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Halibut size?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
May 9, 2003
How do you tell if a halibut is legal before you shoot it?
The Halibut seem to play nice and lay in the sand for me
to measure but they are under the sand so I can't tell
if they are 20inches or 24 inches. I let a 26incher swim away today because I couldn't measure him well enough.
Bumbed out on burgers when I could be eating that guy.
When someone comes up with the answer to this puzzle, I want to know about it! Since I figure that it will take me at least a year to get good enough for wsb, I'm hoping that haliburgers will begin to show up on the menu somewhat regularly.
Heyyy, good timing. I was wondering that myself since we are going for halibut on Friday in Monterey. Maybe uncle Sven or Fuzz would have a word or two about it.
I think next time I'm going to make measurement lines
in the sand then get ready to shoot and have my buddy
use his spear to move the fish. Might work, but I'm going
to lose more fish than I get. Wish I didn't feel so bad about
shooting short fish.
I put lines on the barrel of my speargun to see if that works, 22" for halibut etc. Just don't get the lines mixed up or you'll end up shooting :duh
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Halibut stay still enough for you to sneak up and measure them????? Now that's cooperative. Has anyone figured out any correlation between the width of their eyes and their length? If you could do that then you wouldn't need to worry about finding the tail under the sand, just say, "Ah hah! 4" eye space=fair game! Let there be lunch!" or whatever the proper distance might be.
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The eye distance thing and size of their teeth is the
only real clues for the ones all the way under the sand.
I guess they think they are hidden so they let me cruise
up and shake hands with them.
Then I propose that someone who isn't currently occupied (I'm getting ready for Africa) go fishing with barbless hooks and catch a couple of halibut. Measure the length and the eye-space (releasing unharmed because of the barbless hooks any shorts) and send the results to me by email. I'll do the analysis (it's only sixth grade math and I teach that) and post a chart or, at least, figure out the minimum so we can mark spears, guns. gloves, etc. Seems easy enough to do.
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I wish it were that easy to catch them with hook and line,
but you've got me thinking about underwater hook and line
fishing? Seems like it would be fun to sit on the bottom and
cast the line. I have not been in the water all day so I think I
will give it a try today and measure the eye distance if I catch
any. I think I may stop by the sport fishing boats and see
if they have any I could measure.

Sarge- What are you going to shoot in Africa?
rofl Underwater rod and line fishing!! rofl

We need pics of this
I have been wondering about whether people were spearing halibut. I have heard fishermen say they are incredible fighters on the line, and wondered if this causes much trouble for a spearo? And what size would be too large to even attempt?

How deep are you finding Halibut? I have heard fishermen say they catch them as shallow as 25m.


I find them most often at about 10m in fine sand at high tide,
next to reefs. They don't like to be speared any more than the next fish and they are larger.
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Keep in mind that down here in the south we are catching a different species than you guys. I don't know anyone with the cojones to try for one of those northern monsters with a gun. That would be as bad as big tuna and a lot deeper. I can't find any record of a California halibut going much over 75 lbs. Still, it will definitely make a diver's life easier if he can stone the big flattie.
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Geez, 3-10m... wow! Ya I suppose that is a different species, I will have to look that up. It sounds more like flounder/sole. We find those in such depths sometimes, but the largest I have seen is probably 16-18".

The halibut here that fishermen catch seem to range between 25-200lbs. So maybe the smaller ones reside shallower and I can consider them.

I am going out with a fisherman this weekend, so I will try to dive around some reefs and see if there are any shallower halibut. Let you guys know the result. I wonder if I will be able to spot them, with their camouflage and my inexperience at spotting them.

Cheers and thanks for the response.
alright Sarge,

I resemble that remark. What do you mean northern monsters?
I could only find one fish today and when I put the
tape measure over his eyes he swam away(very rude).
about 1 3/8in between them and he was about 18 1/2in.
So I figure about 7.5% of the length. I just need to remember
my waterproof calculator or figure anything 1 5/8 or wider should be ok:)
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