Handlining and squid jigging



Text: B. A. Bjarnason
Illustrations: M. Carlesi

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

David Lubin Memorial Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

Bjarnason. B.A.
Handlining and squid jigging
(FAO Training Series, no. 23 )
ISBN 92-5-103100-2

1. Squids2. Line fishing3. Artisanal fisheries
I. Carlesi. M.II. TitleIII. Series

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations wishes to encourage the dissemination of the material contained in this publication and welcomes applications for its reproduction and use. Such applications, with a statement of the purpose and extent of the reproduction, should be addressed to the Director, Publications Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Rome, 1992

Printed in Italy


The best fishermen are those who are consistently able to land above-average catches of all the types of fish they intend to catch, whereas less successful ones will generally land below-average catches and accord any good catches to luck. As in most things, luck or lack of it may have a role in the level of success, but consistently successful or professional fishermen rely on much more than luck. They rely on a deeper knowledge of the behaviour of the fish they want to catch and where, when and how they are most likely to catch them. Without this additional knowledge, the less successful fishermen are unlikely to improve their catches consistently and will thus be limited in their ability to increase their income to the benefit of themselves and their families.

While no one can claim to have developed general rules that will automatically lead to increased fish catches, the handliner's attention can be directed to particular elements of the technique that will improve the chances of landing a good catch and reduce the chances of landing no fish at all. This booklet is therefore aimed at fisheries extension workers who work with fishermen who cannot read and at literate fishermen who may be encouraged to increase their knowledge in some of the areas suggested in this booklet. It is hoped that by making better choices concerning the handline itself and the place, time and way in which it is used, more fishermen will improve their catches.

However, while attention can be directed to the aspects of handlining where improvements can be made, there can be no substitute for patience and perseverance on behalf of the fishermen themselves in applying this knowledge to their particular areas.

The first section deals with handlining for fish, while the second section deals with squid jigging. A brief third part deals with automatization of handlining operations.

Note that measurements in the booklet are all given in the metric system: lengths are measured in metres, centimetres and millimetres. A metre (m) is about the distance from your left shoulder to your right hand (Figure 1). If you are used to feet and inches, remember that 1 metre equals almost 40 inches, or 3 feet and 3 1/3 inches. A metre is 100 centimetres (cm), and each centimetre is divided into 10 millimetres (mm).

Figure 1. The measurement we are using

Figure 1

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Part I

1. Introduction

2. What is handlining

3. Selecting the line

4. Selecting the hook

5. Selecting the weight or sinker

6. Assembling the handline

7. Preparing the bait

8. Deciding where and when to fish

9. Fishing the handline

10. When to strike

11. Landing the fish

12. Tackle storage and safety

13. Mechanical handreels to improve handlining

Part II
Squid jigging

1. Introduction

2. How to make a squid jig

3. How to make a squid reel

4. Guide roller and wire mesh frame

5. Making a sea anchor

6. Light attraction for squid jigging

Part III
Automatic handlining and squid jigging

1. Automatic handlining and squid jigging machines

2. Is the automatic method good for you?