Halibut General Information

Pacific Halibut reside on the continental shelf of the North Pacific. Their range extends from Santa Barbara, California north to Nome, Alaska around the Pacific south to Hokkaido, Japan. In the east Pacific they are more common from the California/Oregon border north.

Pacific Halibut prefer water temperatures between 37 to 47 degrees F. They are bottom dwellers that have been caught a deep as 3600 feet but most are taken during the summer at depths ranging from 100 to 900 feet.

Pacific halibut move seasonally from deep water at the edge of the continental shelf to shallower coastal waters during the summer and then back to deeper water during the winter. The migration corresponds to winter spawning and summer feeding and often covers great distances.

Males mature at 8 years and females at 12 years. The average Pacific halibut caught is 42" long weighing about 30 pounds. The largest Pacific halibut caught on record was over 500 pounds. Mature fish congregate at the edge continental shelf to spawn between November and March at depths from 600 to 15,000 feet.

A 250 pound female may produce 4 million eggs which are fertilized externally. The free floating eggs hatch in about two weeks. The eggs and larvae, heavier than surface water, drift freely in deep ocean currents. They slowly drift to shallower waters on the continental shelf. After about 6 months the larvae settle to the ocean floor and take on the flatfish form.

Recent Halibut Articles & Reports

Sturgeon Continue To Gobble Eel And Roe

Written By: Cal Kellogg,
April 1, 2015

(Martinez) Sturgeon are on the prowl in Suisun Bay and the Carquinez Straights. The fish are taking a variety of baits, but lamprey eel and salmon roe are producing the most consistent results.

Captain James Smith of California Dawn...

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New Salmon Queen Spanks S.F. Bay Halibut

Written By: Cal Kellogg,
April 1, 2015

(Emeryville) It’s only the end of March, but the San Francisco Bay potluck season is already underway with both stripers and halibut showing in the catches. The fishing should only get better as we move into spring!

The crew of the New...

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Halibut And Stripers Show Early In Bay

Written By: Dan Bacher,
March 18, 2015

(San Francisco) The Bass Tub is now booking halibut and striper trolling trips on San Francisco Bay, according to Captain Erik Anfinson.

“Our latest half day trip on Saturday, March 7, yielded 2 halibut weighing 14 pounds for 12 anglers...

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Tips & Tactics for Halibut
The Fine Points Of Bay Area Live Bait Fishing

The Fine Points Of Bay Area Live Bait Fishing

Written By: Cal Kellogg

Both halibut and stripers are showing in San Francisco Bay and there is already a substantial amount of bait in the form of anchovy...

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Targeting S.F. Bay Halibut With Live Bait

Targeting S.F. Bay Halibut With Live Bait

Written By: Cal Kellogg

After an absence of a couple years, big numbers of halibut are once again holding within the confines of San Francisco Bay. With live bait...

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Halibut: You Know How To Eat Them, This Is How To Catch Them!

Halibut: You Know How To Eat Them, This Is How To Catch Them!

Written By: Cal Kellogg

Ask Bay Area saltwater enthusiasts what their favorite gamefish is and you’ll get several different answers. Some guys will point to the...

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Halibut Locations
Halibut Locations


Recent Reader's Photo
Nile
Caught by:

Nile

on:
Species: Halibut

Nile, hooked up on this 75lb Halibut fishing for Lings & Snapper aboard the BillweeNiloKiki in the ocean out of the Rogue River. Thanks Larry of Lex's Landing

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