What Is The Best Month For Halibut Fishing In California?

As an avid saltwater fisherman located here in the San Francisco Bay Area I have always wondered when is the best time to catch halibut throughout California. So I called the experts, the fishing charters and tackle shops throughout California to find out. 

The best month to fish for Halibut in California is July although California halibut can be caught year round depending what part of the state you are fishing.

In this article I have broken down the California coast line into sections all the way from Crescent City down to San Diego. This information is based on what the local experts have told me from their section of coast line.

Fort BraggBodega BayTamales BaySF BAYSanta CruzMonterey BayLASan DiegoCoast LineCrescent City
May – JulyJuly – AugJuly – AugMarch – AugMay – OctComing soonJan – MayJan – AprilMay – AugComing soon

The Best Months To Catch Halibut In Fort Bragg California

Based on the information that I’ve received from Noyou Fishing Center in Fort Bragg. The best months to fish for halibut in Fort Bragg are late May into July. You will have your best luck from fishing late spring and early summer.

Fort Bragg is a unique halibut fishery where you can catch both California halibut and have the possibility to catch a nice pacific halibut.

Where To Catch Halibut In Fort Bragg

Although Fort Bragg doesn’t offer good shore fishing for halibut, it does offer good boat fishing. Your best luck to catch California Halibut in Fort Bragg would be to fish 10 mile beach. While fishing 10 mile beach find the sandy areas in about 40ft to 50ft of water.

Where To Catch Pacific Halibut In Fort Bragg

If you are looking to catch a pacific halibut in Fort Bragg then head out to Casper high spot or Shelter Cove. Here you will drift the deep bottoms at about 200ft. These fish like the cold deep water.

Find a nice muddy bottom and drop down your line. The method used here is drift fishing.

Recommended Bait and Tackle For Halibut Fishing in Fort Bragg

The recommended bait for catching halibut in Fort Bragg is Salmon Belly but you can also use squid and tray baits like anchovies and herring. The recommended tactic when fishing baits is to drift fish the sandy bottoms.

The Recommended Tackle for fishing halibut in Fort Bragg is The Killer Jig by Pitbull Tackle. Throw this Jig on and slowly Jig the sandy or muddy bottoms for best luck.

Noyo Fishing Center In Fort Bragg

If you are wanting to catch halibut around Fort Bragg but don’t know where to start give Noyo Fishing Center a call. The people at Noyo Fishing Center are very helpful and can provide you with all the right tackle and best locations to start your fishing adventures. You can contact them at:

The Best Months To Catch Halibut In Bodega Bay California

Based off the information given to me by Rick Powers from the Bodega Bay Sport Fishing Center. The best months to fish for halibut in Bodega Bay are July through August and sometimes into September.

July is typically when the waters start to warm up enough to turn on the halibut bite. So if you’re looking to catch halibut in Bodega bay then mid summer is your best bet.

Where To Catch Halibut In Bodega Bay

You can catch halibut in Bodega bay at pretty much any sandy beach although shore fishing for halibut isn’t really a thing in Bodega bay, it is best to fish from a boat. You can catch California halibut from the Russian river, to north salmon creek beach and all the way up to 10 mile beach.

Recommended Bait and Tackle For Halibut Fishing in Bodega bay

The recommended bait and tackle based on the information provided by Rick Powers from Bodega Bay Sport Fishing Center is live smelt and shiners when you can get them, but if not then trolling herring and frozen tray baits would be your best bet.

Bodega Bay Sport Fishing Center in Bodega Bay

If you would like to catch halibut in the Bodega Bay Area then Rick Powers from Bodega Bay Sport Fishing Center is your guy. Rick Powers is an expert in his fishery and will get you on the fish. If you’re interested in booking with him you can contact him at:

The Best Months To Catch Halibut In The San Francisco Bay Area California

According to the information given to me from Bay Tackle in El Cerrito and based on my own personal experience of fishing for Halibut in the Bay Area. The best month to fish for California halibut in the San Francisco Bay Area is June although the halibut fishing can be great from March all the way into August. The San Francisco Bay Area offers some of the best halibut fishing in California. With the many months you can catch halibut here if you put in the time you are sure to catch them.

Where To Catch Halibut In The San Francisco Bay Area

Halibut fishing in the San Francisco bay area has been excellent the last few years. Each year it seems to get better and better. I have summarized below where to catch halibut in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you would like an in-depth article on where to catch halibut in the San Francisco Bay Area you can read that here: Where can I Fish For Halibut In The San Francisco Bay Area

Fishing From Land

When fishing from land for Halibut your best bet is to head over to the Alameda rock wall. While fishing at the Alameda Rockwall try to cover as much ground as possible. Start at the beginning,  start casting and cover as much water as possible. Once you’ve covered that area, take a few steps down the rock wall and cover that body of water. Repeat this method until you have covered the whole Rockwall. This is your best bet for catching halibut at the Alameda Rockwall.

The Alameda Rockwall is not the only area you can catch halibut in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can also head over to Paradise Pier,  Oyster Point pier, the piers around San Francisco and even some of the muddy Flats around Richmond and San Rafael. 

Fishing From A Boat

If you are trolling for halibut from a boat your best bet is to stay in the calmer areas of the San Francisco Bay such as Oyster Point, Alameda Rockwall area, Paradise Pier area and around Angel Island.

If you are drifting live bait from a boat your best bet is to drift the Berkeley Flats. This is not the only place that you can catch halibut drifting live bait though. You can also catch halibut at Oyster Point, Alameda Rockwall, around Emeryville, Alcatraz Island, Paradise area and around the San Pablo Bay near Point Pinole or outside of China Camp. 

Recommended Bait and Tackle For Halibut Fishing In The San Francisco Bay Area

If fishing from Land the recommended tackle for catching halibut are lures. Use soft plastic baits such as Berkeley swim mullets, or other swim baits such as keitech lures. You can also cast Lucky Craft lures. These lures are commonly used on a drop shot rig or with jig heads. 

If you are fishing from a boat for halibut the best baits to use are live anchovies or herring. You can get live bait at Pier 45 from J & P baits or catch it yourself with a Sabiki rig or cast net. When you are unable to get live bait you can use frozen Trey bait such as Herring or anchovies. 

Bay Tackle In El Cerrito California

If you would like to find out more information on catching halibut in the San Francisco Bay Area head over to Bay tackle in El Cerrito. This great group of guys are very helpful and will get you set up with all the tackle you will need to have a successful halibut fishing trip. You can reach Bay Tackle at:

The Best Months To Catch Halibut In Santa Cruz California

Santa Cruz California offers great halibut fishing with beautiful views and huge halibut. If you are wanting to catch halibut in the Santa Cruz area the best month to do so is July. Although you can catch halibut from May to October according to Bay Side Marine in Santa Cruz California. 

Where To Catch Halibut In Santa Cruz California

If you want to fish the surf for halibut in the Santa Cruz area the best places to start would be at the Santa Cruz Pier or New Brighton State Beach. On the other hand if you are fishing for halibut from a boat in the Santa Cruz area then your best bet would be to find the Sandy areas and follow the squid. If you find the squid, you’ll find the halibut. You can find squid right outside of the Santa Cruz Harbor and around the Santa Cruz coastline.

Recommended Bait and Tackle For Halibut Fishing In The Santa Cruz Area

Based on the information given to me by Bayside Marine the best lures to use would be Lucky Craft 110 in Metallic Sardine, a Calissa 110 Sardine Glow, or white swim bait, If you are fishing from the surf. If you are out fishing from a boat then the best baits to use are squid and anchovies.

Bayside Marine In Santa Cruz California

All this information about catching halibut in the Santa Cruz area was given to me by Bayside Marine in Santa Cruz California. They are very friendly and very helpful. If you are looking to catch halibut in the Santa Cruz area I highly recommend checking out Bayside Marine for tackle and halibut information. You can contact Bayside Marine at:

The Best Months To Catch Halibut In Los Angeles California

Based on the information given to me by Martin’s Fish and Tackle in Los Angeles. If you are visiting or reside in the Los Angeles area and you want to catch halibut. The best month to do so would be February. Although you can catch halibut in the Los Angeles area from January to early May. 

Where To Catch Halibut In Los Angeles California

If you want to catch halibut From Shore in the Los Angeles area. Your best bet would be to fish the Malibu area and Long Beach. If you’re fishing from a boat on the coastline in the Los Angeles area. Find a Sandy area between 30 and 60ft of water. You can find the Sandy areas all along the coastline in Los Angeles. 

Recommended Bait and Tackle For Halibut Fishing In The Los Angeles Area

If you are fishing on the land from the beach. The best tackle to use would be light tackle and Lucky Craft lures. This seems to be the most popular option for people fishing the surf for halibut in the Los Angeles area. If you are planning to fish the coastline in the Los Angeles area via a boat. Then the best bait to use would be sardines and anchovies. 

Martins Bait and Tackle In Los Angeles California

All the information about fishing for halibut in the Los Angeles area was given to me by the very friendly people down at Martin’s Bait and Tackle. If you want to catch halibut in the Los Angeles area and want more information or the correct fishing set up visit Martin’s Bait and Tackle. you can reach them at:

The Best Months To Catch Halibut In San Diego California

Based on the information given to me by Squidco down in San Diego. If you are in the San Diego area and want to catch halibut the best month to do so is February but you can also catch halibut anytime from January to early May. 

Where To Catch Halibut In San Diego California

When you plan to fish from land for halibut in the San Diego area, find flat Sandy areas. If you don’t know where to start, you can start at Mission Bay. If you are planning to fish from a boat in the San Diego area you will still do the same thing by finding flat Sandy areas. Look for structure if possible and fish around that structure but do not fish no more than 100 feet deep. 

Recommended Bait and Tackle For Halibut Fishing In The San Diego Area

The most popular tackle for fishing halibut from Shore is to use the Cherry Berry color Lucky Craft lure. Also any white pearly color works great in this area as well. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to use soft swimbaits in a white pearly color or chartreuse color

If you are fishing from a boat that is a different story. When fishing from a boat the best bait to use would be squid and sometimes sardines & anchovies when you can find them. You can purchase live bait at the bait barge in San Diego Bay. you will set this live bait up on a live bait rig and drift fish the sandy bottoms. 

Squidco Fishing In San Diego California

All of the information given to me about halibut fishing in the San Diego area was from Squidco fishing  located in San Diego California. If you truly want to catch halibut in San Diego I suggest visiting Squidco fishing. There they can give you the latest information on halibut fishing in the San Diego area, as well as setting you up with the best tackle to catch these delicious fish. You can reach them at: 

Conclusion

California offers some of the best halibut fishing in the world. You can catch halibut here year-round but it all depends on what part of the state you are planning to fish. If you want to catch halibut early in the year head down south, if you want to catch halibut in the middle of the year head to the Bay Area and if you’re playing to fish Northern California for halibut your best bet is later in the year. I hope this information has been helpful and you can use this to catch tons of halibut.