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Thread: Whittier Halibut

  1. #1
    Member Grizzly Man's Avatar
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    Default Whittier Halibut

    I'm looking for some info on halibut in Whittier. I'm not looking for your spots, but if you can give me some pointers on how to find the fish faster, (terrain/depths/structures?) I would appreciate it. I have 1 summer left here in AK and family and friends coming out in July/Aug timeframe expecting me to "guide" them on my boat. I primarily shrimp in Whittier, but do go out and catch some silvers while the pots are soaking, but haven't been real lucky in the halibut department. I've never fished south of Herring bay, but if it's worth it, I can bring some extra fuel and be comfortable going out to Montigue.

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Hey Grizz. I'm not not an expert on halibut in PWS. I'll leave that to Spoiled One and Jrodgers. There are lots of others on here as well that spend a ton of time fishing out there and certainly know the spots. But that being said I'm happy to help you out. What I've found is its tough to find halibut near shrimpin spots but if you're willing to run a bit you can probable get some. Pm me and I'll give you a couple spots I've been pretty successful at.

    Hope it helps and sorry to hear you are leaving this great state.

  3. #3
    Member Grizzly Man's Avatar
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    Patrick,

    PM sent and thanks. I'm not leaving by choice, my tour is up here. I didn't have a boat the 1st year, so 2nd year I bought one and got deployed to Afghanistan, now I have 1 season left so I'm hoping to benefit from some of the more seasoned anglers here. I'm going to book a charter when my friends get here to put them on some kings and quality halibut. They have years experience on me, plus it'll be nice to be a client instead of the captain. Hurry up Summer!!!!

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Couldn't agree more. It almost feels like spring is here and we've got 4-5 months to go. If you guys are headed out let me know. Maybe we can hook up and do a party trip. Sounds like you're buddies could teach me a thing or two.

    I can't say enough thanks for your service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickL View Post
    Hey Grizz. I'm not not an expert on halibut in PWS. I'll leave that to Spoiled One and Jrodgers.
    Ha! If I'm an expert, things are pretty dismal. I guess my advice would be bring extra fuel, and try to keep expectations low with your guests (it is a beautiful place and will be a great boat ride; if you catch fish, then that is a bonus).

    I always get nervous when people expect fish in PWS. You can get them, and you can catch them in close, but your probability of success goes up the further you go towards the gulf. There are also times where I have ht fish two or three weeks in a row at a spot, and then I fish it the next few weeks hard and get nothing. There are some spots that I know have fish (such as the needles) but I just can't seem to find the fish after repeated tries.

    I did put a remote tracking GPS device on Spoiled One's hull this winter though, so I expect things will improve next summer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    I did put a remote tracking GPS device on Spoiled One's hull this winter though, so I expect things will improve next summer.
    Ha! Don't pay any attention to all those extra frequent fliers that show up on your AK Air CC next summer, Jim. Consider it the cost of doing business!

    Back to the OP. You can find halibut within an hour of Whittier consistently sometimes it takes "Patience". The further south you go, the better your odds. If you can see the gulf you will do even better. Range is king out on the sound!
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Halibut like sandy/muddy bottoms to wallow into. They also like elevated palteau's to hang out on, so study some charts and go for the barn door. Easy online charts can be found here: www.sailvector.com

    Good luck.
    "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city." ~ Proverbs 16:32

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    http://fishbull.noaa.gov/974/11kaimme.pdf In fishing Prince William Sound you need a combination of things to have good halibut fishing. Halibut spend most of their time in deep water (900 ft) and you normaly catch them when they move into feed. You need to find a spot that has structure which attracts bait fish, you need current to move the scent of your bait around, and the water needs to be shallow enough that you can get your line down to where they are. I believe that Halibut are always on the move looking for food and moving to keep away from preditors. Rockey shelfs, gravel bottoms,and area's next to kelp beds are some of the best places that I found. When the high tides are coming in and salmon are in the area move closer to where the salmon are running and try jiging. Next up your attack with a combination of bait and jigs. Fishing muddy bottoms will get to lots of P cod, Arrow Tooth Founders, and small Halibut.

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    Has anyone had any luck going north towards coghill? I've never fished up there but heard that in mid July there are halibut chasing the red run. Good luck grizzly

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    There are places in the sound that consistantly produce, so I'm told, but they are a long run from whittier.

    If you're boat isn't up to running out to Montague, then you need to let your guests know that halibut might be caught, but you can get them into some good rock fish, lingcod, and if the silver run materializes, silvers. Check the charts for sharp drop offs and pinnacles, and you'll get into rock fish. It also helps if that terrain is in areas that get good tidal action.

    As much as I love boating out of Whittier, I've found Seward a much better location for getting into fish consistantly.

  11. #11
    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    I've done well up near Golden during July in shallow water (50-100 ft).
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

  12. #12

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    I catch halibut out of Whittier all the time. The problem is that I am so far away from Whittier when I do it, you can almost see Seward......All joking aside, from my experience, other the ones I have lucked my way into by the Knight Island Group, which happens pretty often if you choose the right underwater topography, the most consistent place on the Western side of the Sound to get into them is down in the Bainbridge Passage area. And that is a long, long, boat ride from Whittier like going to Montague is. In fact, you just as well go to Montague at that point since you are almost already there. Like Paul indicated, if you can get a good weather day out of Seward, go fish out in front of any of the Capes East of Cape Ressurection and you will find catchable numbers in 150-250 feet of water.

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    I never seem to catch halibut , but I know Whittier locals that catch 70+ pounders every time they go out and they don't leave the sight of Whittier

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    I normally fish within an hour of Whittier. What I have found is that I catch fewer fish, but the majority of them are larger. I (my boat)have caught at least 8-9 fish over 140 pounds, and lots over 50 pounds in just the last few years. You have to put in alot of time soaking, and I usually fish at 300 feet. I dont mind though, because I am waiting for my pots to fill. Also the seas are usually pretty calm and it is easy to "hang out" in such a beautiful place.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    I never seem to catch halibut , but I know Whittier locals that catch 70+ pounders every time they go out and they don't leave the sight of Whittier
    Sounds like we should do a covert operations and find out where these fish are coming from....LOL. I never even see anyone fishing around Whittier when I am tooling around in the boat. They must put their rods away or something when I go by as they don't want anyone fishing their spot. Apparently, they are overestimating my fishing capabilities.....

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    Member Grizzly Man's Avatar
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    This is totally unrelated to this thread , but anyone know where I can find some GPS tracking devices that can attach to boat hulls?

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    Member Soundfisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly Man View Post
    This is totally unrelated to this thread , but anyone know where I can find some GPS tracking devices that can attach to boat hulls?
    That has been discussed by certain individuals at my job several times. Guest are searched and sworn to secrecy!!!!!!!

  18. #18
    Member Grizzly Man's Avatar
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    Thanks again for all the info guys and appreciate this forum. I'll put this info to good use this season and "pay it forward" by posting on the OPEN SEAT thread.

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    Is there any particular strategy to going early in the year (March)? I have a trip planned for a place near Whittier to try and get Tanners on a flat muddy spot about 350 feet deep, with steep rocky slopes nearby. Should I fish closer to the steep rocky stuff or stick to the center of the mudbowl type area for halibut?
    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly Man View Post
    This is totally unrelated to this thread , but anyone know where I can find some GPS tracking devices that can attach to boat hulls?
    I think most of us already carry one on us? Its called a cell phone and don't most phone have some kind of gps built into them??

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