Halibut Fishing

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Halibut fishing Tips

Halibut tend to like the deep water. It is not uncommon to fish well over 300 feet deep for these big boys.
Halibut will bite on Octopus, Herring, strips of Shad and many types of big rubber lures.   Since the halibut is a deep water fish a glow bead on the leader between the two hooks seems to attract  the halibut to the bait.
If using a rubber bait the glow in the dark rubber bait works well. To help keep the leader from tangling and twisting while dropping the bait in deep water we recommend a halibut spreader bar. Pre-made Halibut spreader bars are very common and can be bought from sporting goods stores along the coast. The weight, hooks and black barrel swivel has to be supplied by the angler.

The all tackle world record at 459 pounds. was caught near Dutch Harbor, Alaska in 1996.

Fishing Poles

Choosing a Halibut fishing pole..
We fish with the Shakespeare ugly stik Tiger BWC/AD 2202 7’ 0” Medium heavy action with 30 to 60 lb test line rating. We feel these fishing poles are a great choice for halibut, because they have plenty of power in the lower section of the fishing rod to land very large fish, and the tip section is soft enough to feel a light bite.

Haibut fishing Reels

Choosing a fishing reel for Halibut. We fish with and recommend the Qualia Q12-II or the Q16-II These are heavy duty reels and are very dependable for pulling large fish from great depths.  They will hold about 400 yards of 80 lb test super braid line.  The spider wire braided line. It holds up well to the pressure that one can put on this line when landing halibut. The Qualia reel is an excellent choice.  The Qualia Q12 –II and Q16-II are 2 speed reels. The low gear will work awesome for pulling big fish to the surface, and the high gear works well for a fast line retrieve.


Choosing hooks for halibut fishing.. A 10/0 Octopus hook is a good choice for halibut.  They are large enough to hook and hold large baits.  They are strong enough hook and hold large halibut that is hooked on a rod and reel.   Another popular hook for halibut is called a circle hook.  The point of the hook is turned into and pointed toward the shank of the hook.  The harder the angler pulls the deeper the hook will twist into the jaw of the fish. If using a circle hook remember "don't set the hook" !! Once you get a bite just start reeling and keep a lot of pressure on the fish.


Choosing weights for Halibut fishing. Getting to the bottom halibut fishing can be a chore.  The ideal way to fish halibut is straight down from the boat. If the wind or current is moving the boat across the surface of the water, the more weight the angler has to use.    Because of the large weights needed a canon ball is a popular weight type.  They can be bought in many different sizes.  While fishing off the Oregon coast we use 48 oz weights on a regular basis.  So get your arms in shape before the halibut fishing trip..

Halibut Facts

Pacific Halibut range from Coastal waters of Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and into northern California. The largest amount of Halibut is located in central Gulf of Alaska, particularly near Kodiak Island. About 2% of halibut that can be fished is found off Oregon and Washington, about 15% off British Columbia, and the remainder off Alaska.
Juvenile Halibut are common in shallow, near-shore waters 6.5 to 160 feet deep in Alaska and British Columbia. They tend to move to deeper water as they age and migrate primarily eastward and southward. Pacific Halibut grow about 4 inches per year until about age 6. From then on, females grow faster and reach substantially greater sizes than the male. Females and males both live to be quite old, and can weigh over 500 pounds and grow to 9 feet. The oldest halibut on record (IPHC) was a 55 year old male, but halibut over the age of 25 are rare. Females mature around 12 years old; males mature around 8 years old. Growth rates of both sexes have varied greatly over the last century and depend on abundance of both halibut and competing species.

Halibut Spawn in deep water (approximately 600 to 1,500 feet) along the continental slope, concentrated at a number of locations in the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, Gulf of Alaska, and south to British Columbia. A 50-pound female can produce about 500,000 eggs; a female over 250 pounds can produce 4 million eggs. Females spawn once per year. They release their eggs in batches over several days during the spawning season. Eggs hatch after 12 to 15 days. The larvae slowly float closer to the surface where they remain in the water column for about 6 months until they reach their adult form. They then settle to the bottom in shallow water.

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