The eating qualities of these fish is greatly improved if they are killed immediately by iki jime before placing them in an ice slurry after bleeding. Larger halibut can be dangerous and very difficult to handle and they should be stunned by a firm knock on the head first before attempting iki jime. Very large fish may need to be harpooned or shot in the head before bringing them into the boat.
- Pacific Halibut are a right eyed flatfish, meaning that they have both eyes on the right side of the body - when viewed with their dorsal fin on top their head points to the right.
- This species is a very large flatfish, with a gray/brown to black upper side with mottling and spots to blend in with a sandy or muddy bottom. The underside is typically white and the rear edge of the tail is flat.
- Male Pacific Halibut seldom exceed 3 feet (90 cm) long but females can exceed 8 feet (2.4 meters) long and 50 years old.
- Pacific halibut are found on throughout much of the temperate northern Pacific Ocean, from California northward to Alaska, Russia and southward to Japan.
- They are typically found near the bottom over a variety of bottom types, but sometimes swim up in the water column to feed.
- This species usually inhabits water between 20 and 1,000 ft (6 - 300 meters), but have been found at depths up to 3,600 ft (1200 meters). They prefer water temperatures in the range 37-55ºF (3-12°C).
Fish Size Common Length:
Relatively common between 3 and 5 feet (0.9 - 1.5 meters) long. Maximum size exceeds 8 feet (2.4 meters) and 750 pounds (340 kg).