The pacific halibut is the worlds largest flatfish. At birth, the halibut has an eye on each side of their head and they swim similar to a salmon. After 6 months, one eye migrates to the other side making them look more like a flounder. When this happens, an act called countershading happens and the top side of the halibut will turn a mottled dark brown while the underside remains white. This colour scheme is so the fish is disguised with the ocean floor from above and with the sky light from below.
Pacific halibut are diamond in shape and are more elongated than most flatfish. Their dorsal fin runs from right behind their eyes to the base of their tails. Halibut look very smooth to the human eye which is due to their scales being very small and embedded in the body. Female halibut run much larger than males and can weigh up to 600lbs, however on average, halibut will range between 20 and 50lbs.
The halibut off the west coast are a combination of both migratory and resident fish. The majority of halibut taken in by anglers are generally around 30lbs but there are opportunities to catch fish over 80lbs. These fish spend most of their life on the bottom of the sea floor eating most anything that crosses their path (including other halibut) and sit at the top of their food chain. Halibut are a strong and powerful fish and once hooked, their only goal is to get back to the bottom of the ocean, so prepare for a fight.
Halibut fishing season generally runs from May to September.
Halibut trips start at $1000 per 8 hour day-trip for 3 people. Overnight trips are an extra $250 with included meals. Additional group members are extra.