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Squid Pull Disappearing Act

The enigmatic jumbo squid head north, and an angler lands a marlin weighing more than 1,000 pounds.

The enigmatic Humboldt squid that for Southern California anglers last week have suddenly disappeared.

"They're gone," said Native Sun Captain Gabe Ceballos out of Long Beach Sportfishing. Ceballos said he searched a broad area in the coastal waters off Long Beach and San Pedro on a Tuesday twilight trip and found little evidence of the giant mollusks that were so plentiful just a day before.

Other sportboats reported similar results.

"Thousands, maybe millions here one day and then gone the next," said Enterprise skipper Andy Siratt from Long Beach Marina Sportfishing.

While the Humboldt squid provided an economic boost to the local sportfishing economy in the short run, the fear is that they may have done more long-term damage to other fisheries. The jumbo squid have voracious, insatiable appetites and consume just about everything in their paths. They can grow up to 6 feet long and gain 100 pounds in a year, so the squid are in a constant search for food.

That's bad news for calico and sand bass, rockfish and other species that dare to cross the path of the ferocious mollusk. Hunting in packs 1,200 strong at times, anglers fear the squid have cleaned out many local fishing spots, leaving them devoid of life. Only time will tell as the squid have pushed into the waters off Santa Barbara, presumably in search of more food.

Nevertheless, the Enterprise was out on Wednesday and had limits of rockfish so maybe the squid left some fish behind.

Redondo-based captain reels in big fish

Captain Gary Lacroix of the Highliner from Redondo Beach took a holiday last week and fished on a seven-day trip on board the San Diego-based Shogun.

"The trip couldn't heave been any better," said Lacroix.

On the way to Guadalupe Island, the group caught plenty of yellowtail and bluefin tuna. The backside of Guadalupe produced excellent fishing for 25- to 40-pound yellowtail; on the front side, 60- to 100-pound yellowfin tuna provided good action.

There was an epic battle on the yellowfin tuna grounds during the trip as up to nine great white sharks picked off most of the hooked tuna. Lacroix caught the largest tuna, weighing in at 96 pounds, of the trip.

Man battles marlin for 28 hours

Richard Biehl of Traverse City, MI made an incredible catch in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on Sunday. Biehl was part of an Old Man And The Sea-like battle. After a 28 hour battle, Biehl and the crew of the Go Deep landed a blue marlin on 60-pound test line. The marlin weighed 972 pounds at the docks, but the hook of the scale was not high enough for the fish to clear the ground.

The crew then used a formula that suggested the true weight of the mighty marlin was 1,213 pounds. The previous largest marlin in Cabo San Lucas was caught in the 1980s and weighed 1,111 pounds.

"That was the hardest thing I ever did in my life by far," Biehl told Pisces Sportfishing general manager Tracy Ehrenberg.

Quick bites

  • Tuna fishing out of San Diego is still a viable option available for anglers, but only if they are willing to travel more than 150 miles south of Point Loma. Bluefin tuna in the 12- to 18-pound class have been hit-and-miss, but 5- to 10-pound yellowtail have been plentiful, along with a few 15- to 25-pound dorado, on floating kelp paddies. Hurricane Hilary will staff off the Baja coast but could extend the offshore tuna season. Some anglers believe that hurricanes flush warm water and more fish from south to north.
  • The Santa Monica Bay continues to be home to lots of market squid, whose presence seems to have prolonged surface fishing. The Redondo Special has been catching lots of short white sea bass (less than 28-inches in length) and a few legal sea bass to more than 25 pounds. Rockfishing remains good if the surface fish don’t come out to play.
  • On the other hand, surf fishing came to a screeching halt this week as a red tide stretching from the Mexican border to the Santa Monica Bay has rolled in. 
  • Dave Aird—affectionately known as “Psycho Dave” because of the pranks and jokes he used to play on people—passed away Sept. 19 at the age of 54. Dave worked at Long Beach Sportfishing for 15 years and will be sorely missed by many. There will be a memorial celebration of his life on Oct. 6 at 9:30 a.m. on board the Native Sun out of Long Beach Sportfishing followed by a burial at sea. Please RSVP by calling 562-432-8993 or emailing charter.master@lbsf55.com.

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