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Japanese squidding experts show how it’s done

Japanese squidding techniques have gained popularity in recent years thanks to guys like Yasushi Kawahara and his sidekick Taro Kitamura from tackle company Yamashita. They were in Sydney recently on official business, one of about five trips a year to Australia, representing Yamashita, and visiting Australian distributor EJ Todd. Both took time out to share a few squidding techniques on our home waters around Sydney Harbour.

So what do Japanese squidders do so differently? It’s all in the wrist! After casting the 8-foot specialist squid rod, Yasushi lets the jig sink to the kelp bed below. The he’ll give the jig a few quick flicks upward – even more aggressive and faster than a flattie plastic retrieve. The jig darts around and is again dropped to the kelp bed while winding up the slack. He repeats this slow yet erratic retrieve until a squid latches itself to the jig. Which in Yasushi’s case, was all the time.

Squidding in Japan is serious business. Making the perfect squid jig (egi) is an art form and then there’s the specialist squidding rods, reels, squid gaffs, devices to dispatch squid, and probably a whole host of other squidding equipment – most of which is yet to hit Australian tackle shops. No doubt squidding in this country will take off and become more than just another way of catching bait. After all they’re the tastiest creature in the sea, in my opinion.

See attached video of Bryan Todd demonstrating Yasushi’s very effective squid retrieve which accounted for a number of squid and cuttlefish. These in turn were turned into bait, with the local kingies taking a distinct liking to them! Keep an eye out for the full feature in an upcoming issue of Fisho.

By Scott Thomas

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