Catching Halibut on Fish Bites

Ketchikan Fishing

So it began, a whole new frontier opened up before my eyes. The day I started using Fishbites squid chunks in Alaska to catch massive halibut. Nobody believed me when I started using what looked to be some bubble gum like material to catch trophy halibut in Alaska. The only way to make people believers was to show them firsthand how effective the scented triangular chunks worked.

To my knowledge, Fishbites was a foreign bait choice in the Alaska fishery, especially for catching big halibut. So the entire experience was going to be new to me and anyone on my boat who tried it. I’ve used Fishbites religiously in the Florida surf to catch pompano, whiting, black drum and many other species, so I knew how effective it may be for this fishery. Little did I know how well it would perform alongside the more traditional Alaska halibut fishing baits such as herring, cod, squid and salmon.

Halibut feed is similar to other fish species in terms of their sense of smell to detect food. What better way to attract these giant bottom dwellers than to give Fishbites squid chunks a go. The majority of halibut fishing rigs use glow in the dark plastic squids called hoochies placed above the hook. This aids the halibut to find the bait in the deep dark waters off the Alaska coast. Pairing these glow-in-the-dark halibut rigs with your bait of choice is one of the most common methods throughout the region.

Halibut fishing in Ketchikan using Fish Bites Squid Chunks and glow jigs.

Halibut Fishing Alaska: Artificial and Synthetic Baits

While completely artificial methods of catching halibut do exist, they’re not as common. Due to the dark waters where halibut live and their heightened sense of smell. This makes it all the more important to have something with a strong scent profile to entice any halibut in the area to make their way towards the scent and ultimately your halibut rig.

Now with a little background into the halibut fishing world, there’s nothing left to do but to swap out the traditional halibut baits. For example,  go synthetic with Fishbites squid chunks. So, the first day of halibut fishing with nothing but my halibut rig, a glow-in-the-dark squid and a chunk of squid Fishbites on my circle hook. Subsequently, seeing how effective they worked on the east coast fishery gave me high hopes.

Ketchikan halibut fishing tours use synthetic squid baits in combination with real bait. Rigged on one of our top halibut fishing rigs.

Ketchikan Halibut Fishing Charter Using Fishbites

The first day I fished the Fishbites squid chunks was out of Ketchikan, Alaska where I spend each summer charter fishing. June of 2020, I had a group of repeat clients that were from Washington where they also fish for halibut, albeit much smaller ones, and they’ve also fished with me in Alaska multiple times for halibut. Needless to say, these are veteran halibut fishing anglers that are well adept to the nuances of catching halibut. To their dismay, they couldn’t wrap their heads around the bait of choice I brought out that day. 

I remember the chuckles and banter going on between the group as I attempted to convince them how successful the Fishbites were when fishing the surf in Florida. All in all I thought here goes nothing, they may laugh me off the boat if it fails. Conversely, I can triumph in success with an, “I told you so attitude.”

Alaska Halibut fishing jig tipped with Fish Bites Squid Chunks. This proved to be a deadly combination over the experimental phase of trying these new baits.

Fishbites Squid Chunks Catching Big Halibut

So off we went with this experimental phase of using Fishbites squid chunks in search of catching giant Pacific halibut. Using the squid chunks isolated on one rig, while tipping the one halibut rig with herring chunks. Lastly, two rigs without any Fishbites at all and only herring. The data came in quick and concise as the day played out.

Following the dropdown into halibut feeding territory the halibut rig with Fishbites and a chunk of herring hooks up. The next fish came on the Fishbites standalone by itself as the only scented attraction on the rig; then the herring chunk by itself caught next. The bite begins to fire off with multiple halibut hooking up at once. Additionally, the halibut rigs with Fishbites used standalone or in combination with herring are catching exponentially more halibut. 

All of a sudden the doubtful halibut clients were now demanding I employ Fishbites on their rigs to keep pace with the others who were catching them twice as fast. By day’s end we summarized the efficacy of the synthetic bait and made everyone on board a true believer. Similar to what I’ve seen surf fishing in Florida. Resulting in more fish using Fishbites squid chunks by itself and in combination with traditional baits. By isolating the variables and seeing the results it became evidently clear we were on to something.

Ketchikan family halibut fishing trips make for a great family experience!

Ketchikan, Alaska Halibut Fishing Charters

From that point on it was off to the races using Fishbites. Another tool in my repertoire for halibut fishing charters in Ketchikan, Alaska. We continued to expand the boundaries of what was possible with the new discovery. Using Fishbites squid chunks to catch halibut, lingcod, rockfish and even salmon! I even took other fellow captains out to show them off. Making skeptics into believers on the effectiveness of the product. So check out the website or give me a call to book your Alaskan fishing adventure. Ketchikan’s Finest Fishing Charters runs halibut and salmon fishing trips out of Ketchikan, Alaska, from May through September. 

As you can see, halibut are perfectly built as a bottom dweller to smell out and ambush baits.