Aboard the Pacific Storm, near Santa Rosalia, Baja California Sur -- Let's call this posting : Now you see them, now you don't. Upon arrival off Santa Rosalia on Thursday afternoon we found many commercial pangas out fishing, and we too started catching squid and quickly filled up our five holding tanks. As the sun descended amidst the Tres Virgenes volcanoes, we suspended our first experimental subject over the side to continue the sonar tests, but it was quickly attacked and cannibalized by other squid – Kelly even caught the event on sonar. During this time, the bright deck lights seemed to attract squid to the surface, and hundreds of them glided in and out of the light around the boat. The lights and squid also attracted about 50 pangas, and all were filling up with squid.
After repeating the suspended squid scenario with the same gruesome result, we went to anchor for the night a few miles away at a cove on Isla San Marcos. I knew it well, from previous squid-tagging expeditions. The plan was to move to here to sleep, but also to continue with the acoustic experiments in the absence of the marauding horde. The depth here was only 100 feet, and I felt certain that there was no way that squid would bother us here.
But no more than 10 minutes after I proclaimed sanctuary, the captain reported into the lab that he had just caught a squid -- there he is, Humboldt squid proudly displayed. And in short order there were squid all around the boat at the surface – it was truly amazing. We could also see them on the sonar, zipping up and down in the water. In order to get an idea of their size range two of us fished for about ten minutes and caught 20 squid. Finally, we retired and had to continue with the acoustic experiments in the morning – and this time there were no squid.