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halibut fishing

Old 03-01-2011, 05:22 AM
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Default halibut fishing

I have never caught one, is it worth going for them and what has been your experience?
I am not a big fan of heavy jigs is there a place to fish for them using light tackle??
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:33 AM
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I spent 3 years with the Coast Guard in Kodiak AK. I generally fished lighter tackle than most others and had fun with it. Halibut pound for pound don't seem that strong to me. The downside to using tackle that might be considered light for halibut in the usual 20-50 pound range is that every now and then you are going to be undergunned for that 100+ pounder.
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:59 AM
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One day last year on the boat we somehow managed to catch 2 up on Tillies!!!!

one was on bait and one was on a jig. I heard a few scattered stories this year of people happening across them. At this point in time I'd be willing to guess that it isn't really worth setting out for them, I think its more of a chance type thing. over the past few years I have started hearing more reports of them so maybe they're making a comeback.
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:16 PM
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Came across a small hump on the back side of IOS last year. FF showed bait at180' Sent down a hi-lo cod rig baited w/ clams. Fish was good sized but lost him at the boat! (When I saw it I did a kid thing and stopped reeling and raised the rod tip. When I lowered the rod to reel it in the 16 oz sinker pulled the hook out due to slack). I guess I felt exited like a kid seeing that big flattie!
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:58 PM
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About 15 years ago, I chartered a salmon/halibut trip out of Homer, AK, taking my own South Florida deep jigging rod, a KC696 7' blank built into a plug casting rod, and a Shimano Calcutta 400 reel loaded with 15# mono and a bunch of 2 - 4 oz bucktail jigs. The owner of the lodge/boat was quite fascinated with this outfit when I started to outfish the others on the boat who were using his 4/0 reels loaded with 80# line and 2 pounds of lead. During that week, I would estimate my outfit (I lent it to others in my group) outfished the standard halibut rigs used by most outfitters in teh area by a 3 - 1 margin. When I got home, the outfitter called me and asked where he could purchase some rods like mine as he had purchased 4 reels to go on them. I ended up building him some to these rods, and the following summer my son became his deckhand and taught him some of the finer points of deep jigging and light tackle fishing. He became a firm believer in this tackle. You don't have to use heavy tackle for halibut. Now I never caught any monsters, but my biggest was 94 pounds, not too shabby. I've also caught 50-60 pound AJ, and grouper to 38# on this tackle. A lot has to do with the rod, a fast taper to move the jig with the guts in the butt section to lift a fish
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Old 03-01-2011, 03:46 PM
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Atlantic or Pacific?

Seems to be some mixed answers.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Shortfin19seventy View Post
Atlantic or Pacific?

Seems to be some mixed answers.
both just want to use light tackle
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:29 AM
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Here's a third for light tackle - more fun than winching them in with a heavy rod. In BC and SE Alaska, we use 9' salmon rods with salmon-sized reels and 50lb braid, jigging at the bottom in 100-200 feet. Many over 50lb, a few 100+, and one 200+. We release the really big ones (all female) so they can get back to producing more.

May not be the strongest fight per pound, but the eating sure is good!
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:58 PM
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What size jig head
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:51 PM
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I had a trip similar to what RCook discribes. last june i went out near homer and fished on a private boat. we used diamond jigs tipped with a bit of herring on 50 lb braid and I was catching 15-20 pounders as fast as i could drop a jig in. the guy who took me out just watched me having a blast and tossed the better fish (those that went 25-40 pounds) into the kill box, after we had limits i kept on fishing c&r until the current picked up too much. I probably caught 40-50 buts each day we went out.

the jig size depends on the current, near the slack tide i was using 3.5 ounce, when the current was ripping i used a 10 ounce, and the bites came slower, i had to actually jig the rod for almost a minute once. . .

might go back in may since there are some good airfares out there right now. I will take the same gear, and a fresh supply of diamond jigs.

the biggest i got was 38.5 pounds, but I am sure i could have handled a fish of around 100 on the gear I was using.

good luck
jerry

PS: just so no one can call BS:
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:09 PM
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Halibut is THE fish we fish for in our short summers. Biggest in our family to date is a 175 pounder. Most people who have a halibut addiction will tell you to use a jig and lighter weight tackle. Sometimes the jig gets a piece of herring on it, but mostly not. Use the smallest size that will keep you on the bottom.
In Alaska that means from 6 ounces to 2 pounds. If the tide is ripping sometimes they can not even hit bottom.
95% of the time jigs will out fish bait.
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
Halibut is THE fish we fish for in our short summers. Biggest in our family to date is a 175 pounder. Most people who have a halibut addiction will tell you to use a jig and lighter weight tackle. Sometimes the jig gets a piece of herring on it, but mostly not. Use the smallest size that will keep you on the bottom.
In Alaska that means from 6 ounces to 2 pounds. If the tide is ripping sometimes they can not even hit bottom.
95% of the time jigs will out fish bait.
sounds like good stuff
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:20 AM
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We use mostly 8, 12, or 16-oz Big'N lead head jigs with 10" grubs, often tipped with octopus, squid, or halibut skin. The deeper and the more current, the heavier we use. We did catch our very biggest one on a 6(?) oz white bullet-head bucktail jig. Planning to try some big (13-16 oz) Crippled Herrings this year.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:40 AM
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Halibut is fun fishing

Use a high quality reel as they can be really tough on the drags and gears

I caught a 87 lb halibut on a Penn 330 GTI . . . I would not go any smaller . . . line capacity is not the issue it is the quality of the reel . . . eels were supplied by the outfitter . . . I would bring my own reels next trip
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:45 AM
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Here is a link to a post I made a while back about halibut fishing

Lots of pictures

http://www.thehulltruth.com/boating-...life-time.html



.
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:30 PM
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thanks it makes the winter a little shorter
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:02 PM
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We fish a lot of Halis in B.C. #197 is my biggest but #60's are common. Best eating are #10 to #30.
We catch a lot while trolling for salmon but when we are targeting them we will jig with just about anything as long as it has a scrap of salmon on it. Depth has a lot to do with what gear you use.
I look for them anywhere from 100' to 350' but have caught them as shallow as 40' when trolling.
#80 braid and a stiff short rod.
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