Welcome to the US Squid Fishing Community!
Welcome to Squid fishing or Squid jiggin as we call it. In Washington State folks have been jiggin for squid as long as there have been docks to stand on. Here in a the picture (left) circa 1922 at Redondo Beach pier you can see people of all ages with their fishing poles fishing for the amazing "Loligo Opalescens" squid. Most winter nights and on some spring days you can still see this jiggin tradition being carried out on the modern dock at Redondo Beach and other docks and bays from California to the puget Sound.
You can catch them using a Squid jig and a fishing pole on most docks in the Puget Sound. On some docks you can catch them year round. "Squid Jigging" is great time for all ages, I have seen ages from 5 to 85 jigging on the docks all having a good time.
The Squid we find off the docks of the Puget Sound are called "Market Squid" or "Loligo Opalescens" they are a small squid in the family Loliginidae. They live in the Eastern Pacific Ocean from Baja Mexico to Alaska. They usually live within 200 miles of shore. Market squid live approximately 4-9 months. Loligo opalescens eggs are laid on sandy bottom substrates in 10-50 m depth water. The females encapsulate hundreds of eggs in a sheath that is made of layers of protein. Bacteria grow between the layers and may have an antibiotic effect that prevents fungal infections.
Females insert the egg capsules into the sand with a sticky substance that holds them in place so that the ocean movement can aerate them.Divers have seen some egg beds that have covered acres of the ocean floor. The eggs take 3-5 weeks to hatch if the water is warmer hatching time is shorter.
Bat starfish, are the most aggressive and common predators of the squid eggs. Fish do not eat them, but have been seen nipping at eggs which are not covered by the sheath.The adults do not take care of the young squid. With such a short life span 4 to 9 months they grow very fast. They are found in the greatest abundance along the shore at 15 m depth at night and 30 m depth by day as the near-shore environment provides the plankton which is smaller and easier for them to eat.
Since 1993 squid has been the #1 fishery in California with amounts caught of 118,000 tons with a value of $41 million in 2000. The population fluctuates greatly with the El Niño. During these warm water currents populations increase greatly.
Squid lends itself to just about every cooking method imaginable and is can also be eaten raw in sushi dishes. Squid is available fresh, canned, dried,frozen as well as pickled and fried.Since calamari seems to sound more palatable than squid, you'll most often see squid recipes listed as calamari its Italian name ,sounds better than squid I guess.