What Size Hook For Halibut is Best? (Answered)

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When it comes down to it, halibut is one of the most popular ocean fish out there, as well as one of the more expensive ones, particularly when it comes to fish and chips shops. Halibut is indeed the most popular fish to use for this iconic dish. If you want to make fish and chips using your own freshly caught halibut, you are going to meet the right gear. So, what size book for halibut do you need?

The best fishing hook size for halibut is the 16/0 hook, which as you might recognize, is indeed one of the larger hooks out there. Halibut have big mouths that can fit big hooks, they like going for relatively big baits, and halibut themselves can grow to 200 pounds or more, which therefore definitely call for a big hook.

types of hooks for halibut


Best Size Hook For Halibut

As mentioned in our opening salvo, the best size of hook to catch halibut is the size 16/0 hook. Yes, this is one of the largest hooks you could possibly use, as fishing hooks generally top out at around 22/0 (although there are some specialty hooks that are larger).

That said, some people will actually use those massive 22/0 hooks for halibut fishing, as well as those sizes in between 16/0 and 22/0. 

Remember, halibut are very large fish with large mouths, and they like big bait too, thus making the larger fishing hook sizes the ideal ones for these magnificent ocean dwelling beasts.

Types Of Hooks You Can Use For Halibut

Generally speaking, there are two types of hooks that are commonly used for halibut fishing, and these include the following.

Circle Hooks

Perhaps the most highly recommended type of fish hook for halibut fishing is the circle hook, and this is true for a few different reasons.

First of all, the main reason why circle hooks are the hooks of choice for halibut fishing is that their circular shape allows for an easy hook set. As long as the halibut gets the hook into its mouth, it should not be able to spit it back out.

You should be able to achieve a hook set with a circle hook, even without applying much or any pressure.

That circular shape really causes the spike to dig into the fish’s mouth. Moreover, circle hooks are also ideal because they are quite strong, not to mention that they have plenty of room for bait too.

Treble Hooks

When it comes to fish that you want to keep, one of the best options to go with is the treble hook.

The reason why treble hooks work so well for halibut fishing is due to the fact that they have three large points, and this makes it quite easy to achieve a solid hook set.

Moreover, those triple pointed hooks are almost impossible for a halibut to spit out.

J Hooks

Another option that you have to go with when it comes to the best hooks for halibut fishing is the J jook.

Now, J hooks work best when fish take bait slowly and doesn’t move away too quickly after the strike, or even keeps moving forward after the strike.

J hooks are not quite as good at getting a solid hook set, but once a fish is hooked, it is a hard hook to spit out.

Moreover, this hook does also perform quite well in terms of holding onto bait.

Octopus Hooks

If you are fishing for smaller halibut, and what you need is a really stealthy presentation, then the octopus hook is a decent option to go with as well.

These hooks are also ideal for holding onto fairly large pieces of bait, even in spite of their minimal weight and size.

The octopus hook does also perform fairly well in terms of achieving a solid hook set.

What Is The Best Rig for Halibut?

When it comes down to it, the number one best rig to use for halibut fishing is known as a sinker slider California halibut rig.

How Do You Rig For Halibut Fishing? 

Here is a quick rundown of the sinker slider and the fish finder rigs, which are definitely the most effective rigs to use for Halibut;

Sinker Slider California Halibut Rig

To create this rig, you will need a 4 oz torpedo sinker, 25 pound monofilament leader, a sinker slider, a fishing bead, a barrel swivel, and a 3/0 circle hook (or larger). Keep in mind that halibut do tend to converge near the bottom of the water, which is what makes this bottom rig so effective. Using this rig, you can effectively fish the bottom with both live and dead bait.

  1. Cut 36 inches of monofilament leader.
  2. Tie your circle hook to one end, and the swivel to the other.
  3. Slide the sinker onto the fishing line and then clip the torpedo sinker to it.
  4. Thread the plastic bead on after the sinker slider.
  5. Tie the leader to your main line via the swivel.
  6. Bait the hook.

The Fish Finder Rig

When it comes to fishing for halibut in the ocean, this is by far another one of the most popular options out there. Let’s take a quick look at how to create this setup.

  1. Cut 24 inches of 25 pound fluorocarbon line for a leader.
  2. Tie the circle hook to one side and a snap swivel to the other side.
  3. Slide a sinker slider onto the fishing line and then clip a 4 oz pyramid sinker to it, and then thread on a plastic bead after the sinker.
  4. Tie this to your main line via the swivel, and then bait the hook using octopus or squid.


Do You Have to Use Barbless Hooks for Halibut?

Something that you absolutely need to be aware of is that when it comes to fishing for halibut off the coasts of the USA and Canada, is that you are not allowed to use hooks with barbs.

In other words, yes, you do have to use barbless hooks for halibut fishing. Barbed hooks tend to cause a whole lot of damage to fish, and the law says that this has to be avoided.

What Size Treble Hook For Halibut Is Best?

In terms of treble hook size, anything between 12/0 and 22/0 should do just fine.

Personally, we recommend sticking with the larger sizes, as halibut are large, they are heavy, and they like to fight too.

Moreover, you do also need to have a hook that is large and strong enough to deal with those big 200 pound halibut. Generally speaking, when it comes to halibut fishing, you do want to go with the larger hooks.

How to Bait a Circle Hook for Halibut?

For the purposes of this article, we are going to discuss how to bait a circle hook using squid, as halibut really love eating squid.

So, first off, make sure that your leader is threaded from top to bottom. Thread one the head of the squid up the shank of the hook and place the point of the hook towards the bottom of the squid, and then thread on the head of the squid to hide the hook and to hold it into place.

The hook should be at the bottom of the bait. You then want to tie a half hitch around the top of the squid.

This will help to hold the bait on the hook.

Related: 8 best places to sea fish in the US.


There you have it folks, everything you need to know about what the best hook types and sizes are for halibut fishing.

Of course, there is some trial and error to be done, as what works best for others in certain areas may not work for where you are fishing.

Jason Downs

I created Fishtackly to share my 30 years of fishing experience and knowledge with others with the aim to help, and hopefully get more people involved and educated in this fantastic hobby that I love.