A commercial fishing crew out of Hawaii’s Hilo Harbor landed a massive squid weighing in at just under 34 pounds. Nikko Eterovich and his crew were out around midnight on Feb. 1 when the crew alerted him that they had something big.

“At first we thought maybe it was a Manta ray,” Eterovich told KHON. “I got it up to the boat, and my deckhand misgaffed 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 said he and his crew were in about 1,000 fathoms of water. He believes it was a diamondback squid (Thysanoteuthis rhombus), which is a tropical species that swims as deep as 27 fathoms but comes up at night to feed. They typically get to be about 3 or 4 feet long. That could make this catch one of the biggest ever landed.

Nikko Eterovich’s massive squid catch. Facebook photo

“When I sold it to Suisan Fish Market, they said it was the largest, by far, they’ve seen in years,” Eterovich told KHON. “Was definitely a catch for the books.”

The squid’s digital weight was 33 pounds 12.8 ounces, according to Eterovich, though a Facebook image shows it on a scale registering 34.1 pounds. The squid’s girth was 26 3/8 inches, and its length was 58.5 inches.

Eterovich is still waiting for official confirmation on the species and whether he will take the record for Hawaii for the catch that he said could make “about 100 plates of calamari.”

“According to the state record, the last mizu ika, or diamondback squid, weighed 28.5 pounds — caught in Kona,” Eterovich said. “At 33.5 pounds, I beat the record. I am in the process of sending in the Hawaii state record fishing application.”

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Jessica Hathaway is the former editor in chief of National Fisherman.

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