Aug 3 2011

Surprising squid encounter in La Jolla delights photographer

Jon Schwartz of Carlsbad comes across a large shoal of squid swimming near his kayak off the La Jolla coast. Photos by Jon Schwartz/ www.bluewaterjon.com

By Steven Mihailovich

Jon Schwartz has been photographing marine life for the past four years and he’s good at it. Good enough for 15 magazines such as Field & Stream, Sport Fishing and Marlin to grace their covers with his photos. Schwartz said he travels far and wide to get his shots of exotic fish, such as marlin in pristine tropical waters, to destinations like Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean islands among others, where he has landed in pursuit of his prized subjects.

However, when Schwartz and fishing buddy Josh Pruitt launched their kayaks in the predawn hours of June 20, none of his many expeditions across the globe prepared him for what he found just one mile off the coast of La Jolla: a large shoal of squid swimming near the surface by his kayak.

“The squid encounter was super special,” Schwartz said of the experience. “It’s expensive to go to the places I go to get the pictures I get. With this, I didn’t have to get on a plane and bring my gear. It was completely unexpected and I was back at my house in half an hour.”

That day, the pair had kayaked for hours and Pruitt hooked a 40-pound white sea bass while Schwartz snapped photos of it. At about noon, they chanced upon the shoal of red squid just underneath them, which Schwartz estimates to have been about 20 feet by 30 feet, or the size of two SUVs.

Read the rest of the story here.

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