Anybody who enjoys squid fishing, whether it is an obsession or an occasional flirtation, would or should know the Yamashita brand of squid jigs. Yamashita’s innovation is second to none, and the jigs in their various iterations are available at an affordable price. I have accumulated a significant collection of Yamashita jigs over the years. It has been difficult to walk past them in a tackle store and not at least grab one or two.
It can be interesting to find out the translations of Japanese product names. In this case, ‘Eginno’ is the combination of egi (squid) with innovation, and Pyonpyon means ‘jump jump’, like the flicking of a prawn. Like all Yamashita jigs, these new jigs have some unique and interesting features to attract cephalopods to them. All of these features are based around mimicking a prawn in the water. The first thing you’ll notice is the folding front flap. It is designed to fold back on the cast to assist with casting distance, and will then fold out during your retrieve to create a unique water resistance. The goal is to create an effect that’s similar to that of a prawn swimming. I assumed that the design would give the jig a bit of a side-to-side action like it does with a lure, but this was not the case. There was no visible action created by the bib, but it does slow the decent of the lure. This is ideal when you’re fishing shallow water for the likes of tiger squid in Queensland, as you can fish far more slowly, keeping the jig in the zone for longer.
The next feature that’s a bit different is the addition the leg feathers. Video of the jig underwater show that these feathers need minimal movement of the jig for them to move and sway, similar to that of a prawn swimming. I suspect that for squid, with their high sense of vision, this additional movement would further spark interest in the jig. The Search Rattle in Yamashita jigs is a feature I have always liked, and I am glad it is in the Eginno Pyonpyon. I was lucky enough to speak to one of the members of the Yamashita research and development team a number of years ago about this. He explained to me that they had put a huge amount of hours into creating the correct pitch in the Search Rattle – 600hz to be exact. At 600hz the Search Rattle mimics a feeding sound that hungry squid are attracted to. How’s that for attention to detail? My experience with the Yamashita rattling jigs is that you will have occasions where if you are not using a rattling jig, you may as well not be fishing. It really can make all the difference. Last but not least are the 490 Glow Beads. These have been inserted into the body of the jig to create the unique glow a prawn emits in the water. This is not a feature of all the colours in the range, however, as some are UV enhanced instead.
From the packet to the water
It is one thing to be different, but that difference also needs to work. I was given a couple of jigs in the 3.5, 18g size, and my plan was to use them in the squid-rich waters around Port Vincent in South Australia. From a squid fishing perspective, this is a magnificent place as you have plenty of options, whether you’re land-based or fishing from a boat. The marina wall was my first port of call, and I realised pretty quickly that I had to fish the Eginno jig a little differently from other jigs. With traditional jigs I generally use quite a strong whipping action, with a short to medium pause in between. I found that although this retrieve did work with the Eginno, the 3.2 second per metre drop rate of the jig meant that my pause needed to be longer. I also found that the Eginno didn’t whip from side to side like a standard jig, but instead hopped up and up, moving out of the strike zone. More subtle hops were better, and I didn’t have to worry about the jig plummeting into the structure below. Looking back at it now, it was a more finesse presentation, which was ideal during the Christmas holiday break. There was certainly plenty of fishing pressure on the local squid, and we had more success than most. This also proved to be the case out of the boat. The slower presentation had the jig in the zone for longer, and the squid couldn’t resist them. I think part of the reason for our success was the hook-up location of the Eginno jigs. In 10 days of fishing them I had zero just tentacle hook-ups. Even the smallest squid enveloped the jig. The majority of the hook-ups were in the sweet spot between the eyes. You get maximum result for effort when you are hooking them there.
I didn’t think I needed more squid jigs, but I have now changed my mind. There are enough differences in the Eginno jigs, and situations where they would be the best option, that I’ve decided to get a few more. Bring on the squid season here in Southeast Queensland, because I can’t wait to use the Yamashita Eginno jigs on the tiger squid around the Moreton Bay islands. I think the Eginnos will be perfect for the shallow water presentation required to target these squid. The Eginno jigs are available in two sizes (3.0/15g and 3.5/18g). Both sink at the same rate and are available in eight colours. To find out more about the Yamashita Eginno range, and the other Yamashita jigs available, go to www.ejtodd.com.au or check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Yamashita.Australia.
P. Jung, Fishing Monthly