Our web content coordinator Robert caught a popular aquarium animal while fishing yesterday here in Orange County. Here's Robert to tell the tale:
"We were fishing in about 40 feet of water just south of Newport Bay. I was using a classic dropper loop with a squid strip and my secret plastic lure—fisherman never tell!I felt a little tug on my line, then it went limp and felt heavy. I told my buddy, 'I think I caught some kelp or a ray.'
I did not feel any fighting or movement when I began reeling up, just dead weight on the end of my line. I finally got 'it' to the boat and yelled, 'Holy crap! It’s a monster Mantis Shrimp!'
I actually caught one once before, so I knew it wasn't completely out of the ordinary to find one in local waters. Last time though the shrimp was only about 6 inches—this guy was easily 12 inches long!
I worried how I would get this bugger off my hook with my fingers still intact. My hook had snagged the shrimp by the tail, so it was snapping like crazy once I got it into the boat. Fortunately, I was able to remove the hook quickly—with all fingers safely intact—using my handy-dandy Gerber multi-tool. I snapped a few photos then released the monster back into the deep."