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Halibut Fishing in Alaska
Halibut have both eyes on the upper dark side, as for their underside it tends to blend well with the sky when viewed from below. Their color helps them avoid detection from prey & predators. Halibut are the largest of the flat fish. Some halibut can exceed 400 lbs, including the state record which is amazingly 459 lbs and was caught in 1996 in Unalaska Bay. Female Halibut grow faster & are typically larger then males of the same age. Males rarely reach 100 lbs. Halibuts age is estimated by counting growth rings laid down in the fishes “otolith”, a bony structure in the inner ear.
Halibut can be found throughout most of the marine waters of Alaska, as far north as Nome, along the Aleutian chain, and throughout the waters of the southeastern Panhandle. Halibut are usually on or near the bottom over mud, sand, or gravel banks. Most are caught in depths of 90 to 900 feet, but halibut has been recorded at depths of 3,600 feet.
Stout tackle if preferred for these large, strong fish. Most fisherman use a heavy-action 5-6 foot rod equipped with a reel capable of holding up to 300 yards of 60-100 pound test line. Weights go up to 36 oz. on a slider. You can use head, fins, and/or viscera of sport-caught salmon as bait. Halibut will eat almost anything they can catch.
Success rates vary widely from vessel to vessel and day to day, but good catches are made from mid-May through mid-September throughout Alaska. Many believe the best fishing is just before, during, and after high slack tide.
Halibut fishing in Alaska is very popular. It is an experience you will never forget. Imagine having a 250lb. angry Halibut on the other end of the line with massive swimming powers. You might feel like your arms are gonna fall off when you pull this “Dinosaur” out of the sea, but this will be the story of a lifetime.
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