Tomales Bay Halibut Fishing Guide

20 Jul

Tomales Bay Halibut Fishing Guide

Tomales bay has been heating up for halibut action. So far it has been the most consistent action for halibut.  Most of the action and fleet have been near the channel markers and down to the weather buoy.

  • Tomales Bay Halibut
    Tomales Bay Halibut

I’ve been fielding questions from people about how to fish for them, so i made a quick guide on fishing Tomales Bay for halibut.

Fishing Guide Outline:
1) Launch from miller park (Google Nick’s Cove). Remember to pay the $5 parking fee for the parking and launching. Always make sure to wear a PDF and have a working radio in case of an emergency. Fish with a friend and make a water plan for the day.

2) Bring a sabiki lure to catch live bait. There are lots of bait inside of tomales bay that make excellent halibut bait; (Shiners, Anchovies, Smelt etc…) An alternative is drifting dead bait like anchovies or herring.

3)Scenting the sabiki lure with some scent like small pierce of squid, shrimp, or procure will increase getting them. Make sure to bring a bait bucket or live well to keep the bait fresh and alive.

4) Right now, (Mid July 2017) there is a lot of bait in Tomales that is driving schools of halibut into the bay. Halibut like laying in channels, ledges and eddies to attack bait when the tide is right. Drift live bait using a three way rig in the deep channels and ledges, and get ready when they pounce.

5) KEY INFO HERE: Halibut are schooling fish so the key is to find the school of fish, and stay over them. The size of the fish in the school tend to be similar. If you catch a halibut stay over the area. I will guarantee there is more there.

Catching shiners in Tomales Bay
Cite Source: finaddicts website  


If you want to catch shiners Here is what I do. For Me Shiners have been the # 1 BAit for Halibut in Tomales bay for years.Set Up off Main channel -Anchor right next to eel grass on channel slopeIncoming tide is good to fish on then allow 5 hours total fishing time 2 hours before and after + ebb. Bait up with Prawn meat on #12 Snelled Hook .Single hook works best on a trout rod .Get Prawns at Petaluma sport and dive.

Wt approx 1/2-1 oz on bottom .Have hook on dropper so hook is about 3″ from sinker when relaxed near bottom
Peel the shrimp and cut up those small pieces to fit on the hook . About the 1/2 size of a pea any larger and they cannot eat it.Throw out some chum and start fishing Chum bucket or bottle works to draw them in also

1-2 cans JAck mackerel Get at Safeway, Can opener, -Instant mashed potatoes unflavored, Couple cans of cat food,- Mud from beach, boat launch ,and make them into fish balls in 5 gallon bucket toss a few Overboard and rest use in your chum bucket. Shiners are wary and hide in eel grass draw em out and you’ll catch em with this method. Also tried traps years back I made out of chickenwire. Same bait in traps also added redworms to mix. 12 of these in livewell or more and your set. Drifting them and keep them alive between drifts. Motoring kills Live Bait quick. Any left over bait take home and freeze and use when you cant catch any because of wind, tides ,etc.Good luck and go Whackem!

Good luck out  and review the halibut tutorial for more in depth information on fishing for halibut.- L.A

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *