California Halibut

California Halibut, also know as California Founder, are an excellent table fare and popular game fish. The highest concentration of California Halibut are found just south of San Francisco, California. A popular methods for catching California Halibut are jigging and drift fishing using live bait. The best bait to catch California Halibut include live squid, bull minnows, mullet, spots, pinfish, sardines, croaker and shrimp.

California Halibut

Region: West
Habitat: Bay, Ocean

How to identify California Halibut

California Halibut are large fish. They can grow up 5 feet long and weigh as much as 60 pounds. The eyes of adults are located on the right side of their body. California Halibut are a greenish-brown to gray and speckled on their eyed side. Their underbelly is usually white or cream colored. The California Halibut has a more oval-shaped body than it’s cousin the Pacific Halibut, for which it is commonly mistaken. Male California Halibut are smaller, less abundant and live shorter lives than females.

Where to catch California Halibut

The California Halibut is found in the coastal waters along the Pacific coast of North America (California: San Francisco) to Mexico (Baja California.) The largest concentration of California Halibut are found just south of San Francisco although they are usually caught along the shores of Southern California. California Halibut is not only the most abundant game fish in these waters but also one the biggest. Small populations have been seen as far north as Washington state. The California Halibut prefers the sandy ocean floor of bays and estuaries at depths of 60 to 100 feet (sometimes less) and on occasion is found as deep as 600 feet. They may also be founded near surf zones up to 300 feet, but they are most frequently caught along the shores of Southern California.

Range: West
California Halibut Fishing Map

The following are habitats where you can catch California Halibut:

How to catch California Halibut

The most effective method of catching California Halibut is drift fishing. Slow-trolling with live bait (shrimp, queenfish, anchovies, etc.) or jigging is also effective. Using a trap hook instead of a single hook is recommended for fishing California Halibut, as they have a tendency to bite off portions of bait without immediately take the hook. If using a single hook, you may need to wait a few seconds for the flounder to inhale and swim away with the bait before setting the hook.

The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching California Halibut:

Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch California Halibut

The best best for catching California Halibut includes live squid, bull minnows, mullet, sardines, Pacific mackerel, spots, croakers and shrimp. While live bait is most effective for catching California Halibut, lures will also work. Some anglers have success catching California Halibut bounding plastic grubs on jig heads along the bottom of the water in areas where these fish are found.

The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch California Halibut: