Halibut Fishing

Usually, Westport halibut fishing combines a halibut fishing trip bottom fishing trip. After catching halibut, anglers will fish for bottom fish such as rockfish and lingcod. This fishing trip leaves prior to sunrise. The fishing grounds for Halibut are located about 25 miles offshore on the edge of the continental shelf. The fishing vessel might travel as far as 47 miles from Westport in order to fish for halibut depending on where on the edge the fish are located. Usually the depth of the water ranges between 600 and 740 feet deep.

This fishing requires a high degree of cooperation and organization. The captain will be communicating with other fishing vessels in the area to determine the drift and the current when approaching the fishing location. Anglers will man their fishing rods and prepare to lower their bait when they are told to get ready. It is critically important that all of the anglers lower their bait simultaneously after they are told to do so. If they donít they will be minimizing their chances to catch a halibut because of tangled lines. When in 700 feet of water, it takes a while to get to the bottom. It takes an even longer time to reel back the fishing tackle back because there is a two pound lead weight attached. The halibut will range in size from between 10 and 100 pounds. However it isnít unusual to catch a halibut that weighs over 40 pounds.

Halibut are fished for with heavyweight rods and reels and large squid and herring for bait. These fish can exceed 150 pounds.  On Westport halibut fishing trips, anglers should be prepared to do battle. The average halibut weighs about 20 pounds, but 50 and 70 pound fish arenít uncommon. The trip departs around 4:30AM and will last a full 12 hours. Barbequed, broiled, or baked, Halibut is the best eating fish around.
Fishing for halibut fishing is a demanding and physical challenge. It is a real workout of the torso and arms to reel in a large halibut from the icy depths around Westport, Washington. Halibut is a popular sport fish for the recreational angler and the primary species in the commercial fishing industry in Washington State.

All visiting anglers must have a valid fishing license, which can be bought at local fishing store or on the Internet. Most fishing charters provide foul weather gear, hot coffee, filet and bagging services, boat service, guides, and fishing tackle and gear. Angler need to bring any motion sickness medications that might be required, extra clothing, camera, rubber boots, beverages and lunches.

Visiting anglers will have the opportunity of a lifetime to fish for large halibut by going on a Westport halibut fishing trip. On the docks in Westport there are shipping and smoking services available for the catch by the visiting angler. On Westport halibut fishing trips, visiting anglers may very well see marine life including sea lions, sea birds, and orcas.

Visiting anglers to Westport halibut fishing need to prepare themselves for some rough seas because these halibut fishing trips might take visiting anglers as out to sea as 50 miles from the harbor. Usually it takes approximately one and a half hours to reach the prime halibut fishing locations.
Lead head jigs adorned with strips of pork rind or large plastic grubs make good halibut bait. A jig with a full 10 inches long, broad, and lively tail really seems to appeal to hungry halibut. The A lead head can be as light as to ounces or as heavy as two pounds depending on how deep the fish are.  Solid white or solid white in combination with white always seem to work best on halibut.

Halibut command some rather high prices in seafood stores and restaurants. This white fleshed fish is considered by many visiting anglers to be the best tasting fish in the world.  Usually, if everybody catches their limit of halibut early, the fishing charters will do some fishing for lingcod on the way back to the harbor.  There is a limit of one halibut for each visiting angler with no minimum size restriction and a limit of two lingcod for each visiting angler. This year the fishing season for halibut in Puget Sound will be shorter while visiting anglers who are fishing off of the southern coast of Washington will have an extra weekend day to fish for halibut since the International Pacific Halibut Commission announced catch quotas for 2013.

The additional weekend day for visiting anglers to fish for halibut will offer additional access to the halibut fishery in the area. Last year, the halibut quota was exceeded, which is the reason for the shorter season this year. The 214,110 recreational catch quota for 2013 is the same as last year for all of the regions in Washington. Because the fishing season on the coast is usually affected by the weather, it is hard to know precisely how long the quota will last.