Halibut can be caught in the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to California. The large size and weight of halibut makes them a desired trophy fish for many anglers. Due to their size, temperament, and propensity for bottom-dwelling, halibut fishing requires some particular tactics and equipment.
If you are an experienced fisherman and have your own boat and live in Alaska, chances are you’ve fished for halibut before, but for some who are visiting Alaska and plan to go on a halibut fishing trip for the first time, then you are in for quite an adventure, just make sure to dress for the weather.
Halibut are found on both sides of the Pacific with Nome, Alaska and Santa Barbara, California forming the extremes ends of their range on the North American side. They migrate extensively when young, and then they settle down. The eggs and the larvae float and drift, mostly moving toward the north and west on the Alaskan Stream.
After reaching the adult form, the young halibut tend to migrate in a southeasterly direction, perhaps to counteract the earlier drift. Upon reaching sexual maturity the fish pretty much settle down, simply moving from shallower water in the summer to the edge of continental shelf in winter, where they spawn in depths ranging from 100 to 250 fathoms.
If you’ve never seen a flatfish before, the first look at a halibut will be a surprise. The vast majority of vertebrate animals on the planet are symmetrical – the right side mirrors the left, and vice versa. Though single organs, like the heart or stomach, skew the picture a wee bit, this symmetry generally applies internally and externally.
Most fish have left gill and a right gill, a left pectoral fin and a right pectoral fin, a left eye and a right eye, etc. Oddly, halibut have a left eye, but it ends up the right side of the head.
Pacific halibut belong to the family Pleuronectidae the right sided flounders. California halibut, have both eyes on the left side. Young halibut feed extensively on shrimp and small fish. As they grow, halibut turn more and more to a fish diet: cod, hake, sculpin, pollock, rockfish, lingcod, herring, candlefish (sand lance), and other flatfish, including small halibut.
Additionally, they dine on the crabs, clams, squid, and octopus. Halibut stick mainly to the bottom, but show no shyness about rising in the water column when the dining is right.
H/T – anglingunlimited.com