What's YOUR go-to rig for sport boat halibut?

Michael L.

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Aug 25, 2019
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Michael Leon
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Hobie Outback
When the yellows don't want to cooperate at the islands, a lot of captains will kill a couple hours with shallow halibut drifts. I've asked many deckhands and old timers what their go-to rig is for this, and I've heard a lot of different answers. Popular ones are reverse dropper loop(RDR), RDR with trap rig, 3-way swivel rig, carolina rig, sliding egg sinker rig, I've even seen a guy drop-shotting a live sardine(??). I've heard you don't need a trap rig, and others have told me a trap treble hook is imperative. There's 'dines, live squid, and mackerel in the tank, which one are you grabbing? I want to see what YOUR go-to rig is and why you feel its better than the others in this situation.
 
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jimm

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Jim
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Dropper loop!

Remember, halibut chase bait up off the bottom all the time. I have seen them boil before! No trap rig needed as a legal fish sucks the bait right down. Match the hatch as far as your bait choice although if you are fishing mackerel, you are targeting the big ones.
 
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Michael L.
Michael L.
How high up above the sinker do you like to run your loop? And a nice long loop, or a shorter one? My best halibut came on a long loop 5 feet up from the bottom targeting yellows, but I do not catch them consistently.
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gettingbentwithbo

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16' Starcraft SF SS
I like a reverse dropper loop, with a live bait.
 
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swami 805

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Mar 9, 2016
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sunk it
Reverse dropper loop ,live bait. Plenty of weight to keep it on the bottom
If that’s too boring casting a swim bait up drift and bouncing the bottom back to to boat.
ideally both at the same time
 
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bdogie1

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  • May 27, 2015
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    getsome
    All the one's I caught came off 1oz to 3oz egg sinker with squid or sardine and Mac
     
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    Jeff Hannah

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    Sep 9, 2016
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    Jeff
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    Play the Red
    Fish finder rig ...snap swivel to bead to swivel to 18”-30” 30lb izorline leader and an 1/0-2/0 gamugatsu octopus hook works on the boat and in the bay for halibut all day with live bait if shallow 2-20’ 1-4 oz weight 20’-80’ use 6 to 12 oz depending on drift/current
     
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    skrilla

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    May 26, 2006
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    Len
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    Camo Whammo
    My biggest have come from platics and metal jigs.

    For bait I like the reverse dropper loop via Spider Hitch. Octopus nose hook held in place via Carolina keeper. It still allows the hook to slide so you can adjust for bait size minus the problems with a snell knot. Typical flyliner hook for a stinger.
     
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    Carl

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    everyone elses
    If you're targeting junk fish and shorts use a stinger hook.
    If you enjoy digging hooks out of gills and throats of same use a treble.

    Whatever setup you can re tie quickly that keeps a bait along the bottom will work.

    You ain't getting bit while you are tying up an elaborate set up with lots of knots etc.

    The rig I generally use is functionally the same as a 3way swivel set up. I tie a Spider Hitch that replaces the 3 way swivel.
    I can tie a SH in less time than it takes to find a swivel in the tacke box.
    I get perverse pleasure from hooking a good one while my buddy is re tieng.🙂

    In less snaggy and generally shallower areas I also use the Carolina rig.
     
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