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PNW Halibut Season 2016-gctid722410

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    PNW Halibut Season 2016-gctid722410

    2016 halibut seasons include new measures to heed quotas

    OLYMPIA ÔÇô Anglers fishing for halibut in Washington waters can expect some changes in this year's seasons, even though the state's annual catch quota remains the same as in 2015.

    The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) establishes halibut seasons using catch quotas adopted by the International Pacific Halibut Commission for coastal fisheries from California to Alaska. This year's quota for recreational halibut fisheries in Washington state is 214,110 pounds.

    As in years past, the growing popularity of recreational halibut fishing will require adjustments in this year's season, said Heather Reed, WDFW coastal policy coordinator.

    "Here and elsewhere, fishery managers are working to keep pace with the growing demand on the resource," Reed said. "Strong catch rates continue to draw anglers to this popular fishery each year."

    One result, Reed said, is that the halibut catch in Puget Sound has exceeded the area harvest quota for the past four years. In response, this year's halibut season in Marine Areas 6-10 in central Puget Sound will be reduced to eight days from 11 days last year.

    That fishery will run concurrently with the one in Marine Area 5 (Sekiu), where the season has been limited to eight days since 2013, Reed said.

    The other major change this year is in Marine Areas 3 and 4 (La Push and Neah Bay), which will open May 7, May 12 and May 14, then close for a catch assessment.

    "Last year, we scheduled four days of fishing before the catch assessment, but we had to cancel the fourth day on short notice, because the quota was taken sooner than ever before," Reed said. "This year's season is designed to avoid that situation."

    This year's fishery in Marine Areas 3 and 4 will reopen in late May if sufficient capacity remains under the quota.

    In Marine Area 1 off the mouth of the Columbia River, anglers also reached last year's quota earlier than expected, although not until early June. That fishery is scheduled to run four days a week this year from May 1 until the quota is taken, or Sept. 30, whichever occurs first.

    Anglers fishing the nearshore area of that fishery will again be allowed to retain bottomfish ÔÇô such as flounder and sole ÔÇô as well as halibut on days when the rest of the area is closed to halibut fishing.

    "We continue to look for ways to increase fishing opportunity in the Columbia River area where the catch has been below the quota in recent years," Reed said.

    In all marine areas open to halibut fishing, there is a one-fish daily catch limit and no minimum size restriction. Anglers may possess a maximum of two fish in any form and must record their catch on a WDFW catch record card.

    Anglers should check the WDFW website for complete information on recreational halibut regulations and seasons at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/creel/halibut/

    2016 Puget Sound halibut seasons

    Marine Area 5-10: May 7, 12, 13, 14, and May 26-29. The quota is 57,393 pounds for the season.

    Marine Areas 11, 12, 13: These areas will remain closed to halibut fishing to protect threatened and endangered rockfish species.

    2016 Pacific Coast halibut seasons

    Marine Area 1 (Columbia River): The fishery opens May 1 and runs four days per week (Thursday-Sunday) until the subarea quota is taken, or Sept. 30, whichever occurs first. The nearshore area opens to fishing May 2 on a Monday-through-Wednesday schedule, which are the days the all-depth halibut fishery is closed. Coordinates for the nearshore fishery are available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/creel/halibut/ The all-depth quota is 10,509 pounds; the nearshore quota is 500 pounds.

    Marine Area 2 (Westport): The fishery opens May 1 and runs two days per week (Sundays and Tuesdays) for three consecutive weeks, unless the quota is reached sooner. The primary fishery is closed May 22 and 24, but could reopen May 29 or 31 if sufficient quota remains. The northern nearshore area will open May 1 and continue seven days per week until Sept. 30, or until the nearshore quota is reached. The quota for the primary fishery is 40,739 pounds; the quota for the northern nearshore fishery is 2,000 pounds.

    Marine Areas 3 and 4 (La Push and Neah Bay): The fishery in both areas will open May 7 (Saturday), May 12 (Thursday) and May 14 (Saturday), as long as there is sufficient quota. Both areas will be closed May 19 and 21. If there is available quota, the fishery will re-open May 26 and/or 28. Additional days could be added (Thursdays and Saturdays), depending on the amount of quota available. The combined quota for both areas is 108,030 pounds.

    Fishing regulations include depth restrictions and area closures designed to reduce encounters with yelloweye and canary rockfish, which must be released under state and federal law. Anglers are encouraged to use a descending device to release any rockfish they don't intend to retain.

    Information about descending devices can be found on WDFW's webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/bottomfis...mortality.html
    Doug ;}
    MMSI: 338068776
    "Go Aweigh to" Photos < click on red letters... 2001 Bayliner 2452 w/6.2 HO (paid for)


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    #2
    Another even shorter halibut season at Neah Bay. I love fishing out in open water but the state keeps making it harder and harder to justify going. This has been a tradition for me for almost two decades. I'm thinking of trying halibut in puget sound this year but a little concerned about quality of meat in the Sound. Do you have any experience with halibut from the Sound?

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      #3
      TJ, butt fishing out of Port Townsend is great. Many areas near there and the fish are fine. They all have to go past PT to get into the sound so that is a nice place to find them... PM me your email and I will send a pdf file with areas near PT. Keep i mind many of the pages will be a few years back (2012) with times to fish based on tides back then. But you can find a lot of good info in the pdf file itself. Plus I highly suggest you look at www.salmonuniversity.com check out the fishing reports for butts in the past.

      If not already a member, I would join Puget Sound Anglers ( PSA-Sno-King): http://www.fisharc.com/groups/2-PSA_Sno_King

      BTW, I am buying an annual Canadian license so I can fish for butt all year out of Sekiu... go across the line, check in with Can Pass and fish...


      Doug ;}
      MMSI: 338068776
      "Go Aweigh to" Photos < click on red letters... 2001 Bayliner 2452 w/6.2 HO (paid for)


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        #4
        Some more info for you TJ:

        Mutiny Bay map

        http://halibutchronicles.com/2014/05...t-fishing-map/

        Hein Bank Map:

        http://halibutchronicles.com/2014/05...t-fishing-map/

        McCurdy Point Map:

        http://halibutchronicles.com/2014/05...t-fishing-map/

        Dungeness Bay Map:

        http://halibutchronicles.com/2014/05...t-fishing-map/
        Doug ;}
        MMSI: 338068776
        "Go Aweigh to" Photos < click on red letters... 2001 Bayliner 2452 w/6.2 HO (paid for)


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          #5
          So the quota is 214,110 pounds?

          Are they trying to portray they are that good at estimating availability and tracking catches?
          Esteban
          B-ham!
          Former Bayliners 3218, 2859, 2252, 1952

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            #6
            My understanding is that the coastal fishery rakes in most of the quota. On the inside you've got about a 1 in 20 chance of getting a fish. I haven't caught one of these beasts yet, pretty sure I lost one my 2nd time out(they feel strange compared to other fish), still need to check "Halibut" off my bucket list. I've found with this fishery, between the weather and tides and so few days it's open it's like tornado chasing. Plus I really wonder what is left on the inside after the long liners go after it.

            Open to suggestions and idea's via PM, but so far I've had more fun, success, and less white knuckle weather just going after lings instead.

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              #7
              Ive only had luck with halibut going out on charter boats. Whenever I go out to Hein bank in my boat its huge swells and people start puking so I have to head to Friday Harbor and go bar hopping instead.

              Halibut is one of those I cant do alone because you're generally out in the open.
              Esteban
              B-ham!
              Former Bayliners 3218, 2859, 2252, 1952

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                #8
                Yes It's a 2 person show at least, I had to keep the kicker running to keep the boat in line on the drift. For some reason my boat likes to turn sideways to the wind and rock back and forth ugh. Ideally you'd run two rods and have 3 people so someone can keep the boat straight. Rotate out and agree to share all catch and work as a team. Often I'll pilot and hold my boat right over a good ling spot so my friends/family can hook up if the tide and/or wind is too strong to drift and while I miss out on the catching it does put fish and chips on the table that night.

                I have only thrown up twice on a boat and can offer some advice for the pukers:

                No Mcdonalds breakfast!

                Chocolate, meat, caffeine for the win(M&M's, beef Jerky, and Coke is standard meal fare on my boat lol!)

                Give them seasick medicine

                Keep them up top....I put my kids at the helm while I'm fishing/crabbing so they can see the horizon.

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                  #9
                  For you folks that get seasick, I highly recommend the relief band electric watch. My Admiral use to take the pills and she would sleep all the time and was half out of it. This watch works immediately upon wearing it. It sends electric shocks into the bottom of the wrist and is so much better than pills... The Admiral has been using this since 1996... Never gotten sick wearing it...

                  Oh and they are on sale at WM right now. http://www.westmarine.com/buy/relief...OXBxoCGkHw_wcB

                  As far as halibut, they are a targeting fish and very aggressive. They will be on the down side of a sea mount and wait for the prey to come over the edge and attack. Hence, making noise to get their attention by banging a weight on the drift. You can also enhance the catch by dropping a bait bag on your downrigger ball... use an oily fish like anchovies. I use mackerel for both bait and attractant... Works fine... Up in Barkley sound we normally will catch our limit of two each in about 30 mins... that includes throwing back small ones...

                  We will be going out of Sekiu this year for our butts... We also will get our Canadian license so we can fish for them all year if the 12th-14th are bad waters...
                  Doug ;}
                  MMSI: 338068776
                  "Go Aweigh to" Photos < click on red letters... 2001 Bayliner 2452 w/6.2 HO (paid for)


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                    #10
                    +1 to what Doug said.

                    Plus scent! Without a strong scent trail you will not catch halibut. We use Butt juice, but almost any of the good scents will work.

                    An hour on either side of the tide.

                    Noise,scents and lights if you are really deep.
                    Joel
                    1987 3818 Hino 175
                    "Knotty Girl"
                    Prince Rupert B.C.

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                      #11
                      Yep, the one I lost inhaled a jumbo herring zip tied to a lead head slathered in smelly Jelly @ ~240'. I had a UV light on the spreader bar.

                      The seasick pills do put people out of it, I remember coming back in, went through a huge wake and my buddy and his dad didn't even wake up.

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                        #12
                        Good reminder, I always use a wide rubber band around the herring or mackerel to hold it on the hook. I hate thinking it slipped off after a one way trip to the bottom... Butts don't bite just hooks... :woohoo:
                        Doug ;}
                        MMSI: 338068776
                        "Go Aweigh to" Photos < click on red letters... 2001 Bayliner 2452 w/6.2 HO (paid for)


                        sigpic

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                          #13
                          I've been halibut fishing every year since the late 90's out of LaPush an or Neah Bay. We don't use bait out there, pipe jigs banging bottom to attract them. We fish typically 450-500 ft depending on the hole we hit. I usually go to 72 Square which has always been good to us. I tell everybody we push our luck in the open "scary" water as many call it because I don't like fishing but I love catching! ;-)

                          Last year I didn't go out there on my boat as I'm finding it to be a long trip that requires taking two weeks off work. That's a tough call for halibut. I might have to try some of the inside closer spots you guys are talking about.

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                            #14
                            I'll be out in Sekiu butt fishing as usual.

                            Maybe we should put something together for this halibut season...

                            Let's talk details at Bell!


                            Joon, Kathy, Jaden & Tristan
                            Uniflite 42 AC, DD 671N
                            93 3058 sold
                            92 2855 (day boat)
                            91 Fourwinns 205 (lake boat)
                            Longbranch WA
                            Life is Good

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                              #15


                              My fishing buddy Billy with one of the lings. We got into a nice mess of Lings this trip in the 35 to 45 lb range.



                              Always best when the tails are hanging out the fish boxes because there's no room left.



                              Me posing with a bad days bounty at Snow Creek. We will have to discuss this in much more depth at Bell. Stiff drink and fish stories! Here we go...

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