Each year Sportquest Holidays organise their annual Halibut competition at Å on the Lofoten Islands with large cash prizes and many smaller prizes from leading tackle manufactories. This is the UK’s biggest Halibut competition in Norway and spaces sell out very quickly so if you like the sound of this and would like to take part then contact us to see if we have any spaces.
Below, we have given some useful hints and tips that may help you land that giant Halibut that sees you take home the top prize. Information such as what tackle to use, how to fish for them and some other useful info. Halibut can sometimes be a tricky fish to target, so ensure you have backup plans if your chosen method isn’t working. Do your homework and research the area, previous reports and blogs on our website are a very good place to start, see if you can spot a pattern in methods people are using. Last but not least, enjoy the competition and the very best of luck from us all at Sportquest Holidays, will you be next years Champions…….
- Before you get on the water and fish for a big Halibut, ensure all your terminal tackle is up to the job. A good quality 20-30lb rod paired with a tough reel (14kg of drag) which is loaded with good quality 80lb braid will be perfect for the job. Check your knots on your leaders and any other components you may be using. These Halibut will test your tackle to the limits and will expose any weakness.
- Have a plan before you even head out onto the water, check wind strength and fish areas that are not affected by the winds. There is nothing worse than heading out without a plan and missing half a days fishing because you cannot fish due to the winds or tidal strengths. There are lots of Halibut fishing areas around Å on the Lofoten Islands, lots of bays and straights where the tide rips through making for great Halibut holding areas.
- Make sure you know the best place to catch bait as you can sometimes spend too long searching for small baitfish. Tip: make sure you have your baitfishing rods set up before heading out these can be easily dismantled after filling the bucket up.
- Make sure your boat is filled up with fuel every morning, you really do not want to be running out of fuel during the day out on the water. The fuel tanker comes around each evening (speak to the onsite guide for timings) you can then pull your boat up to where the filleting shed is and they will fill your boat up.
- When fishing for Halibut make sure your drag is set so the fish can run when it hits the shad\bait, these fish are hugely powerful and will easily snap a rod or line when they initially hit. Try not to put your rod down while it is fishing as we have seen many times peoples rod getting pulled in.
- Charge all your phones, and camera batteries as soon as you get back from your day on the water, you need photographic evidence of the fish being measured as stated in the rules. Without these correctly taken photos, your fish will not count towards the total length at the end of the competition. These fish need to be photographed with the tape from snout to the fork of the tail with the full fish being in the frame. We will then at the end of each day, need to be either sent the pictures of given the memory card from your camera so we can look at the measurements.
- When playing the Halibut and you get it near to the boat for the first time in the fight do not think it is beaten, nine times out of ten as soon as the Halibut gets near the surface it will power back down to the bottom again meaning that the lucky angler who has it on his line then has to do all the hard work of bringing it back up again. This can happen a few times during a fight so be prepared by having your clutch adjusted at all times..
- Sportquest Holidays have come up with a list of rules for the competition and these must be adhered to at all times. Any cheating of any discription and the entire team will be disqualified from the competition. The Sportquest Team reserve the right and their decision is final.
- Do not be afraid to vary your depths when fishing for Halibut, I have seen them caught at up to 10 metres off the bottom before, they will come up in the water to chase a bit or a shad as it passes over their heads.
Hopefully, these tips have been of some help to you and will aid you when out on the water chasing that monster fish you are hoping to catch, remember that your next fish could well be over 300lb as they are most certainly swimming in the waters underneath your boat. Remember to respect the fish and follow the catch and release guidelines outlined on the Sportquest holidays website on the days of the competition and most of all have fun and Good luck.
Looking to join in on next years Halibut competition? If you would like to speak to a member of the Sportquest sea fishing team then please call us on 01603 407596 or email our sea fishing team leader directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also watch some of our Halibut fishing videos from around Norway in our dedicated Youtube Playlist.