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Thread: Drifting for halibut?

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    Default Drifting for halibut?

    We are going to Ketchikan in a few weeks and wondering what is the best way to catch on a constant basis halibut. We got a nice one last year drifting but any ideas on drifting for them?

    Thanks,

  2. #2

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    I don't have a ton of experience, but I've had much better luck anchoring and chumming. I've found it to be too difficult to control the boat, lines, drift, etc without being anchored, but I'm also usually fishing fairly light weight and tackle. Would love to hear others' opinions.

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Drifting was the only way we did it for about 20 years. Anchoring for halibut fishing is kind of a new thing for me.

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    Although I do drift now, Personally I've never done as well as I did while anchored up. But I do know plenty that all they do is drift. The size of the tide has a lot to do with how fast you drift too which makes a difference....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    We drift down here in oregon out in the ocean and have caught fish. We do anchor in the columbia river for sturgeon so just wanted to see what other ideas there are.

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    Member carolinaboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwanttofish View Post
    We are going to Ketchikan in a few weeks and wondering what is the best way to catch on a constant basis halibut. We got a nice one last year drifting but any ideas on drifting for them?

    Thanks,
    hey Mike,

    getting real close now, eh? Can't hardly wait myself. So here is a non Alaskan, non expert, limited experience person's opinion.

    Every time I have been out with our lodge owner on POW, he drifts, and we catch fish! Several factors weigh in and I used this on my DIY self guided trip two years ago. It works.

    One- know where the fish are or hang out. I don't know K-town waters but am familiar with where halibut are suggested to be found. So our captain would take us over the honey holes with a sharp eye on screen and yell "drop!" We would and then with the current, drift or make a pass. Turn around and do it again. Petty soon we get into fish. The scent trail is set out during the passes and we start catching quickly. After several hookups we either move or limit out. Same applies at other spots.

    Two- if your electronic gear is good and you can decipher what you see...the halibut have a distinctive shape - not flat- while on the bottom. They are recognizable if you know what to look for. I've done it.

    If all else fails ...anchor up, drop fresh bait frequently, chum, get your scent trail down there and wait. Cull the chickens until the bigger ones show up.

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    Thanks, that is about what we do now, the current is pretty slow as far as I have seen in the past years. Yes I am ready to go, I will pack my bags this weekend to make sure I dont forget anything. We plan on doing that, but also plan on doing a little trolling for them, I have got them using a down rigger with a flasher and fishing close to the bottom. So we will see what we can find. I wish you were coming up a day earlier so you could fish with us for a day. I look forward to hearing your report for your trip.

    We are not allowed to anchor so it is drifting for us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwanttofish View Post
    We are not allowed to anchor so it is drifting for us.
    Ok, this comment has me puzzled - how is it that you aren't allowed to anchor?

  9. #9

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    Anyone using big drift bags for halibut drifting? Something like this?

    http://www.thehulltruth.com/fishing-...s-60-14-a.html

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    Easiest way to "drift" is to engage your kicker motor in reverse to slow your speed. I have done this a lot this year up to 350 feet with just 8 oz jigs and it has been very effective. It's most effective when the butts are spread out, or you don't know on which side of the contoure or hump they are hanging. Easiest with two lines, if you have three or more down, the folks had better know what they are doing so you don't foul props and rough up line on side of boat. Helps if the captain knows what he's doin to but it is not rocketscience for sure. It helps if folks know how to keep contact with the bottom and the captain needs to call out major changes in depth. You do NOT need to be directly on bottom at all times, butts will come up plenty high, you just need to be near bottom.

    Done right it's super effective, done with rooks and you lose gear and it can become a goat rope.

    If I go over a spot and hook ups happen repeatedly, I will usually anchor, especially if I have several lines or folks that aren't overly savvy with jigging.

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    Member carolinaboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeek the Greek View Post
    Ok, this comment has me puzzled - how is it that you aren't allowed to anchor?

    I'm gonna throw out the big guess here - but it's probably accurate. RENTAL policy = no anchoring. Most likely due to rookies anchoring at slack tide and getting caught with ripping current and a short rode when the tide returns.

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    Member carolinaboy's Avatar
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    Mike, wish I was able to do that as well. Shooting straight through in one day to POW. Even skipping Seattle - which I hate - missing Ivar's on the waterfront and playing tourist there. Used to take the bus downtown for great on board "live show entertainment" now I take the light rail. Hope you guys kill some fish in K-town's waters!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishhuntster View Post
    Anyone using big drift bags for halibut drifting? Something like this?

    http://www.thehulltruth.com/fishing-...s-60-14-a.html
    Yep...use them all the time except on the bigger boat. The drift sock can really slow you down when the wind starts to take advantage. A 5 gallon bucket does a great job on 15-20' of rope.


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  14. #14

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    If anyone might be interested in trying drift socks on the cheap... http://www.amazon.com/Package-Anchor...I3B4O547W2D8U7 I bought a pair of them and they work well. What appeals to me on my small boat is that the two of them folded up together take up very little space...approx. 8" x 8" x 6" tall. $30/free shipping.

  15. #15

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    Those are pretty small.. Smaller than a 5 gallon bucket when opened.. No?

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishhuntster View Post
    Those are pretty small.. Smaller than a 5 gallon bucket when opened.. No?
    Yes, they are small...folded in half flat on the floor they're 26" wide x 23" deep. Placed over the top of a 5 gal. bucket, there's about 4" extra all around.

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