Halibut limits are set by NOAA and frankly I am very concerned on how they determine the limits — My fear is Halibut may go down the same path as the King Salmon if not addressed in the near future.
( right now Halibut Fishing is doing good in our area but my info is that the average weight of Halibut have been falling year after year).
I have long advocated a Statewide Limit for Halibut that would put all on the same playing field for the non-resident Halibut fishers. Personally I do not care how they would fish, be it from a kayak, a canoe, a skiff or a guide. A Statewide Limit for Halibut would address many concerns that the Halibut rule makers are facing today.
Are Charters and Lodges the problem? “Hell no” I state emphatically as just one of many lodges and charter businesses. But all the commotion concerning Charter fishing for Halibut must be addressed so the Halibut Commission can get on with the other real problems concerning this great species.
So at my Lodge, we only put in the ice chest the minimum length set by NOAA and none of the bigger Spawners are retained.
If you have an Ego problem and care only about flashing a picture of a Big Dead Spawning Female, then please, I ask you to choose another outfit that targets these impressive fish!
Note: in the past we retained a handful of the big girls and as soon as I realized the damage we were doing to the reproduction of this valuable resource, the practice was terminated. That is precisely what we should ALL be doing, and I’m referencing independent fisher people as well as the charter businesses.
The future of the Halibut species, as well as the recreational enjoyment of those who fish for them, is at stake, if responsible practices of all fisher people are not actively applied for catch and release.
In my 50 years as a guide, I have observed many States that have have consistently set new rules to try and avoid the inevitable.
My hope is that many who read the information presented here in my Halibut Report will agree to conscientiously curtail the desire to land and pull out of the water the “BIG ONE” for the sake of a PHOTO SHOT. The more fisher people who practice catch and release, the better we may preserve this wonderful resource for the future enjoyment of all, for our children, and for generations to come.
At my Lodge we really like bringing the Big Ones to the side of the Boat, leaving them in the water and snap that Great Picture, then release the fish unharmed for future spawning and procreation.
We want your business, but the above report is from the heart, and is shared with you because of my serious concerns about the long term survival of the Halibut Species.
I hope to see you soon-
God Bless America