HILO, Hawaii (KHON2) — On Feb. 1, around midnight, it was just another work night for Nikko Eterovich, a small boat commercial fisherman out of Hilo Harbor. However, he ended up catching what may be the biggest squid — also known as Ika — in Hawaii.
Eterovich said he and his crew were in about 6,000 feet of water.
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At first we thought maybe it was a Manta ray. I heard the deckhands talking about what it could be,” Eterovich said. “Once it got close to the boat and I realized what it was, I flew out of the cab and grabbed an Ika pole. First cast I cast over the Ika and hook up immediately on my trusty homemade Ika jig my friend gifted to me.
I got it up to the boat and my deckhand miss gaffed it in the wing. It tore through the wing and plummeted to the depths. I thought for sure it was gone. I gave it a line but kept the tension and was able to fight it back up to the surface. Wasn’t going to let it get away the second time I gaffed it. Perfect headshot and landed it.”
Eterovich added this was the biggest Mizu or squid he ever caught. The last one he caught weighed 13 pounds.
“When I sold it to Suisan Fish Market, they said it was the largest, by far, they’ve seen in years,” explained Eterovich. “Was definitely a catch for the books.”
The squid’s digital weight was 33 pounds and 12.8 ounces, according to Eterovich. The squid’s girth was 26 3/8 inches, and its length was 58.5 inches.
For those wondering how big the squid was, Eterovich said it could make “about 100 plates of calamari.”
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“We love to eat squid. Our personal favorites are squid luau, kimchi squid poke, sashimi and, of course, fried calamari with sweet chili sauce and lemon.”
“It’s one of the monsters from the deep that we see occassionally in Hawaii,” said Andrew Rossiter, Waikiki Aquarium. “It’s a big animal. It’s a big animal. I’m not sure as I mentioned what species it is but it’s probably normally found in deeper offshore waters. So unusual to see it caught.”