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The Tantalizing Squid - Part 3


the behavior of your gear, you have to jerk upward to set the hooks immediately. Then keep a steady upward motion as you reel or lift your catch to the surface. The hooks on squid jigs are barbless and most of the time the critter isn't really hooked, only entwined in the prongs - so any slack in your line will lose you your catch.

Two words of caution

Squid have a defense mechanism - dark ink. They shoot the ink at intruders who come too close - and, on land, this could be you. In the water, it is an effective defense that creates a cloud behind which the squid makes a quick getaway.

Don't be overly distressed about getting squid ink on your hands and clothes, however. Not surprisingly, the ink is water soluble and washes out if you act quickly before it dries.4

Our second note of caution is about the possibility of bites. It's good to remember that these creatures do have a parrot-like beak. Although we have told you that squid are not likely to bite at your lure, they can and do bite things like food and perceived enemies who are not alert.

Public Piers

	Kitsap County:
Indianola Pier (3) 
Suquamish (4)
 Keyport (1.4) 
Brownsville (1.4) 
Silverdale (1) 
Illahee City Pier (4) 
Illahee State Pk. Pier 
	Harper Pier (1.4)
	Bremerton area 
Coal Dock (Lion's Park) (4) 
Park Avenue (1)

For KEY to what these piers offer, see map in center of book

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squid anatomy

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Preparing the catch

There are two basic ways of cleaning squid depending on whether your recipe calls for cutlets or strips or the whole mantle or rings. The sketches and directions on the following pages give you these two methods.

Method A

This method is the faster of the two. Use if recipe calls for cutlets or strips
cleaning squid

STEP 1: Slip knife inside mantle and slit lengthwise along underside, or belly. Open mantle and scrape away viscera and pen (transparent backbone).

cleaning squid

STEP 2: To remove tentacles, cut in front of eyes. Squeeze tentacles near cut end to pop out hard, chitinous beak (see inset). Discard beak, pen, head and viscera. Reserve mantle and tentacles. (Please turn to next page)

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STEP 3: Make cut in mantle about 1/4-Inch from tail end (see inset). Holding membrane near cut, pull mantle away from membrane. Discard membrane. Rinse mantle with cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Use mantle whole or cut into strips widthwise. Use tentacles in recipe, or fry and serve as an appetizer.

cleaning squid

Method B

Use if recipe calls for whole mantles or rings.

cleaning squid

STEP 1: Holding mantle In one hand, pinch pen (transparent backbone) with index finger and thumb of opposite hand, separating pen from mantle.

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cleaning squid

STEP 2: Gently pull pen out of mantle, easing viscera out along with pan. Cut away tentacles as in Method A, step 2.

STEP 3: (Not illustrated) Scrape membrane to loosen from mantle. Peel away all membrane and discard. Rinse mantle thoroughly with cold water to remove any remaining viscera. Pat dry with paper towels.

cleaning squid

STEP 4: Use mantle whole or cut into rings. Use tentacles in recipe, or fry and serve as an appetizer.

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Cooking calamari

Enjoying your catch

Calamari, as chefs here are calling squid, is nothing new as a gourmet food. It also is nothing new as the basis for good home cooking. It's just that we in the Northwest are now discovering what Italian cooks - indeed, cooks all over Europe and in Mediterranean and Asian nations - have known for centuries. All you have to do is look at the abundance of recipes for squid and you will realize that it is well-established dining fare around the world.

There are many good things to say about calamari as a main ingredient. An excellent source of lean nutrition, squid is lower in fat and calories than many other protein sources.5

On top of that, it is beautifully versatile. It can be used for appetizers, soups, salads or main dishes.

It can be sauteed, simmered, stir-fried or baked. We haven't talked to anyone who barbecues squid - but that remains a possibility. It also can be pickled.

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It can be used in small pieces, in strips, in rings, as a tube with stuffing or in flat filets. (One inventive cook we know uses the flat cuts in place of lasagna noodles.)

Squid also blends itself into many flavor personalities. There are Scandinavian. Asian, Mexican, French, Russian, Spanish, Italian - and, of course, American - squid variations.

Hints for the chef

Squid belong to the same group of animals as clams, scallops, oysters and abalone.

The flesh is firm, contains very little natural juice and is delicate.6

To enjoy the best of this fragile seafood, be careful about cooking times. Three minutes is the maximum time for a saute and 20 minutes the minimum time for a stew.

The same goes for marinades. Timing is important. Lacking its own juices, squid quickly absorbs marinades and their flavorings. Thirty minutes probably is the maximum soaking time.7


Now, some actual how-to's for your kitchen. We offer but a sampling of those many types of recipes mentioned above.

Once you understand the basics for handling this delicate, but accommodating seafood, you are likely to think of many ways to adapt it to your own recipes.

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The Old Stand-by

If you never have cooked squid before, this favorite stand-by recipe for pan-fried squid is an easy way to start.

· Cleaned squid cut into 1-in. rings

· flour

· 2/3 c. bread crumbs, mixed with

· 1 /3 c. Parmesan cheese

· milk or egg beaten with 1 T. water

· your choice of oil (olive, peanut, vegetable, etc.)

Dredge squid rings in flour, dip in milk (or egg mixture), roll in crumb mixture. Allow to rest a few minutes to set crumbs. Fry quickly in oil until golden (about 1 minute on medium heat).

Squid Spread

Your catch shows up as a dill-flavored appetizer with this recipe

· 3 lbs. whole squid mantles, cleaned

· 1/2 c. sour cream

· 1/2 c. mayonnaise

· 2 oz. chopped pimiento

· 1 T. lemon juice

· 1 tsp, dried dill weed - salt to taste

Cook mantles in boiling, salted water for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Chop

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squid into small pieces. Mix squid. sour cream, mayonnaise, and pimientos. Add lemon juice, dill weed and salt. Serve chilled with crackers or assorted vegetables.8

Stuffed Calamari

The whole mantles can be used as alternates for tube-shaped pastas, such as manicotti. Here is one such Italian-style recipe.

· 2 lbs. cleaned squid mantles (whole)

· 3/4 c. ricotta cheese 

· 3/4 c. grated mozzarella cheese 

· 2 T. chopped parsley

· 1 t. dried oregano 

· 1 t. dried basil 

· 1/4 c. chopped almonds 

· 1/2 c. coarse bread crumbs 

· 1 c. coarsely chopped mushrooms 

· 2 c. marinara sauce (purchased or your favorite recipe) 

· 2 T. grated Parmesan cheese 

· 1/3 c. grated mozzarella cheese

Combine ricotta, 3/4 c. mozzarella, parsley, oregano, basil, Parmesan and almonds and mix well. Stir in bread crumbs and shrooms. Stuff squid mantles until plump but not packed. Close opening and secure with toothpick. Pour small amount of marinara sauce into 11x17 inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Arrange squid in single layer in dish. Top with marinara sauce and bake uncovered at 350° F. for 20 minutes. Top with re-maining 1/3 c. mozzarella and bake an additional 10 minutes or until squid is tender and filling is bubbly. Serves 4.9

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Squid Oriental

Use squid rings or pieces in your favorite stir-fry recipe. They go well with Chinese or Japanese style vegetables cooked in your wok.

Calamari Athena

Here is calamari in Greek attire.

·      3 lbs. cleaned squid, whole or filets

·      2 T. olive oil

·      1 c. chopped onion

·      1 clove garlic, finely chopped

·      2-1/2 c. chopped tomatoes

·      1 /2 c. chopped parsley

·      1 /2 tsp. salt

·      dash pepper

·      1/2 tsp, basil

·      1 /2 tsp. oregano

Cook squid in boiling, salted water about 1 hour or until tender. Drain. Cut into pieces. Sauce onion and garlic in hot oil until brown. Add tomatoes, parsley, season-ings, and squid. Cook until tender. Serve hot over rice. Serves 6.10

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Those tantalizing SQUID

As our expert, a gent with 15 years of experience in dealing with the elusive squid, commented with a wry smile, "It's always a gamble."

You never know for sure where you are going to catch them...at what time you are going to catch them....or, even if you are going to outsmart them at all on a given expedition.

About one thing there's no doubt, however. Squid-jigging is one of the unique opportunities offered up by Washington's fishing waters - and, if you're an angler who likes challenge, it will be hard to ignore those tantalizing squid.

squid break
Enjoying a squid break at an "in town" dock
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1 F.R. Bernard, "Preliminary Report on the Potential Commercial
Squid of British Columbia," Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries 
and Aquatic Sciences No. 942, Canada Department of Fisheries and 
Oceans (May, 1980).

2 Thomas E. Bettinger, "Sport Squid Fishing in Puget Sound,"  
Washington Department of Fisheries (1986).

3 Bernard

4 Isaac Cronin Seafood Leader, Spring, 1983.

5 Discover Pacific Squid, West Coast Fisheries Development 
Foundation, Portland, OR.

6 Cronin 

7 Ibid.

8 Let's Cook Squid the European Way, University of California Sea 
Grant Marine Advisory Program, assisted by California Department of Fish and Game

9 Discover Pacific Squid.

10 Let's Cook Squid the European Way.
Notification Clause

The Washington Department of Fisheries receives Federal funding for Fish Restoration. Under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the U.S. Department of Interior Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, or handicap. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to: Office for Human Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C., 20240.


This publication was funded by:

· The Sport Fish Restoration Act, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 
U.S. Department of the Interior


· The Washington Department of Fisheries

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Inside back cover

The legalities

No license is required for squid jigging - and the season is open year-round.

The daily personal limit is 10 pounds or five quarts.

The following gear is legal for squidding:

·   Up to four lures on one line

·   A maximum of nine conventional hooks (points) on 
	a lure or combination of lures

·   Herring rakes

·   Hand dip net gear
NOTICE. For up-to-date regulatory information go to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife website.

As at December 2007, a Shellfish Licence is required. No min. size. Daily limit 5 qts. or 10 lbs., plus up to 5 Humboldt squid. Legal gear is a forage fish jig, a maximum of 4 squid lures, forage fish dip net, or a hand dip net. Each harvester must have a separate container.

For information

Department of Fisheries
Olympia- General Information
(206) 753-6600

Fishing regulations questions:
WDF Patrol
(206) 753-6585

Office of Information & Education
Olympia - (206) 753-6552

Sport & Commercial Fishing Hotline
1-976-3200 (75 cents per call) 
[1-206-427-9500 - LD charge] 

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Back cover
washington fisheries
Booth Gardner Joseph R. Blum
Governor Director


115 General Administration Building Olympia, Washington . 98504

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Page last updated: 21 March 2005