Just For The Halibut…..

What presentations and baits do halibut respond to, so I’ll have better luck catching them?

Halibut are a large version of flounder, with similar habits. They are aggressive predators and like to ambush their prey by hiding under the sand, or on top of gravel, oyster and sand dollar beds, and snap at anything that comes in range. They can be found in anywhere from 4′ to over 500′ of water in bays, shoals and shelves. They eat virtually anything they can catch, such as sardines, anchovies, smelt, mackerel, grunion, herring, perch, Tom-Cod, lizardfish, squid and shrimp. The first step in being able to consistently catch halibut is to know the terrain. You need to know the location of every reef, inlet, sandbar, patches of kelp, eelgrass, hard-bottoms, drop-offs and depressions where they like to lay-in-wait. The best way to find them ids to cover lots of ground. Trolling and drift-fishing are ideal for this. The best rig to use is a Carolina Rig, which consists of an egg sinker above a swivel, and a 12-18″ leader with a bait hook on the bottom. You can also use a dropper-loop rig. Whichev er method you use, do not leave the reel in free-spool. Halibut can spit out a bait just as quickly as they inhale it. The best baits are mackerel, squid, shrimp, crank-baits and jigs.Casting crank-baits near likely places and retrieving thewm along the bottom is a very effective technique. Bottom-bouncing jigs works well, especially in shallower water. For live-bait, drifting is the preferred method. WHichever method you use, be sure to use high quality equipment. Use co-polymer lines, as straight fluorocarbon lines abrade too easily. Use salt-water swivels, which are less subject to corosion. Happy fishing.

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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