Halibut can be found around Ketchikan Alaska from mid May through mid September, however the best time to fish for them is June through August as this is when they are most abundant. Halibut spawn off the continental shelf in deep water November through March and migrate into the shallow waters of SE Alaska to feed in the summers.
Just because halibut are here doesn’t always mean you can get to them. Halibut fishing is typically more rewarding on calm days because it’s much easier to anchor or make a slow drift along the bottom. I like to use lots of bait when anchored to draw them in with my sent. When I’m drifting I may still use bait but prefer to jig. Jigs also work well when anchored but you need at least one heavily bated circle hook to spread your sent for optimum results.
Self guided fishing for Halibut can be very rewarding if you know what you are doing and are patient. It helps to have a stable boat with a GPS chart plotter and sonar so you can find structure and anchor or drift over predetermined spots known to hold fish. Self guided fishermen benefit from a more liberal bag limit In Southeast Alaska. From the Canadian border to Cape Spencer in Cross Sound guided halibut fisherman can only keep one halibut per day with size restrictions while self guided fishermen can keep two halibut of any size per day.
At Chinook Shores, we spend lots of time with our self guided fishermen to put them on fish with the right tackle and the necessary equipment to land these monsters. We also offer guided halibut fishing and will typically catch lots of salmon during the same day.