Can You Legally Use Sport-Caught Trout For Halibut Fishing Bait?

Trout For Halibut Bait

Did you know halibut absolutely LOVE trout? They do and it is one of the best baits you can use to attract halibut to your hook.

Recently I posted this picture of sport-caught trout from a local lake with the title, “Perfect sized trout for halibut bait.”

As you can imagine, several private messages pinged my phone telling me it is illegal to use sport-caught trout for halibut. However, I knew better but decided to be cautious and e-mail WDFW Fishing Regs via this address

Here’s the e-mail I received today.

from: Fishing Regulations (DFW)
to: “John L. Beath”
date: May 14, 2020, 8:50 AM
subject: RE: Halibut fishing bait question

Good Morning John,

Yes, it is legal to use sport caught trout for bait for halibut.

Tight lines,

Washington Dept of Fish & Wildlife

Fish program

Also note, in the Washington Department of Fish & Game Pamphlet, on page 4,¬† second paragraph from bottom left it reads as follows under the “You May Not:

“Use salmon, herring, or halibut for anything other than human consumption or fishing bait.”

Hopefully this settles the debate whether sport halibut anglers can use sport-caught trout, salmon, herring or halibut for fishing bait.

Good luck this season,

John L. Beath, editor, Halibut

About John L. Beath

John Beath is a writer, photographer, videographer, blogger, tackle manufacturer & Captain at Whaler's Cove Lodge in Southeast Alaska. He is also owner of and host at Lets Talk Outdoors @
This entry was posted in 2020 Washington Sport Halibut Fishing Season, Halibut Fishing Tackle, Halibut Fishing Tips, Is it legal to use trout for halibut bait in Washington?, Puget Sound Halibut Fishing, Strait of Juan de Fuca Halibut Fishing, Uncategorized, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Washington Halibut Fishing, Washington Halibut Maps, Washington Halibut Regs and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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