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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Context:

While I love eating halibut, I hate fishing for them. It redefines boring.

Im cooking on a 50' boat in SE Alaska for coastal bear hunters. One of the hunters tags out and wants to fish for halibut. He grabs one of the Dolly Varden rods that has an orange jig on it. I tell him the dollies are close to shore in fairly shallow water and where the fresh water comes into the salt. I tell him Id rig up a halibut rig with a chunk of herring on it. Nope he wants to fish the dolly rod in 150 feet of water even after I tell him some of the halibut run over 300 friggin' pounds and will jerk that tiny Ugly Stick and maybe him over the side of the boat.

He starts jiggin with the Ugly Stick. I go about my cooking in the boat galley.

A few minutes later he starts yelling. I look out at him and this little rod is bent at an angle resembling a hairpin. I can't friggin' believe it. I go to the stern just as the 40 lb halibut comes into view. He's got a small halibut but on that light rod, it a handful and a half.

He yells, "What do I do now?"

I reply, "Im going to harpon it."

He's confused so I tell him to lead it to the side of the swim deck and I harpoon it. (Note to C&R fly fishermen these harpoons are a device on a pole with a detchable barbed spear with a rope tied to it. For small halibut like this one you jam it into the fish and tie the rope off to a boat cleat until it tires out. For really big halibut, you tie the end to an empty gas can and let it tire out as you follow it. )





Lucas, the skipper of our second boat, who is a lifelong Alaskan and commercial fisherman, as well as a truly great guy, fillets this fish is five minutes.

Guess what I fed a dozen people that night?

Yup breaded fish, chips, and cole slaw along with fresh bread.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Caught a fair share of those in Ketchikan back in my CG days. Good eating.
The little ones (less than 50 lbs) are the best. I cut up the fillets, chill them in the frig to firm them up and then do a beer batter and fry them in oil. Fresh, never frozen is SO much better than what you get in the store.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Fresh halibut is one of the few saltwater fish I'll eat. They're still butt ugly :D
They are a strange and ugly fish, but tasty! My favorite is a cajun po' boy sandwich with halibut, but I don't cook spicy stuff for these guys.
 

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Dumbfounded
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When I was a kid, I liked "fish sticks"... as I grew older, they seemed have more of a fishy taste so I stopped eating them. Turns out, the original fish sticks were made from halibut and then they switched to cod and now some other lessor fish.

Here in Oregon, right now, you can get fish and chips made with fresh halibut at the local restaurants. Some of my co-workers have been fishing for halibut out of Newport and doing quite well. So now, I guess, is the time to fish for the ugly suckers off the coast of Oregon.
 

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They are a strange and ugly fish, but tasty! My favorite is a cajun po' boy sandwich with halibut, but I don't cook spicy stuff for these guys.
Bacon wrapped halibut kabobs over charcoal, basted in your favorite BBQ sauce.

Spouse made a special cracker type crust a baked it as well, very good.
 

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Veðrfölnir
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Water Azure Fluid Liquid Aqua
Water Glove Asphalt Gas Cat
Real men (or people dumb like me) just stealthily slide a gaff into their open mouth. Then the gaff is turned 90 degrees and driven home.

This fish is in Alaska after I limited out on silvers. 47-48" fish, 60' of water, 10lb maxima, on my salmon rod with a tiny shimano Citica reel.
 

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Jeremy, what happens when you hook up a 200-300 lb halibut?
My first trip in Alaska for Halibut back in 82 landed one 187lbs as my first. We had a gaff hook with a detachable gaff head tied to a line. Similar to the harpoon used these days. Worked pretty well.

I remember working three coast guard cases during my tenure there in which the catalyst for the event was large, still living, halibut being hauled aboard a small boat. Fairly common event.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My first trip in Alaska for Halibut back in 82 landed one 187lbs as my first. We had a gaff hook with a detachable gaff head tied to a line. Similar to the harpoon used these days. Worked pretty well.

I remember working three coast guard cases during my tenure there in which the catalyst for the event was large, still living, halibut being hauled aboard a small boat. Fairly common event.
The skiff was overturned while boating the halibut?

Since we were on a 50' Bayliner, I wasnt worried about that, but I was thinking we could easily lose that small rod.

An 8wt Silver salmon rod would be better, but still seriuously outgunned for the larger halibut.

Maybe an Alaska version of Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea?
 

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Veðrfölnir
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If you notice, my gaff was tied off with a timber hitch, and half hitches. If it was not possible to boat it, I would have pulled it to the dock.

Second backup plan was to run the anchor rope around the tail, through the gills, and tie it up in a circle. Done that lots before I bought a harpoon.

Here's a vid of the harpoon on a trip out of Newport Oregon. Another 47" halibut again.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Jeremy, from the video I cant tell what size of boat you're in but its obviously not a 16' jet sled and youve got a serious halibut rod.

That's a perfect sized halibut in my book.

Do have have videos of what happens when you harpoon a 200+ pounder and tow it to the dock?
 

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Robert
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In Cook Inlet a lot of boats anchor of the mouths of harbors as there is a lack of space due to commercial boats taking up the limited small boat harbors. Access via beach launched skiff to your boat that's anchored 50-100 yards offshore. An acquaintance had gone out to his boat with his family and was getting things in order while his daughter dropped a line over in about 15 feet of water. When he was ready to pull anchor and get underway his daughter said she was stuck on the bottom. The bottom started moving and she eventually landed a halibut that was close to 300 lbs. Apparently they lay off the mouths of the creeks when salmon run and feed on the carcasses.
 

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Robert
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If you notice, my gaff was tied off with a timber hitch, and half hitches. If it was not possible to boat it, I would have pulled it to the dock.

Second backup plan was to run the anchor rope around the tail, through the gills, and tie it up in a circle. Done that lots before I bought a harpoon.

Here's a vid of the harpoon on a trip out of Newport Oregon. Another 47" halibut again.
Can't see the video. Nice fish in the 1st pictures; 10 lb. Maxima rules!
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I happily confess to a net ignorance of any fishing not done with a fly rod.

You guys are giving me quite the education.

Thanks.
 

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Veðrfölnir
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Do have have videos of what happens when you harpoon a 200+ pounder and tow it to the dock?
55" is the biggest I ever considered keeping. Only hooked one bigger, cut the line once it was in sight. No reason to abuse the brood stock when you're after chickens! I fish a lot more shallow than deep. Never dropped in deeper than 300'.
 
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