How Trigger A Halibut Fishing "Ambush"
Halibut are one of the more exiting species of saltwater fish to catch. You can find them in the waters of Alaska and all along the pacific coast.
Their average size is 30 pounds, and you'll catch them off the bottom in deep water typically.
Before I get to the halibut fishing "ambush triggering" techniques, make sure you have strong enough gear to handle a fight.
Halibut are strong, and fight like the devil. And by all means have a net or gaff ready to go. They can be tough to get on the boat, and won't stop fighting just because they are out of the water.
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Halibut are bottom feeders, almost exclusively... so getting your bait down to the bottom is a must. Use lead sinkers, or a sliding sinker rig combined with heavy monofilament line for this.
The key for getting a halibut strike is to get their attention with your bait. Your best bet is to use any of the following: live squid, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, herring, or queenfish.
Test as many of these as you can, and as always, keep using the one that works best and stop using the others.
If you're not getting bites, make sure to change your bait out about every 30 minutes to keep it fresh.
If you want to test jigs, make sure they are scented, or even hook a pice of live or cut bait to them. Bounce these off the bottom to get attention and strikes. Try "lucky jigs", "pipe jigs", and "Gibbs jigs". The Gibbs jigs are shaped like herring, which happens to be one of a halibut's favorite foods.
Now, halibut are known as the "masters of ambush". That's because they lay on the bottom, partially covered, and wait for unsuspecting prey to move through the area...and ambush.
To trigger an ambush, slowly descend your bait to the bottom and allow it to "thumb" on the bottom. Then click it up right above the bottom (and the eye level of waiting halibut). It is important to keep your line as straight and "tight" as possible to present a natural look to your presentaiton.
Occassionally "thump" your bait on the bottom, and click it up just off bottom again. Repeat this to trigger ambush strikes.
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