The Pacific Halibut is one of the largest game fish caught in the North Pacific. As larvae, these juveniles start out their lives in the depths of the continental shelf off the Pacific, then move to shallower waters of the shelf after drifting with the currents for the first 6 months of their lives. At this stage an amazing transformation occurs as the left eye rotates to the right side of the head, skin pigment is lost from the left side of the body and the Halibut settles onto the gravelly bottom of the ocean. With its mottled gray-brown skin as camouflage and both eyes facing up, the halibut is perfectly suited to life as a predator on the ocean floor. Halibut feed on crab,clams octopus, squid, and other fish as it quickly grows to maturity. Females mature at approximately 12 years and males 8 years.
Each summer, halibut migrate from the depths of the continental shelf to Vancouver Island’s reefs and gravel bottoms which are rich in baitfish. Its during the spring and summer that anglers have the thrill of catching one of these flaties.
Average size of a mature halibut is 30-40lb, but many halibut over 100lb are landed every year. The largest sport caught Pacific Halibut is 459lb, so be prepared to handle these monsters.
There are several productive Halibut grounds around Port Renfrew and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, so come on out and see if you can wrestle one of these monsters off the bottom!