Halibut live in both the North Atlantic and the North Pacific and are a prized food catch. Like a flounder, adult halibut have both eyes on the right side of its head. The side with the eyes is the top of the fish and it is usually a brownish, sometimes speckled color much like the bottom of the ocean floor. Its underside is a creamy white color which camouflages it when viewed from below by other fish.
Halibut are not picky eaters. They will eat most anything they can fit in their mouths, including other flounders! Other victims of their diet include octopus, crab, salmon, herring, cod, and Pollock. They have few predators in the wild, but those include sea lions, orca whales and salmon sharks.
Halibut are among the largest fish in the ocean. They can grow a long as eight feet and weigh up to 700 pounds. Halibut weighing over one hundred pounds are called "barn doors" or "Soakers," while smaller halibut in the twenty pound range are called "chickens."
Halibut spawn in the winter months with peaks from December through February. Most spawning takes place off the continental shelf in deep waters of 200 to 300 fathoms. A female halibut can lay two to three million eggs annually, depending on her size.
Halibut is prized for its delicate sweet flavor, lily-white color and firm flaky flesh. It is an excellent source of high-quality protein and minerals, low in sodium, fat and calories and contains very few bones.
Halibut is very versatile in the kitchen. It can be used in any recipe for baking, broiling, pan-frying, deep-frying, poaching, grilling or barbecuing.
A fletch refers to a single halibut fillet. One halibut will yield four fletches. The cheeks of halibut are prized for their sweet flavor and are considered a delicacy.