It’s that time of year again! Squid fishing in Japan

A few nights ago, Khoa and I went squid fishing with two of our friends.  It wasn’t our first time, but of the few times Khoa and I have fished for squid, we’ve only caught one little cephalopod between the two of us (PS – I caught it!).
This time, our friends took us to a really good fishing spot.  As we walked out on the wave breaker where we were going to fish, the cement was stained black with squid ink. It must be a good spot!
To be honest, Khoa and I never really knew the proper technique to fish for squid.  We just attached a lure to our fishing pole and hoped for the best.  As we casted out our first lines, Khoa and I kept peering over at our friends, trying to mimic the whipping motion of their rods.
Our friends go fishing together every week and the husband goes fishing almost every day, so of course he caught the first squid.  As it was hauled out of the water, the squid sprayed ink into the air.  I was in the direct line of fire, but luckily, it didn’t get all over me.
After ten minutes of casting out, neither Khoa nor I had a squid to call our own.  We were left longingly gazing at our friends’ squid which were lying on the cement making weird, airy squeaking noises.
Finally, after another five minutes of (impatiently) waiting, I hooked one…or at least I thought I did.  It was really hard for me to tell when I had a squid on the line.  The lure is so light, there’s almost no drag when whipping it through the water and the squid only adds a little more resistance.  I learned that if I felt even a little resistance (not even a tug) on the line, it meant I had a squid.
I reeled in my first squid of the night, and plopped it on the cement.  It wasn’t going to give up without a fight and spat ink at me in protest.  Being careful not to hook myself in the process, I gingerly grabbed the lure and shook off the squid.
For those of you who have never seen a squid lure, here’s what it looks like:
The lure is meant to look like a shrimp.  It’s weighted in the front so when you quickly whip your rod in a vertical motion, the lure scuttles through the water like a shrimp.  When the squid strikes at the lure with its tentacles, it gets caught in the prickly barbs.  That’s why you need to shake off the squid when unhooking it.
So at the end of the night, I came back with four aori-ika, blue squid.  Khoa managed to rangle in one squid of his own.  It doesn’t matter if we’re fishing for catfish or squid, I always manage to out fish Khoa.  It’s not that he’s a bad fisherman, it’s just every time we go out fishing together, he doesn’t catch a whole lot.  I must be his bad luck charm/fish repellant.

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