Alaska Halibut Fishing

Learn which bait to use and the best places for Alaska halibut fishing

Also see Alaska king salmon fishing and Homer Alaska fishing

Yielding incredibly large fish that are tasty to eat, Alaska halibut fishing is the most popular type of saltwater angling in the state. 

Alaska halibut fishing, halibut fishing in AlaskaThe town of Homer is known as the halibut fishing capital of the world.  The plentiful seas hugging the coastline provide the ideal environment for halibut fishing in Alaska

The largest Pacific flatfish, Alaskan halibut are attractive for their mammoth size.  Fairly easy to hook and challenging but reasonable to reel in, halibut make for pleasant sport fishing.  Because fishing for halibut means fishing in deeper waters (fish are typically found in waters 60 to 3,500 feet deep) anglers who partake in Alaska halibut fishing will be rewarded not only with large catches, but with the amazing scenery of the coastline as well. 

The best seasons for Alaska halibut fishing are in late spring, summer and fall.  During this time, halibut are feeding in areas off the coast.  Bait is commonly used in halibut fishing.  Some of the more effective baits include herring, salmon, cod, and squid.  Octopus also makes a sturdy bait and is one of the halibut's favorite meals. 

Alaskan halibut has rich and tender white meat, making it an excellent fish for eating.  The firm flesh of this fish is delicious when fried, poached, broiled or baked.  When choosing whether to keep their catch, anglers should consider the cost of processing, and possibly shipping a large amount of halibut meat.  A 100 pound halibut yields about 70 pounds of meat. 

Alaskan halibut, Alaska halibut, Alaska halibut fishing, halibut fishing in AlaskaAlaska Halibut Fishing Tip - Identifying The Fish

One of the larger members of the flounder family, halibut are best known for their body shape and size.  Average weights are around 15 to 35 pounds, but fish weighing in near the 100 pound mark are common.  Record weights for Alaskan halibut reach over 400 pounds.   

Halibut are longer than most flatfishes with their width being one third of their length.  Halibut have smooth scales and small mouths.  They have light colored bottom sides and darker top sides ranging in color from dark green to gray to brown.  This coloration mimics the appearance of the ocean floor, the lighter bottom being sand and the darker top being the water.  Their natural camouflage is key to the halibut's survival.

Prime Locations for Alaska Halibut Fishing

Spots for Halibut Fishing in the Southeast

Gulf of Esquibel:  St. Joseph, Noyes, Maurelle Islands, San Cristoval Channel, Warm Chuck Inlet

Upper Clarence Strait:  Seal Rock, Upper Kashevarof Passage, Rose, Blashke Islands, Key Reef

Clarence Strait:  Doctor, Clover Points, Grindall Passage, Kasaan, Vallenar Bays, Twenty Fathom Bank

Bucareli Bay:  Ports Caldera, Estrella, Sain Nicholas, Cabras, San Juan Bautista, Baker Islands, Point Providence, San Cristoval Channel, San Alberto Bay

Icy Strait:  Point Couverden, Spasski, Hoonah, Pleasant, Couverden, Lemesurier Islands, Port Frederick, Halibut Rock, Sisters, Icy Passage, Mud Bay

Chatham Strait:  Florence, Sitkoh, Funter, Tebenkof Bays, Gedney Harbor, North Passage Point, Tenaker Inlet

Zimovia Strait:  Woronkofski Island, Young Rock

Sumner Strait:  McArthur Reef, Point Baker, Port Protection, Kah Sheets Bay, Lower Duncan Canal, Greys, Liesnoi, Sokolof, Kadin Islands, Eye Opener

Frederick Sound:  Portage, Pybus, Thomas Bays, Turnabout Island, Pinta Rocks, Wrangell Narrows, Boulder, Frederick, West Points, Cape Fanshaw

Sitka Sound: St. Lazaria Island, Hayward, Olga Straits, Vitskari Rocks, Starrigavan Bay

Ernest Sound:  Blake Island, Point Warde

East Behm Canal:  Princess, Alava Bays, Short Pass

West Behm Canal:  Welm Bay, Back, Betton Islands, Behm Narrows

Lower Stephens Passage:  Midway, Whitney Islands, Gambier, Pybus, Holkham Bays

Upper Stephens Passage:  Shelter, Horse, Grand Islands, Gastineau, Saginaw, Favorite Channels, Taku Harbor, Young Bay, Inner, Outer, Middle Points

Revillagigedo Channel:  White Reef, Foggy Bay, Snail Rock, Point Alava

Lynn Canal:  St. James Bay, Vanderbilt Reef

South Central Halibut Fishing Locations

Cook Inlet:  Deep Creek, Elizabeth, Flat, Barren Islands, Sand Waves, Compas Rose, Ninilchik, Happy Valley, Magic Mountain, Point Pogibishi, Deep

Kodiak and Prince William Sound:  Buoy Four, Whale Pass, Long Island, Williams Reef, Humpback Point, Anderson, Galena, Jack Bays, Montague, Naked Islands, Potato, Humpback Points

Resurrection Bay:  Chiswell Islands, Latouche Passage, Capes Junken, Cleare, Fairfield

Locations in the Southwest for Halibut Fishing

Unalaska and Dutch Harbor:  Devilfish Point, Unalga Pass, Hog Island, Capes Wislow, Cheerful