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A few answers
Posted by B_M on Apr 10 2006
I commercially fish for halibut in the summers as well, though our regulations are obviously different.  I'd be happy to answer whatever questions I can, though some I may not be any help on.

Hooks:  I haven't noticed that bigger hooks equal bigger fish.  We use larger hooks for halibut than sablefish (black cod), but we still catch big halibut on the smaller sablefish hooks.  I have noticed, however, that bigger pieces of bait does at times equal bigger fish.  A big hunk of cod or octopus will catch larger fish more consistently than a little piece of herring.

Bait:  Fresh, definitely.  Old bait doesn't work as well, and old cod doesn't work at all.  The fresher, the better.

Don't use trawls, so I can't help you there.

Moon:  We never pay attention to moon cycles.  The only thing I can think of where this would come into play is with the tides.  Sport-fishermen like smaller tidal ranges so that it's easier to keep their bait on the bottom, but that doesn't affect commercial longliners.  

Water-temp: Again, never paid it any attention.  This can affect when salmon move into the streams to spawn, but I don't think it affects halibut much.  The surface temps will warm some up here, but I don't think the bottom water changes much.  I could be wrong, thoguh...

Feel free to ask anything else.

-Brian

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