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Fishing in Alaska: Halibut

Fishing in Alaska: Halibut

When it comes to saltwater fishing in Alaska, the ultimate catch is the Halibut. The world record for Halibut is 459 lbs – 0 oz, and was caught in Dutch Harbour, Alaska. The current sport fish record for Halibut in Alaska stands at 440 lbs.

Halibut fishing in Alaska is at its best during the summer months, but these massive fish appear around the Kenai Peninsula during the month of April and can be found in the area right up until October. Halibut are bottom feeding fish, and can be found at depths of between 50 and 500 feet in the waters around Alaska, depending on the location of the seabed.

In order to catch Halibut off the coast of Alaska the best bait to use is either salmon belly, herring or octopus. As these fish are so large, it is usually recommended that limber but strong rods be used along with strong wind reels with test lines between 60 and 120 lbs. An experienced local guide is also recommended as there are particular spots around the Kenai Peninsula that are especially suited to fishing for Halibut. At the beginning of the season, you can find Halibut in the shallower areas around Kenai. By about the middle of July, they will migrate outwards into the deeper waters off the coast. Then in August they will return to shallow waters.

As there are many chartered boats being operated in this area, and a lot of residents and tourists fishing for Halibut, it can be beneficial to try your luck around the large islands off the Kenai Peninsula. Barren Island, Pearl Island, Flat Island, Elizabeth Island and Chugach Island are all good fishing spots. It is recommended however that you hire an experienced charter captain for such a trip as the Shelikof Strait is a potentially dangerous spot.

If you prefer to go Halibut fishing in Alaska using only a small boat, there are also locations on the coast which can yield good catches. Stariski Creek and the Deep Creek Wayside are popular spots amongst anglers. Boats can also be launched from the Ninilchik River, but only during high tide. You can also choose to go Halibut fishing in Alaska around the Anchor River, but you should be aware of the tides and other intricacies of navigating a boat in this region. Anchor Point and Stariski Tower have lots of varied structure that can shelter Halibut.