Monday, February 1, 2010

Giant Squid Invade California Again

Giant Humboldt squid weighing up to 60 pounds have invaded the California waters off Newport Beach. The squid appeared last week and immediately attracted sports fisherman hoping to catch the supersize squid. In this photo released by Newport Landing Sport Fishing, Seth Zea, left, from Irvine, Calif., and Frankie Duenas, right, from Anaheim, hold the giant squid they caught Jan. 31, 2010, off the coast of Newport Beach, Calif. (Liz Garcia/Newport Landing Sport Fishing/AP Photo)

On July 22, 2009, I wrote a blog on giant Humboldt squid invading California waters. Now, approximately 6 months later, the waters off Newport Beach are being invaded by giant Humboldt squid up to 60 lb (27 kg) in weight. Sport fishermen are taking advantage of this and the squid are being caught by the hundreds.

Squid are best jigged for at night; so, local fishermen started booking twilight fishing trips to better catch the goliaths. Robert Woodbury, from Newport Landing Sportfishing, told the LA Times that the anglers come in two main types: 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." He went on to say that the squid "trying to crawl around and blow ink all over everybody."

Robert Woodbury verified that approximately 400 squid had been caught since January 29, 2009. Most of the squid caught weigh in between 20 – 40 lb.; but, a few fishermen have reeled in huge 60 lb. creatures. Humboldts are also called jumbo squid or jumbo flying squid. Their main weapon of defense is the dense ink they squirt everywhere when threatened. They can grow to an immense 100 lb. in weight and 6 ft. in length. They hunt by following food sources.

The squid have also recently been spotted off San Diego, Oregon and Washington, on the West Coast of the United States. Orange County sports fishing businesses were celebrating what should have been an uneventful arrival of the squid. This normally a quiet time of year; but, then the giant Humboldts arrived.

They are not unknown off the coast of America.

In September, 2009, a record-breaking 19 ft long squid, weighing 103 pounds, was caught off the Gulf of Mexico.

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