How to Hook a Crab for Bait for Halibut

by Brenda Priddy
Catch delicious halibut using softshell crabs as bait.

Catch delicious halibut using softshell crabs as bait.

Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Halibut fishing is somewhat of a challenge, because they love deep water and are bottom feeders. It is rare to see halibut in waters shallower than 100 feet, so hooking bait onto a line and providing enough weight to sink the bait low enough for halibut to catch can be a challenge. Halibut love eating crab, and it is an effective bait for halibut if used properly. Use softshell crabs or peeler crabs to provide a tasty bait that halibut cannot refuse.

Items you will need

  • Softshell crabs or peeler crabs
  • Sharp paring knife
  • Bait box
  • Crushed ice
  • 2 lb. lead weight
  • Fishing line with 30 lb. weight capacity
  • 8/0 hook
Step 1

Twist the legs and pinchers of the crab to remove them from the main shell. Discard the legs and claws.

Step 2

Peel off the shell by pulling it toward the front of the crab from the back. Remove the top and bottom shell if possible. If the shell does not peel off easily, then cut it off with a sharp paring knife.

Step 3

Place the crabs inside a bait box filled with crushed ice. Place the bait box inside the boat.

Step 4

Tie the 2 lb. weight to the bottom of the line. Attach the hook about 12 inches above the end of the line.

Step 5

Push the hook between the eyes, down the length of the crab's body and out the back near the crab's tail. Anchor the hook deeply inside the crab so it will not slide off easily.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images