Pacific Halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) and Pacific Cod (Gadus macrocephalus) are saltwater ground fish. The ancestors of the Snuneymuxw First Nation fished for halibut and cod in the waters off Nanaimo in the Strait of Georgia (100kb). The Strait of Georgia is the part of the Pacific Ocean that stretches between Vancouver Island and British Columbia's mainland. It reaches as far north as Campbell River and south into Washington State, in the United States. Traditionally, Snuneymuxw fishers trolled off Duke Point and Jack Point for cod and other species such as dogfish, lingcod, salmon and flounder. Today, in the Strait of Georgia, near Snake Island, (known as xwulhquyum by the Snuneymuxw), there is a halibut bank where fishers still bring in halibut.
U-shaped cod and halibut hooks were sometimes made from knots in Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis), Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Western Yew (Taxus brevifolia). Wood was steamed to make the curved hook shape. Some Vancouver Island Coast Salish would tuck the steamed root into a Bull Kelp (Nereocystis leutkeana) overnight to get the right shape. The pitch or sap from Douglas-fir was used to waterproof the area where the bone barb is attached to the u-shaped hook.
Cod and halibut are ground fish. Halibut and cod hooks were set singly or in pairs. In pairs, the rigging, attached to the end of a fishing line, used two sticks of wood bound together to separate the hooks, which hung from lines on each end of the stick. The whole rig was weighed down by sinker stones.