Newport Harbor and Jetty Halibut Report

Discussion in 'Southern California Inshore & Islands Fish Reports' started by Stewski346, Feb 1, 2011.

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  1. Stewski346

    Well thanks to all who gave great advice on my Smelt thread. I launched at 630am yesterday and made a tone of smelt at a balboa fishing dock. Used umbrella net and sabiki. That umbrella net worked but its cheap and the arms popped out twice as I was pulling it up. The sabiki produced some 5-6" which in hind site would have made a great dinner if I could catch 20 or 30! more on that another day.

    Paddled out to the jetties and drifted each side (inside) just off the rocks as the tide was outgoing. Good movement. My setup was a #4-#6 owner baithook (depending on bait size) on 3' of 12# floro and a 1/4 oz slide sinker on the main line. Had one good run on a 5" smelt but no hook up. I grew up fishing the Gulf Coast and this is exactly how we fish flounder except I use a circle hook and finger mullet. Anyways, 2.5 hours of that and NADA!

    Headed back into the harbor and picked up a 17" halibut and some bass and called it a day at Noon. Relaxing day but I think I will paddle out between the jetties and the Balboa Pier next time and bounce bottom. I've been told by 2 sources this is a good flatty area. Confirmation?
    Any Halibut help would be great. Oh, and I don't mind paddling to find them.
  2. MeCrankMate

    Shouldn't have to paddle too far... the whole harbor is loaded with them. The area you spoke of between the pier and the Wedge is a really good stretch for more than just flatties... lots of bass and sculpin to be had as well. Just be sure that you check conditions before taking a yak out there... there is a major channel that runs through that area and it gets shallow quick near shore. This causes major chop and swell... one of the reasons the Wedge is what it is. Some days it's glass, others not so much. Try south towards Laguna as well, between Little Corona and Crystal Cove. I'm not sure if MLPA has taken effect yet (I live in Boise, ID now) but if you can still fish there you can bounce bottom there and fly line the kelp for nice sportcoats. Good Luck.
  3. fisherman from

    keep it'll get them
  4. farhangs

    On the cheap umbrella net, wrap the little eyelets in the corners of the mesh net part around the little hooks, instead of just hanging them off. That should keep them from coming off when you drop or pull.
  5. fishnbob

    Great job on using both methods for your bait. I prefer the bigger smelt for halibut bait. In HB harbor a 5in smelt produced a 32" halibut for me,my personal best halibut so far. Another good spot for halibut inside NB harbor is an outcropping of rocks that are just before the bait dock on your left when heading towards the exit of the harbor called Pirate's Cove.
  6. Balboa29

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  7. Stewski346

    John- Or should I say Halibut whisperer. Thanks for all your posts. I have learned a lot in a small amount of time. My only worry about the 12# floro is that a good size Hali will bite right through it. Thoughts? Also, when fishing between the jetty and pier, how far off the beach should I be. And is outgoing or incoming tide better?
  8. tsurikichi

    Hi Stewski346,

    I don't fish meat .... live or dead :) but ....... my Baytuber buddy makes a mean trap (Smelt) rig specifically to target Halibut with Smelt. The fishy not the red-headed skipper !! :)

    It consists of an octopus hook on the top end (through nose) and a treble hook at the bottom end of the 6 inch length of ?-strand wire !! Awesome rig !! Looks pretty easy to make with the right tools and if you're a serious Halibut guy.

  9. hooook-up

    X2 on pirates cove ,especially in front of the last 2 houses on the left when leaving the harbor also the small beach before that. i have caught all mine there with halloween, BH w/red or black hammerhead & unibutter. lots of small flounder there too,fun on light set-up. Good luck!
  10. HNTR4LF

    It consists of an octopus hook on the top end (through nose) and a treble hook at the bottom end of the 6 inch length of ?-strand wire !! Awesome rig !! Looks pretty easy to make with the right tools and if you're a serious Halibut guy.


    This is they way to get them! Halibut will "Mouth" their bait and will not consume it right away while "running-with it." This set up helps alleviate those missed bites. Rig the treble hook near its anal fin and the single hook through the nose (i like sideways so the fish can still get water over the gills). Good luck!

  11. JoeGoFish

    This has to be one of the best tutorial posts I've seen in some time. Thanks to all for the education. It's never too late to learn new tricks.
  12. SdButtHunter

    Every legal halibut I have caught inhaled the bait, also all my legals were caught on swimbaits, krocks and crankbaits I dont even use live bait anymore due to only catchung undersize halibut with it. Plus live bait for me gets boring and will cause my ADD to kick in and I would get slammed into the rocks and all busted up so I dont take no chances .
    I would like to fish at least another 40 years.
  13. Boatsoda_Ed

    Do you Have A meter on your yak ? check for groups of rocks then work them on the outsides
    jan feb are good months for rock sole and 3 spot flounder
    small hooks small baits CDM inside jetty incoming tide. Know the diff between Hali and other flatfish
    Basically if the lateral line is flat then you have taco meat
    if you see a curve past the gills better measure
    more u catch better ur id will be frodo
  14. Boatsoda_Ed

    Yo Scottie Heyas
    Dude I'm gettin Married in may Will u be around??