Halibut Fishing

The firm texture and subtle, un-fishlike taste of Halibut have made it a popular choice among both fishing enthusiasts and culinary professionals. There exist many ways to catch this delicious sea creature, from conventional fishing gear to more unconventional methods like freediving or spearfishing. For more in-depth knowledge about these techniques and how you can try them out yourself, consult the following article.

Getting Started

When it comes to catching halibut, there is no one right way that will work every time. Halibut live in deep water, so they’re challenging to get to with just your hands or even a rod and reel. But luckily, there’s an array of tools at your disposal when looking for ways to catch halibut.

Using Conventional Tackle

Your first method is to use conventional fishing tackle, including a rodreel, line, and sinker. You’ll need to have at least one of these items before you can get started with this technique, so make sure you’ve got the essentials before you head out for your trip.

Using a Halibut Paddle

A halibut paddle is another effective way to catch halibut, and it’s not too difficult to learn how to use it properly in the water. These tools are shaped in such a way that they can easily be thrust into the ground to keep you stationary in the water.

Using a Float Line

When fishing with a floating line, you’ll need to attach your bait or lure to it and then lower it into the depths of the water you’re fishing in. Once the bait hits bottom at the desired depth, reel it in and be sure not to move too much so that the bait stays in the same spot. Float-lining can also be used when jigging for halibut.

Using a Trolling Rig

Using a trolling rig is almost identical to using a floating line, except you’ll need to have multiple hooks or lures attached instead of just one so that you don’t have to constantly change lures or re-bait your hook.

Halibut Fishing

Choosing the Right Tackle

There’s no one particular type of fishing line you should use – it all depends on what depth you’ll be jigging at and how far out to sea you’ll be traveling. The best way to determine this is to do some research on your own before you go out fishing or to ask a professional at your local fishing shop for their advice.

How Deep Will You Be Jigging?

When it comes to tackling halibut, the general rule is that the deeper they are in the water, the heavier the line you’ll need to be using. If traveling in shallow water, you can use a lighter-weight line that won’t be too difficult to reel in. You’ll need to use heavier weights if you’re fishing in deep water.

How Far Will You Be Traveling?

You’ll also have to consider how far you’ll be traveling when choosing the right type of line. If you are fishing in deep, open waters (greater than 100 feet), you can use a braided dacron line instead of the usual monofilament line. Braided dacron is more resistant to abrasion and has better tensile strength. This will make it much easier for you to reel your catch in.

Halibut Fishing

Wading Jigging

This is another way for you to catch halibut without using a boat or stand-up paddleboard. All you’ll need is your standard fishing gear, waders, and some bravery! This method involves standing waist-deep in the water and jigging around until you can feel a bite. Wading jigging is most effective when you’re fishing over sand or gravel bottoms, which halibut like to lay on and wait for smaller fish and crustaceans they can feed.

Paddle Jigging

Paddle jigging is very similar to wading jigging in that it’s done from the shoreline. However, this method does involve a stand-up paddleboard or surfboard instead of waders and a fishing rod instead of a jigging pole. With this technique, you’ll also need to use a lot more weight as it can be challenging to keep yourself steady on the water without them.

New to fishing? Check this out: Fishing Basics

Halibut Fishing

Beach Jigging

If you don’t have a stand-up paddleboard or kayak to use, you can also try beach jigging. This involves standing on the beach and using your fishing rod with a leaded weight to cast out as far as possible before slowly retrieving it back towards the shore, where you’ll hopefully hook your prey.

This method can be both fun and challenging, which makes it popular with many anglers.

Halibut Fishing

Deep Jigging

Deep jigging is another effective way to catch halibuts because of their natural tendency to stay close to the bottom of the water column. You’ll need a lot of patience for this technique, and it’s best to only use it if you’ll be fishing in deep waters, around 200 feet or more.

You may also read: How to Set Up a Fishing Pole

Shore Jigging

Shore jigging is a minor effective halibut fishing technique (except trolling), but it can still provide plenty of action. All you need to do is drift your bait along the bottom of the shoreline and wait for your prey to take it. You can also cast out a line of baits with friends or family so that you’ll be able to hook more than one specimen at once.

  • You have to have a specific kind of jigging pole or rod with you to handle the weight. Try to look for a sturdy one made of carbon fiber.
  • Your fishing line has to hold the weight, which is why braided dacron is usually recommended for this technique.
  • You also have to be prepared for a long day of fishing, so make sure you bring plenty of snacks and drinks with you.
  • Make sure your stand-up paddleboard or kayak has a clean bill of health before going out in the water.
  • Remember that when wading jigging, the deeper the halibut is, the heavier your line will have to be.
  • You’ll also need a lot of patience for wading jigging as you may spend several hours trying to reel in a big catch.
  • Stay safe by not standing up on your paddleboard, and always wear your life jacket if you’re kayaking.
  • Beach jigging is best done at night or very early in the morning since halibut tend to feed more actively during these times.
  • Many people prefer fishing rods and jigs when beach jigging because they’re lighter than standard poles and can be easier to use with the waves.
  • If you’re lucky enough to be on the receiving end of a bite, jig your fishing pole up and down quickly to hook them.
  • If you have a good idea of the kind of deep waters where halibut like to hang out, you may want to explore those with your kayak before even getting into wading jigging. If not, try to find a reputable charter boat or small vessel fishing guide.
  • Make sure you know the local laws and restrictions about what you can use for wading jigging purposes before doing it yourself.
  • This method isn’t as effective as others since halibut is more likely to feed along the coast than deep down in the water column.
  • Beach jigging is best done at night or very early in the morning since halibut tend to feed more actively during these times.
  • Many people prefer using a fishing rod and a jig when performing beach jigging because they’re lighter than standard poles and can be easier to use with the waves.

Although you can use a variety of weights for this technique, you should try to find the heaviest one that can still provide enough flexibility.


Halibut fishing can be a very rewarding experience, and there are tons of different ways you can try your hand at it. Whether you’re looking for deep-sea jigging or shoreline wading, we hope that the tips above have helped you get virtually started with this process! Just make sure to stay safe when out on the water by wearing your life jacket and not standing up while using a paddleboard.

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