Just for the Halibut
by Tim Rozewski
Regardless of the weather, your strength, or the size of the halibut, you will get a workout!
As a young boy I looked forward to the annual trout opener
where Grandpa and I would brave the cold and hope for the
year's first fish. Now, my fishing buddies and I look forward
to a lot of opening seasons, none more exciting than the annual
Halibut opener. In Oregon you have several options. You can
fish South of Cape Falcon inside of 40 fathoms for the first
few weeks, or you can fish North of Cape Falcon and fish all
depths. After a few weeks, you can fish all depths South of
Cape Falcon on designated days. The trick is not only knowing
where to go, but being well prepared.
But just because you know where you want to fish for the
these mighty predators, it doesn't guarantee success. You
will have to endure much in a hard days work to reap the bounty
of this coveted flesh. Often one trip a year is enough for
the average fisherman. Those seasoned veterans who take a
couple of runs per week after these fish, they are just plain
Golden rules of both the ocean and halibut fishing. Get the
bait your really want, and get plenty of it. Watch the weather
and be prepared for it to change once you are on the pond.
Know your favorite spot, but have two backups as well? Bring
your rain gear. Bruises on your legs, knees, and hips are
you don't have your own boat, as most of us do not, not to
worry. There are several quality charters along the Oregon
coast that specialize in halibut. Do your research and be
prepared to spend a long hard day to get your fish. Oregon
allows one fish per day per person this season. That fish
must be at least 32 inches in length. If you can hold down
your lunch, then bring a hardy one, your arms will become
numb and you'll need the energy to maintain your new found
Whether you have a boat or go on a charter, here are a few of our tips for a successful halibut
- When using bait, the bigger the better. We buy the biggest
herring we can find.
- Keep your bait on the bottom!
- Take some knee pads, you'll be glad you did!
- If you get into sharks, or too many rock fish, move to deeper water (Plan B ;)
- If you have a deep sea rod holster/belt, bring it or ask the captain if he has one on board...remember the bruises I mentioned?
- Take your motion sickness pills earlier than one hour before...I suggest one the night before and one when you wake up!
- Try to at least do some light, upper body, weight lifting for a few weeks prior, cramps are not fun on the rolling ocean.
- Lastly, don't stand down wind of any gasoline fumes on the boat....we're not chummin' for sharks here :)
The average Oregon caught Pacific Halibut weighs about 25-35 lbs (as shown in these three photos).
However, if you hunt long and hard, you can find the big "picnic table's" that accompany the migration to Oregon waters!
~Good Fishin' - Tim
for more information about Oregon's Halibut season!