Postcard from Alaska – What Not to Catch

The plan is to catch halibut. This involves sending heavy hooked and baited line to the bottom, weighted with a heavy lead ball. When bottom is felt the line is brought back up a few feet to hang just above the seabed waiting for halibut to take the bait. There are a number of other fish that inhabit the bottom and will also go for the bait. Some of these fish are desirable catches, pacific cod, rockfish or golden eye are all good eating.

There are a couple you don’t want, starry flounder or the sculpins! Flounder are not much of a problem, but the sculpins are something else entirely. We caught a couple of these really ugly fish that day. All mouth and head, big eyes and no body, all spines and teeth. Not easy to get off the line, the hook is in that impressive mouth!

A sculpin (Hemitripterus bolini?) hooked on halibut gear in Holkham Bay

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

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