This was my first time stepping into the land of Terengganu. The road journey to the state took around 6-7 hours long from Kuala Lumpur capital city with police escorting us all the way. I was there joining the International Squid Jigging Festival 2015 from 2-7 June 2015 organized by Tourism Terengganu and Gaya Travel. My heartfelt thanks to the organizer for the invitation.
The first day in Terengganu was free and easy as we waited for all media and bloggers to arrive. This year, 60 international and 62 local electronic and print journalists, including bloggers and social media influencers taking part in this event. The international participants hailed from 27 different countries namely Australia, New Zealand, France, Russia, Germany, UK, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Canada, USA, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Brunei, Singapore, Philippines, The Netherland, India, Indonesia, Turkey and Sweden.
In the evening, we were divided into 12 groups/ boats. At first I thought we were going to squid jigging with the boat shown above but things not worked as what I thought.
We were asked to change into another traditional looked boat at the middle of sea.
It took some time for both boats get closer without bumping each other at the side while trying to balance the vessel when the strong waves hit.
The boatman tying both boats together so that we can jumped into the fishermen boat.
We stopped at the destined location and waited for the official launch from the Maritime boat with the whistle.
For those who does not know squid jigging, here is some information for your additional knowledge:
- Squid jigging is a traditional method of catching squid.
- Most popular fishing recreation at East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia
- The season starts from April till October
- Best done during full moon and finding right location at the bottom of sea floor where squid are schooling
- normally carried out 5 nautical miles away from the shore starting from 5pm in the evening till 6am the next morning
- one innovative way of attracting squid is by using high density spotlight because the squid loves to play and are attracted to high density light.
Either chatting with each other
Or close our eyes to have a nap while heading to the right location for squid jigging...I was assigned in a same boat with 4 Singaporeans and 4 Malaysians media. I rarely have any conversation with them as they stayed at the front deck all the time while I prefer to stay at the back. The front deck was wobbly as I can't stand at all and there were few times I need to squat down worrying that I will be threw to the sea due to the rough sea condition. LOL
While sitting at the big ice box for selfie, I held the box tightly with my left hand as my body weight could not help to stabilize myself and gliding to the side. Okay, here the friendly videographer, Sham from Johor :D
There was no advance technology equipped at the boat to detect the squid schooling location instead the fisherman making a guess. Placing the anchor down to the sea, the fisherman started to jig.
It was try an error actually, a method employed to see if there was squids down there. We did it manually by releasing the lines into the deep water and pulling sometimes to attract the squids. That was all about the trip ~ squid jigging experience and that's why we did it manually :D
For the fisherman who make living by catching the squids, the boat is furnished with automatic jigging machine like shown above.
I tried it too but did not get any :"S But I believed my arm becomes slimmer as my biceps and triceps working out actively that day during squid jigging when I pull and release the thread as instructed (the right way to attract squid and fools them so that they thought it was living things at the jig)
Good way to slim our arm while getting some squids if we are lucky :D
1 squid, 2 squids, 3 squids.....consecutively by all boats
There are different sizes of squids caught by us. Some big, some small, some slim, some fat...coming from different species. The 5 species found in Terengganu waters are known as Sotong Jarum, Sotong Katak, Sotong Ketupat, Sotong Mengabang and Sotong Torak. The market prices for the squid range from RM18 to RM30 per kilogram, normally sold fresh or processed food like tempura or a very popular local fish known as 'sotong celup tepung' （flour dipped squid). Ok I'm drooling imagining it now :D'
I was told that one of the boat immediately cooked the freshly jigged squid with instant noodle. Next time, we should bring some flour and oil so that we can make crunchy al dente tempura from our hauls :D"
A thought at the sea: "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor" Life is full with challenges, but they make us grow stronger. Agree? It might return empty handed for the first time, nevertheless experiences tell us that success is on the way.
Interested to squid jigging activity? Please do not hesitate to contact the local agency:
Terengganu State Secretary
9th Floor, Wisma Darul Iman
20503 Kuala Terengganu
Tel : +609-623 1957
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
p/s: Thank you to www.emily2u.com and www.bocst.com letting me to share some of their beautiful pictures here :D