Davey’s Locker Manager Chris Cunningham said he had an inkling of what was in store for local anglers this week when more squid than normal started showing up around Newport Beach.
“For the last couple of weeks we have seen sea lions with squids in their mouths. There were even reports of dolphins with squids,” he said. “We had a sneaking suspicion. And then Friday, it came to a boiling point.”
That boiling point, according to Cunningham, is good business for him and good eats for locals.
In what Cunningham says is the biggest wave of Humboldt squid he has seen come through Newport Beach in his 25 years of fishing here, Davey’s Locker Sportfishing and Newport Landing Sportfishing customers are catching more of the ink-squirting cephalopods than they can handle.
“This is a big deal. It’s usually only a couple nights they’ll come in. The way this is looking, it could last a couple weeks or more,” Cunningham said.
The squid average between 20 and 40 pounds, with some of the biggest hauled in weighing in at more than 60 pounds.
“If you can’t carry more than 100 pounds, don’t get more than five or so,” Cunningham said. “Still fish for them, just do the catch-and-release thing.”
Davey’s Locker has been sending out the Western Pride every night since Friday, he said. That night, they caught 225 squid, Saturday night it was 350, and Sunday night it was about 625, he said. They’re having similar luck at Newport Landing Sportfishing, where the Patriot is bringing in large hauls, he said.
Squid typically flock to where the food is. This species goes after Rockwater fish and can decimate the local population, he said. So while the squid enjoy the fish, Cunningham is telling local anglers to go out and catch a few. Davey’s Locker and Newport Landing are within a block on either side of the Balboa Fun Zone on the Balboa Peninsula.