Recreational fishing, also called sport fishing, is relatively a new sport globally, but in Alaska, it is quickly gaining recognition among the adventurous. In recent years, Alaska has earned a reputation for being one of the world’s finest fishing destination for obvious reasons. For one, Alaska is undeniably scenic. That alone should bring a wealth of inspiration to a full-fledged sport angler or a neophyte wanting to sample a new adventure sport. For another, the Gulf of Alaska offers a plethora of wildlife that is guaranteed to exhilarate anyone in the middle of his or her fishing excursions. Most importantly, Alaskan water is probably the most suitable habitat for angler’s favorite game fish – halibuts. The most popular game fish in Alaska used to be salmon and still is in some parts of Alaska, but halibuts are slowly gracing the sport fishing limelight.
Halibut is a large type of fish that is likened to the flounder. Halibut fishing is a big leisure sport in Alaska during the summer. Summer is the perfect time for halibut fishing as it is during this time that halibuts swim in shallow waters near the shore – it means that the target is moving a little closer to the fishing ground of watchful anglers.
Halibuts are voracious feeders. That is why sport fishers or anglers usually bring hoards of bait fish to attract them. Halibuts are not very choosy; they feed on a variety of aquatic food available – octopus, crabs, herring, salmon, cod, pollock, lamprey, salmon, hermit crabs, or anything that fits in their mouths. Halibuts are strong swimmers and they usually reach the shoreline in record time even if they come from the far depths of the ocean. One just needs a bait to ensnare them.
The basic equipment of modern sport fishing includes a metal fishhook at the tip of a nylon line, fiberglass, wood or metal rod, or a stick with some type of reel close to the grip around which the string is coiled. In halibut fishing, however, the fishing rods and reels used are of the bait-casting type and are usually heavier.
Effective angling for halibut is also usually dependent on the type of boat used. The fishing vessels in Alaska, called charter boats, are often privately owned but are rented out to tourists and angling enthusiasts. These charter boats usually offer customers the option to tailor their own fishing trips. The Alaskan lodges offer a range of fishing charter boats with varying sizes; it just really depends on the type of fishing excursion that one wishes to undertake.
In Alaska, anglers have taken sport fishing for halibut to a higher level. Alaskans have organized several annual tournaments for clutching the largest halibut fish and records are kept for the heaviest catch. Since halibut fishing in Alaska means big-game fishing, sport anglers usually troll the open seas in order to catch the halibut that weighs the most pounds – the successful angler wins the trophy fish and of course recognition any sport anglers, local or foreigners alike.