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Thread: Bottom structure ?

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    Default Bottom structure ?

    Looking at the bottom structure when you see a ledge do halibut tend to stay at the toe or more at the bottom of fast dropping ledges? Thanks Fred

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    Personally I like to fish at the edge of the drop off....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    What's the tide doing?

    Current?

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    Quote Originally Posted by whalebreath View Post
    What's the tide doing?

    Current?
    Now that's a good question. Lets assume the tide or current is moving across the top down over the ledge. Any food would first be on the top of the ledge, but if the tide/current was flowing to the base then over the top food could collect at the bottom. As far as a parallel movement of the water top or bottom may not be as critical. Is any of this correct. Thanks Fred

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    If current is running off the ledge the bait if going to normally collect off the drop out of the current on the deep side, just like in a river. Think of the ocean like a river, but flows both ways. Fish, especially big fish are lazy, they want to stay out of the current, but still be near it as it brings the food to them.
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    I used to anchor a lot for halibut, now I drift a lot. I have even evolved my techniques to use drift socks, and sometimes I'll use my motor to slow a drift. You never know where they will be on a piece of structure. For any given mound of structure though I start at the top and fish my way down current and down slope.

    I can't say with any statistically significant numbers to back up my claim, but the deeper waters of a hot spot can hold the larger fish. Other spots the top of the pinnacle is the real estate for the big ones (and those get fished out daily but like a good piece of property are soon re occupied within a day or so). So put another way some pinnacles seem to only hold a handful of bigger fish and some chicken spots have larger fish lurking nearby but deeper.

    Sobie2

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    A lot of really good information, thanks everyone. In past years didn't know I could use the sonar graphs on my Navionics chart to see ledges and drop offs. Would just use the depth charts and find a shallow plateau and fish in the middle. did not look for the edges or what kind or how fast it dropped off. Now I will need to learn how to use depth/fish finder to judge bottom material(sand , mud, clay, or rock). Fred

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    Very good topic! I am heading to Elfin Cove in 10 days for my 4th time. Have been studying everything I can find on halibut and for the first time will be trying for some kings.
    This info on where to find halibut is very interesting, in the past I have pretty much stayed with the tops of flats with deep water close. From what I am reading I need to pay more attention to the current and try to be on the down side of the flat/ridge/pinnacle. Is this correct?
    Looking forward to more advice, anyone have any marked charts to demonstrate where to target halibut?

  9. #9

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    Pay special attention to any creases or little "canyons" at the edge. Both bait and halibut use these for highways moving onto and off the flats. As a general rule I'm real specific about being at the top of the canyon as the tide starts to fall through mid-tide, then drop down to the bottom end from low through the middle of the incoming. Either side of high tide I tend to stay up on the flat, but not too far from the top of that little canyon. I tend to mooch the bottom end and jig the top end, because especially on the ebb and early flood the bottom end can be a hot spot for kings. Mooch or use dart style jigs in both locations, and you're as hot for kings as for halibut.
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    BrownBear has the best post on this thread so far, so PAY ATTENTION!

    Sobie2

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    Default Bottom structure ?

    Awesome thread. Thanks for the tips!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fc8464 View Post
    Now I will need to learn how to use depth/fish finder to judge bottom material(sand , mud, clay, or rock). Fred
    Watch the colors and their thickness below the bottom line on your screen. On my machine a thick yellow band below bottom spells soft bottom. Thin yellow line the black coming right up against the bottom, and it's hard. Mixes, sand, gravel will all fall somewhere between those two. Easiest way to learn to read bottom types is to get over known bottom and watch what's going on below the bottom line on your own machine.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Watch the colors and their thickness below the bottom line on your screen. On my machine a thick yellow band below bottom spells soft bottom. Thin yellow line the black coming right up against the bottom, and it's hard. Mixes, sand, gravel will all fall somewhere between those two. Easiest way to learn to read bottom types is to get over known bottom and watch what's going on below the bottom line on your own machine.
    Great info. What bottom material do you look for and what do you stay away from?

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    I prefer sand and gravel while avoiding mud. Rocky can be very good too, depending on the details. I know folks who claim they like mud, but they may be defining it differently than I am. Or the waters they're using are just lots more muddy in general and the halibut have little choice. But in my regular waters, mud is a prescription for fewer halibut and lots more yellowfin sole, and at deeper depths arrowtooth flounder. Given my pick of picks, I go for gravel.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Like BB said, I usually get lots of junk fish ad small halibut on the mud/soft bottoms. I lie looking for where the gravel starts at the bottom of the rock piles. I'm a big fan of rockpiles, find that edge, if the current is running hard setup on the downstream side, if not, setup on the sides.
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    Good info guys, can't wait to put it to use! Hope my little mind can decipher it all!

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    I would love to hear how you do, Terrythetoolman. My friends and I are headed to Elfin Cove on a self-guided trip from July 9th-16th. This will be our second time. Our hope is to find some productive halibut grounds west of Elfin. Last time we fished the east side of Lemesurier Island and did great, but would love to find halibut closer to the salmon grounds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by meandmatt View Post
    I would love to hear how you do, Terrythetoolman. My friends and I are headed to Elfin Cove on a self-guided trip from July 9th-16th. This will be our second time. Our hope is to find some productive halibut grounds west of Elfin. Last time we fished the east side of Lemesurier Island and did great, but would love to find halibut closer to the salmon grounds.
    Will definitely keep in touch and let you know how we do, our trip with Waters Edge is 5/27 - 6/1. Can't wait! I'm with you about finding halibut out towards Yakobi rock area. I have always ended up going through Inian pass and fishing for halibut in that area. Depends a lot on what the sea is doing. Last year we had horrible weather, couldn't go past 3 hill it was so rough. Been seeing pictures of great halibut fishing the last few days.
    Going to try to put the above information to good use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Pay special attention to any creases or little "canyons" at the edge. Both bait and halibut use these for highways moving onto and off the flats. As a general rule I'm real specific about being at the top of the canyon as the tide starts to fall through mid-tide, then drop down to the bottom end from low through the middle of the incoming. Either side of high tide I tend to stay up on the flat, but not too far from the top of that little canyon. I tend to mooch the bottom end and jig the top end, because especially on the ebb and early flood the bottom end can be a hot spot for kings. Mooch or use dart style jigs in both locations, and you're as hot for kings as for halibut.
    I presume the "cayons" are perpendicular to the ridge?
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    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    I have always liked to fish on Hills, if I can find a hill I will run over it and watch the sounder then I will drift over it to see how fast and what direction I am drifting as direction can differ from day to day. I know pretty well how fast my anchor drops and I will use that knowledge to judge how far uptide I need to start to drop my anchor with my goal of setting my anchor at the top of the hill. This way I will be fishing off the edge of the hill on both the incoming and outgoing current. It's good to know the depth of the top of the hill and the bottom of the hill. If I do it right my boat will be sitting about half way down the slope with the baits right at the bottom.
    Example if the top of the mound is 250 and the bottom is 300 I want my boat sitting on anchor at about 275.

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