Friday, March 7, 2014

Burbot... the "Hard" Way...

I haven't wet a line since November. We have been in the deep freeze here in Vermont. Still seem to be. I am going completely crazy because of it... so I need to do something different. With that in  mind I have been talking to a friend of mine, Jud Kratzer, who is an avid burbot fisherman and also happens to be a Vermont State Fisheries Biologist, about getting out after these fish. 

What the hang is a burbot you say? Lota lota  I say! They are the only freshwater member of the cod family and have a circumpolar distribution (throughout the northern hemisphere). The best time to get them is in the winter when they congregate to spawn (they spawn under the ice) and the best method is to ice fish. I have never been an ice fisherman but I want to get one of these puppies somehow! I will be out for them when the ice is gone too... I have some ideas!!!

So off I go tomorrow afternoon to see about getting a lota that fish! I will let you know how my hard water experience plays out!

Check out Jud on Vermont Outdoor Journal here:



  1. Good luck tomorrow. I'd always thought you could only get them through the ice in deep cold water but then a few years ago on TV I saw Bob Izumi invited out for some early spring burbot fishing in a NW Ontario river. It then occurred to me they could be caught on a fly if you don't mind casting a full sinking line after dark.

  2. John,

    I am thinking in similar terms... with glow in the dark flies. There are a few places on Champlain that might offer the right opportunities. Fingers crossed!