Halibut fishing in California has taken on a new and effective technique, it's called "Ball Bouncing".  It has proven to be a very effective technique for catching one of the most favorite eating species of saltwater fish.

       "Ball Bouncing" is extremely simple and does not require a lot of expensive equipment.  A sturdy trolling rod, medium to medium-heavy with 20lb to 50lb line wound on a matching saltwater reel will suffice.  Most charter boats lean toward the heavier combinations, while many sport fishermen utilize lighter tackle in their endeavors.  Regardless of the combination you choose, the delectable table fare you take home is worth the effort.

      Basic rigging for this type of fishing includes minimal terminal tackle.  The list of items you will need are:  a size 4 or larger three-way or cross-line swivel, size 54 Duo-lock snap (or swivel clasp), a two ounce to eight ounce lead or steel ball weight, depending on the depth and speed you troll, a "2/0" or "0" Jensen Dodger or Herring Dodger and a size three inch or size five inch B-2 Squid (or equivalent). 

       Tie the main line from the reel and rod to the three-way swivel; tie 36 to 48 inches of 20lb to 40lb leader from there to the Dodger; then 12 inches to 24 inches of 20lb to 40lb leader to the B-2 Squid (or equivalent).  Run 16 inches to 24 inches of 12lb to 20lb dropper leader to the size 54 Duo-lock snap (or swivel clasp), which snaps onto the weight.  Use as much weight as necessary to maintain contact with the bottom when trolling, which may require anywhere from 4 ounces to 32 ounces.

        Troll slowly at speeds low enough to allow the weight to constantly bounce on the bottom.  Make sure the Dodger is slowly wobbling from side to side, which will move the B-2 Squid (or equivalent) also, shaking it mildly as it washes near the sand.  The combination of the ball weight and the Dodger stirring up the sand bottom will attract feeding halibut to the bait.  Halibut can be more aggressive feeders than most people think and are great sport on relatively light gear.

Recommended tackle and gear to use:

Rod :  Penn Power Stick, 20lb to 30lb class, PC6721 or PC6711.  Penn Sabre CS270C or CS870C.// 30lb to 50lb class, Penn Power Stick PC6661MH or Sabre CS870C or Pro Sabre CP870C

Reel :  20lb to 20lb class, Penn 525GS, 535GS, 545GS.//30lb to 50lb class, 545GS or 113HL.

Dodger :  Luhr Jensen Dodger or Les Davis Herring Dodger in size 030, 4 and 5/8 inch, 020, 5 and 13/16 inch or 000, 8 inch.  Most commonly used finishes include Chrome and Chrome/silver prism-lite reflective tape.

B-2 Squid (or equivalent) size 3" or 5" in Triple Glo, Triple Glo with red flake, Triple Glo with pink flake and Pearl White.

Ball Weights :  2 ounce to 32 ounce lead or steel balls.

Rigging Diagram