During the cold winter months in the Atlantic and the pacific halibut stay in extremely deep water. The deep water in these frigid regions is about the warmest place for the fish to live. The shallow water is very cold, in the mid to low 30's but the deep water stays in the 40’s. For the enthusiastic angler, this means fishing out in the deep cold rough seas found in the Gulf of Alaska or off of the coast of New Finland.
Down in these deep waters there are lots of shellfish for the halibut to eat. There are clams and crab to provide the majority of their diet. For the robust fishing enthusiast, this means using live bait on sharp fish hooks. In the deep dark water halibut hunt by smell and sound. Some artificial lures work, but in these deep waters, live bait works best.
The best bait is fresh herring, salmon bellies, or geocuck clams. It's best to use fresh herring as it is tougher which will stay on the hook better & longer. Another halibut fishing tip is that if you must use frozen herring, soak it in salt-water brine overnight to help stiffen it up. Halibut smell their food so use fresh or freshly frozen over freezer burnt, brown bait - give 'em the fresh good stuff!
If you must use artificial lures when you’re deep-sea fishing<, there are literally thousand options to choose from. Octopus-resembling rubber lures seem to dominate the market, as do the Dart, Zzinger and Stinger and hoochie skirts. There does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to what will work so change it up and if something is working, stick with it! Always attach some sort of bait or use a liquid bait scent to smear over the lures - remember, halibut smell their food!
And if none of this works, you can always stay in the cabin and play online fishing games.