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Thread: Halibut in Whittier

  1. #1
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    Default Halibut in Whittier

    I've fished Whittier for 5+ years, in smaller boats. I've taken the charter to waters near Montague Island - but I don't want to run out that far in my 17' skiff. I've had luck in early June around Esther rock - 2 80 lbs. twins in 120 feet of water drifting two years ago, but no luck last year or this year in same spot, same technique, etc. Took a nice 60 pounder near Coghill (along with the ugliest arrowtooth flounder I've ever seen).

    But, halibut catching for me has been very inconsistent. I'm trying to figure out - not coordinates, but I basic halibut patterns. They migrate in - follow salmon - eat shrimp, fry, salmon, salmon washed out after spawning... what else? How do they behave during ebb and flood? Do they hunker down during rips and wait for food to flow over shelves? Is anchoring better than drifting if the current is ripping? Is fishing around shrimp pots a good idea? Is 350 feet too deep? I've heard to look for the shelf - flat sandy or kelp beds - but I've caught wolf eels in the kelp beds.

    Any suggestions appreciated. Again, I'm not begging for secret spots. Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littleblackdogak View Post
    Is 350 feet too deep?
    I don't have a lot of insight for you on the other questions - even though I grew up spending most of my summers on the Sound, I've done very little bottom fishing out there - but I can weigh in on depth. 350' is most certainly not deep. We longline some of the deepest parts of the Sound (primarily for sablefish), and we regularly catch halibut at depths over 2,000'. Granted, we catch more when we are at depths of 1,800' and under, but still...that's some crazy deep water. The only limiting factor with deep water in the Sound is your willingness to fish it - not whether halibut might find it to be too deep.

  3. #3
    Member Sierra Hotel's Avatar
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    I've had great luck in the Sound, but all the way out at LaTouche. I've picked up fish one day just south of Eshamy Bay in less than 150' of water when the reds are coming in, but nothing the next. I limit the boat out on BIG fish when I head all the way south to the gateway islands tho . . . (Latouche, Bainbridge, Montague).

    SH

  4. #4
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    When you can see the open ocean, you're getting close. Probably a little far for your skiff though.

    Once you get that far from Whittier you do not have to fish deep, just find the structure on your sounder.

  5. #5
    Member AK_Kid's Avatar
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    When you say to "find the structure," what is a fella looking for? A flat shelf? A sea mount? A hole?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK_Kid View Post
    When you say to "find the structure," what is a fella looking for? A flat shelf? A sea mount? A hole?
    All of the above...anything out of the ordinary. Study a chart of the area and you see some high and low spot and hit them first for halibut. They can be tricky and be in 40' of water but a good start is 300' and work your way shallow.

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