Last month, I flew to Malaysia for the Terengganu International Squid Jigging Festival 2015. It was my second time to participate in the program, having gone last year as well. To shed more light about squid jigging, here’s my narrative about this year’s experience. Read more…
After spending a day under the sun in Pulau Pinang and Pulau Redang, we were divided into numerous groups and flagged off ceremoniously from the beautiful Laguna Redang Resort. In my boat were media and bloggers from Malaysia, France, Denmark, and the Philippines.
It was past 5:00 PM as our boat set sail into the South China Sea. Tides were changing; hence, the waters were rough. We didn’t let the waves deter our excitement, however.
We reached the jigging spot about an hour after—it was literally in the middle of the sea. Our friendly boatmen started to prepare and hand over the equipment—handlines, which are comprised by a big plastic reel and a very long nylon string attached to a toothed jig.
We each took our position and started jigging for squid. Yanking the handline for an hour, however, yielded not a single squid for anyone. The sea was getting rougher as we went along, and seasickness was starting to get the better of me, so I decided stop for a while and take photos, chat with my teammates, and simply soak in the view and the silence of the sea.
Two hours passed, and everyone was starting to feel seasick, so we decided to head back ashore. Nobody really caught a squid, except the boatmen, yet we had such a great time chatting and laughing with each other that we didn’t really mind. Besides, with such unfavorable sea conditions, we surmised most, if not all, of the other teams also caught nothing. And well, we were so pleased to see a bountiful barbecue spread waiting for us upon return.
Despite the dismal haul on the first sailing, we nonetheless were upbeat the second time around. Our boat set sail from a different location; this time from Duyong Marina & Resort. I was once again grouped with mostly the same fun bunch of media and bloggers.
Our positive vibes paid off. Aside from calmer waters and thus no seasickness, most members of our group caught at least one squid. The team caught a total of seven squid (and hilariously one small fish) after two hours, cheering each time a critter is raised out of the water.
Spending two nights sailing across the open sea, I came to realize two things. First, squid jigging, like life, is mostly about chance because there’s no way one can predict the sea—just like how life exists in uncertainty and suddenly throws a curveball. Second, squid jigging, the recreational kind at least, is not all about how many one hauls in; rather, it’s more about the quality time spent at sea with the people one shares a boat with that makes it all-fulfilling.
RELATED POST: Squid Jigging in Terengganu: What You Need to Know
This year is Malaysia Year of Festivals 2015 with the theme “Endless Celebrations.” Visitors can expect a series of year-long special events and activities throughout the country. For more updates on MYFEST2015, check out tourism.gov.my and like Tara Na Sa Malaysia on Facebook.