Alaska waters produce a great opportunity to catch massive amounts of halibut and great chance to catch a BARN DOOR, aka, a Trophy Halibut over 100lbs. In the Seward area charter fishing customers are allowed to keep two halibut per person per day, in South East Alaska a charter fishing customer is allowed one halibut under 37in per person per day.
Fishing out of Seward, Alaska is a great time and the halibut fishing can be some of the best in Alaska. The Seward Fish Company offers halibut charters from May 15-Sept 5th each year. In May and June, Halibut is our main target, along with King Salmon and Rock Fish.
When booking your halibut fishing charter there are a few things to consider, such as, do you is it your goal to get a trophy halibut, or do you want more of the eater size halibut in the 20-50lb range. Do you get seasickness when you can’t see land from the ocean?
If you want the best eating halibut and you want to stay close to land, then any day in May, June, July or August will produce your halibut for the year.
If your goal is a trophy halibut, then you need to book your dates around the ocean tides. All tide books in Alaska will show each tide for the year and the best tides for Halibut fishing in each area of Alaska.
Halibut fishing can be easy, but it is always work, fishing for halibut will make your back and arms feel like Jello, I have seen the strongest people get hammered by a small halibut, and a trophy halibut put you to work.
About Halibut Fishing Tides:
When trophy halibut fishing you need to know the tide times for the area you will be fishing. Many locations we fish for halibut will produce halibut two hours before and two hours after either high or low tide, with slack tide being the best time of the day. Also, big tide changes are better days to fish halibut then minimal tide change in regards to the difference in feet from high tide and low tide. However, a large tide exchange can be very difficult to fish because it can be hard to keep your bait on the bottom, sometimes we need to use up to 5lbs of weight to keep the bait close to the bottom and close to the boat. It can be difficult to get a trophy halibut off of the bottom and in the boat during a strong tide exchange, or a rip-tide.
Halibut Fishing Techniques:
The most common fishing technique for halibut is bait fishing with hearing, or salmon heads. When fishing with six anglers I will set up each rod a bit different I will use bait on five rods and a lead jig on one rod. First thing in the morning I spend a few minutes getting the bait ready. When getting the halibut bait ready, assuming the bait is frozen, the first thing to do is put the bait, salmon heads, or herring, in a five-gallon bucket and fill the bucket up ¾ of the way with salt water, do not use the water from the harbor. Next thing is to add some sent to the bait bucket, I use Pro-Cure oil such as pure herring oil, or squid oil; I use about 4oz Pro-Cure oil per day. I do all this before the boat ride out to the halibut fishing grounds, this run-time will give the bait time to thaw and soak in the added oil. Once at the halibut fishing hole I get the rods ready, first I add the needed weight to get the bait on the bottom and hold it close to the boat. Then I will do a herring stack on two rods, a herring stack is where you put 3-6 whole herring on the halibut fishing leader just above the circle hook. You can add more oil if needed by injecting the bait oil in to the herring with a Pro-Cure bait injector. On two other halibut bait rods I will add salmon heads, hooligan and inject them with bait oil. On the sixth rod I put on a halibut jig. A halibut jig is a 12-24 oz lead jig like a crappie jig, then I add a halibut grub just like a crappie jig grub only 100 times larger, a halibut jig is 10-12 in long and 2.5 in diameter. Once the jig is on the rod I add some Pro-Cure gel the gel is thicker then the oil and will stay on the jig for up to 45min then I will add more gel.
Most people will deep fry the halibut and serve it with tartar sauce. I prefer my halibut to be poached in olive oil, please see the following steps to cook a great halibut dinner.
1. Pre-heat oven to 275
2. Prepare the halibut buy removing the skin
3. Add olive oil to the bottom of a deep pyrex/glass pan
4. Place halibut in pan and add sea salt, black pepper, banana peppers
5. Do not cover the pan, let halibut cook for 15min
6. Halibut is done when you can split a fillet in half with the ease of a fork/do not over cook
7. Serve with a mixed green salad and artichokes
HALIBUT FISHING TIPS, TECHNIQUES, AND RECIPES FROM THE SEWARD FISH COMPANY