The diverse fishing opportunities in British Columbia, boasting over 20,000 lakes and a Pacific Ocean coastline, attract anglers seeking various species, including salmon and flatfish. Rainbow trout dominates local catches. Among the notable catches, the Pacific halibut takes the spotlight. Let’s delve into the story of the largest halibut ever caught in British Columbia.
Record of Largest Pacific Halibut Caught in British Columbia
While official fishing records in British Columbia are lacking, unofficial accounts highlight significant catches. Walter Zimber’s 1955 catch, weighing 482 pounds, stands out as the largest Pacific halibut recorded. Zimber’s four-hour struggle to reel it in with a handline adds to the tale. Despite other notable catches, the IGFA has not officially recognized them.
Westwind Tugboat Adventures, a now-closed fishing tugboat company, claims a local record with a 320-pound halibut caught near Langara Island. Not officially acknowledged, it adds to the mystique. The IGFA lists a 172-pound Pacific halibut caught by Glen Oliver in 1992 at Langara Island.
World Record for Pacific Halibut
The IGFA’s official record for the largest Pacific halibut stands at 459 pounds, caught by Jack Tragis off Alaska’s coast in 1996. Noteworthy is the recognition of the 130-pound line used for this catch. While commercial fishermen have landed larger halibut, the IGFA exclusively acknowledges sport-fishing achievements.
All About Halibut: Average Size and Notable Characteristics
Halibut, the world’s largest flatfish, with an average weight of 150 pounds, is easily recognizable by its flat, flounder-like appearance. The Atlantic halibut, the largest variation, exhibits distinctive features with both eyes on one side of its head. Their habitat spans the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and the North Sea, favoring deep waters.
Typical Distribution of Halibut
In British Columbia, prime halibut fishing locations include the north coast, west of Vancouver Island. Charters to Barkley Sound or Tofino, with departures from Port Hardy, offer optimal chances to encounter these bottom-dwelling flatfish.