Squid Fishing
November into March


The Huli Cat chases Humboldt Squid, also known as Jumbo Squid.  This is generally done in deep water, something  like over 1,000 feet deep! 

Most often, a pound and a half squid jig is used, such as those from Ahi.  A two speed reel definitely helps bring up those big squid from the depths.  The big Squid may be as large as 80 pounds and reach a length of 12 feet!  Most common is in the 25 to 35 pound range. 

Squid have been encountered as early as September and generally leave the area by late March.  The shallowest they have been encountered locally is 300 feet or 50 fathoms.  Read the articles below for more information!


Everyone gets Squid!!

click photo to enlarge


Mercury News

This photograph of a Humboldt squid shows its feeding tentacles reaching out to capture a small fish.

Growing up to two meters (six feet) long, Humboldt squid are formidable predators that hunt krill and a variety of fishes. Their normal habitat is within the tropical and subtropical waters of the East Pacific. Over the last few years, however, Humboldt squid have begun moving into cooler-water areas such as Central California.

This photograph shows a pair of Humboldt squid hunting in Monterey Bay. Humboldt squid are often attracted to the bright lights of MBARI's remotely operated vehicles, and follow the robot submarines as they descend through through the water column.

Humboldt squid are active predators on small fish such as the lanternfish in the lower left corner of this photograph.

Photos and Video Courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute ~ Click photos to enlarge

Killer squid are here

Predator expands its range into California

By Paul Rogers

Contra Costa Times

Article Launched:07/24/2007 03:03:46 AM PDT
It sounds like something out of a monster movie.

click here to watch a video clip of a giant squid attacking the camera!
download time = 3 mins

Click here to view a video clip of a Giant Squid attacking the camera!

"A mysterious sea creature, up to 7 feet long, weighing up to 100 pounds, with thousands of sharp barbs on its arms. It hunts in packs of hundreds, flying through the water at 25 mph, changing color.

With a parrot like beak and strong arms, it attacks and tries to eat nearly anything it sees, including fish, scuba divers, even its own kind.

But it’s not a creature of Hollywood. It’s real. And it’s reached the Monterey Bay. The Humboldt squid, also known as the giant squid or jumbo squid, traditionally has lived in warm waters off South America and Mexico, where fishermen call it “diablo rojo,” or “red devil.”

For reasons that still aren’t entirely clear, large numbers of the scrappy cephalopods have been steadily expanding their range north, first off San Diego and Los Angeles, where hundreds have washed up on beaches in recent years.

Now they appear to have taken up residence in Monterey Bay, according to a study released today by researchers from Stanford University and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) compiled with more than 16 years of underwater video (see video clip above.

Tom Mattusch of El Granada runs recreational fishing trips on his 53-foot charter boat, the Huli Cat, based in Half Moon Bay. “This is like the creature from the black lagoon. They are very strange looking,” he said with a chuckle. “Nobody here has ever caught anything like this. “They fight so much, they are a real bear to pull in,” he added. “I’ve seen big heavy construction workers, after catching two or three, look like they’ve been worked over by a prize fighter...”

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  Half Moon Bay Review Magazine  

The Return of the 'SAVAGE THINGS'

Local fishermen intrigued by return of Humboldt Squid

By Nick Casey
Photos by Leigh Ann Maze
March, 2007

Captain Tom Mattusch aboard Huli Cat holding a Jumbo Humboldt Squid

click photo to enlarge

Tom Mattusch aboard his 53-foot boat the Huli Cat, holding a Humboldt squid. Mattusch takes recreational boaters out fishing for the squid from the Pillar Point Harbor.

On a blustery afternoon at Sam’s Chowder House, Tom Mattusch slowly explained how one goes about cooking a giant squid.
“You can bake them. You can fry them. Boil them even, ”he began.
And these aren’t the only options. Sautéing the squid with butter and garlic yields a more refined meal. In  fact, Mattusch’s mental cookbook contains a long litany of recipes that include lemon and capers, marinara and old standbys like tartar dressing and cocktail sauce.
There’s a reason he’s become such an expert of late. Mattusch, a recreational fisherman from El Granada, says that he has been catching the once-rare-in-these-parts Humboldt squid off the shores of Half Moon Bay lately - hundreds and hundreds of pounds of them. No one is quite sure why the squid have come to the waters off the San Mateo County coast. But the curiosity has caught the imagination of many locals who venture into the sea.
“You have to clean the ink off the decks, ”he said last month. “No one remembers anything like this since the1930s.
”Ordinary market squid, the stuff of calamari and seafood linguine, usually runs about the length of a fisherman’s hand. They dart about in far-off parts where ordinary people don’t usually find themselves, and even if they did, chances are they would avoid getting spotted anyway.

But you wouldn’t miss a Humboldt squid, says Mattusch. It is the size of a grown man when it lurches on board. Its tentacles bear barbed suckers with which it grasps prey before dragging it toward a mouth containing a large, sharp beak that is the size of a parrot’s snout.

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They came from beneath the sea Just like in 1930:
Giant squid invade Bay Area by the millions

Tom Stienstra

Sunday, February 27, 2005

They came from beneath the sea Just like in 1930: Giant squid invade Bay Area by the millions Tom Stienstra Sunday, February 27, 2005 For years as a boy, I'd find myself mesmerized by a page in my favorite wildlife book -- you may remember this yourself -- a drawing of a giant squid wrapping its tentacles around a sperm whale... 

This childhood memory has taken on a shocking present-day twist with the arrival of another species of giant squid, the Humboldt squid, also called the "jumbo squid," offshore of the Bay Area and along much of the Pacific Coast. They average 15 to 60 pounds and generally measure up to six feet long, but there is a historical record of one that reached 700 pounds. They have not been seen in significant numbers on the Pacific Coast since 1930.   

Yet here they are, these giant squid, not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of them. They have roared in from the depths across the Pacific to within 20 miles of Half Moon Bay and Bodega Bay. Many others have been documented near northern Baja, San Diego and even Oregon and Washington.

Voracious predators  Like their 60-foot cousins from the deepwater trenches, they are voracious predators. They have 10 tentacles, including two long tentacles they use to pull their prey in to their razor-sharp beaks.

These tentacles are lined with teeth-lined sucker cups, and with 24 micro teeth in each sucker cup, each squid has some 25,000 teeth. They school in massive hordes and then gang up to swarm in maniacal feeding frenzies. When set off, they will even eat each other, and anything else in their path...


Huli Cat deckhand Jim Ricker, right, and Rich Serini of Oregon show off a giant squid near the mouth of Pioneer Canyon. Photo by Tom Mattusch, special to the Chronicle

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