Catching a Keeper sized Halibut from Orange County Pier


Well-Known Member
I'm interested in catching a keeper sized halibut off of Huntington, Newport or Balboa piers. Up until now I'm mainly been fishing for mackerel and perch with high low and sabiki rigs. I've tried to throw a live smelt on a fish finder rig a couple times off Huntington Beach Pier. Once at mid-pier. The second time towards the end.

When the mackerel were biting like crazy yesterday (9/7), I caught a tiny halibut on a piece of mackerel on a size 8 circle hook with a fish finder rig. No bites on the live smelt. Any tips from the Halibut veterans?

Thanks for the assistance!
Last edited:


Active Member
I've never met her, but I have read all the reports on this board for many years now. If I were in your shoes, I would probably seek out the fisher named Snookie. Search for the reports, then see if you can find her fishing in person. Seems like the kind of person that would be helpful with advice for a PFIC member.


Well-Known Member
Yeah I saw those. Seems like a strange time to be striking a conversation up with a stranger. But I will be heading to Balboa soon to try to find her. Seems like the pier halibut whisperer for sure!

Ken Jones

Staff member
Snookie is usually at the Balboa Pier Tuesday and Thursday mornings say from 9-1 (it varies). She knows how to catch live bait and how to use it and I am sure she would be glad to give you some pointers on halibut.


Well-Known Member
Just want to keep this thread updated with progress towards my goal. I caught a 19" Halibut at HB Pier on Sunday 10/18/20. I feel very close to my goal. Thanks to everyone for all the advice and encouragement!