A sturgeon rod can work but will be a little light in the tip which can really tire you out after a full day of Halibut fishing. We headed out toward Guard Island and when the guys decided we were in a good spot, we dropped our lines.
Once the weight hits bottom, you close the bail, and...wait! Every little while (30 seconds or so) you pull on the weight and let it fall back down on the floor. Halibut are attracted by scent and bouncing the bait will send the scent and vibrations out in all directions indicating there is food nearby.
Halibut are bottom feeders so you must drop the hook to the ocean floor. If you study your marine charts & use a GPS, you will have no trouble locating ‘perfect’ halibut holes.
Luckily for me, I was with professional charter boat captains with their GPS’ loaded with their favorite halibut holes! As I waited and bobbed my weight on the ocean floor, I was also watching the tip of the fishing rod which is usually steadily bouncing up and down with the rise & fall of the ocean, watching for the unmistakable tip dance that indicates the halibut has taken the bait.
Now Captain Don started yelling out instructions... More halibut fishing tips...“Wait…. Let him swallow the bait…now set the hook!”...“Keep the tip up”...” Reel quickly & steadily”.
I let Captain Don set the hook that first time and get it started then I became the ‘Auto Reeled’ (my nickname still to this day!) You wait a few seconds, let them eat the bait, reel in a couple winds, then JERK up on the rod to set the hook into the hard mouth of the halibut.
I prefer to let the Halibut eat the bait so a rounded hook is perfect for me. It's best to use fresh herring as it is tougher which will stay on the hook better & longer.
Another of my halibut fishing tips is that if you must use frozen herring, soak it in a salt-water brine overnight to help stiffen it up. Octopus-resembling rubber lures seem to dominate the market, as do the Dart, Zinger and Stinger and hoodie skirts.
The top halibut fishing tips are that the best spots tend to be on the edges of underwater plateaus or along break lines where the slope to the bottom forms an edge where halibut can attack their meal. When the halibut gets to the surface it will often flip over and over and can work the hook right out while you're trying to get the gaff ready.
My preference is a hook-type gaff for halibut under 50lbs and a harpoon for the big guys. Many halibut are lost by hurrying up the gaffing and this experience only comes with practice.
Check out this great video showing a Halibut Hole up in Deep Creek, AK! The huge mouth is very well-equipped to feed on anything that it can fit into its mouth and the teeth are curved. Although catches have been reported to more than 500 lbs in the past, the largest halibut of recent times have been in the 200-300 lb range.
The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish: Atlantic halibut feed on the bottom of the seafloor as well as at mid water depths.
They are very difficult to bring up from the bottom and even at the surface they remain full of fight and must be handled carefully. Many anglers have found out the hard way that a halibut ’s body and tail can break anything they come in contact with.
Choose another fish African PompanoAlbacoreAlligator Aramco Jack American Eel American Shad Apache Trout Arctic Char Arctic GraylingAtlantic Bonito Atlantic Cod Atlantic CroakerAtlantic Halibut Atlantic Salmon Atlantic SpadefishBigeye TrevallyBigeye TunaBigmouth BuffaloBlack BullheadBlack CrappieBlack Drawback GrouperBlack MarlinBlack Sea Fastback SkipjackBlackfin TunaBlacktip Sharable CatfishBlue Martinique SharkBluefin TrevallyBluefin TunaBluefishBluegillBonefishBonnethead SharkBowfinBrook TroutBroomtail Grouper Brown Bullhead Brown Trumbull TroutBurbotButterfly Peacock Bass California CorbinaCalifornia Halibut California YellowtailCero MackerelChain PickerelChannel CatfishChum SalmonCobiaCoho SalmonCommon CarpCongerCrevalle JackCubera SnapperCutthroat TroutDogtooth Tuna Dolly VardenDolphinfishFlathead Catfish Florida GarFlounderFreshwater Drama GrouperGiant TrevallyGolden Trout Grass Carpet BarracudaGreater AmberjackGreen SunfishHammerhead SharkHogfishHorse-eye JackInconnuKelp Basking Mackerel King SalmonLadyfishLake Trouble WhitefishLargemouth BassLingcodLittle TunnyLongbill SpearfishLongnose Bamako SharkMangrove SnapperMountain WhitefishMuskellungeMutton SnapperNorthern PikeNorthern PikeminnowOscarPacific Bonito Pacific Cod Pacific Crevasse Jack Pacific Halibut Pacific Sierra MackerelPaddlefishPermitPink SalmonPollockPompanoPorbeagle SharkPumpkinseed SunfishRainbow RunnerRainbow Toured Drummed Grouped SnapperRedbreast SunfishRedear SunfishRedeye Bass Rock Around WhitefishSailfishSaugerSaugeyeScamp GrouperS ea TroutSheepsheadShoal BassShortbill SpearfishShorthead RedhorseShortnose Silver RedhorseSkipjack TunaSmallmouth BassSmallmouth BuffaloSnookSockeye Salmon Spanish MackerelSpeckled Peacock BassSplakeSpotSpotted BassSpotted GarS potted SeatroutSteelheadStriped BassStriped MarlinSturgeonSwordfishTarponTautogThresher Shakier MuskellungeTiger Shakier Troupe SharkTripletailWahooWalleyeWarmouthWeakfishWhalers Shark White Bass White Catfish White Marlin White Perch White SeabassWhite SharkWhiterock BassWiperYellow BassYellow BullheadYellow PerchYelloweye RockfishYellowfin TunaYellowtail Snapper I had met Tom Gatlin and his buddy Steve FOSS at the Atlantic Seafood dock in downtown Fernanda Beach, and we headed north and up to the Volley River to fish with mud minnows and shrimp and jigs on the first of an incoming tide.
He played the fish perfectly on the light tackle To rod and Shaman Static 1000 reel. The fish put up a good fight but Steve was up to it and landed a nice Slot Redfish.