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Thread: Halibut Fishing

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    Default Halibut Fishing

    So myself and a few other guys are going to try and plan a halibut trip soon and I am new to the fishing up here is their anyone that has any good tips on landing a monster halibut?

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    turnagain arm ^_^

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Landing a monster but is the same as hitting the jackpot at a slot machine. There is no special skill involved, it comes down to being at the right spot at the right time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tharness View Post
    So myself and a few other guys are going to try and plan a halibut trip soon and I am new to the fishing up here is their anyone that has any good tips on landing a monster halibut?
    Are you talking about "landing" a monster or "catching" a monster? There's a whole thread earlier about the best way to land one, but catching one is a different story. How big a boat do you have? How far out do you want to go? How much experience exactly do you have? There are hundreds of people that go out there every day looking for "monsters" and very few come back with them. If I were you I'd be happy just finding some nice ones and practice on those first. There are plenty of places to go where you can catch 10 to 30 pounders all day long.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Landing a monster but is the same as hitting the jackpot at a slot machine. There is no special skill involved, it comes down to being at the right spot at the right time.
    And I'd respectfully have to disagree with that. Knowing the best spots to land big butt helps an awful lot and the proper method for doing it. You can't just go out anywhere you feel like it and catch a 300 lb. "monster" and it sure helps to know what you're doing when you try.

    The Jackpot Halibut Derby winners often times come from the same boats very consistently. That's because the captains know the spots where the bigger halibut tend to hang out and know the best methods for catching them. You could probably go out of Homer 100 days in a row and fish the Compass Rose area and never catch anything bigger than 100 lbs. or so. But head "south" and things might be a bit more skewed your way if you're looking for a BIG one.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    My point is, not everyone is going to land a 300# fish, in fact most people are going to catch fish less than 100#.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    My point is, not everyone is going to land a 300# fish, in fact most people are going to catch fish less than 100#.
    I think that's what I said, too.

    My point is that there IS indeed special skill involved when you said there isn't. I have to agree that being in the right place at the right time sure helps, but if you don't know what you're doing you're not even going to catch 100 pounders.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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    Default Special skill my arse!

    2 days ago I gave my wife and 7 yr old granson each a rod with a 6 oz jig and a squid tail. To each I added a small piece (1/3 blue lable) herring and told them to jig away.
    I was in the cabin trying to listen to the weather and generally screwing off waiting for time to pull my shrimp pots when they began yelling "we got a fish". Upon making the back deck I was handed the rod with the drag in full song!
    Now were talking non fishing folks here, are we on bottom? why's my line so far over there? what's for lunch, and yet they got something right and the fruit is shown in the photo.
    A nice 60 pounder which added nicely to the shrimp take which on that day yeilded 6 gallons of tails. I guess they were in the right spot at the right time.
    Mike
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    Member idakfisher's Avatar
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    Alasgun, thanks for the great report, a 60# can be a BIG one.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    but if you don't know what you're doing you're not even going to catch 100 pounders.
    I would think that Paul is arguing (or at least I will) that there are exceptions. The second halibut that I ever caught was 144 pounds out in Prince William Sound. We did almost no halibut fishing with rod and reel growing up, and really didn't know where to fish. We had some relatives up, though, and gave it a shot. I caught that one and my brother caught an 89 pounder a half hour later. Those were the only two we caught that day. No special skill or knowledge at all...just the right place at the right time.

    Of course, your point is equally valid. Some people catch large fish much more consistently than others, as do some charter vessels. Knowing where to be makes a big difference if looking for consistency in both numbers and size of fish.

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    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Be patient. Rarely will you drop a bait right on top of ones head. They do move around and if your catching fish just keep pitching the chickens and be persistent.

    Use large bait. Buy a box of the large horse herring and fish 2 herring on a circle hook. It works.

    Fishing down in the Barrens and Chugach Islands will increase your odds alot, but it really comes down to being patient and paying your dues. Fish alot of places and learn why some spots produce nice fish while others are just chicken patches.

    I've personally seen some large Halibut come from just outside K-bay, so it isn't always necessary to run that far south.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pike_palace View Post

    Use large bait. Buy a box of the large horse herring and fish 2 herring on a circle hook. It works.
    When commercial fishing, using pacific cod for bait increases the average size of the fish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    When commercial fishing, using pacific cod for bait increases the average size of the fish.
    Good idea. Cod strips work well I've heard.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Default Cut 'em loose...

    <rant>

    Targeting big halibut is going to be the death of this fishery. The best way to "land" a "monster" is to reach down and take the hook out while it is still in the water. Get a picture if you must, but please leave the "monsters" in the ocean. They are all breeding females and it is akin to bypassing all the young bulls to target the healthy, breeding cow moose population.

    These silly halibut derbies do nothing but damage to the fishery as each "monster" taken removes thousands of halibut from the pool. I wish they would redo these derbies to a "Price is Right" style: The fish closest to a target weight (e.g. 100, 110, or 120) without going over is the winner. In the end, that will not only save the fishery, but it will attract even more participants as anyone can catch a 99.9# fish in easier access water.

    </rant>
    Winter is Coming...

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    Default Be Careful

    X2 - JOAT. I release the big mamas when I can.

    In the event you are lucky and do connect to a "monster" halibut remember to "be prepared, but be careful". If there is little experience with handling big halibut among your "few other guys" read about it or talk to an experienced halibut fisherman to learn how to safely bring a big fish under control. Every season I hear about or watch people get the living snot beat out of them because they don't know what to to with a large halibut alongside. We watched a teenager get his wrist broken by a big 'but last year as they drifted past one of my favorite local humps.

    There was a thread on this forum with lots of excellent contributions from knowledgeable fishermen with a lot of experience pacifying big flat ones. I generally don't bring over-100 over the side, but I have been fishing and catching them for awhile and have some suggestions.

    If you want to keep you fishing experience relatively trouble-free and safe for everyone, consider the following:
    1. Discuss the best way to handle a large fish on your specific boat and keep the amount of people physically involved to a bare minimum. There is only so much room at the rail - only room for participants, no room for observers. You may get something big enough to involve more people, but make sure the "reserves" also understand their role and the correct signal to get them physically involved in the drama

    2. Get each person's role in your capture straight ahead of time. Pick the best person to give the directions to the fisherman. This "fishmaster" will be giving directions to the fisherman and to the landing assistants.

    3. While the fish is being pulled up (played) get unnecessary stuff stowed and make certain footing surfaces are clear and not slick. Clear adequate space for where the fish is going to land when it is pulled aboard.

    4. Be deliberate in all of your actions. Try not to let adrenalin take over and cause a bad shark hooking or harpooning job. If the fish does not present itself for an successful strike where you wanted be prepared to strike in another good spot. Get your shark hook into a big piece of the fish in its mouth so its struggles do not tear the hook loose.

    5. If it isn't going to happen on the first visit to the surface and the fish starts back down to the bottom - everyone but the person holding the rod gets to relax. Never put your hand out and touch the braided line as it begins to strip off the reel. The line is coming under tension and can take pieces of flesh right off an exposed hand if someone does not get it clear.

    6. Repeat.

    Good luck. :-]

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I would think that Paul is arguing (or at least I will) that there are exceptions. The second halibut that I ever caught was 144 pounds out in Prince William Sound. We did almost no halibut fishing with rod and reel growing up, and really didn't know where to fish. We had some relatives up, though, and gave it a shot. I caught that one and my brother caught an 89 pounder a half hour later. Those were the only two we caught that day. No special skill or knowledge at all...just the right place at the right time.

    Of course, your point is equally valid. Some people catch large fish much more consistently than others, as do some charter vessels. Knowing where to be makes a big difference if looking for consistency in both numbers and size of fish.
    Interesting that you choose to argue with me and freely admit it. I get accused of being argumentative and then admonished for it. Hmmmm.

    I never said it doesn't happen. I pulled into Sunny Cove one night to boat camp and my wife dropped a whole silver head on a 16/0 circle hook over the side in about 50 ft. of water. I told her not to bother. To make a long story short she pulled a 70 pounder into the boat about half an hour later.

    And then you conclude your argument by agreeing with me. The point is, if you go out there armed with the proper knowledge on how to target them and where to go you will increase your odds of catching a monster. Likening it to "slot machine" luck is not valid.

    As for cod as bait. I use it all the time now. There are a...well...buttload of cod out there right now (maybe I should say "a cod awful" amount of them). But maybe I shouldn't be giving away one of my secrets since being able to catch big halibut doesn't take any skill whatsoever according to some.

    And I agree with JOAT totally. I love the derby sort of thing, but I think the "price is right" idea is a much better way of doing it. Especially when they are having to do things like cut the daily limit to 1 fish in areas and limit the number of charter operators can fish for them.

    I have had a number of clients that I've talked into fishing the Jackpot Derby because they weren't interested in catching a BIG butt that when I told them there are very little ones out there with a tag in them that's worth anywhere up to $10,000 they buy in immediately. Maybe the Homer Chamber of Commerce should re-think the way they do things.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pike_palace View Post
    Good idea. Cod strips work well I've heard.

    My favorite new bait is Fresh Cod Strips soaked overnight with Butt Juice!!! Stays on the hook great!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by chico99645 View Post
    My favorite new bait is Fresh Cod Strips soaked overnight with Butt Juice!!! Stays on the hook great!!!
    Yeah, I've had chunks of cod stay on the hook for multiple fish. You can't beat it with a stick, as they say.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    I have been fishing up here for 30 years. I kept one monster. 110lbs. I have released all after that. June and I are going butt fishing this weekend and in July. We have all ready discussed if we get one pushing 80 or better we are going to take a pic and cut it loose. We want those big fat mommas out there making lots more babies. I grew up fishing deep creek with my zodiac long before the tractor lauch was made. We used to catch lots of 30-60lb fish in shallow water all summer long. It is not so anymore. More boats, keeping more hogs, = less fish for sure.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    I love the derby sort of thing, but I think the "price is right" idea is a much better way of doing it.

    I have had a number of clients ... when I told them there are very little ones out there with a tag in them that's worth anywhere up to $10,000 they buy in immediately. Maybe the Homer Chamber of Commerce should re-think the way they do things.
    Perhaps it is time that we the people petition HCC to change the derby so that it exclusively targets smaller fish and dump the "monster" aspect all together. I can't imagine there is a charter operator out there who wouldn't sign on to this idea.
    Winter is Coming...

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