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Orange County fishermen angle for unusual catch: Giant squid

Squid An invasion of giant squid in Orange County has fishermen and women hitting the waters off Newport Beach, angling for an unusual catch.

The squid, some up to 60 pounds and 4 feet long, were first caught Thursday afternoon, and anglers began making twilight expeditions Friday night to catch the nocturnal sea creatures, which spend daytime close to the ground and rise to the surface at night.

Robert Woodbury, manager at Newport Landing Sportfishing, said anglers who signed up to fish on one of the company’s evening excursions had caught about 400 squid since Friday night. The squid, which tend to run in the 20- to 40-pound range, are somewhat elusive, tending to follow a food source, such as anchovies, rather than a season.

It’s unclear when the squid will leave the area, but as long as they stay, fishermen say they will chase them every night. The anglers come in two main types, Woodbury said: Those hungry for the relatively pricey delicacy, and the sports angler eager to tangle with a feistier sea creature.

“Most of the fish we catch are better to eat, but they don’t give you much of a fight,” Woodbury said.

These squid, on the other hand, do not  stop struggling even after getting hooked and tossed into the boat.

"They’re trying to crawl around and blow ink all over everybody,” he said.

The squid make for a messier prize, but that is part of the fun, he said.

“When they’re lifted out of the water … they become a giant squirt gun,” Woodbury said. “Chances are you’re gonna take a faceful or a chestful of water – and probably ink – when you pull them out … everybody laughs.”

-- Amina Khan

Photo: Fisherman with a giant squid. Credit: Newport Landing

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Comments () | Archives (52)

I think its of savages to fish these animals because they fight until the last moment... how cruel is this?

Are these what they call the Humboldt squid?

That is not a giant squid. Giant squid are 30 feet long, and have never been captured alive. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_squid

"“Chances are you’re gonna take a faceful or a chestful of water – and probably ink – when you pull them out … everybody laughs.” "

What an odd hobby. I grew out of super-soakers when I was 12.

Yes, yes, so fun to watch living creatures fight for their lives for your entertainment. When your grandkids and everyone else wonders why there are no so few sea creatures left you can show them a copy of this story to remind them how much fun you had helping to wipe them all out. Enjoy it I guess. Or consider opening your eyes and your heart.

What a sad story. Fishermen killing these highly intelligent animals for fun... Getting a good laugh while the animal fights for the last gasp of its life. What a sick society we have become.

It's a bit disparaging reading about the laughter of the fishermen/women regarding the antics of the dying squid. Am I the only one who does not find this amusing?

killing for sport? doesn't sound so fun to me.

“When they’re lifted out of the water … they become a giant squirt gun,” Woodbury said. “Chances are you’re gonna take a faceful or a chestful of water – and probably ink – when you pull them out … everybody laughs.”

Yeah, imagine an alien pulled you kicking and screaming out of your bedroom at night and laughed at you right before it clubbed you to death.

The LA Times is reporting Robert Woodbury, manager at Newport Landing Sportfishing, said, "When they’re lifted out of the water … everybody laughs.” As a Christian, I will pray for Jesus Christ to forgive Mr. Woodbury and show mercy on his soul. When God put Man in the Garden of Eden (Earth) to work it and take care of it (read Genesis 2:15), it wasn't for the infantile amusement of sports fishermen. Giant Squids are the creation of God and when they struggle to survive being fished out of their environments God is certainly displeased. In Jesus' name, Amen.

So now fishing is based on sadistic fun?

The anchovies are probably holding a meeting right now talking about those squid: "Hey we were just swimming along minding our own business and these giant tentacled monsters snuck up on us to dine...how cruel is that? Those monsters are getting a good laugh I bet. "

Killing for sport, what a concept.

Not worried about squid. They are wolves of the sea, they hunt and devour mercilessly. It's the octopi that needs more concern. Octopi are gentile creatures with great intellect. Squid can be evil and will attack sea creatures/mammals in mass, literally ripping them apart. Thier intelligence is use of brute force.

Killing anything for fun is sick. Squid should only be killed for food and a occasional few can be killed for education. Watch your documetary's...they are not that endangered as you think.

OMG, save the poor squids from hungry fishermen, god forbid a creature higher on the food chain (people) enjoy some tasty calamari (lower on the foodchain).

We spens a week each year on the Sea of Crtez sportfishing. We fish for Spanish Mackeral at night to use as bait. The Humboldt Squid come to the surface hoping to raid some Mackeral. We gaff them and bring them up on the deck. The next morning we begin to prepare them and that evening have a big Calimari feed. They are good.

These are not "Giant Squid" and finding it amusing watching them struggle to protect themselves in vain? Sick sick society.

Why would women want to hit the water off of Newport beach because Humboldt squid are flocking there? They range all along the western US and Mexico, (squid and women). If I were a woman I'd rather hit Acapulco this time of year, cheaper and better weather.

(In english "fishermen" means fishermen and fisherwomen) man means man and women means women. I'm suprised the PC Times revisionists didn't make it fisherperson.

That is some big calamari though.

Compared to shrimp and squid nets line fishing for these takes very few. Heck, even Jesus ate sea animals that had no shell. Presumably he had to kill them first.

I think it's really cool that the Orange County area is witnessing this crazy influx of large squid, but I don't understand why you'd want to pull 30 or 40 of them out of the water at once. Why isn't it enough to know that these large creatures are existing out there and coming to the surface late at night? Why kill so many every time you're on the water? I can understand wanting to catch one, but what they're doing seems excessive and irresponsible.

not everybody laughs at this barbarism, surely?

I'm very impressed with you foolish humans!

Bucket-full of calamari!


I don't understand the joy of killing something swimming in its own environment, or in the case of deer/turkeys, etc., walking through the woods. Do hunters believe they are strong for sneaking up and ending the life-force of these creatures? We all need food, but killing beings who clearly value their existence is not a sport.

I used to occasionally eat squid until i found out that they were high in cholesterol and before they became a high priced delicacy. Do they still grow Oranges in Orange County??
Do squids of this size bite??

OH BOY! Let's go kill things for sport! And OH MY, it's just SO much fun to kill stuff that fights to the last! Ugh. "Sports Anglers"! Right. Is it any wonder we're in such a mess these days? The sooner mankind evolves beyond this kind of barabric behavior toward other species, the sooner we'll all be better off. Hunt & fish? Sure. Absolutely. It's part of our humanity and nature taking it's course. But getting off on watching prey suffer is not the hunters' way.

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