Very much overshadowed in the Pacific Northwest by the much larger Pacific Halibut, California Halibut seem to be becoming more common in Coos Bay – possibly because more anglers are correctly identifying them.
They also seem to be getting bigger.
Often taken accidentally by salmon anglers trolling with herring or other baitfish, until recently very few Calfornia Halibut were caught in Coos Bay that weighed more than 15 pounds. An IGFA world record was taken in 2011 by Frank Rivera of Camarillo, CA. Rivera landed the 67.3-pound beast on Friday, July 1 off Santa Rosa Island while fishing aboard the 60-foot Mirage out of Oxnard. The massive flattie is nearly nine pounds bigger than the previous IGFA All-Tackle World Record, which also was caught off Santa Rosa Island in 1999.
In the last few years, much larger California Halibut have been showing up in Coos Bay with several fish taken weighing more than 40 pounds. The largest reported was a 55 pounder taken by Jon Hodder.
Unfortunately, Oregon is one of the nation’s worst states when it comes to keeping track of record fish.