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Thread: Halibut research in PWS

  1. #1

    Default Halibut research in PWS

    Well, I got back late last week from a 2-week research trip out of Seward. I had a 70-foot longliner hired to deploy an underwater camera to observe halibut hooking behavior, and hooking success. Flew up to Seward on the 11th, and it was packed with folks fishing and the silver salmon derby started the next day. We ran up to Prince William sound and spent the first week around Montague Island. Had some nice weather, etc. I was deploying a 20 foot aluminum frame which had 4 baited hooks and watched them with a scanning sonar.

    This is the frame over the side, and the skipper is repacking a gear retrieval device which lets a float and line free if the gear is soaked over 24 hours. It would occasionally 'let go' on it's own. the cylinder inside the round cage is a titanium battery case which powers the sonar, just barely visble above the battery case.

    The frame had a 'groundline' suspended by bungie cords where I had 4 halibut hooks attached. In this picture, we caught 4 halibut (yay!). All halibut were measured and set loose.

    I did have a sport license, and took a bunch of gear up. Only really fished rhys davis heads with herring and a banana weight. Here's my best salmon, a 12-pound silver.

    I caught this 20-pound halibut on the same rig. I didn't realize we were so shallow (about 85 feet deep) and I was fishing about 55 feet of line on a dead slow drift, waiting for the one-hour soak on the camera gear.

    I did have a little trouble with my research gear, and want to thank Matt on the Sweat Pea, and Jeremy from Shoreside Petroleum in Whittier for receiving a fedex package for me in anchorage, bringing it down to Whittier, and then delivering it to me near the Needles. thanks guys. It's nice to have help every now and then!

  2. #2


    So, care to share some info on halibut hooking behavior and success?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    i would love to see some video of that

  4. #4

    Default halibut hooking behavior

    Just got back, but I've been doing studies along this line off and on since the 90's. Here's an older paper, but I will put something together from this trip, probably this fall. It's pretty interesting, overall.

  5. #5


    Interesting read. Kind of shoots down the theory of slack tide being more active. I`ve always been under the impression that if you can keep the bait down regardless of conditions you should have activity.

  6. #6
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    SE Alaska-Summer Columbia River-Winter


    Please let us know when your new report is completed.

    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
    MMSI# 338131469

  7. #7


    Congrats on the salmon . Your 1999 report was very informative. If you could remember to notify me when you get your latest report done, that would be great.


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