While you can purchase it from most major grocery stores, Halibut is best fresh, just like any other fish. If you live in an area where halibut is prominent, or plan to travel to one, fishing for halibut can be a great way to not only fill your freezer but also enjoy a relaxing day with family or friends.
In California, Halibut can be found off of Magdalena Bay, Baja, California, the Quillayute River, and the northern Gulf of California. These fish also occupy waters in Japan, Russia, and Canada.
When to Fish
Halibut are most active when spawning, which generally occurs between the months of April and July. However, the further north you go, the later spawning occurs: in Northern California, halibut fishing is best between August and October.
Where to Fish
Halibut prefer shallow-ish water, especially areas over sandy bottoms. They are usually not caught deep at sea. You can take out your own boat with friends, rent a boat, or head out on a halibut fishing charter.
How to Fish
Halibut love live anchovies, queen fish, shiners, and white croakers. Mackerel can also be used as bait, although you may have less luck. If you prefer artificial lures, go for something lighted. In most cases, a drifting technique works best when fishing for halibut.
How Big are They?
When fishing for halibut, you’ll likely catch something ranging from 24 to 30 pounds. However, the largest recorded halibut was 72 pounds, so be prepared for a workout!