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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)

There sure are a lot of vegetarians on this comment board. I am sure none of you have ever had Calamari in a restaurant because it is so cruel that we would eat another living creature. This is wild caught food. Would you rather your food be caught from a net that also catches sea creatures that need not die for sustenance?

This is almost as fun to read as it is to catch. Get off of the sportfisherman. Think of it this way they are a pest like coyotes or wolves breaking into the chicken coupe on your farm (you are living in the 18oo's and your farm is your life or present day) killing all of your chickens, pigs, horses, ducks (should I go on), what would you do? Watch them eat your animals or dispose of the problem and also reap the benefits that come with it. In this case, calamri to eat and the fishery is maintained by irradicating the pest, because we do fish responsible and realize the importance of game management.

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