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Halibut Fishing Tips

Abhijit Naik
A compilation of some halibut fishing tips which will make sure that you have an amazing outing the next time you go after this species.

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Over the last few years, halibut fishing has become one of the most popular sport fishing activities in North America, and a large part of the credit for this goes to the significant rise in its population.
Though there is no dearth of halibuts in this region, the chances of you returning empty-handed from your fishing escapade cannot be ruled out. To avoid this embarrassment, you need to be well-versed with some simple fishing tips and tricks that are meant to help you tame this species.

Halibut Information

The halibut is a large flatfish which is found in abundance in the Pacific and Atlantic waters. The species is typically characterized by a grayish-black top side and an off-white underbelly. It boasts of being the largest species of flatfish in the world.
Depending on which species we are taking into consideration, A halibut can weigh anywhere around 50 - 400 lbs. A voracious feeder, it can feed on anything that fits in its mouth, including crabs, octopus, other species of fish, and other halibuts as well. In its natural habitat, it is threatened by very few species, such as sea lions and Salmon shark.

Fishing Tips and Tricks

Before you go out at the sea with your fishing equipment, you need to go through all the rules of the same in your area of jurisdiction. In California, for instance, halibut fishing season is year round, but it may not be the same for your region.

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 To be on the safer side, you should contact the concerned authorities and find out about all the dos and donts before-hand. This will ensure that your halibut fishing outing is a pleasant one.
The best time of the day to fish halibut is during the incoming tides or just after the tide.
Being a predatory fish, it relies on its hunting instinct to a great extent and hence, using a chum bag is a good idea when fishing this species. (A chum bag contains chopped fish and fish oils, carried overboard to lure the fish towards your boat.) The predatory instincts of this species is bound to bring it towards your boat and thus, within your reach.

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Irrespective of which species of fish you are after, you need to make sure that you use the right hook and bait to get a good haul. When it comes to halibut, a sharp hook is an ideal option considering that the species has a bony mouth. 
As far as the fishing bait is concerned, you have quite a few options to choose from, right from live squids and anchovies to sardines and salmons.

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In most likelihood, it's your choice of bait that will determine the size of halibut you are likely to catch. You need to make sure that the hook is punctured through the eyes or mouth of the bait you use.
Like the bait and hook, even the rod and reel you use will have a crucial role in fishing halibut. 
Other than a well-balanced rod, you will also have to make sure that you use a light-colored line, which is strong (like we said earlier, the species can weigh well in excess of 100 lbs at times) and lengthy. As with most of the species, halibuts are line shy, so a light-colored line―a fluorocarbon fishing line if possible―will be of a great help.
You also need to note that, it is very difficult to get the halibut on to your boat; courtesy, its size and aggressive behavior. Many people use a gun or golf stick to knock out the fish before pulling it overboard.
Instead of using such foul means, we would advise you to use a harpoon, not just because it is legal, but also because it won't contaminate the fish and affect your health.