halibut on the line being pulled out of water

Here’s What You Need to Know for Alaska Halibut Fishing

Alaska halibut fishing offers the adventure of a lifetime. 

These large fish like to dwell in the deepest depths of the ocean, so they won’t be easy to catch. It requires all the attributes of a greater fisher, including patience and quality gear. 

Here, we’ll discuss everything you need to know for a successful outing on the open waters of Sitka, Alaska. If you’re up for an adventure, contact Action Alaska Sportfishing to book your trip for a guided saltwater fishing trip.

Why Sitka, Alaska

One of the main reasons Sitka is such a popular destination for halibut fishing is because of our low to medium tides. Sitka’s tides range between 8 to 12 feet, which gives you the opportunity to fish for halibut all day. 

Whereas, if you travel further north, the tides are much larger, often as large as 30 feet. You can still fish in these areas, but it grants you a much smaller window of opportunity if you’re looking for halibut – certainly not all day, as you can in Sitka.

Sitka is also home to a large quantity of halibut’s preferred foods, including:

  • Lingcod
  • Crab
  • Octopus
  • Rockfish

Granted, your equipment is going to make a huge difference in how many you catch, but as you can see, Sitka’s oceanic backyard puts the odds considerably in your favor.

Halibut Fishing Season

If you want your trip to be successful, the first thing you should do is book during halibut season. This lasts between mid-May to mid-September. However, they are also in abundance from June through August. 

For more information on when to go out on the water, check our Sitka fishing report, which we try to update regularly.

The best days to go out are when the water is calmest, and the tides are low to medium-sized. If the current is stronger than this, it becomes difficult to keep your bait at the bottom of the ocean, where halibut prefer to habitat.

Although Alaska halibut fishing requires a lot of patience and general fishing knowledge, if you don’t completely know what you’re doing, don’t worry. We know the best spots and the right techniques to ensure you’ll never depart our Alaska halibut fishing charter without a prime catch.

Gearing Up

You’ve picked a great location for halibut fishing in Alaska and the right fishing charter for your guided tour – still, it’s important to gear up with the proper equipment. Fortunately, when fishing in Sitka, you will find a higher percentage of large halibut and it’s more likely you will find them in shallower depths. 

If you have the right rods, reels, and bait, you’re guaranteed a successful outing.

When shopping for rods, keep in mind that you will be fishing all day for a catch that ranges between 24-40 ounces. So, your rod should have accommodating features.

Your rod should be:

  • Strong and extremely well-made
  • Between five and eight feet
  • Bendable, but not too much

When shopping for your reel, keep in mind that you’re fishing in saltwater, so it should be tough enough to handle corrosion. The features of its line capacity and gear ratio, however, are the most important considerations. Its line capacity should be at least 500 feet long, and the gear ratio should be 4:5:1 or lower.

We find that many halibut fishers prefer a braided line, and a circle or J hook terminal tackle.

What about your bait, you ask? 

Good question. There are many answers for you because halibut aren’t picky eaters. Any of the following bait can be used:

  • Salmon bellies
  • Salmon heads
  • Squid
  • Octopus
  • Herring
  • Jigs
  • Grubs

All this information can be overwhelming if this is your first-time halibut fishing. 

Fortunately, Cody, your captain of the Alaska halibut fishing charter also uses top-of-the-line equipment, like TFO rods and Avet and Shimano reels. He also has custom-built hydraulic downriggers that will allow you to look for halibut much deeper than other charter boats in the state. You’ll find this outing is a good introduction to halibut fishing.

Contact Action Alaska 

If you’re looking for a personalized sportfishing experience in Alaska, contact Action Alaska today. 

You can book your saltwater fishing adventure by calling (907)917-5956.