At first, Powers couldn't find a concentration of squid that would bite. We put the glow-in-the-dark squid jigs down tothe bottom in 600 feet of water. For the first hour the bite was tough; a dozen big squid were hooked and landed.Then the big predators finally went on the bite - the jumbo squid attack had started."These squid live only one year and grow up to one inch per day," said Powers. "To keep growing, they feed oneverything that moves, including one another."I hooked my first squid at 300 feet and it seemed like it took forever getting it in.These squid are extremely powerful. Although they don't make like long runs like atuna, they make short bursts and fight all of the way to the boat.It was total chaos. Even with three deckhands, it was hard to keep up with thesquid. I was hooking the sea monsters just 3 to 5 feet below the surface. Everytime I would drop down, I would hook a squid.I stopped at nine squid, more than enough for my tired arms and plenty of squid for future dinners. By 12:30 p.m. when Rick Powers called it a day, most anglers weretoo tired to continue fishing. (The squid bag limit is 35, since the bag limit on allinvertebrates for which there is not a bag limit otherwise established is 35.)When the squid were landed, they would go through some amazing color changes,from red, to pink, to blue-grey, similar to a dorado. Although relatively docile whenthey are taken out of the water, anglers definitely need to be careful about handlingthem, since they have razor-sharp beaks that tear through the flesh of their prey -or somebody's careless finger. In spite of all of the squid flopping around the deck during the height of the action, Ididn't see anybody get bit.Anglers experiencing the sensational squid action included Eric Stockstad, Bard Forster, Eric Johnson, BruceCorbett, Gib Earl, Jim Dunn, Don Sanchez, Scott Webb, Bruce Webb, Darwin Boele, Robert Ea, Dee Jones, RandyKelly, Mel Whit, Albert De Sousa, Jim Harrington, Curt Scarrit, Dan Shaw, Kelli Shaw, Bill Henneberg, Wayne Miller,Michael Lum, Anthony Nguyen, Perry Bell, Lue R. Hoff, Jeff Asbury, Henry Farnsworth, Tim Malsch, Zane Black,Kevin Calvi, Ernest Couright, Dennis Lai, Gus Fabian, Cliff Chiu, Wayne Brown, Denise Brown and DeAnn Jones.On the day before, Fish Sniffer columnist Kathie Morgan, fishing aboard the Payback skippered by Captain DaveFrench, also reported hot squid action. She also reported being bitten through her sock by a hungry squid on thedeck; boots, rather than tennis shoes, are highly recommended when squid fishing!Besides being a fun recreational fishery, the jumbo squid is targeted by commercial fisheries in the Sea of Cortezand off the coast of Central and South America. Mexican panga fishermen fish for squid at night in the Sea of Cortez fish to supply the Japanese calamari market. The Japanese consider the big, white-meated squid to be adelicacy."With so much unknown about the biology of this squid, it is impossible to intelligently manage such fisheries,"noted William Gilly, a biology professor at Stanford University, who has been studying the species for two decades,in the National Geographic News on July 20, 2003.National Geographic Ultimate Explorer television correspondent Mireya Mayor followed Gilly and cameraman BobCranston on one of their expeditions to Guaymas, Mexico for the fascinating documentary Devils of the Deep.The squid live at depths from 660 to 2,300 feet, but will come up to feed, as we saw during my trip. Gilly estimatesthat 10 million squid may be living in a 25-squre mile area outside of Santa Rosalia, Mexico. "There is probably analmost unimaginable number of Humboldt squid if you consider their entire range - Chile to California and over halfway to Hawaii on the equator," he stated.How long the jumbo squid will school off the California coast is anybody's guess. But they offer an excitingalternative to crabbing until the salmon season off Bodega Bay begins on April 2 and the rockfish season starts onJuly 1.