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Halibut fishing is somewhat limited in available locations, if you want the best catch. Knowing where to look is half the battle of making a successful halibut fishing excursion. Keep in mind that halibut prefer cold, deep waters, mainly off the northwestern coast of the United States and Canada.

Of course, the other things that are important to guarantee a great catch are having the right bait and using the right gear. To get you started, here are some tips on finding the best sources for halibut fishing, where you are guaranteed a good, large catch, as well as some inside information on the best gear and bait to use in the process.

Of course, there are several ways to send bait to the bottom (halibut are bottom feeders that typically dwell in waters at least 100 feet deep, if not more), but the most important tactic to remember is to use heavy lead. This is the only way to keep the bait on the bottom in the heavy winds that pervade in areas where halibut is plentiful.

You may want to try using heavy monofilament for halibut fishing, and with this, a sliding weight system will work best. This lets the halibut mouth at the bait without ever feeling the weight on the line. It is important to remember, however, that this method requires that the fish find the bait by smell rather than by sight. This means that live bait works best, especially bait that is pungent and can spread through the waters to attract fish.

You'll also want to change the bait every 20-30 minutes when halibut fishing to keep the smell fresh and attract more bites. Though weights of up to two pounds may be required to keep the bait on the bottom in very heavy winds, you should always use the least amount of weight necessary for the best results.

In terms of the best halibut fishing locations, there are six places that rate at the top of the list. Neah Bay Washington on the United States side of Swiftsure Bank is a great place to find excellent halibut fishing. Here, during open season (call for information on seasonal fishing), you should target waters between 200 and 600 feet deep, and you are more than likely to produce your daily limits of halibut.

You may also wish to visit Craig, Alaska, where halibut fishing is enormously successful. Per the Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce, the average catch is .6 halibut per hour, a remarkable number of fish. This means greater return with less time invested, a great way to be sure to make a profit. Another great halibut fishing location is the Queen Charlotte Islands. On the west side, you'll find outrageous numbers of jumbo halibut swimming in the deep waters around the bay.

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