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Gan Craft Crew talk Squid with Mad Dog
  |  First Published: December 2011



After fishing and winning the Eden round of the Australian Egi Tournaments, the guys from Gan Craft Japan, namely Kotora Kake and the big gun, President of Gan Craft Mr Takanori Hiraiwa (TH), were driven down to Melbourne by Gan Craft's Australian representative Andrew Wilson and squid tournament organizer Paul Carter.

The lads were in town to conduct some seminars on squid fishing and I (MD) caught up with them for a chat and a few bevies just before going on stage at Fishing Fever in Mordialloc .

MD

I know you’re here to catch squid but while you’ve been here have you caught anything else?

TH

Yes, yes. We caught flathead, tailor and a pike that eat the squid jig!

MD

Have you noticed any difference between the ferocity or unwillingness of the squid in Australia to attack a squid jig?

TH

No not at all! We find the squid easier to catch here then at home in Japan. We have the same techniques as you have here and the only reason we think they are easier to catch is there are more squid and less people trying to catch them.

If we want to make the squid more aggressive we can! We will change our lure colour and pattern to suit the temperament of the squid on the day. One of your favourite techniques is to catch a squid and slowly pull it in while watching very closely behind it for others. Quite often other squid will follow the hooked one wondering what is happening and what it is eating. In this situation we will cast over the hooked squid and catch the squid behind the hooked one, then repeat the process.

MD

Gan Craft make two different types of squid jig, the Egijya and the Uo-jya. What difference does the body shape play in how the jig will swim through the water?

TH

This squid jig is called Egijya (see picture) and has a fat body. Although it’s better for the dart action to have a thinner body, we choose this fatter body for the falling position (drop angle). We have concentrated on this because it’s the most likely time that the squid will attack the jig and to get it right took a lot of time and very fine tolerances.

MD

I see you do two different body material types. What's the difference between the two?

TH

The Egijya has the cloth covering like any standard jig but the Uo-jya is smooth and cloth-less. This make it easier for you to feel the squid touching the jig because their suckers directly contact the smooth surface.

MD

I see that the Uo-jya doesn’t have any stabilizing feathers out each side? Tell us about that.

TH

We worked very hard on making the chin weight balance out the jig. This way we don’t need any feather to balance the jig. Having no feathers means that you can cast further and the jig will sweep further.

MD

Do you think the eyes play a big importance in the squid jig’s overall appeal to the squid?

TH

I think the eyes don’t play a big role in the jig’s ability to catch squid apart from telling it which end is the head and this is a good place to attack. Mostly it’s the people who like the eyes and we try to make them look as real as possible for the type of paint work we are doing.

MD

Do you think that scenting your jigs or making the jig smell plays any part in catching more squid?

TH

I don’t think it does play a big part. I think that squid feed mostly with their eyesight.

MD

Have you done any research with rattles in your squid jigs?

TH

I have tried this a lot and I have found that in some cases it makes me catch fewer squid. I have found that the action you put into the squid jig and then how it falls is the most important thing about catching squid.

MD

What's your average leader length and what pound is it?

TH

I like to use 16lb fluorocarbon and I will tie on 5m of it at the start of session. I like to use such a long length because I keep my jig close to the bottom and it helps with abrasion and gives me more line to play with as I’m cutting and tying on a lot of jigs.

MD

What’s the deepest water you fish back home?

TH

The deepest water I fish is 15-20m.

MD

What’s the average depth of water you like to fish in?

TH

The average depth of water is 6-10m.

MD

Do you think that colour plays a big part in a squid jig? And what about Ultra Violate (UV) colours?

TH

We think colour is very important. As you know squid don't see colour like we do but they recognize the different colours probably more than we do in the subtleties of the colour changes.

The UV colour we are not sure of yet. We are testing at the moment but it is still only new to the market so there is a long way to go yet to see where and how it truly works!

However, we do like and use 'glow in the dark' jigs and know they increase catch rates when fishing deep and at night.

MD

What about the abalone shell stickers I see you have on your jigs here? Tell us a little about that.

TH

We use the abalone sticker for extra attraction when the squid are just following the jig. This will make them more aggressive and it’s very quick and easy to change the appearance of the jig. Much faster than tying another one on!

MD

You have some of the best hooks in the business on your jigs tell us a little about them?

TH

We make our own hooks and we do this so we can get the best. We have the hardest and strongest steel hook. We also have the most points. Our jigs are great for catching really big squid because our steel is very thin and very strong and when the squid touches the hooks it can’t get off them.

MD

The last question and it’s a hard one. What’s your favourite colour jig in your whole range?

TH

(Looking through his boxes of squid jigs) This one is the one I would fish first anywhere at any time: Gold No 13 in Egijya

MD

Arigato (thank you)

For more info on Gan Craft go to www.gancraft.com .

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