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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see the cover of this months Noreast includes a picture of an Atlantic Halibut & states it's somewhat of a rare catch around our waters.
I have a Petersons in front of me and it states thier range is from Greenland to Lab. to Va. also in East Atlantic. Also states our largest flatfish to 8 ft. & 700 lbs. but now seldom reaches 400 lbs.
Questions are:
Just how rare is it to catch one of these huge flatties around here & how far out do you need to be to find em, the Canyon??
Was there ever a fishery for them from the Northeast US, Halibut boats ect.
Do any boats from this area ever target this species anymore?
Also what kind of bait would you use and how do these fish taste?
Thanks, & I'll refrain from the I asked just for the halibut joke.
Alan
well almost.
 

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I'm fairly curious too..

But it's pretty obvious they were horribly overfished. I've only heard of a grand total of two being caught, ever, in the US the last few years...that Helen-H one, and the Frances Fleet got one, also on Georges, their last cod trip last summer.

If they range to VA no ones catching them...I doubt most people around here have even heard of them.

I'm certain they are not specifically targeted by anyone. I wonder if there is a rec fishery in Canada, though.
 

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Usually every year, you hear of one or two being caught, otherwise your chances of hitting lotto are better. Quite a few years back, the viking would get them at georges banks,and I heard the boat Big mac had one at about 200 lbs but I don,t know of anyone targetting them specifically. They can be found with schools of cod feeding on herring. If you want to fish for them exclusively,then go to Alaska. I went there last year, and caught dozens of 50lb fish and we were lucky enough to get a 200lber. They fed on herring, and long strips of salmon. As far as the taste is concerned, i,ve never eaten one from up north, but the ones from alaska can not be beat -- pure white meat. California has had a recent comeback of halibut, but they are much smaller in size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Theres a Scandinavian outfit in my building & every other desk has pictures of Svwen standing next to a Huge halibut so I assume the fish is still doing well up there & Canada as stated.
They must taste awesome like a huge fluke & also must give a good fight , you'll need a little more then a fluke stick to catch one of those babys!
I'm suprised that they arent caught more around here in the winter months. That they dont head this way for food . They must really like the colder waters alan
 
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I had read an article that said that the Atlantic Halibut population had declined due to a virus or another type of disease that was introduced to the waters off our coasts by foriegn tankers, and not solely from over-fishing. I cannot find the article right now however. Maury
 

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Alan,

I was catching a lot of baby halibut last summer in the ocean. The majority of them were 16.5 inches.



Seriously, friends of my family commercially fish for Halibut off Grand Manan (check spelling) Island in the Bay of Fundy. No giant 500 pounders but 100 pounders are regular. I would bet that there are charters out of Maine for the fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's a shame that theyre not a big winter fishery off long Island but interesting enough that Maine might have halibut charters { where's Capt. Walt when you need him?}
So it's like cod, fluke, blufin & other tunas ect.
That they no longer get to thier grand sizes of the past as far as that goes.
Thanks all for the replys,
Alan
 

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Scalawag,

There was a huge fishery about 100yrs ago right off the coast of New England from Cape cod north. NMFS web site:

http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/historic/nmfs/

Shows some amazing pics of the inshore halibut fleet handlining 100+lb halibut from dories out of glouster harbor.

Every now and then some halibut are put up for auction in portland maine. I have seen a few there in the 20-80lb range.

I was fishing on a partyboat out of Hampton NH one day and the capt tried to catch one. we moved off to 300+' water and some of the regulars hooked a small cod or haddock and left it on the bottom. One came up with bite marks resembeling what a bass would do when mouthing a bunker. He said a halibut grabbed it and let go.

As far as trying for them you should probably head to Novia Scotia or Newfoundland which appears to be the last holdout for the species.

Capt. Marc
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the reply Capt. Marc, i sometimes wonder if noone is targeting them anymore but a few are caught , maybe they made a comeback around the N'east & we dont even know.
I'll check those photo's youn suggested also, Alan
 

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I believe that my brother caught a Halibut once at Coxes Ledge. We were cod fishing in July and he pulled up what looked like a fluke ? but it definitely wasn?t a fluke. If it was a Halibut, it was a juvenile about 1.5lbs and 12 ? 14? long. It was narrower than a fluke ? noticeable so and it had a mouth with teeth like a fluke. The skin was a bit slimy and squirmed more than a fluke would ? similar to a cartilage type fish. It definitely wasn?t a Flounder, Soul, Dab etc? and I looked up the fish and found nothing other than a Halibut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
lobsretD, thanks for the link, on that search page
there is a company that " farms" these halibut, also blufin tuna & more. I emailed them for prices.
Co.'s called: stolt sea farms
Think from scandinavia
alan
 

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Halibut

I just learned today that the collapse of the Halibut fishery happend in 1930. This was the begining of the Rosefish fishey.

http://www.nos.noaa.gov/nosgallery/fishing6/pages/rosefish_jpg.html

Rosefish were caught buy setting nets with a small opening 2-3" in very deep water where the baby halibut live. Halibut was a huge bycatch tossed overboard dead back then. It takes a Halibut 15yrs to reach a breeding age. The fishery was wiped out because of this. There is no plans to rebuild the fishery and the last holdout is Canada. Their laws permit them to keep juvenal Halibut (quota based on lbs, no size restriction).

Capt. Marc
 

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No Clue

Yo No Clue!

Your right on the mark concerning AK.
Was there aslo last summer, Homer,AK
stayed at the Homer float plane lodge, great people, My four were 60lbers, wifes were about the same. Someone else at the lodge nailed a 210lber.
Bit off topic but also had a blast with king salmon on a flyrod.
 

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Hate to rattle yours cages but the halibut fishery is alive and doing very well.Happen to see a fresh halbut for sale sign two days ago.Don't ask where or how, that why its doing very well.Up to 150 pounders taken every year.
 

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Halibut in New England

Hey Guys,

Capt.Greg from the Yankee Capts here. We do catch Halibut out of Gloucester, Ma on my overnight trips every year. Over the past 10 seasons we average 4 a year. Not bad considering we only fish June, July and August for cod and haddock. Last season the biggest one was a 98 pounder. I have seen them from 20 pounds to 288 pounds on the Yankee Capts. Any questions give me a shout.

Capt. Greg Mercurio

www.yankeecapts.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thanks for the comeback Capt.

Glad to hear that some fish are still being caught out of Mass. I hope the fishery improves, as to the other poster who stated halibut's doing well because he spotted some in the market, those are imported fish most likely, there used to be much more of a fishery here in the northeast @ once upon a time, alan
 

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Haalibut

Hi,

A long long time ago, before halibut were popular in the markets, codfishermen handlining in dories would catch them and hang them over the side because they scared and ate the cod they were trying to catch. They were considered a nusance. I read this somewhere and will try and quote it later.

Capt. Marc
 

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Halibut

I am from MA and I am nearly 50 yrs old. I do remember Halibut being "on sale" when I was probably in my early teens but not sence then. The only Halibut I ever saw was while SCUBA diving of off Brant Rock area (Marshfield, Ma. We were in 45 feet of water and just off of a jetty (200 yds.). The fish was approx. 5 feet long and 4 feet wide. Other than that time was the last time I've seen halibut either in nature or the supermarket.
 

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deadeye1,

Yes they are still caught but no where near what it was before. a few fish a year doesn't make a fishery. There is something being tried in northern Maine, but that's about it except for an occasional fish a dragger brings up or some lucky sole on a partyboat or long range boat catches.

Capt. Marc
 
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