces about 1,400 spermatophores (bags containing sperm) that are introduced into the body of the female after an attractive dance of courtship. Females produce large black eggs with a diameter of 7mm to 9mm (150 to 4,000), like clusters of grapes, which, once fertilized are laid attached to various substrates in coastal waters. Hatching takes place after a period of one to three months, and small squid newborn, 7mm to 8mm long, are pelagic and already able to hunt independently.


A decent haul from a night session.
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Equipment

Squid fishing has changed considerably over the years. Just watch a video of squid fishing in the early 90s to realize how technological progress is full of innovation. Before we were using nylon monofilament spooled on cork boards for fishing from the boat. Nowadays, we are all inshore fishing, with carbon fibre rod and reel. Eging equipment closely follow fishing equipment's mania of "made in Japan". Made in Japan rods ranging from 7 to 8.3 feet (2.10m - 2.50m) with stiff actions at the base, which gradually wear squid down with a sensitive tip. These rods also allow you to feel the most timid cephalopods during jig retrieval.

However, squid fishing is not anchored to the use of expensive rods. Even normal spinning rods of 2.10m can fulfil this passion! Lighter action elegantly manipulates the squid jig and allow large catches. Nylon 0.20mm to 0.25mm will work well, fluorocarbon if we fish in clear water and in the early hours of the day. Another option is to use thin PE braid with a 60cm fluorocarbon leader.


The right choice of tackle ensures success day or night!
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Eging Passion

Commonly called "squid jig", the egi differ in size, weight and speed of sinking. Sizes are usually from 2 / 2.5 / 3 / 3.5 and 4 (attention, size do not represent weight!!!). A #2 egi is about 6cm in length (2x3 cm), a #3 egi is about 9cm (3x3 cm) and so on. The best-selling size is #3 which can weigh from 15g to 25g. And when fishing in high pressured venues, go for #2.5 or #2.

On the boxes of good quality egi, it is possible to see instructions regarding depth usage (deep or shallow) . Usually if the weight is large and has no holes then it is for bottom fishing; conversely, if the weight is pierced, they tend to sink less and is purely for surface fishing. My experience tells me always go for the squid on the bottom. The choice of color EGI is very important and must be done with great care, according to water conditions and what our cephalopods prefer.


A small squid on a sinking egi. Its weight is unpierced.
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