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Thread: Finding Halibut out of Homer?

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    Default Finding Halibut out of Homer?

    I have a smaller boat and fish K-Bay often for Halibut, I am curious if I am doing something wrong. I mark fish on my radar so thats usually where I start my drift and usually pick up a few smaller fish but nothing over 50lbs. Is there a depth or any structure that I should be looking out for? I have been told you can't see halibut on a fish finder but I figure if there are fish on the screen there is a chance for a halibut. Can anyone help?

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    I have been fishing out of Homer for 5 yrs two weeks every summer and I have not hit a 50lb fish yet. Its a great place to fish and big fish are taken there for sure. A 50lb fish is a great fish. You are not going to go out and get a 50 every time you go out unless you go a long ways out. Just my .02. I am a green horn compared to many here

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    Member Mort's Avatar
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    You can see halibut on a fishfinder, but frequently they are so close to the bottom you can't really separate them. The closer to Homer you have to stay, the less water you can fish, so the fewer fish you will likely hit. But there are fish in there. If you can get out 12-14 miles, head toward Augustine, you should find some chickens. I have fished a bunch of years out of Homer, always with friends on the boat, and most years don't get more than a handful of 50 lb fish, even running out 30+ miles. Hang in there.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I fish out inthe fingers a lot and in other spots out in the middle inlet.
    We don't often catch fish over 50# either. I don't target them specifically because those 20-40# fish are darn good eating and I don't mind catching them.
    One thing I have heard works well is to use a whole salmon carcass or a whole head. Make the bait big enough the little guys can't fit the whole thing in their mouths. Whenever I have tried this all I get is great big skates But certainly not the chicken halibut we were catching on the other rods.
    I dont look to mark fish when halibut fishing. I look for structure. Find the right structure and fish a big bait and odds are you will catch some bigger fish.
    "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"

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudsuperman View Post
    I have a smaller boat and fish K-Bay often for Halibut, I am curious if I am doing something wrong. I mark fish on my radar so thats usually where I start my drift and usually pick up a few smaller fish but nothing over 50lbs. Is there a depth or any structure that I should be looking out for? I have been told you can't see halibut on a fish finder but I figure if there are fish on the screen there is a chance for a halibut. Can anyone help?
    I'm not saying you can't catch halibut drifting, However, the old standard is to find a good spot, looking for structure, a bump, a knob, a little hill, depending on the tide, incoming or outgoing, toss your anchor upstream of the bump,knob.hill so that your bait is hanging down over the back of the bump/knob/hill... Also the old saying bigger bait = bigger fish.. back "in my day" it wasn't unusual to see Charter Capt's dumpster diving at the cleaning tables, picking out salmon heads to use for bait the next day.. Red heads work about the best. Run your circle hook through both upper and lower lips, toss it out and let it soak... I must advise you though, just as Kasilofchris stated, that you also run the risk of catching a lot of skates using salmon heads... especially in that area you've been fishing. A big glob of octopus with a small piece of herring was also a favorite big fish bait..
    good luck.

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    Thanks for the advice guys, I just got about 600' of anchor line so I can stay in one area without getting pushed off... I hope

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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mort View Post
    You can see halibut on a fishfinder, but frequently they are so close to the bottom you can't really separate them. T
    I can honestly say I have never picked up halibut on my fishfinder. I didn't think is was possible since halibut don't have an air bladder.

    http://www.dosits.org/people/fishing/locatefish/

    http://www.alaska-halibut-fishing-ch...t_biology.html

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    Member Mort's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chico99645 View Post
    I can honestly say I have never picked up halibut on my fishfinder. I didn't think is was possible since halibut don't have an air bladder.
    Not to hijack, but think of all the other things your sonar shows you that don't have air bladders - bottom, anchor being dropped, downrigger balls. Your FF might not ID them as fish if you run that kind of software, but you definitely can mark them. If they are real close to the bottom, they essentially blend into the bottom.

    Here was a big chicken hole, with halibut following up other fish as they were reeled in. Probably some cod mixed in there, but tons of halibut. Turned into a surface feed.
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    Without a swim bladder you certainly won't sort halibut from bottom noise when they're lay on bottom. But if they come off bottom you can get a signal. It looks really different than other fish though. We do a lot of jigging and mooching a few feet off bottom for kings, and you can see the halibut come up and hit the jigs and herring. Kinda neat really. But picking them out on bottom? Not.

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    Member Ak Bird Brain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mort View Post
    Not to hijack, but think of all the other things your sonar shows you that don't have air bladders - bottom, anchor being dropped, downrigger balls. Your FF might not ID them as fish if you run that kind of software, but you definitely can mark them. If they are real close to the bottom, they essentially blend into the bottom.

    Here was a big chicken hole, with halibut following up other fish as they were reeled in. Probably some cod mixed in there, but tons of halibut. Turned into a surface feed.
    Mort, quick edit your pic! You just handed out your GPS location. That hole is going to be swarmed now!
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day,
    Teach a man to fish and he'll also learn to drink, lie, and avoid the honey do list.

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    Member Mort's Avatar
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    Yeah, I saw that. Maybe it will help someone, maybe there won't be any fish there next time. Never know til you try!

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