Halibut fishing this season has been very good. Personally I have only gotten skunked once so far. After watching closely and listening to and reading every halibut fishing report possible, go shallow resonates loudly. Many of the anglers I know tell me they have been catching their halibut shallow, in 80 to 150 feet of water. These shallow depths, regardless of tidal movement tell me that these halibut are actively feeding on bait that has been pushed into the shallows.
Last weekend, for instance, one halibut angler I know caught five halibut on the southwest side of Hein Bank, in the 120 to 140 hump. Another Whidbey Island angler fished in 80 feet of water within site of Skyline Marina and caught a 100 pound barn door halibut. Two weeks ago I nailed a nice 27 pound halibut while anchored in 120 feet of water between Protection Island and McCurdy Point. And let us not forget Freshwater Bay, where many anglers have taken nice halibut in the shallows inside the bay. These stories of halibut in shallow water continue throughout the Strait of Juan de Fuca, San Juan Islands, Mutiny Bay, Admiralty Inlet and yes, even Possession Bar.
Tomorrow, May 29th Marine Areas 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10 will open again for halibut fishing and continue Through Saturday. This three day opening should be awesome, with sunny weather but a little wind, depending on where you fish.
Here’ s my best bets for halibut anglers over the next three days.
1. Sekiu — this area opened last weekend, and produced decent numbers of fish. This is the only area to fish deep this weekend. I’ll be there, launching at Olson’s Resort and then heading out to 220 to 400 feet of water, where the halibut seem to be more plentiful. https://halibutchronicles.com/2014/05/20/sekiu-halibut-fishing-map/
2. Hein Bank — fish the southwest corner, look at this map https://halibutchronicles.com/2014/05/04/hein-bank-halibut-fishing-map/
3. Middle Bank — Fish right on the edge of Canada, where the border takes a sharp turn. This shallow but very productive spot is one of the best places to nail a halibut. https://halibutchronicles.com/2014/04/16/halibut-fishing-middle-bank-washington-british-columbia-canada/
4. Mutiny Bay — Halibut Anglers launching in Everett, Mukilteo or Seattle will find this area the best within their reach. Again, fish shallow and have patience. There’s still halibut moving in from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Check out this halibut fishing map for best areas to fish. https://halibutchronicles.com/2014/05/06/mutiny-bay-halibut-fishing-map/
5. Port Angeles — The Port Angeles Halibut derby brought anglers from far and near to compete for a $5,000 top prize. The area had lots of fishing pressure, but there’s still a decent number of halibut out there. I’d start at Freshwater Bay or Green Point and then prospect new areas that have not had as much fishing pressure. https://halibutchronicles.com/2014/05/14/port-angeles-washington-halibut-fishing-map-the-humps/
Best baits recently have included herring and squid.
Best lures have included Z2 Squids, Octo-Squid Leaders skirts and leadhead jigs with curly tails.