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Thread: Halibut Migration

  1. #1

    Default Halibut Migration

    I'm just curious where halibut migrate from. Take PWS for example. Do they live out in the gulf in the winter and migrate to shallow water?

    And in Homer, they would migrate from deeper waters...

    When they come in from deeper waters, do they follow the same migration route every year?

    I posted earlier that I wanted to head out to Montague this Sunday... after looking it over, I don't know if I'll ever go that far in my 17' Almar. With four grown adults, I took a 10 gal. bucket of Deep Creek water over the side on a rough day before I got out of there, so I think I'll stay in more protected water.

    I'm still looking for good halibut fishing in and around Whittier.

  2. #2
    Member powderhound's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by littleblackdog View Post
    I'm just curious where halibut migrate from. Take PWS for example. Do they live out in the gulf in the winter and migrate to shallow water?

    And in Homer, they would migrate from deeper waters...

    When they come in from deeper waters, do they follow the same migration route every year?

    I posted earlier that I wanted to head out to Montague this Sunday... after looking it over, I don't know if I'll ever go that far in my 17' Almar. With four grown adults, I took a 10 gal. bucket of Deep Creek water over the side on a rough day before I got out of there, so I think I'll stay in more protected water.

    I'm still looking for good halibut fishing in and around Whittier.
    I have no answers for you halibut questions. Wish I knew the correct answer myself.
    I will say you sir are nuts to consider taking you 17' boat to Montague! Wish I could pony un enough to take my 22'!

  3. #3
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    Default Halibut Migration

    There is a lot of very good halibut migration information available from the International Pacific Halibut Commission - migration included. Try looking at the site at this link; http://www.iphc.washington.edu/halco...h/research.htm. The reading can be a little "dry" but they have been tagging and recovering tags on halibut for decades and have a pretty complete picture of their patterns in most areas of the coast of Alaska, BC, and WA/OR.

    Not ALL halibut go out to deep water for the winter - you can catch them in the normal fishing areas in the winter - just be prepared to have to work pretty hard for them because there are fewer of them around. Good luck!

  4. #4
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    You take a 17' boat out there make sure you have your will in place before you go. That is lunacy!

  5. #5

    Default Esther Rock ?

    So according to the catch records, 34 halibut were caught 6/22/2009 on a long line near Esther Rock at 196 feet, along with a slew of rockfish. I guess I'm reading it right. Thanks JKD.

    Well, that fits my personal best - 2 50+ pounders in 1 hour at Esther Rock four years ago on Memorial Day.

    And I agree with kgpcr and powderhound, I'm not going to push it. I just want to catch some flatfish this weekend and my last trip out landed only two rockfish, but now I've got bluechart and more bait ; ).

    The "superfly" will be on the hunt this Sunday in PWS, zippin' around and hopefully watching the rods bend.

  6. #6

    Default

    I would have to STRONGLY agree. Please don't take a 17' boat out to Montague. I don't want to read your obit in the paper after that.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  7. #7
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Guys in his very first post he said that he was thinking about heading to Montague, but that after looking it over changed his mind.

    littleblackdog - You can find halibut within range of your boat, but it will rarely be consistent and you'll have better luck if you fish deeper. It's no fun to fish deep if you're not catching, but it will improve your chances in PWS.

  8. #8
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    +1 for not going out that far, im in the Coast Guard and that sounds like a S&R case waiting to happen...
    I Wish i could change my name to Shimano, because i recently started hating Ambassdor Abu_Garcia.

  9. #9

    Default Safe boaters fish longer

    I'm all about being safe on the water. I both appreciate the concerns, and see clearly that we have safety on the mind among many of the members of this forum and fishing/ boating community.

    Happy and safe boating.

  10. #10
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    Default If you want to catch Halibut

    If all you want to do is catch some halibut you can head down to Deep Creek or Anchor Pt. and do the tractor launch and fish in 60-120 ft of water. Which is about 3 miles offshore. If launching from Anchor Pt. you can either head north or South and find fish from May to August (probably beyond this timeframe but we have never tried). If the wind picks up you can get back to the launch pretty quickly. We have done this many times and have caught lots of Halibut. Pretty nice camping down there as well. Plus you can also troll for Kings when the tide is running. Fish one hour before and after slack and you will probably catch your limit of halibuts. We've landed several 100 lb fish in less than 90 ft of water down there.

  11. #11
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    Default Depends on the 17 footer

    There are a few 17 foot boats that I would feel safe taking to montegue with proper gear and precautions. Perhaps a 17 foot zodiac, sure it would be wet, painful and generally miserable but not exceedingly unsafe. I think a 17-19 foot whaler or Arima would be salty enough to make the trip also. Again you would have to pick your days and be prepaired to hunker if needed but that same principle applies to most of the boats out there. 17 foot almar lite.......probably not tho.

  12. #12

    Default Arms are tired today : )

    Research and persistence paid off yesterday with 3 80+ flatfish out of Whittier. One measured 63 inches. I almost couldn't fit mine in the boat! I didn't need to run to Montague after all.

    Tide were perfect for slack tide fishing. The bites were best just before and after slack. Slam slam zoom! Big halibut don't nibble.

    And it was a safe trip. Next time I'll carry a harpoon.

    The commercial boats were all fishing around Main Bay.

    Safe boating.

  13. #13

    Default We fished at 350' + for each one

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Guys in his very first post he said that he was thinking about heading to Montague, but that after looking it over changed his mind.

    littleblackdog - You can find halibut within range of your boat, but it will rarely be consistent and you'll have better luck if you fish deeper. It's no fun to fish deep if you're not catching, but it will improve your chances in PWS.

    We found all our fish at 350'+. We also fished near shrimp pots - I'm wondering if the scent from the pots helped keep some fish in the area.

  14. #14
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Way to go littleblackdog! Sometimes it just takes persistence and a willingness to try.
    Glad you caught some 'but!
    BK

  15. #15
    Member Maast's Avatar
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    So did you hit esther rock or go just outside the breakwater?
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
    "Dominion"

  16. #16

    Default Ester Rock and around

    Near Ester Rock at 350+

    The commercial boats were waiting around at the gravel beach and a few were checking shrimp pots, hopefully their own.

    Anchoring made all the difference once the wind picked up and the tide ran strong.

    Question: where is the best place on the head to shoot a bit but? Between the eyes doesn't seem to be the brain center.

  17. #17
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    Default shooting butts

    You don`t have to shoot the big butts----just tie them off and cut the gills to let them bleed out. If you must shoot them--try about 2-3 inches (depending on the size of the butt) behind the left eye with a 410 snake charmer.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mcmeeks View Post
    There are a few 17 foot boats that I would feel safe taking to montegue with proper gear and precautions. Perhaps a 17 foot zodiac, sure it would be wet, painful and generally miserable but not exceedingly unsafe. I think a 17-19 foot whaler or Arima would be salty enough to make the trip also. Again you would have to pick your days and be prepaired to hunker if needed but that same principle applies to most of the boats out there. 17 foot almar lite.......probably not tho.
    I have taken both 17' Montauk Whaler and 18' Guardian Whaler all throughout PWS and Kenai Fjords. Been to Montague once in each boat (once from Valdez and once from Whittier). Pick your weather window, don't be underpowered or overloaded, and leave a float plan.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Guys in his very first post he said that he was thinking about heading to Montague, but that after looking it over changed his mind.
    He actually said, "after looking it over, I don't know if I'll ever go that far in my 17' Almar" and then "so I think I'll stay in more protected water."

    I don't know about anyone else, but that sounds more to me like he's still thinking about it possibly. He doesn't sound as though he is the kind of person that would have the experience to go that far in that kind of boat. So, therefore, I stated my opinion on the subject. Not sure what's wrong with stating my opinion about what he might still be thinking about doing. I'd really kind of hate to read about someone dying that decided to do a stupid thing because someone on a forum like this didn't state their opinion regarding doing that stupid thing.

    And even more so now that people are suggesting it can be done if you're careful about it. He might just decide it might not be that bad.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  20. #20
    Member Maast's Avatar
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    I've done north knight island on my 17 fish-and-ski and it did fine, little guy did great in up to 3-4 footers, more than that its just a little too bumpy of a ride.

    I has a good tight snap cover for the bow and a full fabric cabin though, which did a good job of shedding water.

    Its for sale BTW
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
    "Dominion"

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