Best Ketchikan Alaska Halibut Fishing Rigs

Ketchikan Halibut Fishing Charters: The Basics For Halibut Rigs

The best halibut fishing rigs for targeting halibut depend on what method you’re using while halibut fishing in Alaska. The main focus is to have a halibut fishing rig that fishes the bottom of the sea floor, has glow capabilities and attracts halibut through scent. By covering these three factors you’ll be on your way to halibut fishing success. 

Ketchikan Halibut Fishing Charters get everyone fired up!

Fishing For Halibut In Ketchikan: Halibut Fishing Rig Setup

As mentioned above, the key to catching halibut in Alaska is to target the bottom. The best and most commonly used halibut rig consists of a weighted rig with 12-32 ounces of weight. Attach the weight to a 200lb one to four foot leader consisting of a 8/0-12/0 circle hook with a glow in the dark squid rigged above the hook. This combination used throughout Alaska has proven halibut catches day in and day out. Combining the weighted halibut rig, glow in the dark squid and natural bait such as herring, cod or salmon makes it an irresistible presentation for halibut. 

  • First, fish the bottom with halibut fishing rigs
  • Secondly, use glow in the dark lures on halibut rigs to attract halibut 
  • Scent is a major contributor to successful halibut fishing, so use herring, salmon or cod

Halibut Fishing Rig: Pro Tips

This halibut fishing rig commonly used during our Ketchikan halibut fishing charters makes it an easy approach for anglers of all skill levels. Halibut rigs can work by jigging the weight up and down off the bottom. Furthermore many prefer to drop the rig to the bottom and place the rod in a holder. This strategy relies on the glow and scent because there’s minimal action. The third method would be to drop the halibut rig down and reel it up 4-10 feet off the bottom and once again placed in a rod holder. Such a universal rig makes halibut fishing fun and exciting for anyone new to halibut fishing or with an experienced background. 

  • Bounce the bottom for halibut when using halibut fishing rigs in Alaska
  • Leave your halibut fishing rig on the bottom motionless for halibut targeting less movement
  • Suspend you halibut fishing rig 4-10 feet from the bottom for halibut feeding off the bottom
Ketchikan halibut fishing setup: Glow in the dark squid with circle hook
Ketchikan halibut fishing setup: Glow in the dark squid with circle hook

Ketchikan Halibut Fishing Rig Setup: Jigs

Halibut fishing jigs come in a number of shapes, sizes and weights, and if you’re ready to get jiggy with it then you’ve come to the right place. Jigging for halibut in Alaska isn’t for the faint of heart. For instance working halibut jigs in water depths ranging from 200-500 feet can be quite the chore. It’s a laborious and tiring way of fishing, but boy oh boy, can it be rewarding. 

Halibut Fishing Using Artificial Jigs 

Did I mention you don’t even have to add natural bait! Jigs attract halibut  based on the action in the water column. For instance, mimicking a wounded baitfish. This factor alone makes it all the more fun!  Hence, you’re essentially tricking the halibut into eating. Not based on scent, but  on presentation alone. 

Ketchikan halibut fishing charters use a variety of jigs to achieve this concept. Consequently catching lots of halibut on the artificial jigs. Furthermore, metal jigs are one of my favorite lures to use for halibut. In the same way they’re equally as deadly for catching Pacific cod simultaneously.

Halibut Fishing With Metal Jigs is a great way to catch halibut and cod in Alaska

Halibut Fishing Artificial Jig Summary

  • First jigs in all shapes and sizes are an effective halibut rig for catching halibut in Alaska
  • Secondly jigs can be fished without the presence of bait because the action stimulates the strike
  • Lastly jigging metal jigs can be a great way to catch halibut and Pacific Cod 
Halibut Fishing Jigs With Fishbites produce great halibut fishing in Ketchikan!

Halibut Fishing Rigs Alaska: Swim Baits and Grub Tails

Halibut fishing in Ketchikan has quite the assortment of techniques to offer anglers aboard a halibut charter. For instance the effectiveness of the next halibut fishing rig holds a special place in my heart. In particular weighted grub tails and swim baits for catching halibut in Ketchikan. As if using grub tails or swim baits to fundamentally drum the sea floor. This in turn makes the jig bounce up and down off the bottom. 

First off, the size and weight of the lure will be determined by the depth of water and amount of current. Therefore you want to take note if you can feel the lure contacting the bottom. Furthermore when an angler is unable to feel the bottom because of the depth and/or current it’s best to size up with heavier lead heads.

Halibut Fishing Artificial Lures: Grub Tails, Swim Baits And Synthetic Bait 


  • For starters, grub tails and swimbaits are a deadly combination for halibut fishing in Ketchikan, Alaska. 
  • Next, you’ll jig the grub tail jigs off the bottom repeatedly until a halibut strikes
  • Finally, paddle tails, grub tails and swimbaits can be tipped with natural bait or Fishbites squid
Halibut Fishing Lures: Grub Tails
Halibut Fishing Jigs With Fishbites produce great halibut fishing in Ketchikan

Ketchikan Halibut Fishing: How To Rig Halibut Jigs

Oftentimes grub tails and swimbaits come as two separate units. Therefore they need to be attached before fishing. On one hand you’ll have the weighted jighead, we recommend anywhere from 8-20 ounces. Secondarily the grub tail or swimbait consists of a plastic molded artificial bait. Next, an artificial swimbait will be attached to the jighead. Make sure you’re leaving the shank of the hook exposed. Lastly, while operating Alaska halibut fishing charters, I prefer to tip the bait with Fishbites squid chunks for added scent.  

Alaska Halibut Fishing Rig Summary

Now you know the variety of halibut fishing rigs used for targeting Pacific halibut. As a result, you will be well versed for your Ketchikan halibut fishing charter. Knowing what to expect and how the various methods effectively target halibut. Finally, remember to ask your captain which strategy will be most productive each day.

Prepare to have sore arms when you grab the halibut jigging rods. Indeed the jigging motion may take its toll throughout the day. As the pursuit of your prized halibut ensues. So embrace the chase of Alaska halibut fishing and book your trip for an Alaska halibut fishing adventure in Ketchikan. 

Ketchikan Cruise Ship Fishing Shore Excursions With A Big Halibut