Halibut is a flatfish, from the family of the right-eye flounders (Pleuronectidae). Other flatfish are also called halibut. The name is derived from haly (holy) and butt (flat fish), for its popularity on Catholic holy days. Halibut are demersal fish which live in the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans. They are highly regarded food fish.
The halibut is the largest flat fish, averaging 11–13.5 kg (24–30 lb).
Halibut feed on almost any animal they can fit into their mouths. Juvenile halibut feed on small crustaceans and other bottom-dwelling organisms. Animals found in their stomachs include sand lance, octopus, crab, salmon, hermit crabs, lamprey, sculpin, cod, pollock, herring, and flounder, as well as other halibut. Halibut live at depths ranging from a few to hundreds of metres, and although they spend most of their time near the bottom, halibut may move up in the water column to feed. In most ecosystems, the halibut is near the top of the marine food chain. In the North Pacific
A significant sport fishery in Alaska and British Columbia has emerged, where halibut are prized game and food fish. Sport fisherman use large rods and reels with 80–150 lb (36–68 kg) line, and often bait with herring, large jigs, or whole salmon heads. Halibut are strong and fight strenuously when exposed to air. Smaller fish will usually be pulled on board with a gaff and may be clubbed or even punched in the head to prevent them from thrashing around on the deck. In both commercial and sport fisheries, standard procedure is to shoot or otherwise subdue very large halibut over 150–200 lb (68–91 kg) before landing them.
Halibut are bottom feeders so you must drop the hook to the ocean floor. They prefer deep waters, 200 - 300 feet deep, with piles of rocks and ledges to live on.
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