Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: How far up river mouths do halibut go?

  1. #1

    Smile How far up river mouths do halibut go?

    I've read a lot of posts on this forum talking about surfcasting for halibut and other fish near the mouths of rivers and off the beaches on the peninsula. Seems they come in pretty close to shore sometimes. I know some flounders can swim up fresh water a ways, is it the same for halibut? Or do they stay in the salt? Do halibut (and cod, sharks etc) handle fesh water to some degree? Also read that halibut move close to stream mouths in fall to eat dead salmon. Anyone know? Thanks! Kim

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    169

    Default

    They can obviously handle a certain level of brackish water, as I've caught a several right outside river mouths. Never thought to try inside the river itself. My gut feeling is doubtful. If someone has info to the contrary, I'd definitely be interested to hear it too!

  3. #3
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    I imagine it would be more of an issue of where the salmon carcasses drop out and settle than an issue of salinity, but it is an interesting question.

    The key to finding halibut is finding where their food supply is most abundant and takes the least amount of their effort to find. If there is a large pile of carcasses say 100yds from the mouth of the river, they aren't going to be running up river to chase them when the current will deliver them their way.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  4. #4
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mean streets of Fairview
    Posts
    1,138

    Default

    I have caught 2 halibut in freshwater. The first was on the Anchor River about a qtr. mile up from the mouth. It was springtime on a rising tide. Surprised the hell out of everyone in sight. Later that same summer (12+ years ago) I was on the Chuit and pulled one in a good half mile up. Both times I was using a spinner. Have heard of a few more since.
    Live life and love it
    Love life and live it

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,762

    Default

    Mistake >>>>>>>>>

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    169

    Default

    ..well hell then, I'm busting out the Mepps and going halibut fishing.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bullbuster View Post
    It was springtime on a rising tide.
    I was just musing over the previous post, wondering if an incoming tide would favor this situation. Sounds like maybe so.

  8. #8

    Default

    Interesting stuff. Bullbuster: How big were those halibuts you caught at Anchor?

    Too bad about the no bait rules this season. Would have loved tossing some good bait at the mouth of some of those king rivers on the peninsula to see what would have happened.

  9. #9
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Central Kenai Peninsula
    Posts
    4,886

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kimjn View Post
    Interesting stuff. Bullbuster: How big were those halibuts you caught at Anchor?

    Too bad about the no bait rules this season. Would have loved tossing some good bait at the mouth of some of those king rivers on the peninsula to see what would have happened.
    people catch Halibut all the time near the Kenai and kasilof river mouths and bait is allowed there.
    As for how far up freshwater they go I would guess in the brackish water is as far as they would go. An incoming tide would mean there is brackish water much further upstream. Brackish water has a salinity level between that of the freshwater and saltwater. basically a mix of the two from what I have read.
    I would agree with Paul they are likely only going to go as far as neccessary to to find food.
    People get flounder all the time while dipnetting but I have never heard of anyone catching a true and verified Halibut off the beach. I have heard stories on the forums only to learn the fish were most likely flounder. You would think with all those nets if the butts were around they would catch them regularly. They don't so my guesss is they wait for the salmon parts to wash out to them oin the saltwater.
    If my intent was to Catch them off of the beach/shore I would fish near the river mouths or other areas open to use of bait. i would not worry about trying to catch one in freshwater as your odds would be considerably less imho.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

  10. #10
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mean streets of Fairview
    Posts
    1,138

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kimjn View Post
    Interesting stuff. Bullbuster: How big were those halibuts you caught at Anchor?
    Both fish were identical and under 10 pounds. Definitely halibut and not flounder. As fast as the current was running to the mouth, I don't think it was brackish water, but it is possible. I did think I had a nice king on when they turned into the current. Right before they kited to the surface. I might have been misleading about the Chuit, but that is the name that popped into my pea brain when I decided not to name the river.
    Live life and love it
    Love life and live it

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •