Giant Squid Return to SoCal Waters in Force

Hundreds of giant squid have appeared in the waters off Dana Point and San Clemente for the last few days.

By Janet Kwak and Julie Brayton
|  Saturday, Jan 5, 2013  |  Updated 10:35 AM PDT
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Hundreds of giant squid have appeared in the waters off Dana Point and San Clemente for the last few days.  Janet Kwak reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2013.

Janet Kwak, Mike Tauber

Hundreds of giant squid have appeared in the waters off Dana Point and San Clemente for the last few days. Janet Kwak reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2013.

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About 3 miles off the coast of Dana Point on Friday night, the crew of Dana Wharf Sportfishing sailed off in search of giant squid, called Humbolts.

Hundreds of them have showed up off the Southern California coast in the past few days.

"They're voracious eaters," fisherman Joey Santley said. "When they come into town, they eat everything in sight."

The squid can grow to be about 3 to 7 feet long, according to Santley. One is big enough to feed a family of six.

On Thursday night, anglers caught more than 200 of them.

Why they're coming here now is a bit of a mystery.

"There can be all sorts of different reasons. Pressures from other feeding zones are being depleted, or they're just on their way to another feeding zone and they're just coming through," Santley said.

And so are people who want a glimpse of them, or hoping for a big catch.

The recent sightings have made nightly trips popular.

"Three days ago, was the first we found them, and then last night all the boats were basically full, and they got hundreds of them," Santley said. "Tonight (Friday) we got three boats out here and they're all full of people right now."

Wlldlife experts say its not clear how long the Humboldts will stick around, but nightly trips will depart from Dana Point as long as the squid keep feeding there.

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