BIG HUMBOLDT SQUID BITE
March 13, 2007, Marina Coral, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, Steve Ross, boat Bad Dog:
My two guests aboard Bad Dog Edward Chang and Brian Lam love to go rock codding.
Juan Lu, they, and I departed Ensenada in the dark at 0500 hours. We arrived an hour later in the dark and put out two Ahi Squid Lures with Promar lights attached to the back ends.
As the ocean floor off the Baja coast rose to the bank at 800 feet deep I began to meter what I thought was the Humboldt Giant Squid at 500 feet deep. But this trail wouldn't end and a second group appeared suspended at 300 feet deep. I stopped the Bad Dog, and the three of them lowered squid jigs and all went bendo at 300 feet. This must have been 0630 in the dark. The water temperature off Ensenada was 58.8 degrees.
From then on it was nonstop squid action. Every lure got a Humbolt giant squid. The squid were all about 40 pounds average with the smallest being 30 pounds and one at about 45 pounds. I was mostly watching and gaffing but managed to pull in 5 on my own using my Ultimate 130 pound class Black Marlin Rod with a Penn 9/0 loaded with 80 Pound Spider Wire braid. I would leave it in the rod holder and use it like a winch to save my back.
At one point the squid were metered from 9 feet under the Bad Dog to the ocean floor. I simply put my rod in the rod holder and suspended an Ahi squid jig just below the boat. At around 0900 Edward and Brian announced that they were beat and wanted to look for rock cod.
I was the first to find these squid on December 29th. If this is a Northern migration there are thousands maybe millions more coming up the line.
I know we boated 30 at least. It was insane.
Okay, what did we do with all that squid? Right?
I took none.
Every guard in the Ensenada Marina took one whole squid. Juan Lu took some for his family and brothers and sisters. We cut up one for dinner at Bahia de Mariscos Ensenada. "Squid Steak Fried" at this restaurant is out of this world perfect. It was awesome delicious.
Then the employees of the Clairemont 99Ranch Market asked for some whole ones for themselves and their families and then there was Edward and Brian's families. That's what happened to a whole boat full of Giant Squid.
The rock cod on the Bank were all depressed down to the ocean floor. My meter marks were flat, like fish hugging the bottom. There were no clouds of rock fish anywhere from the north end to the 6 mile run to the south end.
Anyone know what the rock fish are doing flat on the bottom? Some say the Giant Squid are eating the rock cod but we found empty stomachs or goosh from their strong digestive acids, no recognizable parts. Some say they are hiding on the rocks and under them. We managed to catch 6 vermilion rockfish and 4 bocaccios, 1 lingcod and 2 Chupaletas. That was it.
The current was ripping, the wind was out of the southeast and up, the fog was down, and the swell was 2-3 feet out of the southeast with the tops being blown off.
I caught all of my rock cod on Berkley Gulps.
If you haven't pulled on a Giant Squid, this is your chance. They have been here since the beginning of January with more coming. They sure provide exciting deck action and pull hard. Actually, it's pretty hard not to go Squid Fishing no matter what your intentions are. They are all over the place and right up tight to the shore line even being caught off of the piers.
And if you catch one of these squid and you don't want it, just shake it off and all his brothers and sisters will sense that he's in distress and they will eat him no matter how big he is.