PDA

View Full Version : how to tell a halibut's bit?



Ben510le
04-10-2007, 09:04 PM
Is it like a stripper? is it like a sturgeon?
I am just starting to fish halibut and i have no idea how to tell if they are bitting
I have never caught a halibut so i have no experience
does anyone know?
Thank you

Ben510le
04-10-2007, 09:06 PM
O yea
What bait would u guys use?
I heard anchovies are good
thanks again

keciga1
04-10-2007, 09:18 PM
Are you fishing from shore or a boat? The bite would be your tipical fish bite, like catfish or striper.

Ivan

MB_Kevin
04-10-2007, 09:34 PM
Are you fishing from shore or a boat? The bite would be your tipical fish bite, like catfish or striper.

Ivan

Really, that is what I would think to but I heard once they bite light like a sturgeon. Little pulls but i have not gotten one here. I caught some in Alaska but was only 14.

gmdcdvm
04-10-2007, 09:50 PM
I'll tell you what I know, but I am sure others will chime in as well. If you have the rod in a rod holder then you aren't feeling for bites per say, but looking for them based on what your rod is doing.

If you are drifting an anchovie on a 3-way set up:
Normally your weight should be dragging along the bottom which puts the bait about 16 inches above the sand. You will notice your rod bouncing up and down from the waves and as the weight drags through the mud/algae, breaks free, and then starts dragging again.
When the halibut bites one of two things will happen:
1. Either the rod will just start to load up/bend over gradually without anymore bouncing. This usually means the bait is in the fish's mouth. You may have heard that halibut don't always inhale the whole bait. Sometimes they bite the back end, wait a few seconds, and then ingest the rest. If you get to excited and try to set the hook you will likely pull the bait out of there mouth at this point. I basically do what the party boat skippers tell me to do (I figure they rely on fish counts so they wouldn't lead me astray ;)). You point the rod at the fish, wind down to take up the slack, and then pull back to set the hook. This gives the fish those few extra seconds to ingest the bait and take the hook in its mouth.

2. The other thing you might notice is that your rod loads up, and starts running. This usually means the fish took the whole bait and the drift of the boat set the hook for you. Wind down again, pull back to get a good hook set, and startin winding in.

One tough lesson I learned last year is to fish lite drags. I pulled the hook on three nice fish because I had my drag to tight. They are not to hard to bring up. Most of the time you just kind of drag them up with the occasional head shake.

Alos, NEVER pull their head out of the water. This is when they will really starting thrashing, and thats usually when they snap the line or pull the hook. Just keep them below the surface until you can net them into the boat.

If you are actually holding your rod and feeling for the bites it can be a little hard to distinguish between a bite and the weight dragging along the bottom. It just depends on how aggressive the fish was in taking in your bait. Usually though they fell like most other fish bites: a slight vibration of the line/pole, slight shaking.

Gerry

ZACK
04-10-2007, 11:56 PM
Very good post Gerry!

A lot of very useful info in there however a few things I have a different take on. If you are holding your pole excluding the "suisidal" fish strike you will feel crisp little TAP TAP TAPS and then the rod will load. I like to hold my pole most of the time and even jig it a bit and at times when I am lifting it up with my eyes shut while catching a cat nap I will feel the little taps on the upswing.

What to do next is to point your pole at the fish to create slack so he can suck up the bait. DO NOT WIND UP SLACK!
The boats drift will quickly pick it up for you. Count to 3 Mississippi and set the hook with a medium hookset.

They ALWAYS attack from the tail end.

Contrary to what many will tell you Halibut can fight real good. Many will just have to be gently lifted from the bottom with a run here and a run there but some will kick your A$$.

As for technique: I don't exactly practice the above method but it is extremely effective and easy to practice especially if you are new to live bait fishing.
You can get fancy down the road.
Also, to those who are new to this I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. It is my all time favorite type of fishing. My favorite fish to catch are Sturgeon. My favorite fish to fish for is live bait Halibut / Striped Bass.
It is expecially fun fishing when taking children, or others out that do not fish much because usually when a fish wraps his lips around a live bait they can taste it and feel it wiggle and are more apt to not let go making it easy to catch for the novice.

ZACK!

Rusty_Hooks
04-11-2007, 08:10 AM
If you have a salt water rod with a fast tip and a strong back it will be perfect. As said before, light bite, maybe a couple times...then inhale the bait and the game is on.
Once you've had a couple on, it's fairly easy to tell the difference in the fight....butts pull like a tractor and don't have the head thrash you will feel in other game fish around.....until you get them to the surface.

They are strong fish....just ask Krazy about the one he got a couple days ago.... ;)

justme
04-11-2007, 12:02 PM
I know all of the so called rules of fishing for halibut and have tried them all (when they hit give em slack until it loads etc.). I have tried holding the rod and putting it in the rod holder. What works for me is to get the bait dragging on the bottom and put the rod in the rod holder then I let the boat and the fish do the rest. When I see I am getting a hit I wait till the rod loads up then I take it out of the holder and start realiing in. Fish on. Every time I have tried holding the rod I always end up pulling the hook out of the fishes mouth.

kromebrite
04-11-2007, 12:32 PM
All this talk of letting the hali load up and then reel in got me thinking; what's the thinking on circle hooks?

ZACK
04-11-2007, 01:37 PM
I know all of the so called rules of fishing for halibut and have tried them all (when they hit give em slack until it loads etc.). I have tried holding the rod and putting it in the rod holder. What works for me is to get the bait dragging on the bottom and put the rod in the rod holder then I let the boat and the fish do the rest. When I see I am getting a hit I wait till the rod loads up then I take it out of the holder and start realiing in. Fish on. Every time I have tried holding the rod I always end up pulling the hook out of the fishes mouth.
;D

ZACK
04-11-2007, 01:39 PM
All this talk of letting the hali load up and then reel in got me thinking; what's the thinking on circle hooks?
;D
Circle hooks aren't ever better just a better choice if your intention is to release what you catch.

What in the heck do I care if a halibut swallows it and I hook him in the nutz! ;D

ZACK!

gmdcdvm
04-11-2007, 07:14 PM
Haven't tried circle hooks before.

As for holding the rod I tend to have the same problem with pulling the bait out of its mouth as soon as I feel the initial tap. I guess I just to used to surace iron fishing for tuna back home (San Diego), and having to set the hook once you get that initial bite. I need to counter condition myself to be a little more patient. Thats why I usually leave the rod in the holder since most of the work is done for me. The other reason is that I fish on party boats, and it just makes it easier to let it sit in the rod holder.

As for the fight I think I wasn't clear. Most tend to come up easy, but *every now and then you get that frieght train that wont stop. Last year I had a 25-30lb butt that took me around the back of the boat about 3 times from one side to the other before it finallly came up. The way it fought everyon thought is was either a shark or ray. This thing was flying around underneath, and it wasn't until I actually saw it that my heart started racing. Until then I just tought I was going to be releasing a large shark/ray. I think it came to color about 3 times before they tried to net it. Then, the deckhand hits it on the head with the net. Well, needless to stay this gave the fish a new life, and it was on again for another few more runs before we got it in the net.

One other problem (if thats what you want to call it) last year was that there were a lot of shakers around (which I guess bodes well for the long term success of the fishery). We would be drifting live baits on the party boats, and when you reeled in they would be torn up or they had several scratch marks. On occasion someone would hook one, usually a 12-18 inch butt. These bites were really hard to tell while driftin. Hopefully more of them have grown up by now.

Gerry

slick88
04-11-2007, 08:20 PM
which party boat were you on last year?

Ben510le
04-11-2007, 08:23 PM
Thanks everyone
I am probable going to try again sometime soon


Are you fishing from shore or a boat? The bite would be your tipical fish bite, like catfish or striper.

Ivan

I fish on shore

I am probable going to try alameda/Encinal rockwall, harbor bay (also in alameda), or china camp
Any ideas of which is better
I have never caught a butt anywhere but i also heard on the sfgate fishing report that there have been some at oyster point

Thanks again for all your info

MB_Kevin
04-11-2007, 08:31 PM
That is what I was talking about was what I heard of a bite from shore. Would they still load up without the boat movement? I heard it would be a tap tap tap like said but then they just might hang out over the bait and eventually maybe spit it back out.
I cant even remember where I heard this it was a few years back. I should figure this out too because when I go to the piers here by my house I usually just wait for my pole to go crazy and don't mess with the small taps. Then people tell me I should be setting the hook might be a sturgeon or halibut. I guess that is why I mostly catch sharks and rays there :P

recs1 JBF
04-11-2007, 09:58 PM
Thanks everyone
I am probable going to try again sometime soon


Are you fishing from shore or a boat? The bite would be your tipical fish bite, like catfish or striper.

Ivan

I fish on shore

I am probable going to try alameda/Encinal rockwall, harbor bay (also in alameda), or china camp
Any ideas of which is better
I have never caught a butt anywhere but i also heard on the sfgate fishing report that there have been some at oyster point

Thanks again for all your info

Oyster Point is a good pier to catch halibuts at and so is Berkeley pier. *They use a different set up a BP because most of the guys there use live bait. *Try fishing there in May when live bait will be available and most of the PIER RATS will show you how to rig up for hali's.

scfisher831
04-11-2007, 09:59 PM
Circle hooks were made for halibut fishing and were not made for salmon.But we still have to use them for salmon when using bait per the DFG regulations.Its easier to hook a halibut than a salmon on a circle hook.They don't work well with live bait either.I like to leave my rod in the rod holder when fishing butts.Watching for the taps or the rod tip to be pulled down to the water and I run a second rod with a fish trap for butts or rockies.I have caught butts from my local pier on live bait with a sliding sinker rig setup.The bites were like a tap,tap bite.I'v also caught butts using live bait under a bobber off the pier.

ZACK
04-12-2007, 08:43 AM
Haven't tried circle hooks before.

As for holding the rod I tend to have the same problem with pulling the bait out of its mouth as soon as I feel the initial tap. I guess I just to used to surace iron fishing for tuna back home (San Diego), and having to set the hook once you get that initial bite. I need to counter condition myself to be a little more patient. Thats why I usually leave the rod in the holder since most of the work is done for me. The other reason is that I fish on party boats, and it just makes it easier to let it sit in the rod holder.

As for the fight I think I wasn't clear. Most tend to come up easy, but *every now and then you get that frieght train that wont stop. Last year I had a 25-30lb butt that took me around the back of the boat about 3 times from one side to the other before it finallly came up. The way it fought everyon thought is was either a shark or ray. This thing was flying around underneath, and it wasn't until I actually saw it that my heart started racing. Until then I just tought I was going to be releasing a large shark/ray. I think it came to color about 3 times before they tried to net it. Then, the deckhand hits it on the head with the net. Well, needless to stay this gave the fish a new life, and it was on again for another few more runs before we got it in the net.

One other problem (if thats what you want to call it) last year was that there were a lot of shakers around (which I guess bodes well for the long term success of the fishery). We would be drifting live baits on the party boats, and when you reeled in they would be torn up or they had several scratch marks. On occasion someone would hook one, usually a 12-18 inch butt. These bites were really hard to tell while driftin. Hopefully more of them have grown up by now.

Gerry

The South Bay has some real nice halibut fishing and also offers afternoon shelter from the wind but if I had to knock it there are also a ton of shakers to fish through from time to time.

ZACK!

cyperyip
04-12-2007, 12:33 PM
Are the heli's normally in shallow water or deep water, say @ 10' or more? :)

cy