About 20 miles from the Ilwaco jetty is a great halibut spot. Not only can you catch halibut, but also big canary rockfish and lingcod.
This Ilwaco halibut spot is on the south side of Astoria Canyon. And even though you can catch halibut nearby, you want to be right on the spot with all the boats clustered together in order to get the best action. You will see other boats and charter boats close together and there is a reason why. Halibut like sand, gravel, and also shale. If you notice the chart below, you will see markings for sand “S” and also markings for shale (normally “SH”, but this chart spells out “shale”. But there’s another factor here to pay attention to. It is the cluster of boats and therefore the cluster of baits and scents that will attract the halibut and other game fish into a concentrated area. So, if you are fishing this area with a few boats, you can spread out and fish the shale and sand next to the edge. But if there are a lot of boats, you may want to join them. As 20 or 30 boats and their baits will bring the halibut into a small area and away from the outlier boats.