View Full Version : Halibut trolling/drifting weight size???

03-10-2009, 09:36 AM
Going to try fishing for halibut in the bay for the first time this year. Got the rigging figured out for trolling and drifting but was wondering how much weight you guys generally use for each. Anything helps. Thanks.

03-10-2009, 10:37 AM
Get a selection of balls from 4oz to 16oz, depending on how deep your fishing, current and wind will determine how much weight you need. An 8 oz weight seems to work fine for most trolling in up to 20' of water with a moderate tide.

03-10-2009, 04:11 PM
F S stick with 12 oz or 16 oz weights. You want your weight to be bouncing along the bottom with as little line out as possible.These are trolling set ups.

03-10-2009, 04:55 PM
I go 16oz all day =D

03-10-2009, 05:14 PM
I like to use the torpedo shaped weights. You will get less grass build-up than with balls. I use 16 oz-20oz.

03-10-2009, 08:09 PM
Like everyone mentioned the amount of weight can vary. For drifting bait normally you need 3 to 6oz of weight. Everyone else already mentioned the trolling weights.


03-10-2009, 09:17 PM
fs, i have found the best way to determine weight is to drop your line straight down from the boat until it hits bottom, give it about another 5 or 6', then watch your rod tip, it should bend a little then straighten up then bend again. that should be your weight bouncing along the bottom, not dragging. i have used weights from 4 to 16oz, depending on speed and tide.
good luck, i can ahrdly wait to get back down and get some more butts.

03-11-2009, 06:48 AM
Thanks for the help. I CAN NOT WAIT to get my first shot at these.

03-12-2009, 10:23 AM
Good luck! They are almost here!

03-12-2009, 01:32 PM
Pretty soon here I'll be asking where to go. Not a clue at this point.

03-12-2009, 01:47 PM

I was out Feb.28 Sat. with my kids fishing. Guess what??????? ::)

We ended the day boating 4 , thats right. 2 were shakers.

But it has been slow since. I may try tomorrow ;)

03-12-2009, 05:45 PM
alrite firetrout! dang rain slowing things down ... hahaha [smiley=spongebob.gif] im ready im ready im ready [smiley=spongebob.gif]

03-12-2009, 08:57 PM
8-16 off the stern, 16-24 off the sides when I troll

03-12-2009, 09:16 PM
You need just enough weight to be bouncing the bottom. It all depends on tide, current, trolling speed, depth....
but 3-8 is usually fine for drifting bait. For trolling you may need a pound or more.

03-12-2009, 09:30 PM
And lead aint cheap! Elkhorn seems to be the highest I have seen, and Johnsons in YC is lowest.

03-21-2009, 09:12 PM
torpedo weights help prevent the pick up of crap

03-21-2009, 10:31 PM
Just letting you guys know that the Butts are in town already. ;)

03-22-2009, 03:35 AM
Can anyone recommend a good charter boat to go fishing for halibut and roughly how much it costs? Also, is the Alameda rockwall as good as I've heard for catching them onshore? What kind of rig should I be using? I've never caught a halibut before. Thank you!

03-25-2009, 06:05 AM
Drifting you want to use as little weight as possible to keep your rig just barely skipping along the bottom but not sticking. Much easier to detect the bites for one thing which sometimes just feel like you picked up a piece of weed.
Itís been my experience that round balls are the most efficient ounce for ounce for keeping the rig down because they have the smallest silhouette for their weight. I find though that for example a 3 oz round ball is sometimes not enough and 4 is too much so I also use torpedoes and tear drops to fine tune the running depth and reasons mentioned above. Unlike my round ball molds the teardrops come in half sizes and a torpedo will run slightly shallower then a round ball of the same weight because of the larger silhouette. I find that when drifting for Halibut fine tuning the weight can be very beneficial.
For me the single biggest breakthrough in catching Halibut while drifting was learning to give them 5 seconds of slack line when you feel the bite before setting the hook. If youíre drifting, Halibut take the bait in two gulps and if you set on the initial strike youíll only get a half or scratched bait almost every time. On a slow to medium drift I point the rod to the side and towards the bow of the boat in order to give them as much slack as possible when I point the tip towards them, give it a five count then set. On a fast drift you have to drop the rod tip, put the reel in free spool, count to five, reengage and set. On a fast drift Iíll often keep the reel in free spool and just hold my thumb on the spool especially if there is a good bite going on.
Some folks use trailer hooks to resolve the short strike problem but I find I donít seem to get bite as much when using them.
They seem to just engulf the bait when youíre trolling for some reason though, I suspect because itís more of a reaction bite.