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Thread: Drifting for Halibut. Does it work?

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    Default Drifting for Halibut. Does it work?

    Here is the scenario. Its a day where the tide is really kicking in. you dont feel like winching in 5lb weights. How would it work to drift with the tide over your halibut spot? Any thoughts? Looking for a way to fish when the tide is really flowing.

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    Long as the winds and tides aren't fighting each other, it works great. Of course, as water depth increases, it gets tough keeping the boat more or less on top of the weights.

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    We rarely anchor anymore. But sometimes drifting is worse because the tide is pushing your bait one direction and the wind is pushing your boat the opposite way.
    In these cases helps to have someone man the kicker so you can keep the baits on the bottom.
    Tennessee

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    I rarely throw out the anchor to halibut fish as I would rather drift around. But I fish a lot out of Seward where the tides are not crazy like they are in Cook Inlet. While a lot of people think I am nuts for doing this, I actually use my downriggers for halibut as I don't like reeling in all that weight all the time. Let the electric downrigger pull it up.......so much more fun

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    T.R.
    What works for you is is what works who care what others think. I spent an evening walleye fishing in 3ft of water. I had boats go past and laugh. Its a very good and very popular walleye lake. there were even guys who told us we were wasting our time and to go deeper. Well just after dark when we were at the access the others were giving us a hard time. They shut up when i transfered the fish from the live well to the cooler. We were filled out with very nice fish. I never do that but i just had to shut them up just once

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    Default That's How I Prospect For Butts

    kgpcr - I am always on the lookout for new places to anchor for flat guys but I don't like to toss out the anchor unless I have some sign that it will be a productive spot. I manuever into position approx 100 fathoms uptide and drift across new spots with the jigs and see what happens. It doesn't take long to tell if you will have hard bottom and coral to contend with or if it is a nice gravel bottom with a few P-cod around to make things interesting.

    If you notice that the current is moving the boat along too fast and the jigs get too far out away from the boat you can do a little back-trolling against the current to make the drift more manageable. Remember to mark any fish you catch on the GPS so you have an idea of where you want to end up when you decide to drop the anchor.

    I got our butterfly jigs too late in the season to give them a try for drifting, but I hope to see some flatfish drifting action on them this coming summer. Good luck.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    works for me
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    I use my kicker with my TR-1 auto pilot ran in reverse mode when the drift gets too fast and I can't keep the bottom works like a charm. The TR-1 has a reverse mode that does everything backwards from what it would do normally so it turns the motor the right way when in reverse. It takes a little playing with it to get the heading right. It makes drifting work when the boat is traveling too fast and you can't keep the bottom rather than going to huge weights.

    Mike

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    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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    Default Butterfly jiggs

    Thread stealing alert! Anybody use the Shimano butterfly jigs for bottomfish and what have been your results?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliffhanger View Post
    Thread stealing alert! Anybody use the Shimano butterfly jigs for bottomfish and what have been your results?

    I fish `em and they work great.

    I drift much more than anchor. When on anchor in less than 100' downriggers do a good job of keeping your bait in check....this is a good time for the spin-n-glos.

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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    I drift most of the time and when the drift moving at a pretty good clip, a drift sock (sea anchor) or a couple of 5 gallon buckets tied off to a cleat really slows you down. I also like the J-hook instead of the circle hook in this situation and stay alert like a cat waiting for a mouse to quickly set the hook.

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    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Drifting is good if you find a chicken patch. But if the current is ripping you'll never know their are fish there as your going too quick to catch them. I like anchoring. Get larger fish that way.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Drifting with the current can work very good for halibut. The key is boat control, as you'll want to keep those lines going somewhat straight down. I run my kicker in reverse to keep up with the weights in the current.

    I drift and anchor for halibut. Anchoring works really well as it lets you draw halibut in to your bait via scent being moved with the current. Halibut will follow in your scent from over a mile away. Sometimes more. It's a waiting game. When it's to rough for me to anchor, lots of floating kelp is around, or I don't have the time to anchor, I'll drift.

    Drifting is for structure fishing or for covering large areas. I like to drift over rockpiles, humps, reefs, and other irregular bottom features that hold the food chain. I like big jigs for this, to avioid hooking the small rockfish.

    I'll also do 2-3 mile drifts out on the 50 edge off the outer coast of POW using jigs when the current is moving. With big drifts like that, odds are good you'll bounce over something big as big halibut move through those areas to feed. I prefer large jigs for this because you can feel the smaller halibut and not hook those. They'll just slap at it and not eat it like they will with a circle hook. The bigger (30lb plus) halibut will gulp down a jig no problem and you'll have no problem telling a big one from a small one. Reeling up large amounts of 15lb halibut while looking for a big one isn't fun, and your bait won't spend much time on the bottom.

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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pike_palace View Post
    Drifting is good if you find a chicken patch. But if the current is ripping you'll never know their are fish there as your going too quick to catch them. I like anchoring. Get larger fish that way.
    I agree with Pike on this one, in my experience anchoring works better for the big fish, but if you are happy with the small ones, drifting over a chicken farm works good.

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    butterfly jigs are awesome! BUT... they're really expensive, so drifting with them is risky... I prefer to use weight & bait and/or large jigs up until the tide slacks off enough to use the lighter butterfly jigs. You usually get between an hour or two of effective butterfly jig fishing this way.
    www.akfishology.com

    fishing isn't about life or death... it's more important than that.

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    My biggest fish have come from drifting. I like drifting even on good tides. If the wind is blowing across the tide I have thrown out a 5 ga bucket. It helps
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    Member sisusuomi's Avatar
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    Anyone here try using drift (sea) anchor instead of 5 gal buckets

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    Quote Originally Posted by sisusuomi View Post
    Anyone here try using drift (sea) anchor instead of 5 gal buckets

    Not in the ocean, but I have used one (drift sock) in Lake Superior and other big water lakes in Upper Michigan. They work well.
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

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    We had great success in the Southeast power drifting over structure...i.e. use the kicker to hold in position over structure instead of just drifting. Easy to fish even 300 feet with 8 to 16 ounces of weight...and a lot more fun bringing fish up. More active fishing too. Don't know why more people don't do it.

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    Member sisusuomi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannerAK View Post
    Not in the ocean, but I have used one (drift sock) in Lake Superior and other big water lakes in Upper Michigan. They work well.
    So you're a pasty eating Yooper I'm guessing. You have the sauna hot?

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