Home
Regions
Washington
Oregon
British Columbia
Alaska
Great Lakes

Education

2010 Salmon University Seminar

Faculty
Online lessons
Classroom courses
SU Seminar Pictures

Bumper Knot Illustration

Steelhead University


Salmon U Trips

2010 Queen Charlotte Islands with Oak Bay Info

2010 Nushagak Trip Info

2009 Queen Charlotte Islands with Oak Bay (Article)

2008 Queen Charlotte Islands with Oak Bay (Article)

2009 Nushagak River (Article)

Photo Page

Recipes

Smoked Salmon Recipe #1
Smoked Salmon Recipe #2
NorthWest Salmon Candy

Canned Salmon

Halibut with Leek

Shrimp Recipes

Crab Recipes

Charlie's Pickled Salmon

Gary Larsons Smoked Salmon Brine

Updates

Handy Blackmouth Tips
Saltwater Chum Fishing
Chinook - Timing is Everything
Welcome to Pinkatropolis
Washington Coast Halibut
Shrimping 101
Boating Halibut
Heavy Metal Halibut
2009 Clam Season
Downrigger Tips
Six Tricks for Fall Coho
Buzz Bombing Techniques
New! How to fillet halibut
Rudnick's Halibut Fishing
How to rig cutplug herring
How to smoke salmon
Smoked salmon recipe #1
Ilwaco & the ocean
Barkley Sound, BC
Deep trolling for Chinook
How to brine herring
How to fillet salmon
Reel Maintenance

New Salmon Scenter™
Fishing reports
Win FREE tackle!!


 

 

The Halibut Seeker: MV Salmon Seeker head guide Scott Beckett on one of the world's best hali fisheries.

Despite its name, the MV Salmon Seeker-Oak Bay Marine Group's floating lodge in the western Queen Charlotte Islands, BC-is home to some of the best halibut fishing anywhere in the world. Here's the what, where and why from Scott Becket, the resort's head guide.

Location

The Seeker's pre-eminence as a halibut spot is largely due to its location. "When you look up the top halibut fishing destinations, we're pretty much number one," says Scott. "You've got some big fish coming out of Alaska but the Seeker's location in Kano Inlet plus the knowledge of the guides put it ahead of pretty much anywhere."

The ship's remoteness is one of the most important aspects of its location. Because the Salmon Seeker is the only resort in the area there is very little pressure on the local halibut population. "We're the only ones out there fishing that stock, and that's really obvious when you look at how many fish our guests bring in," he says. "Hali are there consistently and in good numbers all year long."

Technique

There are three ways to fish for halibut: jigging, trolling and bottom fishing with bait. Each has its own advantages, and each guide has his preferred methods. "I find that bottom fishing with bait is the most successful," says Scott, "especially for guests looking for big halibut. We use salmon bellies, or salmon heads for bigger halibut. Oily bait like salmon and herring leaves a much bigger scent trail, and really attracts the halis."

For smaller halibut (also known as chickens, weighing 10 to 30 lbs.) trolling with herring, spoons or plugs is often preferred. Jigging, on the other hand, can be a lot of work and has the downside of snaring more by-catch.

Modern gear is a big part of halibut fishing and the Salmon Seeker is well kitted-out for hali hunters. "The gear we use is quite good," says Scott. "We use 6' Rhino rods and Shimano TLD 20 reels. We also use braided line which makes a huge difference. Dacron line put up too much drag, but the Spectra braid line that we now use is ideal for getting down deep."

Research

Despite the abundance of halibut around Kano Inlet, Scott and his guides are constantly researching new hali holes. "Take a well-known area like Freeman Rock," says Scott. "Freeman is a popular hali fishing area but it's also quite big; we're always finding new hali holes within it."

"Throughout the year we take a look at the contour lines on the charts and sound around any areas that look promising, doing a bit of test fishing as we go."

Modern technology has made a big impact on research, he says. "If we find a good spot we just log it on our GPS's chart plotter and can come back anytime." As for what he's looking for, Scott says there are two main types of halibut grounds to watch out for.

"For chicken hali we're looking for deeper water with a flat, sandy bottom. These are the safe areas preferred by younger halibut, where they can feed and hide in the sand if needed. These can be anywhere from 100' to over 400' down."

Big halibut live in a different terrain. "Older halibut spend time in reefs and underwater plateaus, anywhere from 130' to 250' deep. They'll usually hide behind outcroppings on the downward side of the current where they can catch the scent of the octopus, rockfish, herring or salmon that they're hunting."

The Future

"Halibut fishing has become a lot more popular lately," says Scott. "GPSs have made it much easier to mark hali holes, so when we go offshore we're much more successful." The internet has also played a big role. "You can go on the internet and get a tonne of information that wasn't available before."

The west coast Queen Charlottes halibut fishery is thriving. Not only do you get some of the best action anywhere, you also get to spend time in one of the most beautiful areas on earth.

For those considering a trip out to the west coast, Scott's parting words couldn't be simpler: "you'll love it."

Scott Beckett is the head guide at the MV Salmon Seeker in the Queen Charlotte Islands. He's been fishing since he was three years old and is about to start his 24th year as a professional guide. If you'd like to fish with the talented guides out on the west coast this summer visit www.mvsalmonseeker.com or call 1-800-663-7090 to check availability.