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Channel Islands Halibut

May 2, 2012
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Huge halibut like this 58-pounder produced hot action off Santa Rosa Island last year. Courtesy Ventura Sportfishing
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Alan Kikuchi
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Calamari Lovers

Squid fished on one of several different rigs account for most halibut catches near the Channel Islands. Jim Hendricks
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The Rigs

There are two effective rigs for drift-fishing, says Cavanaugh. One is the traditional reverse dropper loop, with a torpedo sinker on an 18-inch leader above a 28- to 30-inch leader for the hook. However, reversing the hook and weight in this setup (as shown here) has proven even more effective when drift-fishing for halibut, he says. “It sounds counterintuitive, but it works.”
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Consistently Large

Most of the halibut caught in the Channel Islands squid grounds last season were over 25 pounds. Courtesy Channel Islands Sportfishing
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Jig It

Live or fresh-dead squid pinned to a jig head are cast far from the boat and then hopped along the bottom. Bites occur as the squid drop after being hopped. Jim Hendricks
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