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Next full moon is in about 10 days

Before planning your halibut fishing trip, halibut.net suggests you first check the phase of the moon during your trip and then the tides for the area and weather. The phase of the moon will effect your halibut fishing as well as any other bottomfishing you might try. A full moon will cause higher, swifter tides that make it difficult to keep your halibut baits or halibut lures on or very near the bottom. This doesn't mean you won't catch halibut, it simply means you will have to use different halibut fishing techniques. For instance, anchoring for halibut can be very effective, even during the strongest tides of the month.

The largest halibut I've taken to date, a whopping 325 pound trophy halibut, was taken during the strongest tide of the month. We anchored our 25 foot boat in a known halibut bed and then lowered our whole salmon heads to the bottom, with the aid of four pound leads. Our anchorage was 320 feet deep. It would not have been possible to stay on the bottom without the use of 80 pound test superbraid line, (thin diameter, strong breaking strength) or without the heavier lead.

For years everyone has said you will catch more halibut during slack tides. This is true only because that's typically when the majority of halibut anglers pursue halibut. However, the expert halibut guides know they can fish for halibut and catch halibut during any tidal phase, if they go to the right spot.

Tip: When planning your halibut fishing trip, try to plan to take advantage of the two best times to have your halibut baits or halibut lures on or near the bottom:
#1 High slack
#2 Low slack
Many locations throughout the Pacific Ocean, where Pacific halibut are numerous and where they are scarce, you'll find areas that produce only one tidal phase. For instance, your best halibut fishing buddy might give you his best halibut fishing GPS numbers, that produced limits of halibut last week. Great, you plug the numbers into the GPS and go the halibut hotspot and fish for hours without so much as a bite. Why?

Look at the chart of the area, then note when your buddy experienced great halibut fishing action. If he was there during an outgoing tide chances are the location won't produce unless you fish the outgoing tide. Upon close inspection of the chart you might figure out where in the area to try next. For instance, if the known halibut hotspot only produces on an outgoing tide, you should look for an area that's deeper, in the opposite direction of the tidal flow. The same is true for the opposite tide. I've often found small banks in the Pacific Ocean loaded with halibut on the incoming tides, here's why. The main halibut beds in many areas, depending on time of year, (deeper early in the season, shallower later in the summer) are located in deeper water. As the tide pushes toward the east (incoming) it moves baitfish onto shallow banks, creating a perfect opportunity for halibut and other bottomfish (salmon included) to feed on numerous baits. Also watch for deeper water areas and canyons closer to shore when planning your outgoing tide halibut trips.

Hopefully you'll find an area rich with halibut willing to bite your favorite halibut bait or halibut lure. Regardless of where you choose to fish, you should always keep a logbook of your activity. This simple practice will enable you to figure out what you did right or what you did wrong during your day of halibut fishing. If you own your own boat, it's always a great idea to hire a guide for at least one day. There knowledge and skill will help you to learn the unique qualities of any halibut fishing area throughout the Pacific Ocean, regardless of which fish you pursue.  Good Luck! 


Most weather forecast aren't accurate along the coastal areas beyond about 48 to 72 hours. The Pacific Ocean weather patterns can change quickly so be prepared and don't take chances. Not even the biggest trophy halibut is worth risking your life. Stay safe...

Tide Links

Weather Links

Fishing & Hunting Lunar-Solunar Predictions

Weather Underground North America

                    Saltwater Tides                (This site has over 2,500 tide stations)

National Weather Service

Ediz Hook Wind Station

Wind Willy Weather


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