Pacific Halibut spend the majority of their lives at the bottom of deep water in the northern Pacific Ocean, though some monsters have been found patrolling harbors and near boat docks. From Santa Rosa Island, California and Japan to the Bering Sea, the further north they grow, the larger they get. The Aleutian Islands, and especially areas throughout southeastern Alaska, feature multiple 300 and 400-pounders every year The Pacific Halibut has blackish-grey pigments on a flat, broad top with an off-white underbelly, allowing it to blend into upper and lower backgrounds. After six months of development one eye migrates to join the other on the same side of its head, making this fish resemble a Flounder. Smaller “chicken” halibut average between 10 and 50 pounds, while the more popular “barndoors” – exclusively females – have been reported to exceed 800 pounds. The world record for Halibut is a 459-pound fish taken from Dutch Harbor, Alaska.
They stay close to shore when young, and prefer to hunt in deeper waters when mature. Halibut rely on acute senses of sight and smell when searching for octopus, crab, injured baitfish and squid. A highly-developed lateral line allows them to detect vibrations from impressive distances. Almost any form of marine nutrition may be food for this voracious predator, and this allows Halibut to attain such consistently impressive size.
Largest of the north Pacific game fish, the Pacific Halibut is arguably also the tastiest as well. Extremely tough on the outside – shrugging off harpoons and gaffs, with enough strength left to damage your boat, or your mates – Halibut have plenty of spirit and fortitude to break more than just a line during battle. It is assumed there are even bigger specimens out there, waiting for us weak humans to invent strong-enough tackle, and to summon enough will, to land them.