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Thread: Halibut Tides

  1. #1
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    Default Halibut Tides

    What do you guys look for regarding tides and halibut fishing?

    I usually just go out there and try to make sure I'm on anchor 2 - 3 hours before slack and fish until 2-3 hours after slack. Never really paid much attention to how much water is moving other than to determine how much weight I need.

  2. #2
    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    I think the small tides are considered best just because it is easier to fish.

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    Default Easier

    Most of my halibut fishing is done out of Seward. Bigger tides do mean more weight but I'm not affected to the degree Cook Inlet fishermen are on a big tide.

    I'm just wundering if the fish are more prone to be "on the bite" during a particular part of a tide or during larger or smaller water movement.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I'm more concerned with sea conditions and time of year than tide. I've fished extreme tides in K-bay and the fishing has been hot (when I could hit bottom), and I've fished "ideal" i.e. smaller tide changes and been skunked.

    The downside of the extreme tides is when they start ripping there will be times when you aren't fishing, but that only covers a small time period.

    So long as I can get the boat out to the fishing grounds, that's all that matters to me. I seldom anchor up, if we aren't on fish within 30-40 minutes it's time to try a different spot. I'm too impatient to put the boat on the hook and wait for hours for the scent to attract the fish. I've seldom found that to be the most effective way to fish.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boater View Post
    I'm just wundering if the fish are more prone to be "on the bite" during a particular part of a tide or during larger or smaller water movement.
    I don't think it matters. Halibut have voracious appetites and if left to them, the "bite" is always on. The trick is to put the bait where they can scent it. It's a hide and seek thing, not so much a tide thing. The smaller tides allow for less weight, but smaller scent zone. Bigger tides, the opposite.
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    Any opinions over a short drift over a hole v/s a long drift over a broad area?

  7. #7
    Member captaindd's Avatar
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    Default Tides

    It depends on the area you are in. Deep creek tides get so strong you can not fish so you troll for salmon. Normally you fish slack tide. Valdez it depends on the strenght of the tide. You normally like fishing 3 hours before the tide starts. The halibut move in and out with the tides and I believe the current puts the bait fish at a disadvantage.

  8. #8
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    After you have fished awhile you will see that the fishing is better when there is a little bit of current but not too much. As mentioned before, it is a scent thing. Enough current to move some scent, but not too much to feel like you are in a river.

    Lots of factors play into how well you do. Fresh bait, what kind of bait, jigs, etc. I like to anchor for an hour or two and see if anything comes to the bait. Bigger fish will come if you sit long enough.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  9. #9

    Default 15'.....

    Since I live in Kenai I don't want to fish if the tide is over 15'. I don't want to fish with over 24 oz. weights. I think some tide movement is good for scent dipersal. It costs money and time to put the boat in the water so I try to pick good tides. It is easier to be picky when you are closer and have a boat. But, I have fished big and little tides with mixed results.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug from Anchorage View Post
    I don't think it matters. Halibut have voracious appetites and if left to them, the "bite" is always on. The trick is to put the bait where they can scent it. It's a hide and seek thing, not so much a tide thing. The smaller tides allow for less weight, but smaller scent zone. Bigger tides, the opposite.

    Doug nailed it. It's all about scent, and you getting it out there. I personally believe that halibut will travel long distances if they get a good scent trail to follow. The stronger the tide, the better your scent will get out there.

  11. #11
    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Default Tides

    The strength and direction of the tidal currents and abundance of bait are the single most important factors in locating and catching halibut. I will tell you this, halibut orient to the direction of the current in relation to the surrounding structure. There are many locations that we fish that, regardless of the abundance of halibut in the area, are only productive when the current is running in a certain direction. I would advise all of you private boaters to keep track of what the direction( incoming or out going) and strength ( strong or weak)of the current when you expereince a good day of fishiing and then try to make sure the conditions are the same when you go out and fish again next time at that location.Without bait fish on or near the bottom, all the scent in the world is not going to bring halibut to a spot. The reason they are in the area is to eat. There needs to be food for them. IF they are in the area, scent will help them find you and no doubt current helps move the scent.
    Keeping this in mind will help to increase your productivity. My experience is only in Seward and Prince William Sound.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by pike_palace View Post
    After you have fished awhile you will see that the fishing is better when there is a little bit of current but not too much. .
    I have to agree with this from my experience, (which is not exactly vast though). So many times it seems the bite was on until the tide slacked off completely, then picked up after the tide changed again. All I could think is that the scent sort of goes all around in random directions, or a cloud or whatever, and it is harder for the fish to follow the scent to a definite source.

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