Halibut Fishing Hot Spot – Chatham Strait

One of the things I hope to do from time to time is share information on where to catch fish. In the forty years that I have fished for salmon, halibut and rock bass all over SE Alaska my charts have become well-marked with my favorite spots. Everyone will say you have to consider the stage of the summer runs, tides, or a multitude of other conditions. If you want to catch halibut, one consideration the locals us is to seek out a bay with a good “humpy” or pink salmon stream then find the right spot where the halibut can prey on the salmon. You hear all types of reasons for getting skunked or having a bad day. The one I love is having bananas on board your boat. This is a pretty strong and widely believed superstition, believe it or not. I’ve had my own experience, but that’s another story.

There are lots of places along Chatham Strait from Red Bluff Bay to Icy Strait to find halibut. One of my favorite is the mouth of Tenakee Inlet. Under calm conditions just outside East Point on the north side in 160-200 feet of water can be great. If the wind kicks up from the south, you can move around to the inside of the point and fish the 100-foot plus ledge on the north side off where an old logging road drops over the hill. You can also cross over to the south side. I’ve limited out at these spots and even hooked some barn door sized fish.  All of these spots can be drifted or you can put a hook down under the right conditions. Depths can be highly variable so criss-cross the area a few times to get the lay of the bottom and estimate where you may end up after anchoring.


About Fred Cooper

Alaska resident at the time of statehood; retired professional civil engineer and for 35 years owner of an engineering company; firmer owner and skipper of the Nordic Quest; author, avid fisherman and world traveler. Lives with his wife and their water-loving standard schnauzer in Portland, Oregon.
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