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Thread: PWS Halibut Tides

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    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
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    Default PWS Halibut Tides

    I finally took the time to research the halibut tides for this past season.

    This being only our second year running a nearshore saltwater boat, we managed approximately 2/3 better harvest (than year one) resulting in plenty of quality fillets for both family and friend.

    I attribute this success in part to information gleaned from AOD forum members.

    One thing I hadn't realized ~ whether out at Monte or close in near Eshamy we had our best hauls very near LOW tide!

    I'd often heard [and therefore primarily fished the "flood"] to focus efforts prior to and just after high tide...

    The (time-stamped) photos hold the key to my research.
    Looking at the tides I've come to the realization we had our two most consistent halibut hauls of the year within 11 and 29 minutes just past low tide. These were not large tides but 3.5 swing [water transitioning off from high to low tides] and 8.2 respectfully. I've read somewhere on this forum the "mean" tide for PWS is 10 feet. I not sure if mean [expect this is the average high tide] is different than "swing" from high to low...

    I'd like to say here that we are "typical" bait fisherpersons using herring and tipped with octopus [secures bait and the bottom fish seem to like it] caught in shrimp pots.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKluvr95 View Post
    I finally took the time to research the halibut tides for this past season.

    This being only our second year running a nearshore saltwater boat, we managed approximately 2/3 better harvest (than year one) resulting in plenty of quality fillets for both family and friend.

    I attribute this success in part to information gleaned from AOD forum members.

    One thing I hadn't realized ~ whether out at Monte or close in near Eshamy we had our best hauls very near LOW tide!

    I'd often heard [and therefore primarily fished the "flood"] to focus efforts prior to and just after high tide...

    The (time-stamped) photos hold the key to my research.
    Looking at the tides I've come to the realization we had our two most consistent halibut hauls of the year within 11 and 29 minutes just past low tide. These were not large tides but 3.5 swing [water transitioning off from high to low tides] and 8.2 respectfully. I've read somewhere on this forum the "mean" tide for PWS is 10 feet. I not sure if mean [expect this is the average high tide] is different than "swing" from high to low...

    I'd like to say here that we are "typical" bait fisherpersons using herring and tipped with octopus [secures bait and the bottom fish seem to like it] caught in shrimp pots.
    Yikes, someone on this forum that's as "scientific" about things as I am! LOL!

    "Mean tide swing" essentially is the "average" of all the tidal differences combined. You can't really say that the "mean tide for PWS is 10 ft." because it doesn't really mean anything. You could say the mean tide swing is 10 ft., where the average (or "mean") difference from high to low is 10 ft., or the average (or "mean") high tide is 10 ft., but just saying the "mean tide is 10 ft." doesn't really make sense. Hope that makes sense.

    And, BTW, I have found in my own "scientific" way that there are spots over here in K-Bay where tide DOES seem to make a difference, and places where tide DOESN'T seem to make a difference.

    And there are also places where I can fish at any point in the tide, but exactly where I fish depends on which way the tide is moving. There's a large "bump" I fish regularly and the halibut, as would be expected, seem to like "hiding" on the "shadow" side of the bump. And I have a couple of "trenches" I like to fish and they usually seem to be hanging out on the downslope of the side of the trench that the tide is moving over.

    So don't just limit yourself to what period the tide is in. You might find that those particular spots you did so well at have a common denominator and that at a different time in the tide cycle you might just find those fish hanging out and feeding in a different spot.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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    I regard to down slope ~ I too have fished exactly as you've described but failed miserably.
    I worked hard positioning the boat on anchor to line up accordingly.a
    We didn't catch a thing either side [outgoing or incoming tide] and multiple attempts at one particular spot I just knew was going to produce.
    I've basically acieved the goals we set over our last two seasons.
    This year's goal is going to be trying to produce halibut more consistently.
    I feel like those times we did hit the bite right was mostly just happenstance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post

    And there are also places where I can fish at any point in the tide, but exactly where I fish depends on which way the tide is moving. There's a large "bump" I fish regularly and the halibut, as would be expected, seem to like "hiding" on the "shadow" side of the bump. And I have a couple of "trenches" I like to fish and they usually seem to be hanging out on the downslope of the side of the trench that the tide is moving over.

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    When talking about Mont are you taking into account the time difference in the tide vs. tide table? I think Mont. is an hour and a half off from Resurrection, I'll have to check again to be sure exactly what it is.

    I have noticed that down in that area I do really well in the last few hours of the outgoing tide and then once the tide starts to move in in goes slow to completely dead, for the sports I fish anyway.

    I am still trying to figure out the halibut fishing in relation to the tides but some areas seem to be on during an outgoing one week and then on during the incoming the next week and as soon as it goes to outgoing it dies.

    I know one thing! I am going to enjoy having to go out in the name of trying to figure it out for many years to come! HAHA! On an up note the boat kept 65ish halibut this year and threw close to that back. Not bad for some weekenders.....

    -Derrick
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    For the most part I'm using my tidetable in my Garmin which allows me to dial into an area without having to compensate.
    There's also several websites and I've been using http://www.lawrencevilleweather.com/...des&locid=2740 because I can dial in areas from home.
    Sounds like you've got the same plan as me...though you seem to be putting up better numbers than us.
    I think for the most part I spread myself very thin between crabbin. shrimping, [wanna be clamming ~ still haven't broke the PWS code], bear and deer hunting, and oysters.
    Oh, did I mention a wife and dogs who don't prefer open water an much more than a 3 foot swell.
    Man, life is good though ~ isn't it?

    Here's to hoping Ol' Man Winter goes easy on PWS and Mother Nature releases her grip early enough to make a couple Tanner Crab runs before the season closure March 30th. Is it too eraly top start counting down the daze yet? Guess I should at least wait until solstice when the salmon turn around in the oceans and start their journey back toward our freezers. May this year's runs yield adequate bounty for family and friends alike!
    Quote Originally Posted by DMan View Post
    When talking about Mont are you taking into account the time difference in the tide vs. tide table? I think Mont. is an hour and a half off from Resurrection, I'll have to check again to be sure exactly what it is.

    I have noticed that down in that area I do really well in the last few hours of the outgoing tide and then once the tide starts to move in in goes slow to completely dead, for the sports I fish anyway.

    I am still trying to figure out the halibut fishing in relation to the tides but some areas seem to be on during an outgoing one week and then on during the incoming the next week and as soon as it goes to outgoing it dies.

    I know one thing! I am going to enjoy having to go out in the name of trying to figure it out for many years to come! HAHA! On an up note the boat kept 65ish halibut this year and threw close to that back. Not bad for some weekenders.....

    -Derrick

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKluvr95 View Post
    I regard to down slope ~ I too have fished exactly as you've described but failed miserably.
    I worked hard positioning the boat on anchor to line up accordingly.a
    We didn't catch a thing either side [outgoing or incoming tide] and multiple attempts at one particular spot I just knew was going to produce.
    I've basically acieved the goals we set over our last two seasons.
    This year's goal is going to be trying to produce halibut more consistently.
    I feel like those times we did hit the bite right was mostly just happenstance.
    You might want to give drift fishing a try, especially in those "down slope" or "hump" situations. In a number of the spots I fish, and one in particular, I have found that drift fishing can be a killer way to get fish. The one place I speak of in particular a distance of as little as 50 yards can mean the difference between fish and no fish. If you anchor up and miss the "hot spot" by 50 yards or so you can fish for hours and not catch a thing. By drift fishing you fish until you find the fish and then just keep working the same spot over and over again until it stops producing, or you get your limit. I have limited out 4 clients that way in less than an hour.

    And if you think about it you can see why. If fish are "hiding" on a dropoff they are doing so waiting for bait fish to get swept over the edge of the dropoff. If you anchor up your bait is basically sitting in the same spot for as long as you sit there. When you drift your bait looks like something being swept over where the fish are hanging out, so it looks more "natural" to them and does away with the possibility of hanging your bait in a place where there just aren't any fish. Give it a try some time.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMan View Post
    When talking about Mont are you taking into account the time difference in the tide vs. tide table? I think Mont. is an hour and a half off from Resurrection, I'll have to check again to be sure exactly what it is.

    I have noticed that down in that area I do really well in the last few hours of the outgoing tide and then once the tide starts to move in in goes slow to completely dead, for the sports I fish anyway.



    I am still trying to figure out the halibut fishing in relation to the tides but some areas seem to be on during an outgoing one week and then on during the incoming the next week and as soon as it goes to outgoing it dies.

    I know one thing! I am going to enjoy having to go out in the name of trying to figure it out for many years to come! HAHA! On an up note the boat kept 65ish halibut this year and threw close to that back. Not bad for some weekenders.....

    -Derrick


    When fishing the southern part of the sound the tide size, time of year, ebb, or flood makes all the difference. Once you get a more time fishing in the areas you'll clearly see what's what. The crazy thing is one area will fish really well on the flood, but just a 1/2 mile away fishing the ebb on a minus will produce the best fish. Andy ( Ak Capt.) knows these areas very well and could give 50 spots on any given day that will produce, but I don't see him giving out the info. A lot people go out to Montague blind and assume that you can drop the pick anywhere anytime and catch fish ( maybe 6 years ago), but that just isn't the case. While I don't know as much as Andy, I would say I've spent more time then most private boaters in that area and have a good grasp on the area. Pm me and can give you some info that you can use to help narrow down the best tides/ times to fish out there. Drifting in most parts of the southern sound ( not all, but most ) is going to give you lots of heart burn due to the amount of structure that's there and the really fast current.
    Boatless

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    Quote Originally Posted by FISHFACE View Post
    When fishing the southern part of the sound the tide size, time of year, ebb, or flood makes all the difference. Once you get a more time fishing in the areas you'll clearly see what's what. The crazy thing is one area will fish really well on the flood, but just a 1/2 mile away fishing the ebb on a minus will produce the best fish. Andy ( Ak Capt.) knows these areas very well and could give 50 spots on any given day that will produce, but I don't see him giving out the info. A lot people go out to Montague blind and assume that you can drop the pick anywhere anytime and catch fish ( maybe 6 years ago), but that just isn't the case. While I don't know as much as Andy, I would say I've spent more time then most private boaters in that area and have a good grasp on the area. Pm me and can give you some info that you can use to help narrow down the best tides/ times to fish out there. Drifting in most parts of the southern sound ( not all, but most ) is going to give you lots of heart burn due to the amount of structure that's there and the really fast current.
    I almost noted that there are a few people on this forum that have been very helpful, namely you. I appreciate all the guidance you have given. And if your still boatless next summer you will have a ride to fill the freezer!
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKluvr95 View Post
    Is it too eraly top start counting down the daze yet? Guess I should at least wait until solstice when the salmon turn around in the oceans and start their journey back toward our freezers. May this year's runs yield adequate bounty for family and friends alike!
    Here's to that! I am hoping this winter goes gentle on the deer! It was depressing this year.
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    You're entirely welcome. I try to give information anyone can use to make their fishing experience that much better.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    You're entirely welcome. I try to give information anyone can use to make their fishing experience that much better.
    I wasn't talking to you,
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMan View Post
    I wasn't talking to you,
    I couldn't care less. Someone asked for helpful information and I gave it. If you decide to disregard it that's totally up to you. I was trying to be helpful and my thanks are rude comments like yours. So, anyway, you're welcome.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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    Default PWS Halibut Tides

    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    I was trying to be helpful and my thanks are rude comments like yours.
    Don't be too serious man, just a light hearted friendly jab. No harm intended.

    One thing I am planning on targeting more next year are the lings. I get some every year haphazardly while I am halibut fishing but I still haven't been real successful targeting them. So I have some work to do there. Next year going to focus on it more. What a great playground we have!
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMan View Post
    Don't be too serious man, just a light hearted friendly jab. No harm intended.

    One thing I am planning on targeting more next year are the lings. I get some every year haphazardly while I am halibut fishing but I still haven't been real successful targeting them. So I have some work to do there. Next year going to focus on it more. What a great playground we have!
    Oh, if you knew me you'd know that I don't even take life that seriously. That is pretty transparent if you read most of my posts.

    But as a sociologist it's just fascinating to me that when someone on a forum like this asks for assistance and is given that assistance by a person that is totally willing to share any and all of his knowledge, that the person that asked for the assistance either doesn't even respond, or someone else steps in and "jokingly" insults the person sharing that knowledge. It's certainly an interesting way of doing things that's totally new to me. I'll keep it in mind when you're asking how to catch those lings you're wondering how to target successfully.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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    Dave,
    Meant to reply earlier but was busy with fianl exams [last class until jan15th!] today. We have been successful abut 50/50 anchor/drift and will go back and try drifting those spots where we only tried anchoring. This suggestion makes perfect sense since I do reacall us drifting after we pulled anchor and did get one bump ~ just ruched it I guess and didn't get the hook in the fish. Once again, thanks for everything. Respectfully, Guy

    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    You might want to give drift fishing a try, especially in those "down slope" or "hump" situations. In a number of the spots I fish, and one in particular, I have found that drift fishing can be a killer way to get fish. The one place I speak of in particular a distance of as little as 50 yards can mean the difference between fish and no fish. If you anchor up and miss the "hot spot" by 50 yards or so you can fish for hours and not catch a thing. By drift fishing you fish until you find the fish and then just keep working the same spot over and over again until it stops producing, or you get your limit. I have limited out 4 clients that way in less than an hour.

    And if you think about it you can see why. If fish are "hiding" on a dropoff they are doing so waiting for bait fish to get swept over the edge of the dropoff. If you anchor up your bait is basically sitting in the same spot for as long as you sit there. When you drift your bait looks like something being swept over where the fish are hanging out, so it looks more "natural" to them and does away with the possibility of hanging your bait in a place where there just aren't any fish. Give it a try some time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMan View Post
    Don't be too serious man, just a light hearted friendly jab. No harm intended.

    One thing I am planning on targeting more next year are the lings. I get some every year haphazardly while I am halibut fishing but I still haven't been real successful targeting them. So I have some work to do there. Next year going to focus on it more. What a great playground we have!

    If you are going to target lings I would do it early in the season and I'll give you some pointers on where to go. They seems to get beat up pretty quick with combo charters starting on the 1st of July. I wish they would make the ling limit 1 per person out there, it used to be a great fishery for lings.
    Boatless

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    Quote Originally Posted by FISHFACE View Post
    I wish they would make the ling limit 1 per person out there, it used to be a great fishery for lings.
    Interesting you'd say that. There are a few charter captains I know here in Homer that have actually started a self-imposed 1 ling per person limit on their charters. Last time I talked to one of them they were planning on writing up a proposal to change the limit to 1 ling per person. I've thought about doing the self-imposed limit thing myself, but as an independent operator it's pretty hard to tell people that are paying you about $300 per person for the fishing adventure of their lifetime that the legal limit is 2 fish, but I'm only going to allow them to keep one. I'll give you one guess what they'd do.

    Quote Originally Posted by AKluvr95 View Post
    Dave,
    Meant to reply earlier but was busy with fianl exams [last class until jan15th!] today. We have been successful abut 50/50 anchor/drift and will go back and try drifting those spots where we only tried anchoring. This suggestion makes perfect sense since I do reacall us drifting after we pulled anchor and did get one bump ~ just ruched it I guess and didn't get the hook in the fish. Once again, thanks for everything. Respectfully, Guy
    Oh, no problem. Glad you've got them behind you now!

    Yeah, I know there are endless debates over the "drift vs. anchor" thing and I was even kind of scared to suggest it to you because I figured "the usual suspects" would jump in and start a long, and totally unnecessary argument about it. But I absolutely love drift fishing and I'd say that's all I do about 95% of the time. Like I said, at the one spot I fish regularly (I call it Penny's Spot) it's just a killer way to get fish. I'll be doing drifts there and see people come up and anchor about 100 yards from where I'm drifting and after half an hour I'll see them pull anchor and move a quarter of a mile. And then half an hour later they'll do the same thing. I want to go over to them and ask them why they don't drift the area instead of trying a spot for half an hour, not catch anything, move, try another spot, move, try another spot, etc., etc. Why not just drift it and hit all those spots they're missing when they make their move? Do they think there aren't fish in between?

    Another thing I do when I drift is when I do hook into a decent sized fish I run in immediately and hit the "Mark" button on my GPS. That way I've got a record of the exact spot I catch all my "keepers". Then the next time I go back there I just set up my drift to go right back through those same spots. Works like a charm (most of the time! lol!).
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

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    I see...we will have to give "marking" catches on our GPS a try. Sounds like common sense to me but something I never did ~ YET! Our best drift spot still had our "track" indicated from the last time we went there so that's how I "attempted" to get back on the bite there. As more often is the case, there was no bite this time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    Another thing I do when I drift is when I do hook into a decent sized fish I run in immediately and hit the "Mark" button on my GPS. That way I've got a record of the exact spot I catch all my "keepers". Then the next time I go back there I just set up my drift to go right back through those same spots. Works like a charm (most of the time! lol!).

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKluvr95 View Post
    I see...we will have to give "marking" catches on our GPS a try. Sounds like common sense to me but something I never did ~ YET! Our best drift spot still had our "track" indicated from the last time we went there so that's how I "attempted" to get back on the bite there. As more often is the case, there was no bite this time...
    NOT MARKING YOUR CATCHES ON YOUR GPS!?!?!?!? Sorry for sounding so.....uhhh....amazed?...befuddled??....but, how could you NOT do that? It is the absolute best "weapon" in the "arsenal of fish catching" there is out there for figuring out where the fish are. I have a "yelloweye/ling" spot marked on my GPS that I can pretty much go directly to and almost guarantee someone will catch either a yelloweye or ling within about 5 minutes of dropping our lines. I went there one time this summer and in about 3 minutes of dropping our lines we had 3 of our yelloweye and one ling.

    And it's about the same thing for kings. Kings tend to hang out in the same areas. By marking the fish you catch, each and every time, you will start to notice trends that will bring you back to the same spots over and over again.

    Same thing for halibut. They LOVE to chase bait in the same spots. They are voracious predators, so they will absolutely love to hang out where there's always a quantity of bait to be had. Mark about 50 boated halibut on your GPS and you're going to know pretty well where they'll be hanging at any given time. On "Penny's Spot" I'll bet I have well over 40 or 50 marked spots where I've pulled fish into my boat in the 20-plus pound range.

    Use your GPS!!! That's what you have it for!!!
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

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    A rookie mistake by me who has fished all his life but hasn't been exposed to big water. I'm looking forward to plotting my catches this season. I'd kill for a good ling spot ~ only caught one at Seward [inside the bay so had to release it] while trolling for salmon two seasons ago. My wife plays a huge part in where/what we fish for and I'm chomping at the bit to fish lings this season because I really love to eat them. I took a brand new $15 jig to a likely spot last season while out with the boys and proceeded to lose it in the rocks in no time flat. That was the extent of my ling fishing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    NOT MARKING YOUR CATCHES ON YOUR GPS!?!?!?!? Sorry for sounding so.....uhhh....amazed?...befuddled??....but, how could you NOT do that? It is the absolute best "weapon" in the "arsenal of fish catching" there is out there for figuring out where the fish are. I have a "yelloweye/ling" spot marked on my GPS that I can pretty much go directly to and almost guarantee someone will catch either a yelloweye or ling within about 5 minutes of dropping our lines. I went there one time this summer and in about 3 minutes of dropping our lines we had 3 of our yelloweye and one ling.

    And it's about the same thing for kings. Kings tend to hang out in the same areas. By marking the fish you catch, each and every time, you will start to notice trends that will bring you back to the same spots over and over again.

    Same thing for halibut. They LOVE to chase bait in the same spots. They are voracious predators, so they will absolutely love to hang out where there's always a quantity of bait to be had. Mark about 50 boated halibut on your GPS and you're going to know pretty well where they'll be hanging at any given time. On "Penny's Spot" I'll bet I have well over 40 or 50 marked spots where I've pulled fish into my boat in the 20-plus pound range.

    Use your GPS!!! That's what you have it for!!!

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