View Full Version : Halibut Fishing

08-04-2010, 02:25 PM
So on my honeymoon a few weeks ago my new wife and I tried to go halibut fishing out of Whitier Alaska. Unfortunately due to engine problems we only spent 30 minutes fishing out of 7 hours on the water. Oh well, it was nice to be on the water in AK and we did get to see jumping salmon, whales, porpoises, and some increasable scenery.

Now you may ask why I posted this in the gear forum instead of the report section so I have prepared an answer in picture form. Since we didnít get to do much fishing I took a few pictures of the gear we were planning to use as some of it is pretty different from what Iím used to.

First off this is the boat we were on. It was pretty much brand new which made it even worse when the main engine completely died.

http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/th_IMG_2606.jpg (http://s680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/?action=view&current=IMG_2606.jpg)

Here are the set-ups we were using. Pretty hefty stand-up rods paired with Shimano Tekota reels and I believe 80 lb braid. I didnít get you spend much time with them but the reel did seem solid and smooth. I didnít catch anything so I donít know about the drag. The rod was nice and sensitive and I had no trouble feeling the fish steal my herring.

http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/th_IMG_2618.jpg (http://s680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/?action=view&current=IMG_2618.jpg)

http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/th_IMG_2629.jpg (http://s680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/?action=view&current=IMG_2629.jpg)

http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/th_IMG_2628.jpg (http://s680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/?action=view&current=IMG_2628.jpg)

Here are a couple of pictures of the terminal tackle. The weights are 2 lb not 2 oz and yes that is cord not fishing line being used on one of the rigs. Letís just say halibut are not leader shy! I have pretty big hands so keep that in mind when you look at the size of the hook in the second picture. That is the biggest circle hook I have ever seen/used. I guess they use bigger ones on commercial shark longlines but even the bluefin tuna hooks we use are much smaller than that. Thatís half of a herring on that hook!

http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/th_IMG_2626.jpg (http://s680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/?action=view&current=IMG_2626.jpg)

http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/th_IMG_2633.jpg (http://s680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/?action=view&current=IMG_2633.jpg)

I also took this optimistic picture before I had to accept that werenít going to need itÖ

http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/th_IMG_2627.jpg (http://s680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/?action=view&current=IMG_2627.jpg)

I guess and angry 200 lb fish is a bad thing to have in the back of the boat.

Last but not least here are a couple of shots to give a feel of the area we were fishing (floating). You can see the back of a whale in the second shot.

http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/th_IMG_2620.jpg (http://s680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/?action=view&current=IMG_2620.jpg)

http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/th_IMG_2617.jpg (http://s680.photobucket.com/albums/vv165/cbiegel/?action=view&current=IMG_2617.jpg)

Anyway thanks for looking and let me know if you enjoy this sort of lengthy report because if not Iíll just put up the pics in the future.

08-04-2010, 02:49 PM
Thank you for this report it's always interesting to see new fishing equipment :agree:. Furthermore this kind of story could happen to most of us we all had in our life a perfectly planed fishing day finishing in french we would say" en eau de boudin" which mean that all the thing which could have ended well finished wrong...

08-04-2010, 04:26 PM
Did you get a refund or anything because the trip was kinda ruined by engine troubles?

08-04-2010, 04:48 PM
We did get a full refund so it was basically just a nice free cruise in Prince William sound which in the end isn't too shabby.

08-04-2010, 05:00 PM
Not bad at all, beats being at work like me LOL

08-04-2010, 05:11 PM
It's a shame after all the excitement of planning a trip like this and then ends in a big disapointment but at least you weren't out of pocket!

08-04-2010, 06:23 PM
The good news is that with the money saved we were able to fish out of Newport OR a few days later. I'll put up a report on that tomorrow.

Any thoughts on the gear?

08-04-2010, 06:48 PM
The gear you showed looks pretty solid for halibut, I cant tell the actual size of the reels but they definitely look like theyve already caught a few fish. I love the huge hooks too.

Next time take a picture of the motor just in case. :haha:

08-06-2010, 09:11 AM
Awesome stuff! I've always wanted on of those big shiny Shimano reels, but most aren't made in left handed models!

Those hooks are crazy too! I've spent some time fishing in BC when I was younger, but we never attempted to get halibut on the gear we had. What sort of depths were you in that they need a 2lb weight?

I'm surprised there is not pictures of guns - many of those guys shoot the halibut before bringing them on board (although I'm not certain on the legalities of that!)

08-06-2010, 12:43 PM
While I would never try and dictate what type of reel to use, I will say that with the bigger conventional reels you want to be cranking with your dominant hand because that arm is more powerful. When taken to the extreme, like in stand-up tuna fishing, you can be cranking against some pretty powerful fish and the hand on the rod is really just there to keep it from going overboard.

I can totally see your point when it comes to baitcasters though. Having the dominant arm working the rod just makes sense but I learned with right handers so thatís what Iím used to.

While I didnít see a gun that doesnít mean there wasnít one there. I have a hard time believing it wouldnít be against regulations (how do you know it was caught with hook and line before being shot?) but it was Alaska and I know the some of the commercial guys do it legal or not.

Iím disappointed that I didnít think to buy one of those hooks when I was there. When I tried to get one in Oregon they were sold out. Hell the captain or mate probably would have just given me one after the trip went bust. I should have asked.

08-06-2010, 02:01 PM
I still don't agree and I know i can reel faster with my left hand. Wouldnt you want your strong arm on the rod to prevent you from being pulled in! I find my rod arm gets tired way sooner than my reeling arm, and I'd rather that be my strong arm.

08-06-2010, 02:19 PM
Agree with Jon on this one - we did it first hand with big red snapper and other big fish in Mexico. It felt VERY awkward reeling right and having my weak arm supporting the rod. Rather have the strong arm handle the rod and reel left - of course that could change with a 500lb tuna on the end of the line!

08-06-2010, 02:32 PM
Completely agree with the strong hand on the rod. On the Andaman i nearly lost my rod on a serious strike. With my left arm i'm quite sure that i would have lost it

08-06-2010, 02:39 PM
That's the whole thing and it seemed counter intuitive to me at first (why wouldnít the strong arm keep the $2000 set-up in the boat?). Perhaps you can reel faster but unless your "off" arm is stronger than your dominant one you canít reel more powerfully and with longer stamina. Pulling 15-30 lb (and sometimes larger) fish out of the depths all day or fighting really big fish for 30 minutes or more requires a lot of stamina in the arm doing the heavy lifting (cranking in line). You can always rest the rod on the rail or even clip into a stand-up harness to give the arm holding the rod a break. Remember that if you have 35-40 lb of drag you are holding that much weight with one arm but trying to pull it in with the other. Sometimes you have to use your whole upper torso to get the handle to make one more turn and get that next three feet of line onto the reel.

Hey, I could be totally wrong but thatís my opinion based on a fair amount of experience fishing with big reels in deep water and/or big fish.

Edit: Fair enough guys but I'd like you to find me a high quality left hand conventional reel and I'll try it out. :smile: :dirol:

08-06-2010, 10:25 PM
You aren't alone CB, there are lots of poeple just like you - and they're all wrong! :haha:

08-07-2010, 02:22 PM
Honestly it's probably all about preference and opinion, and who's more opinionated than a bunch of fishermen. :haha:

08-07-2010, 11:07 PM
Theres a right way and a wrong way...the right way happens to be left :)

08-08-2010, 02:54 PM
You get me one of these in left hand retrieve and I may be convinced. :lol: