Michael Matsunaga was fishing near Turtle Bay on August 30th (2022) and using fish and squid as bait when he reeled in a new state record in Hawaii for catching the heaviest octopus.
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Matsunaga caught a 25.95-pound octopus fishing at a depth of 400 feet deep breaking his brother’s 22-year-old state record in Hawaii.
Once he reeled the deep sea monster up from the depths and got it onto his boat, he still had to wrangle it because it was trying to escape.
“He has eight legs. I get two arms. I kind of put him in the cooler, but he tried to get out everything,” Matsunaga told Hawaii News Now. “I finally got him in the cooler, and then I had to sit on the cooler because he was kind of lifting [the top] up.”
Wildlife experts working with National Geographic, say there are about 300 types of octopus worldwide and some of the species can weigh up to 600 pounds.
To survive, octopuses usually blend into their surroundings by matching the colors and textures of their skin to the environment.
Another survival technique they have is they can squirt a cloud of ink at an approaching predator and temporarily blind them to get away.
In Hawaii, octopuses are often called tako, which is the Japanese word for the animal. Octopuses are classified as cephalopods which puts them in the same family as squid and they are often served raw in poke dishes.
However, Matsunaga says he plans to cook his catch one leg at a time boiled in beer. This catch of his marks his second state record.
Matsunaga also currently holds the state record in Hawaii for an 11-pound, 6-ounce red snapper which he caught in 2005.
His new octopus record beat the previous record which was a 19-pounder caught in October of 2000 by Matsunaga’s brother Stewart.