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Drifting for halibut

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  • Drifting for halibut

    Don't really have the set up to anchor in deeper water. Any one have any tips for drifting the rigs and bait I have down, but for the guys that drift. Do you target different areas then when you anchor, And also. Mehta time of the year do halibut move closer inshore. (Ketchikan area)

  • #2
    I drift fish with excellent results. You're able to cover a lot of ground, especially if you're in an area with numerous halibut hills in close proximity to one another. Go whack a mound at 50', hit another at 150', bounce out and make a few passes across one that's at 250'.

    Here's a few lessons I've learned in my two years drift fishing.

    -Two lines is about the most you want to have down or you get line tangles, especially in heavier currents and deeper depths.

    -The people that are jigging need to be highly active on their rods, constantly dropping and raising gear to find bottom. And making sure not to be lazy jiggers and drag their jigs across bottom or tackle will be lost on rocks and other obstacles.

    -Bait is totally unnecessary. Stay active on the rods to make the jig come to life and any old jig will do. Lead heads, diamond jigs, butterfly jigs, Kodiak customs, will all work. If you want some scent, throw some Smelly Jelly or the like on your jigs. But the key is to keep that jig constantly fluttering. It can be tiring, so rotate out with other people onboard the boat.

    -It's nice to have a person dedicated to driving the boat and back trolling against the current so the jigging lines stay vertical in heavier currents. The driver can take turns swapping out with a jigger when they get exhausted from jigging.

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    • #3
      AFT offered great advice. When I drift I start a track on my GPS and as SOON as I hit fish I mark them, then drift on and continue to mark fish when I hit them. After a mile drifting or so I come back around on that track and can be prepared for the bite when we reach those waypoint marks. Of course, as the tide turns the fish "pockets" move. Then you start a new drift. But once I find a good pocket of fish I drift through them and come right back around for repeated drifts over the same area.

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      • #4
        When I drift, I prefer small areas. I'll but down good bait, to get the scent working. Do a short drift, pull up, freshen bait, and do it again, starting in the same spot. If you have a lot of bait, put some down with a rockfish release tool, and shake it off. Lots of scent in the water. As you scent gets out there, halibut will move into your smaller drift, and it will get better and better every drift.
        Alaska Wide Open Charters
        www.alaskawideopen.com
        907-965-0130

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        • #5
          Do you target the back side of mounds, depending on the current? Ripping tide this coming weekend in the Inlet so I was thinking about drifting.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by NORTH2AK View Post
            Do you target the back side of mounds, depending on the current? Ripping tide this coming weekend in the Inlet so I was thinking about drifting.
            You normally want to concentrate on the downstream side of rockpiles mounds etc.
            The current tends to push some bait downcurrent and the butts lie in wait for it there.
            If you have the right style of jig the currents in the inlet are fishable most of the time. Even anchored up.
            Instead of 3# of weight you can get by with a 24 oz jig and catch a lot of fish doing it.

            Sent from my HTC One V using Tapatalk
            "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

            "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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            • #7
              Had a great day drifting for halibut today in lower Cook Inlet using Kasilofchrisns jigs! We thought about anchoring but limited in 45 minutes or so. We made 4 or 5 short drifts over the same area and were done. Nothing big but all fat and hungry ! Jigs looked like new when we finished! Salmon fishing was slow but did pick up a red of all things jigging for black bass! Great day on the water.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by akcarv View Post
                Had a great day drifting for halibut today in lower Cook Inlet using Kasilofchrisns jigs! We thought about anchoring but limited in 45 minutes or so. We made 4 or 5 short drifts over the same area and were done. Nothing big but all fat and hungry ! Jigs looked like new when we finished! Salmon fishing was slow but did pick up a red of all things jigging for black bass! Great day on the water.
                I am Glad those jigs worked out for you!
                I am sure I can put the lead I got from you to good use here soon.
                Jigs can really be the ticket at times drifting or anchored. And if they are designed right they are not nearly as affected by the tides as a big ol sinker and a big ol chunk of bait.
                "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

                "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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                • #9
                  Thanx for all the info guys. Can't wait to get out there

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