The squid, habitat and morphology
Scientifically termed calls, the squid is a cephalopod, its common name comes from Latin calamus that comes to refer to its pen or cane that it has. The squid is a carnivorous animal, have 3 hearts, one systemic and two gill, their most representative physical characteristic are the eight arms and two tentacles, these are very strong "weapons" that have suckers that allow them to adhere to their prey, these tentacles do not grow back if any reason lose one of them. They have a great mimetic capacity to be able to go unnoticed by their predators. Another peculiarity of the squid is the possibility of being able to change color when they feel in danger, in addition, they expel ink, therefore they have a double defense system against possible threats. The way to move through the water is through an organ called a hyponon, which acts as a "turbine" since it has the ability to expel water under pressure and therefore move thanks to it. Its mouth has a characteristic very sharp beak, the squid uses it to cut its prey into smaller pieces. Thanks to its two huge tentacles they catch countless prey, like small invertebrates and fish. The average size of the squid is about 60 centimeters, although we can find specimens of giant squid of up to 15 meters . Of course, the gastronomic value of the squid is very appreciated in all parts of the world.
Eging fishing is fashionable
Cephalopod fishing, now known by the Anglo-Japanese term of "eging", is practiced from land or from boat, with the artificial lure called "egi" or jibionera. The principle of fishing when eging is based on the fact that the cephalopod is a predator that hunts, mainly crabs, prawns and fish, using its sight as a weapon to detect its prey.
How do you see the squids?
Squid fishing is based mainly on the sense of sight and not in other senses much more developed in other species, such as olfaction or the lateral line of fish. Thus, evolution has endowed the squid with a complex and functional eye.
The squid hunts a prey in seven phases or steps:
The eye of the squid
First : sighting of the dam
Second : approach to it
Third : holding the prey with the long tentacles
Fourth : transfer of the dam mouth
Fifth : definitive support of the short arms to avoid the eventual leakage
Sixth : crushing the dam with the powerful peak
Seventh : ingestion
Knowing this it is evident that in the eging, it is very important, not to say determinant, the first step, in which the cephalopod detects the jibionera lure through its eyes, therefore the fisherman should take into account, at the time to choose the decoy, how the squid sees its prey, because,
Do the squids see the colors as we see them?
Scientific studies on cephalopods
Searching in the archive about what is the current knowledge of the vision of cephalopods , we observed that from the late 1950s to the present and with that objective, several experimental studies were carried out, especially in octopus and squid. The first scientific study on the vision of cephalopods was carried out by two North American biologists who worked at the Stazione Zoologica di Napoli , in Italy, Paul K. Brown and Patricia S. Brown, and published in the prestigious journal Nature ; they observed a single pigment in the retina of the eye of the squid and octopus, rhodopsin; It should be noted that the eyes of most animals have two or three pigments, for example the human eye, which has three pigments.
Forty years later, in 1996, N. Justin Marshaall and John B. Messenger conducted an experiment on the mimic capacity of squid on substrates of different colors. The most important conclusion for us, the fishermen, is that the squid does not distinguish the colors , but is able to see the contrast between them. Ten years later, Lydia M. Mathger , along with other collaborators, became interested in the vision of squid substrates and their mimetic capacity, publishing their results in Vision Research magazine. This confirmed the blindness to the colors of the squid previously described, and also determined that it is able to resolve the contrast of colors by at least 5 percent.
A couple of years later, in 2008, the same group of public biologists in the Vision Research new results, concluding that the resolution of the color contrast of the squid is 5 percent, a value that indicates that this species distinguishes very well the contrast of colors. We must bear in mind that the human species makes it at 2 percent, and that the owl, nocturnal animal with exceptional capacity, does it at 1 percent.
Real vision of the squid, how do you see the cephalopods?
Parts and body of a squid So, if the cuttlefish, squid and octopus do not see all the colors, are they more fragile or more vulnerable? Of course not. A group of Australian scientists published in 2011 a scientific article in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B in which they reported the importation of polarized stimuli into the aquatic environment, and how they can provide valuable information to animals that are sensitive to this type of electromagnetic radiation.
We will not enter into the biology of polarized light vision, nor into the complex physics of this type of radiation. We will only mention that this sensitivity has been demonstrated in both cephalopods and fish. However, these two types of aquatic animals use it to individualize prey and predators, while fish use it primarily for navigation and orientation. Particularly in cephalopods it was seen that the response to polarized stimuli is qualitatively comparable to that obtained from a strong observable contrast with "normal" vision. This suggests that sensitivity to polarized light represents a self-sufficient visual channel, which increases total visual capacity, and therefore improves the perception of the surrounding environment by cephalopods.
How can we take advantage of this scientific information to improve the probability of catching squid?
What to say about the choice of the color of the egi in cephalopod fishing?
What is the best color?
From what we have counted, it can be deduced that color is not the most relevant variable for squid fishing . All fishermen who practice eging must make an effort and understand that squid and other cephalopods do not see how we do it. In addition, these animals live in an environment very different from ours, in which the visibility of the objects depends on various factors, such as the time of day, the turbidity of the water, the depth, and so on.
The experience of the squid fisherman
The experience as a regular fisherman of squid from a boat has led me to a few conclusions that can help squid fishermen. The first is that when the water is very cloudy the probability of catching squids will be very low, because as we have already mentioned, this predatory game is based mainly on the visual detection of the prey. The second is that the egi must contrast well with the background; At this point it must be said that the "drawing" of the egi, its livery, for example the presence of streaks and spots, which are visible to the cephalopods, probably also has some importance.
There is still much to know about the reflection of egi in polarized light, which could be another important aspect to understand the squid's predatory instinct; remember that the appearance of the jibionera in the water and its movement are the characteristics to take into account in the squid fishing. It is convenient to use a heavy enough egi, and if you are fishing from a drifting vessel it is better to add a lead at a distance of 50 centimeters from the egi, especially when there are strong currents. The ideal drift of the boat is between 0.40 to 0.80 knots; If the drift is higher than 0.80 knots, it is advisable to use a floating anchor or some other similar system to slow down the drift.
Squid fishing equipment
Movement of the fishing rod of the squid Another very important factor, perhaps the most important to stimulate the attack of the squid , is the movement of the lure. If the fishing is done in the classic style, with a single fishing rod held in the hand, we will continuously animate the egi with the different types and frequency of movements that allow us to display the creativity and fantasy of each one in fishing. When picking up the lure by moving it, we must keep in mind that we are simulating what happens in reality. Thus a living shrimp that tries to escape quickly from the attack of a squid makes it backwards, thanks to the rapid folding towards the abdomen of the tail, called telson in crustaceans. Also, if the egi is moved at short intervals, the squid if it roams the area will be strongly stimulated by such brief movements in time to attack the jibidon. However, if the fishing is from the drifting boat, the advantage is that you can fish with more than one rod, but you have to have enough skill to move all the Egi manually and not subject your action exclusively to the movement of the boat.
Lures for fishing squid
Squid bird lure squid Regarding the aspect of the "little bird" to use, it is better, according to my personal experience, to use egis of light colors in conditions of very clean water and / or with high luminosity, while if the conditions are the opposite it is better to use a dark colored egi. And as for the rig nothing better than a braided line of 0.10 mm and a fluorocarbon terminal of 0.30, about half a meter long. The use of fluorocarbon lines is justified more by its high resistance to abrasion than by its greater invisibility in water compared to the monofilament of nylon, as a personal opinion I think that experimentation with the new egi should go to meet the application of polarizing surfaces rather than the reflection of UV rays or the emission of rattle-like sound, as it is currently being developed.
Tricks for squid fishing
Currently, both in magazines and in different reports on sports fishing , both on television and on the Internet, the importance of the color of the jibionera is highlighted. Also among sports fishermen it is very common to hear comments about the color of the samples used:
"Today they enter the green"
"In the morning they were thrown into the blue"
"Lately I fish them all with the orange ..."
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These affirmations and a thousand more are based on the experience, or on the personal sensation of the fisherman, being in some cases obvious truths, but in other conclusions not quite true, and precisely within these inaccurate conclusions are usually those referring to the color of the artificial lures used in the fishing of squids.