Deep drop fishing

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  • Deep drop fishing

    The wife just got me a couple electric reels to do some deep drop fishing for halibut or anything down there. Just getting started in this and have done some research on it, but can't find much about Alaska. First, I see most set ups have bent butt rods. Is this necessary? Can you do the same with a 30degree flush mount holder and your normal halibut rod or do you really need the bent butt rod? Any info from anyone who has fished 600+ feet would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    The Bent rod is not a neccessity but it does have certain benefits. I fish straight butt rods. But I normally fish less than 200' of water.
    You really don't need to go that deep to catch fish in most Alaska locations.
    Another good aspect for your deep water fishing is the jig you are using. You want a jig that will drop fast and hold well in the current.
    No sense dropping 600" if your are flagging back up to shallower water. Use a good braid and a jig that is designed to be fished deep.
    I know some jigs that work well for this.
    This video gives a brief explanation of bent rods versus straight.
    "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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    • #3
      Thanks, I am trying to fish halibut out of whittier. I do most of my halibut out of homer, but don't want to go there if i can get halibut out of whittier. I have tried MANY times and always come up with nothing. I'm fishing 200-250' with hand crank and that's as much as i'm willing to reel. The electrics will get me down much farther. From what I have read you have to go deeper in Whittier to get halibut. I just have never fished deep drop before and every rig I have seen for deep drop have bent butt rods. Didn't know if there was a reason. I'll probably just use my halibut stuff and see if there are any limitations to the rod set up. I'm planning to leave the rod in the holder and just use the reel to bring up the fish. No way am I fighting something 600'.

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      • #4
        I remember some dockside chat back in the late '90's about Bread n Butter going up Port Wells to fish a 600' rise for halibut with electric reels and back trolled to stay on it. Seems he did OK and it wasn't a fast boat either. Most of Port Wells runs a constant flat 235 fathoms out in the middle but I don't know exactly where that rise is so you'll have to do some scouting. I know what you're interested in doing, finding out what lurks below. I once set my longline in a 400 fathom spot in PWS just to see what was down there. You never know what you'll pull up. Good luck!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Fish Witch View Post
          I once set my longline in a 400 fathom spot in PWS just to see what was down there.
          What did you get at 400f?
          Live life and love it
          Love life and live it

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          • #6
            In my experience a bent butt rod would be necessary if you plan to leave the rod in the rod holder with a decent fish, otherwise the angle on your rod will be too acute. I have used electramate reels on 320 and 330 gti's and really like them. They take the place of cranking the reel, but are not a winch that will pull in a decent halibut on their own. The beauty is that you can bring in a cod fish or check your bait while leaving the rod in the holder. With a halibut over 15 pounds you need to work the rod just like a non electric reel. You just push a button instead of turning a handle. people still get worn out, and hand the rod over on bigger fish after a few hundred feet. If you have reels that are strong enough to winch in a big halibut, then I think you will need bent butt rods.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bullbuster View Post
              What did you get at 400f?
              That set was memorable. The the noise from the hydraulics and block seemed like the lunch whistle for a pod of killer whales and they cleaned me out. All I got was halibut lips and bent hooks. One of the big males had a bullet hole through it's dorsel fin so I figured they'd been at it for a while and pissed another longliner off. That experience and when they went to one day openers did me in and I gave up longlining after that.

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              • #8
                My wife has a shoulder that sometimes bothers her.
                But her and my Stepson have the Subsistence Halibut cards. So when it gets to bothering her after a few fish she just sticks it in the rod holder and winches them up. I don't have a card so cannot help.
                She has done a lot of Halibut from 15#-50# this way with a straight butt rod. Not that a bent butt wouldn't be better but you gotta use what you have.
                It doesn't seem to bother my rods any either. And they are only $180 Penn rods not the real high dollar stuff.
                My rod holder are slightly angled back but not too much.
                The rods on these are Penn VS3080RS56.
                The reels are Penn 340GTI with 80# Tuffline braid on them.
                We have other reels as well but these ones work best for the rod holder winching technique.
                "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
                  you dont have to have them but its alot easier, i used to use scotty rod holders just tie them, i made a couple rods that use a bent butt. One of the reason i do it is it gets the lines further away from each other. its really fun fishing deep though, ya never know whats going to come up. deepest ive fished is 2500'

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                  • #10
                    The reels I have are the Daiwa Tanacom 750. I did some research and found a thread on this forum where people had used them here in AK and LOVED them. They said the reels could pull up 100-150# halibut without any difficulty at all. I'm hoping they are right, cause I would love to get into some a little bigger than the chickens you wind up with out of homer. As for the rods, I think I'll put a couple flush mount holders on the back and try the straight rods I have. I may have to get a bent butt rod later, but thats just the fun of fishing......finding new reasons to buy more gear

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                    • #11
                      another reason to have the bent butt is the rod is parallel to the water instead of being straight up in the air

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mykle1 View Post
                        The reels I have are the Daiwa Tanacom 750. I did some research and found a thread on this forum where people had used them here in AK and LOVED them. They said the reels could pull up 100-150# halibut without any difficulty at all. I'm hoping they are right, cause I would love to get into some a little bigger than the chickens you wind up with out of homer. As for the rods, I think I'll put a couple flush mount holders on the back and try the straight rods I have. I may have to get a bent butt rod later, but thats just the fun of fishing......finding new reasons to buy more gear
                        It is important to get the rod tips low and out away from the boat so you aren't rubbing the lines on the hull or getting tip wrapped when it is rough. I would go with vertical flush mount rod holders (and BIG backing plates). Get a local welder to fabricate a couple of rod holders for you similar to out rodders or rod riggers. If he is a friend it shouldn't cost you more that about $50 for aluminum tubing and a case of beer.

                        Big_E

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bullbuster View Post
                          What did you get at 400f?
                          When we fish at or near 400 fathoms, we get sablefish, halibut, thornyhead rockfish (otherwise known as idiotfish), an occasional grenadier, and a smattering of arrowtooth flounder, skates, etc.

                          If I had an electric reel, I'd be way more excited about targeting sablefish than halibut. That said, there are some awfully nice halibut in PWS to be found at great depth.

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                          • #14
                            We sometimes fish the 600 foot humps in port wells. I don't have enough anchor line so we use the kicker to stay in place. I don't have enough patience to do it very long and we have never hooked much. We don't have electric reels or fancy rods either. You can find studies on-line showing halibut catches in deep water (600 foot - not 2400 like Brian is fishing) and they will put you into the general areas. I have heard from charters that early in the year they won't fish under 300 - 350 feet.....

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                            • #15
                              If you plan to keep the rod in the holder while reeling in then you'll eventually want to get the bent rod or get a custom rod holder. A regular rod and holder setup will cause a lot of wear on the line from both the rod tip and from rubbing on the hull/rails. Usually when fishing deep you'll be using more lead than normal so if the rod angle is too steep then your rod tip will rub hard. Over the course of a deep drift your line can change direction quite a bit so the bent rod is great for keeping line away from the boat. Replacing all that line can be expensive.


                              I went with the Daiwa Dendoh rod and have been real happy with it. This past season I fished the Lone island trench. I let out 800 yards and didn't hit bottom. Tide was slack and my line nearly vertical with a 5 lb lead. I moved in closer to the island and hit bottom at about 1950'. No luck catching that time but it was still fun. I did manage to catch large rockfish and arrowtooth from 1200-1500' on other trips while looking for the elusive sablefish.

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