Secret Halibut Brine Revealed!

By Gary Blasi | 07/14/2013

I’ve been guiding a decade for halibut on the North Coast and tinkered with countless recipes. I’m always messing with stuff; constantly mixing scents, trying new baits and techniques. However, this summer I’ve found something I plan to stick with.

Anyone who fishes for halibut knows how important scent is. Over the years I’ve used many scents, but this the first time I’ve used Pautzke Nectar in my halibut bait brines and I’m very excited about the results. Since switching over to the Nectar the bite seem to come faster.
The brine I’ve been using for halibut this summer is simple to make and it achieves two things: it scents and toughens my bait. Most importantly, the Pautzke Nectar scent seems to last longer than others I’ve used in the past. When using the Nectar, even after a 30-minute soak a few hundred feet down in the ocean, I’ll bring the bait up and it’s still pink the middle, which means the bait is absorbing the Nectar.

In fact, last week on one of our charters we caught three halibut on one bait. After the second fish was caught, we dropped it back down and the meat of the salmon belly, which is normally orange was still a dark red. That red tells me the Halibut & Rockfish and red Nectar we used is powerful stuff. These halibut love Nectar and krill, of course.

Here’s exactly what I do to make my halibut brine and put enough scent down there to be successful when fishing. When targeting halibut I usually use salmon bellies and herring.

The Full Throttle Halibut Brine

Step 1:

Place salmon bellies, herring and salmon leftovers in bucket.
Step 2:

Add Fire Power (pure krill powder). Personally, I coat the top of the herring, normally using about a quarter of the Fire Power container.
Step 3:

Add Halibut & Rockfish Nectar. I usually add two containers, but I’m doing a big batch at a time. Two bottles is enough for a 5-gallon bucket (later I add purple Nectar, too).
Step 4:

Add Purple Nectar. The reason I do this is because it darkens the bait, more so than just the plain red, but honestly the main reason is since I’ve been playing around with the Nectar colors I’ve been catching fish with purple. If something I try works I keep using it.
Step 5:

Mix contents. I have a stick I’ll put in there and mix it. Then, I’ll put it in the fridge and let it sit overnight. I’ll let it sit about 18 hours and it’s ready to fish.
*Editor’s Note: Gary wears gloves when making this brine. If he doesn’t his fingers could end up any color of the spectrum of a rainbow. Gary Blasi operates Full Throttle SportFishing out of Eureka, Ca. For info on his halibut trips please visit