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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)

Calamari... Squid meat the thickness of steak. Yum... Most of us are carnivores. And we are decendants of cavemen. It IS fun to catch your food and you enjoy it even more when you cook it knowing that you put your strong efforts to kill it. There is no kind way to kill therefore all I can say is thank goodness that I am higher on the food chain...

Please go and comlpain about cats that play with the mice before they eat it or an Orca that flings the seals around before devouring it...

Hey PETA spammers...thanks for your input, now leave

PETA and HEAP (Humans Against Eating Plants) have successfully outlawed the eating of all natural food sources. Humans will be required to eat only Soylent Green, from this day forward.

Why isn't a permit required for this? Just one expedition claims to have caught more than 400 animals in a single weekend. Not only is the approach these people are taking ethically revolting (laughing while a tortured animal desperately tries to defend itself) but it should be more stringently regulated.

Weirdos never cease to amaze me. Where to start, is my question? First off, if you're not a devout vegan who only eats roots and shoots and leaves and bark then please don't talk about how cruel it is to fish for squid! Probably dripping bacon cheeseburger juice on they keyboard as you type... Second, why quote scripture when condemning those who fish for squid* when you know darn well there are multiple references in the Bible that condone eating animals? Can't have it both ways, Your Holiness. Lastly, the vast majority of sportfishermen revere Mother Nature and have the utmost respect for our oceans. Not sure if you're the type who complains just for the sake of doing so but please get a clue before you type/think before you speak.

*Nobody fishes for squid unless they're gonna eat it. Not sure why the author believes otherwise.

Hey now, think of it as the fishermen doing an intervention to protect the anchovies. We'll just get Eric Holder in to take a look at some of the more aggressive conduct of the fishermen and make sure they abide by all relevant articles of the Geneva Convention and the Laws of War. Until that time, though, we might need Code Pink to deploy into Orange County and do a demonstration. They're going to be stretched pretty thin, between Orange County and the Berkley Marine Corp Recruit Station, but hey, they understand, it's war, and it's ugly...

Most of the people killing these things for fun are the lower IQ type in our society, not much more to them but the next six-pack and their minimum wage jobs.

We're carnivores?

How many raw, rotting carcasses did you eat today?

How many animals did you hunt down using only your sharp teeth, claws, and agility?

Humans are *opportunistic omnivores*, and are only able to safely consume animals by preserving them and cooking them to kill bacteria that do not harm actual carnivores.

That said, there is less disturbing about these men getting their meaty dinner this way versus from Ralphs.

Unless you're 100% Vegan, don't complain. This type of fishing activity is nothing compared to Japan. Japan will fish an area of the ocean to extinction and not blink an eye. If you want to aim your protestestions somewhere, aim towards Tokyo.

These are innocent creatures and should be allowed to live out their natural lives.

These large squid are not native to Southern Cal waters and are killing the native fish like sand bass and rockfish in unimaginable quantities. There should be a bounty on them.

I dont understand so much of this. First of all, LEAVE THE SQUID ALONE! they are amazing. hahaha its so funny they try to defend themselves. Wouldnt you? I hope some aliens come and take you from this planet and laugh while you scream and fight for your life.
And second, why are the squid coming up? whats going on that we dont know about thats sending these highly intellegent creatures up from the depths of the sea. I'm thinking we're all gonna die...in about 200 years max. And I also think if we want to maybe have a chance to not be wiped off the planet, we should stop wiping everything else off too. idiots.

The comments following this article reinforce my belief the world is populated by two kinds of people, those who fish and those who don't. Like many of those who do I have a great respect for nature and it's creatures. I love sport fishing and want to preserve these fantastic resources for generations to come. Like many fishermen I eat what a catch and return whatever I am not going to consume back to the sea. Obviously some of those commenting have never fished or understand what it is like. Like another contributor, I too find it hard to believe that all these naysayers are vegetarians.

Gen 1:26-28

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Sounds like squid is fair game to me

this is a nasty article-it's not funny to kill squid

killing squid for no good reason
are they getting eaten
no if if you say you do I really doubt it.
what you cut out a slab and throw the rest away and then the meet goes in the freezer until you throw it out
NO no don't kill SQUID bad human

Orrange county full of Republicans... what the heck do you expect? Those squid would have been a lot luckier washing up in the bay area.

Killing all these squids for what? Sport? makes me so mad I want to get a 12 lb rock and bash it's head in..Oh can't do that as some of Glynn Johnsons neighbors will howl and weil about me killing their "pet" this world is nuts.

why kill for fun? have we got nothing else better to do?

Thrill killing should not surprise anyone given the culture of hate and pain we live in. If you have real hate for anyone in the world (including yourself) then you are capable of the most heinous crimes like genocide. The reason you dont act your hate out is fear of punishment.
The culture of hate and fear is promoted by the media. For example MOST "reality" programs encourage hate and treachery instead of cooperation and a common good. Their very structure demands and rewards it. Mental and physical cruelty sells because it pumps adrenaline into the viewers body, violence sells. Our culture may be in its final days. We feed the unsuspecting to the "lions" for fun. The media is the new coliseum. The "News" crucifies peoples' characters.
Hunting and fishing are great. Killing for fun and hate are not.

squids have 8 legs and then we have lots of 88 88 88 88 88 88 88 88 88 88 88 88 88 88 88 88 88.... important missing!

squids invaded by ink so that it is important to write notice which are not yet published sweeming on ocean without sadness or fib.

Strong efforts come in play when one can maybe capture one squid per night . OR, seeing how it seems one squid could feed an army, capturing one per lifetime seems sufficient. something seems incredibly wrong and simply glutenous when there is talk about capturing hundreds or more of these amazing creatures per night. yeah, way to go and challenge yourself. sure seems like something of a feat when hundreds of them get pulled in. Never mind the laughing all the while...this is so sad. why don't you move to japan and head to the killing cove and start moving in on dolphins next. What a sad existence one must lead in order to be so selfish....
If you have utmost respect for the oceans, why not start respecting the things that live in the waters too?!!!

Yes, these squid may dine on you, too.


“It was a clear starry night in October years ago. My father and I were fishing for calamar gigante. The squid were unusually large this night, nearly as big as a man. My father said we must be careful of the Diablo Rojo this night. These are the giant squid, the Demons. When the squid reach this size, they are no longer just squid, but become demons… killers of men.

After some time of fishing we had many big squid in our boat and started back for land. As we began our journey home I saw a Panga ahead so we went to see who it was. As we neared the Panga I noticed no one was on board and it was adrift. Concerned, we pulled along side to find out who's Panga it was. I boarded the drifting Panga and found it was nearly full of still dying calamar. It was then I noticed something strange on the side of the boat. As I looked closer, I noticed human fingernails were embedded into the wooden edge of the side rail. Traces of blood outlined a man's handprint. The terror of what happened hit me.

This fisherman was pulling up a large calamar, but there was a large demon feeding on it. You see, they are fierce and they even eat each other when caught. When the fisherman reached into the water to pull it in, the Diablo Rojo grabbed him and pulled him into the water. Somehow the man grabbed onto his boat. He tried to get back in, but the Red Demon attacked him and began eating him alive. The man held on for a long time during the struggle before he was finally ripped off and dragged into the deep. He was devoured alive by the Red Demon. He was my father's life long friend.”

I'm surprised by some of the comments here. Yes, it is a little disturbing to hear about how some of these people so enjoy watching these animals struggle, but let's be realistic here. Squid are in no way endangered. (Squid biomass exceeds that of humans.) The squid being hunted here will all be eaten. So these people have a different idea of fun than you or I do... big deal, no harm is being done.

I'd be willing to bet that some of the people critiquing the fishermen have no problems with eating factory farmed meat themselves. Personally, I have more respect for those who hunt or fish for their meal, (and are thus intimately connected with the animal's death) than for someone who just buys their food in a sterilized environment like a modern supermarket.

So judgy-judgy... especially this one here who insists that the fishermen must be of low IQ because they have a different philosophy than he does. Yeah, that's it buddy... everyone who doesn't think like you do must be an idiot, right? Give me a break.

Any killing to be done, should be done out of need, not sport, not laughs. And then with respect and honor towards Nature and the creature whose life you are taking. Not with laughs.

Lot's of dumb comments here. Yes, people fish, yes people hunt. How long have we humans been doing this? How many mellenia? This is how people used to get food before the grocery store was invented. Yes, people actually enjoy this practice. Don't act like it isn't natural. Did you ever learn about the food chain? Yes, we need to conserve our resources. Hunters know better than you the population issues that arise from over hunting or over fishing. I ASSURE YOU that hunters are not the problem. Hunters do not wipe out animal populations. The companies that bring this food to your supermarkets and to your restaurants are the ones over fishing and over hunting. Don't pretend you're not just as guilty as anyone else when you purchase meat/fish at the market of restaurant.

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