While most Pacific Halibut are caught in Canada or Alaska, we do have them in California and we do catch them out of Fort Bragg. Pacific Halibut aren’t widely frequently targeted close to Fort Bragg, but we do catch them. Better fishing can be found from Shelter Cove to Eureka.

Halibut are typically found in deep cold water on flat sandy or muddy bottoms. The Pacific Halibut in California are not as large as those caught in Alaska or Canada with most fish weighing 30 to 60 pounds. They put up a great fight and on many angler’s bucket lists. While halibut spend most of their time on the bottom feeding on other bottom dwelling fish and octopus, they are known to leave the bottom to feed on other fish such as salmon higher in the water column. In fact, most of the fish caught in California are caught by commercial salmon fishermen.

Fishing for Pacific Halibut

Pacific Halibut
Pacific halibut

Most of the time, we fish for Pacific Halibut using bait such as herring, whole squid, octopus, or salmon bellies. We use heavy duty tackle and 1-2lb weights. The fishing is done by drifting bait over flat sandy or muddy bottoms. Halibut put up a great fight and often make multiple runs. It is not uncommon for a halibut brought to the boat to make a mad run back to the bottom. Pacific Halibut is delicious with firm white flesh. It can be grilled, baked, fried or smoked. The season is open from the 1st to the 15th of the month for the months of May through September or until the state quota is met. Once the quota is met, the season is closed for the year. While we can target Pacific Halibut close to Fort Bragg, most of these trips will occur in Shelter Cove. Shelter Cove is a 40 mile run north of Fort Bragg, so full boat trips are required.

Season: May-September

Price: Call for pricing.