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Thread: Trolling Halibut

  1. #1

    Default Trolling Halibut

    A few months ago in another thread one of the members said that they only troll for hailbut. I usually drift or anchor up when fishing halibut (Homer, PWS) How do you troll for halibut? Are we talking about dropping down 100 - 200' to bottom and put it in gear? What kind of terminal tackle/weight? Downriggers? I might like to try this in Cook inlet. PWS is a little more rocky and I think snags would be a problem. Just curious as to how others do this.

  2. #2
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Default

    I've never heard of anyone trolling for halibut. I don't see how you could effectively.
    Now what ?

  3. #3
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    I have occasionally heard of people doing it. The downside is you need to be running close to the bottom or the edges of kelp beds, so you run a serious risk of getting your gear tangled up.

    I think the reason most people don't do it is, you can successfully get into halibut w/o the risk of tangling up and loosing your downrigger gear. The upside is you can fight the fish w/o having to also pull up a heavy sinker or jig.

  4. #4
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default that was me..

    i troll for halibut off the bluff occasionally. bottom is pretty even, water is 60'
    80'.
    i use the same gear i use for salmon, usually a spoon or hoochie. halibut really seem to go for the big long metal flashers, too.
    usually i try to keep my gear about 10' off the bottom.
    i am only looking for one anyway, most of the fish i get are perfect, too.... about #20.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

  5. #5
    Member AKducks's Avatar
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    I have never trolled for halibut but have caught many while trolling for salmon. I guess if you knew the area and could keep your gear close to the bottom you could catch them. I also think it would be better at keeping the trash fish off.

  6. #6

    Default

    I think there are more down sides to trolling for halibut than positives. Was just thinjking outside the box to try something different. Can't remember ever getting skunked in Cook Inlet soaking bait or jigging. I might still give it a try as a last ditch effort if I come up short on fish.

  7. #7

    Default

    They used to do it in southeast commercially, the salmon trollers would troll for halibut before and after the salmon showed ( this was about 50-60yrs ago or more). I have caught a few trolling, usually when there is a lot of feed around.

  8. #8

    Default

    In my area, trolling for halibut can be very effective, if you don't mind trolling deep and sorting through ping pong paddles. You'll figure out quickly what areas the bigger ones hang.

    Use the same gear has salmon, and fish 15-20ft from the bottom. Be sure to take into account the angle of your downrigger cable to make sure you are at the depth you want to be. If in doubt, keep letting out until you hit bottom (if it isn't rocky) and then crank it up 15 feet. You'll get kings and halibut if you troll on the 30, 40, and 50 edges. It's fast action fishing if you are in a high abundance area for halibut.

    Back when I crewed on Power Trollers, we'd hit some areas where the lines would load up with good sized halibut and it would wear the hands out to shake those fish. I'm still kicking myself for not writing down those Gps coordinates!

    Be prepared for a monster ling too..

  9. #9
    Member captaindd's Avatar
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    Default Trolling for Halibut

    Several years back I picked up 12 in the month of August fishing for silvers. The next year I purchased a Cannon Digital Bottom trolling down rigger. It tried it a couple of times but just could not get the hang of it.

  10. #10

    Default Did it once on a charter.

    Back about a 8 years ago my wife and I went out alone on a charter. We pulled in three keepers before the tide made fishing too difficult to keep the baits down. (It was not the best tide for halibut) The skipper suggested trolling. He set the downrigger for about 10 feet off the bottom and we pulled in the final keeper in a matter of minutes.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKGunner View Post
    Back about a 8 years ago my wife and I went out alone on a charter. We pulled in three keepers before the tide made fishing too difficult to keep the baits down. (It was not the best tide for halibut) The skipper suggested trolling. He set the downrigger for about 10 feet off the bottom and we pulled in the final keeper in a matter of minutes.
    Did you troll with or against the tide?

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