Need help catching Halibut

Discussion in 'Surf, Piers, & Jetties' started by Sheepdog8404, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. Sheepdog8404

    Sheepdog8404 Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking for some help, tips, tricks or anything that could improve my chances at catching a legal halibut. I've heard that the SD river mouth is a good place to catch them. I've fished it from both the dog beach side and the jetty side. On Monday I went out for about 4 hours and didn't get anything but a few bites from, I think, SBB's. I was using 3" hammer swim baits and no luck. Today, I went out from about 0930 to about 1430 and fished from about the parking lot on the jetty all the way out to the river mouth. I worked both sides, dog beach and jetty side, using a drop shot with a Berkley white curtail. I only caught the fish in the picture, and he was foul hooked. I was getting lots of bites but I think they were all from fish about the size of the one I caught. The tails on the lures were ripped off a few times when I got bites and tried to set the hook.

    WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?!?!?!

    I read all the posts I could find on how to catch these fish in the river mouths/surf, I fished during an incoming tide. I fished with a rig that is supposed to work, I fished in an area that's supposed to have decent fish, and I did it for almost 6 hours with only one foul hooked fish to show for...

    Any help is GREATLY appreciated!!!

    NCM_0523_zps9ujupavq.jpg
     
  2. dillpick

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    keep trying it sounds like u r on the right track
     
  3. NCTOADSLAYERZ

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    Repeat that process in March-May and you'll more than likely catch a legal. It's a time of year thing. Halibut come into the bays and lagoons to spawn starting around March and that's when you'll have a much better chance at finding a legal Also fish in the couple days before a full moon cause that's when the grunion move inshore to spawn. The halibut usually aren't far behind. Try 5" pearl white zoom flukes and the 4-5" gulp flukes. Dropshot it gonna be your best bet, followed by a white gulp swirl tail or chartreuse and white spinnerbait
     
  4. dlund82

    dlund82 Well-Known Member

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    I fish that area often, I usually use ghost shrimp on a carolina rig. I have caught a lot of croaker, perch, rays and sand dabs. I also usually catch 1 or 2 halibut ever other outing but they are always way short. Keep trying and you will get one, goodluck.
     
  5. old_rookie

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    I'm no expert with fish ID... I think that is not a halibut - looks like a diamond turbot, aka California flounder. From what I can tell in the regulations, no size limit, but closed Jan and Feb.
     
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  6. Sheepdog8404

    Sheepdog8404 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the help, guys! I've gotten pretty discouraged since I've heard of people pulling legal butts from that spot often and all I had to show for was a sunburn and a 9" mystery flat fish. Your advice has instilled a bit of hope in me again. I'll keep trying with the tips you've all given me and hopefully I can get lucky!

    Old_rookie, I had 2 other people say that it didn't look like a halibut either. I thought it was maybe a sanddab but I let it go just to be safe.
     
  7. Paulito

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    Keep trying! The legal I caught was during a full moon. I have caught plenty others on any moon-phase day, Keep trying! I found fishing the SD river mouth was best at peak lowtide to the early incoming tide. The river surface turns placid and there is a lot of fish action going on at that time! I was out there just last night without a single bite! Keep it up. I don't find anything wrong with what you are using. Try different methods of retrieval/action. I am still trying to figure out SD waters as well!
     
  8. fishboy92

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    Go work the rocks off of shelter island for a day. Stick to white flukes, drop shot have your hook about 16 inches above your weight. My buddy got a 4 legals this year on 4lb test, no bs. So scale your line to about 8 or 10 . There not line shy at all. Another good area is behind Bahia. Lucky craft pointers will be your best bet there.
     
  9. Sheepdog8404

    Sheepdog8404 Well-Known Member

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    Where do you fish the river mouth exactly? I've been mainly working the area where the jetty drops down to a flat concrete structure between the rocky parts. Does that make sense?

    I've worked shelter island a lot and haven't had any luck there on the hammer swimbaits but I haven't tried a drop shot there yet. Thanks for the tips!!!
     
  10. Paulito

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    I know exactly where you are talking about! Just a little before that, at lowtide, a small sandbar appears (completely submerged during high tide). I fish off there since it gives be better leverage. Also, a great place for exposure to all the fish swimming in past me for the incoming high tide :) Kinda like a bottleneck where every cast has a higher chance of exposure to the fish! That's where I caught my halibut ;)
     
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  11. Paulito

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    Also, what size dropshot weight were you using? I havent used a dropshot in the river yet, because I feel that my weight is too light and would just wash down with the river current!
     
  12. Sheepdog8404

    Sheepdog8404 Well-Known Member

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    I've been using a 1 oz round sinker. sometimes I'll use a 3/4 or even a 1/2 oz during slack tide.
     
  13. Fishlicker

    Fishlicker Well-Known Member

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    Try surf fishing with a Krocodile spoon. I tend to have real good luck doing that. Got a 23 incher four casts in today. You don't need to get it out there that far either so don't worry about that.
     
  14. Sheepdog8404

    Sheepdog8404 Well-Known Member

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    Wow. That's impressive! What rod and reel combo were you using? And what were the tide conditions during your outing?
     
  15. Fishlicker

    Fishlicker Well-Known Member

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    I use a 10'6 Shimano convergence paired with a Daiwa Preed. Works pretty good, really wanting to upgrade to a Curado or lexa though. The longer rod really helps get your lure out with the wind. The tide was low and coming in.
     
  16. Sheepdog8404

    Sheepdog8404 Well-Known Member

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    Damn. That's a long rod. I've got a 6'9" abugarcia combo that I've been using for most of my saltwater fishing. Do you think that can reach out far enough?
     
  17. old_rookie

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    try a 12' sometime - that is a beast to handle.
     
  18. Sheepdog8404

    Sheepdog8404 Well-Known Member

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    Well I went today and ladned 6 Butts and one SBB. Here's a picture of the largest one... about 2" short... Oh well, at least I know I'm doing something right. The smaller one was the average size of the other 5 I pulled in. Used a dropshot again with a Zoom White pearl Fluke! Thanks for all the help guys!!

    NCM_0530_zpsggjqxig8.jpg

    NCM_0529_zpshldfkf33.jpg
     
  19. old_rookie

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  20. Paulito

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    GREAT work!!! Where were you fishing! You got your confidence back, now catch that legal! I was at torrey pines today and landed 1 about 22" and let it go :)
     
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