Halibut Fishing

Halibut fishing in Ketchikan is really good and we generally find them within 10-20 miles of town, making them accessible even to our cruise-ship clients. Fishing for halibut, ling-cod and other bottom-dwellers has long been a favorite pass-time of the locals and we enjoy the opportunity to show our clients the same good time.

ketchikan halibut fishing

Our preferred method of catching halibut is to anchor the boat on a pinnacle or the edge of a shelf and send down circle hooks with as much bait as possible to create a scent-trail behind the boat. There are times when we drop the anchor in the perfect spot and as soon as you let down your bait you will catch a fish and there are times where we have to work the bait and keep our scent trail going until the fish find us. We have a very high success rate halibut fishing, the key is to keep working it and don’t give up if it seems slow.

ketchikan halibut charter

It is very exciting when you start getting a bite because you have no idea what you might hook next! We often catch Halibut, Rockfish, Pacific Cod, Skate, Flounder, Ratfish and Spiny Dog Sharks in the same area so it can be a real mixed bag. You may pull up a 1 pound rockfish and 5 minutes later pull up a 100 pound Halibut in the same spot!


Big Halibut vs Small Halibut

My family has had Halibut as a staple of our diet my entire life and we have eaten every size you can imagine. With recent information from the state about Mercury levels in larger fish, we now eat almost exclusively Halibut under 40 pounds. Here is a link explaining it in better detail, but the basics are that Halibut under 40 pound have no significant mercury levels in them so you can eat as much as you want.


Halibut are a really fun fish to catch and a giant hundred plus pound fish is exhilarating to say the least. We encourage our guests that catch a large halibut to enjoy the fight and we will try to get a photo before we release the fish, but they should keep smaller fish to take home and eat. Another factor to consider with larger halibut are that most large halibut are females (studies have shown that females grow faster than males and they continue growing faster once they have reached maturity) and these larger females can lay between 500,000 and 4,000,000 eggs per year! That is ALOT of potential halibut down the road we can catch if we allow the larger breeders to continue spawning.

Current charter halibut regulations for Southeast Alaska are 1 fish a day per charter client and the fish must be within the slot limit (under 44 inches or over 80 inches). These regulations change yearly and although they are frustrating, it is for the higher good of the Halibut stocks.

Want to try your hand at catching a Pacific Halibut? Contact us now!

(907) 617-8031