Every angler dreams of catching the fish of a lifetime, and when it comes to saltwater fishing in California, that dream could be catching a California halibut.

These flatfish are prized by anglers for their size and fighting ability, so let’s take a look at how you can target these fish on your next trip.

Where to Find Them

The best way to find halibut is to start by looking in shallow water close to shore. These fish like sandy or muddy bottoms, so they can often be found near beaches and jetties.

If you’re fishing from a pier or beach, look for deeper spots where the halibut may be lurking. You can also look for schools of baitfish as this may indicate that there are predators such as halibut nearby.

What Tackle to Use

When targeting halibut it is important to have the correct tackle. Generally speaking, light inshore spinning gear with a 10-20 lb test line can work well.

Heavier tackle will also work if you plan on targeting larger fish. When it comes to bait, live baitfish such as anchovies or sardines are usually best but strip baits such as mackerel can also work well.

Make sure your hook is sharp and your leader is strong so that your bait stays on the hook during a long fight with a large halibut!

Trolling can also be an effective way of targeting these fish but it requires specialized equipment including downriggers and trolling gear such as divers or umbrella rigs. Trolling will allow you to cover more area and increase your chances of finding active fish.


Fishing for California Halibut can be an exciting experience but it requires some knowledge and preparation if you want the best chance of success.

Start by researching where they are likely to be found then choose the appropriate tackle and bait based on what type of fishing you plan on doing (e.g., beach casting, trolling).

With some time spent learning about these fish and practicing your technique, you should have no problem catching one on your next trip! Good luck!