Posted by: socalsalty | January 13, 2013

Trip Report: Humboldt Squid On The Sum Fun


The Sum Fun out of Dana Wharf

The Sum Fun out of Dana Wharf

It was a warm water year in 2012 and we didn’t see too much of the big Humboldt squid.  I think I recall some of the landings doing exploratory trips and getting a few, but not the big pop that we saw in 2011.  This year has been different.  Just in time too…once we hit the annual rockfish closure, the giant squid stepped in to fill that void.  About 2 weeks ago, they started coming in off San Diego.  Then for the last week or so they’ve been thick from San Diego, up to around San Onofre (still not really seeing them north of there yet).

I knew that this weekend was going to be tough to get out.  Jake had a major history project due, a concert to play in, and a basketball game.  When Dana Wharf invited me to come down, it took me about 2 seconds to say YES!  Wednesday night, I met my buddy Ross Mendoza down at the dock.  Ross brought his 2 friends Alan and Anthony with him to get in on the fun.  We headed out in the cold, dark night with 45 other passengers, the Sum Fun crew of Capt. Todd Mansur and deckhands Brian and Jake, and CNN correspondent Miguel Marquez and his cameraman.  CNN correspondent?!?!?!  Yes…earlier in the week, Japanese scientists captured a giant squid on video in deep water for the first time ever.  It was a big enough story that CNN wanted to see these smaller versions up close and personal.

Ideal rig for the squid

Ideal rig for the squid

The last time I got on the squid, I had taken the kids out for a 3/4 day ride on the Spitfire in Santa Monica Bay.  I didn’t know we’d be targeting them, so we had to make do using some heavy iron instead of an actual squid jig.  We didn’t have any issue attracting them using the iron…keeping them on was another thing.  This time I was better prepared.  I had 2 of the larger type squid jigs daisy chained together with a split ring.  Below the bottom jig, I tied on about 18 inches of line and a 6 oz torpedo weight.  This kind of rig makes it really easy to disengage the squid when you get them on deck.  Just grab the lower line or weight, turn your jig upside down and they drop right off.  Also, I wouldn’t go out and buy a new one, but if you have a rock cod plate, it’s worth bringing.

Leaving the marina we headed south.  Close to the San Onofre domes, about 2 miles off the beach, we made our first stop.  Immediately, it was wide open.  It was so good, I got cocky and threw back a couple of the smaller ones, but I sacked up 5 for the stop.  As it turned out, that would be the best we’d have it for the trip.  We had another stop to end the night that was really good, but for whatever reason, I wasn’t keeping them on the line.  It was still plenty good though, and I took home 7 for the trip.  Ross, Alan, Anthony and the rest of the passengers did well too.  The boat got over 400 for the ride.  You never know how long these bites will last so get out and get in on it while they’re here.  I’ll try to post some recipes over the next week.  Tight lines!

One thing I forgot to mention…when you catch one and you get it to the surface, let it blow out the water in its sack before you pull it over the rail to avoid getting inked, or inking your fellow anglers.

Here’s the link to the CNN Video from the trip

Anthony, Ross and Alan with full bags of squid steaks

Anthony, Ross and Alan with full bags of squid steaks




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