Hippoglossus Stenolepis

Pleuronectidae

Pleuronectiformes

Continental Shelf, Offshore

20 - 500 pounds

96"

Pacific Halibut 

Also Known As: Halibut  

Guides Who Fish This Species

Pacific Halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) Fish Description

The Pacific Halibut is one of the largest flatfish in the world (2nd biggest, next to its close relative, Atlantic Halibut). It’s a saltwater fish that thrives in deep cold waters. It has a muddy brown color and dark-brown spots. Its body is more elongated than most flatfishes and shaped like a diamond. 

They’re strong swimmers and eat a variety of fishes from the bottom of the ocean - cods, turbots, pollocks, octopi, crabs, and shrimps. They also sometimes eat fishes from the pelagic - salmon, herring

 

Interesting Facts About the Pacific Halibut 

  • Pacific halibuts are called demersal fish, these are fish that stays in the bottom of the ocean, just like stingrays.
  • Almost all halibuts are “right-eyed”, which means they are facing up with the “right side” of their face and the left side is the bottom. 

 

Pacific Halibut Size

The Pacific halibut is a large fish that can grow up to 8 feet long and 5 feet wide and weigh up to 500 lbs. Their average weight is 20-40 lbs, but catching 100 is pretty common. As of now, there is no average length of the Pacific Halibut.  They mature at the age of 8 for males and 12 years old for females.

 

Habitat & Distribution of the Pacific Halibut

The Pacific Halibut mainly lives in the deep waters of the northern Pacific region. They usually prefer depths 20-1000 feet, but they can go as deep as 3,600 feet. They prefer the cold temperatures of 37°-46°F and are mostly found on or near continental shelves.

In the U.S., their range is from California up to the Chukchi Sea. Good fishing spots are the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. You can also find Pacific halibuts in nearer areas such as the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.