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Thread: halibut--1 hook or 2 ?

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default halibut--1 hook or 2 ?

    Dave made a comment about only using one hook on his halibut rigs and that he does mostly drift fishing for them. Just wondering how many others on use 1 vs 2 and does it matter if you are drifting or anchored? Please supply some logic to your reasoning and share your level of experience as well if you don't mind. Not trying to say if you have limited experience that your opinion isn't just as valid but I'm sure that it would help all on the forum.

    All I have ever seen in 2 hook rigs and from a rookies point of view it seemed just to make more sense to have more bait in the water. Heck, any type of fishing i have ever done or seen (and that isn't limited ) was that the more bait in the water the better.

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    I use only one at a time on the rigs on my boat because I don't like dealing with two halibut at once. My regular fishing pardner prefers two hooks. So when we're on my boat we use one, and on his boat we use two. We both catch pretty much all the halibut we need.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I used to buy the pemade rigs from the store made with the crimped mono line. I have had quite a few of these pull out at one of the crimps. several times on smaller fish and once on an 80 pounder after we had him in my boat.
    I tried two hook rigs and they work fine. Yes I have caught two fish at once on a double hook rig.
    Due to issues I had with the crimped mono rigs I now tie my own using two hundred and three hundred pound gaignon twine using a gaignon knot.
    I have never had issues with my knots or gaignons.
    I have some tied with Mustad circle hooks and some tied with J hooks specifically Mustad 34081 12/0 big game hooks. The are the same hooks used in some of my jig molds so I have some on hand anyway.
    I now prefer single hook rigs. Easy to tie and easy to use. I do not think the colored gaignon twine spooks any fish or anything like that.
    I also do not have to rely on a crimp holding up or stock a supply of crimps or a crimp tool or other components of those systems.
    A single hook rigged right will IMHO catch just as many fish as a double hook rig.
    As others have said the second hook can be problematic. You can have more tangles and increase the chance of a fish you intend to release being injured worse by the second hook. Also once the fish is flopping on deck that extra hook swinging around can be an accident waiting to happen.
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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Ive tried both methods. I think Ill stick with one hook. When I did two hooks it was a circle hook paired with a smaller J-hook. What I imagine was happening with that setup was the J hook would get bit first, then I would set the hook and lets face it , they just dont hold as well as a circle. And when it did hold it was usually sucked way back in the throat and it would always be a little one that did it. One that I would like to release un harmed. Plus two many hooks kinda ruin a herring making it go soft faster. Also, not sure of the law but I always thought you could use multiple hooks but they have to be attached to the same bait.

    The anchoring vs drift thing I think is more tuned to where your fishing. If its a reletivly big area with little topography on the bottom than I think drifting is best. If your fishing a little plateau or something then I would anchor. I say that because I have experienced some places doesnt matter if you drift or anchor, you catch the same number of fish. And some areas if Im off the spot by a couple hundred yards Ill get nothing wether trying to drift by it or am at anchor.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    I've always used 2 hooks. Either store bought or hand tied. I do it becuase I like having twice as much bait on the bottom. Never cought two halibut on the same rig, but have caught plenty of cod doubles.
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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    well I looked up the regs. It doesnt say that the hooks have to be on one piece of bait, but you are limited to two. That being said I would think having to chunks of bait would get tangled.

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    I used one my first day out for butt down here in Juneau....and got a double....that was cool. However besides doubling your bait down there, I don't think it makes much of a difference. The heavy mono set ups do a good job of keeping the bait untangled though. The double was actually disappointing as I thought I had a flippin whopper but instead had two 15 pounders go ape on the line.

    I use three feet of gangion line with a circle hook tied to a three way swivel with weight for the most part, it flutters nicely in the current and let's suck it down without the short mono leaders making them change their mind. Prefer jigging, but always have a salmon head or carcass down on the big rod.

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    Member Soundfisher's Avatar
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    I use two hook rigs that I make out of 300# mono with crimps. I mostly fish PWS and I usually fish 300' or more. I like having the extra piece of bait on there, because it give you that second chance if you got robbed or if a fish just came off after a short time. At 300' it takes quite a while to get reset and back down again. To me it only makes sense. But I am thick headed sometimes What I have found is that I have to keep a good eye on the setup for damage, especially after fighting a larger fish. Sometimes the mono will get bent back at one of the crimps. As far as experience, I have owned my own boat and fished halibut for 25 years. I have caught a lot of fish between the 100-220 pound range on these setups. I wont fish any other way using bait.

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    When fishing for halibut, I'm looking for the bigger ones. Ok, that might only mean something in the 40-90 pound range.

    A two hookup can catch two fish at a time (done and watched this many times) but I've never seen that setup catch two bigger fish at a time. We've had more than one big halibut follow big halibut (both >100#) to the surface looking for scraps. I've seen big hits and then both fish and gear lost ... only can guess the size and whether two fish were on other end. One can't get back the down time associated with fouled lines and dealing with two smaller fish.

    Rig the bait right ... and one hook does just fine. If you use two hooks, suggest you keep them close together to decrease the chance of catching two fish at a time.

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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    I only use one hook, but I can see peoples logic in using two hooks in those deep areas. As far as keeping bait on the bottom for that second strike, I try to follow the rule of only one person reeling up at a time for bait checks.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    OK I see peoples point about Having bait stolen from one hook and still having bait on another.
    What I wonder is how do you know the other hook still has bait on it?
    I think if a fish did not hit right away after dropping the two hook rig back down I would see myself reeling the rig up anyway just to make sure the bait is still there same as with a single hook rig.
    Then again with a jig you still have something down there a fish will readily strike and you can easily tell if it is still there or not.
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    The solution to having your bait stolen and having to check your bait is simple---use bait that doesn't have to be checked when you get a hit that doesn't result in a hooked fish. That's why I use squid and octopus. Especially when they are treated with a bait toughener such as the Pro-Cure "Brine 'n Bite" that I like. I also add a little extra non-iodized salt to it for a little bit extra toughening power. Like I said in the other thread I often times will catch at least 2 or 3, if not more, halibut on one piece of bait.

    Cod, salmon pieces and pollock are the same way, which is one reason I like using them, too. And you don't even have to toughen them up to get them to stay on your hook. A big chunk of a cod tail, or head will stay on a hook for a very long time. I've had to cut them off before when we were limited out and the piece of bait was still on the hook.

    Also utilizing a "skirt" or some other such "attractor" helps a lot, too. I have tried fishing with just a skirt on my line and no bait and have caught halibut that way. And especially when you combine it with something like the open celled foam soaked in some sort of attracting oil---it's essentially like having bait on your line. That way when you use bait and you think your bait had been stolen you still have a good chance of catching fish.

    And I really don't see any advantage to having two pieces of bait vs. just one to have "more bait down there". If there are halibut in the area you're fishing then they will bite on what you have down there regardless of whether it's one piece of bait or two.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    And I really don't see any advantage to having two pieces of bait vs. just one to have "more bait down there". If there are halibut in the area you're fishing then they will bite on what you have down there regardless of whether it's one piece of bait or two.
    I agree, as a strip of salmon belly, ling cod belly, or octopus tentacle (each on their separate hook) is a very effective offering. Lots of the big ones will be quick to eat those little strips. Plus with less bait - there is less chance for the hook to be fouled by the bait. Another plus is that the bigger ones cruise along (picking up the baits as they go) and will hook up on multiple rods.

    Big baits have their place at the popcorn hole. Hopefully the baits are big enough that the the little ones can't gulp it down...and the smallish halibuts (say 30#) can still gulp down those smaller coho salmon heads.

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    If you are using heads how much of the actual fish are you using? Are you literally using just the head itself or are you leaving a length of the back and spine?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    If you are using heads how much of the actual fish are you using? Are you literally using just the head itself or are you leaving a length of the back and spine?
    Only the head for me, and if it is a big head I will cut it in half
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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    If you are using heads how much of the actual fish are you using? Are you literally using just the head itself or are you leaving a length of the back and spine?
    It would depend on the size and type of fish you're talking about. It's all relative and a matter of common sense. I wouldn't try putting a whole 40 lb. king salmon head on a single 16/0 hook. And I've caught tiny little pollock that would easily "fit" on a 16/0 hook as a whole fish. It's totally situational. Like hoose35 said, I've cut salmon heads in half and just used half the head if that's what reasonably would fit on the hook I'm using.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    It would depend on the size and type of fish you're talking about. It's all relative and a matter of common sense. I wouldn't try putting a whole 40 lb. king salmon head on a single 16/0 hook. And I've caught tiny little pollock that would easily "fit" on a 16/0 hook as a whole fish. It's totally situational. Like hoose35 said, I've cut salmon heads in half and just used half the head if that's what reasonably would fit on the hook I'm using.
    Another benefit of splitting the heads is that they seem to send out more scent.

    Leaving the collar, backbones, and belly parts adds more scent to the water. With the bigger baits, the fish might not be able bite on the hook portion. But then it might be a smaller fish messing with the smaller pieces.

    And then you'll check your baits ... perhaps pull up a dog shark or rat fish and be left wondering "how long has that thing been on there?"

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