Can You Catch Burbot In The Summer? Here Is Everything You Need To Know 

Fish like burbot don’t generally cause a lot of excitement among fishermen. This is due to the fact that they frequently coexist in areas with more fascinating game fish, such as steelhead, pike, walleye, smallmouth, and largemouth bass. Known as “winter” fish, nocturnal, and difficult to catch during the day, burbot is considered difficult to catch in the summer. Read on to know more about the possibility of catching burbot in the summer.

Can You Catch Burbot In The Summer

Burbot are only found in lakes and streams in the 40°N latitude, and they are highly prevalent in the Great Lakes, particularly Lake Erie. They can survive in brackish waters, however they prefer cold rivers, lakes, and water reservoirs and are typically found there. They hunt at night and on the bottom and are very piscivorous. Their feeding grounds can include sand, silt, rubble, gravel, or mud, and they can withstand a wide range of bottom compositions. They travel to shoals and shallower waters during the winter months to breed, or they move from lakes to rivers.

Burbot are bottom feeders, so it stands to reason that you’ll need to search for them on lake or river bottoms, as well as in deeper, cooler water during the summer. They can survive at 300 meter depths (over 950 ft.). The finest burbot fishing season is from December to March on the Great Lakes and generally speaking. They can be captured in a depth range of 50 to 30 feet during this time period when they migrate from the deepest regions of the lakes to the gravelly and sandy shoals to breed. Therefore, you should go ready for some chilly late-winter evenings if you truly want to catch one or two decent burbots.

can you catch burbot in the summer

How To Catch Burbot In The Summer 

It will be much more difficult to fish for burbot during the summer because they are a cold-weather fish species, but it is still possible.

You will have the best luck fishing for them at night because they are nocturnal and active in lower water temps. The primary areas to watch out for while burbot fishing during the day are troughs and holes.

They will be about near the bottom, between forty and eighty feet deep. Additionally, keep a look out for rocky outcrops because burbot frequently congregate between ten to forty feet of them.

Fishing Techniques for Burbot

Burbot can be caught using one of two major methods: still-fishing with relatively heavy sinkers and stickbaits, either dead or alive, or active-fishing with heavier lures of various kinds. Since burbot are a winter fish, ice fishing is a distinct technique that requires a different strategy and equipment, but the baits are the same.

Baits and Lures for Burbot

It’s usually a good idea to supply some form of glow-in-the-dark buzz because burbot fishing is night fishing. So, think of tying little glow sticks or illuminating lures on the hooks.

Live bait

Due to the strong piscivory of burbot, several fishermen have reported having more success using live baits than dead or stinky ones. Nightcrawlers, whitefish, minnows, eels, crayfish, leeches, freshwater mussels, or snails are excellent alternatives for live bait. Additionally, any small bottom-feeding benthic fish that live in the lake or river where you are fishing for burbot should make a great pick. But in general, they don’t have a lot of dietary preferences. But don’t forget to look up the rules for using live bait in a new place before you start fishing there.

Dead bait

You may always try any form of fish strip that is available, including herring, salmon, sucker, carp, or liver strips, among the dead baits. Preparing your dead bait a day or two in advance is a good idea. Add some fish attractant (SmellyJelly – Crayfish is an excellent option) to any fish strips or tiny dead fish you plan to use, and give them time to ingest.


If you prefer to use lures, glow-in-the-dark jigs, spoons, and spinners are great for catching burbot. The traditional 3/8 is always an excellent size for jigs, especially when used with twister tail grubs. I often use Yamamoto curly tailed grubs, but tiny tubes, cover crawls, or double-tailed worms also work well. Any rubber or plastic bait you use should be glowy. Use bigger jigs, up to 4 oz., if you’re fishing from a pier, the shore, or a boat in deeper seas than 30 to 40 feet.

In general, adding a piece of natural bait to whatever lure you use, whether it be a little minnow, a fish strip, a nightcrawler, or a red earthworm, can significantly boost its productivity and buzz. On the little barbel under their lips, which is where their taste organs are located, they sometimes inspect the bait. They will move on if it doesn’t taste properly.

Tackle for Burbot 

To catch Burbot in summer, you may use a variety of rods to capture burbot, depending on the technique you’re employing. A longer (9’6′′–14′), slow action rod is preferable if you’re still fishing and not manipulating the rod too much. If you’re jigging, it’s preferable to use a shorter rod (6’6′′–8′) with a fast or medium-quick action so you can feel the jig or whatever bait you’re using better. Of course, you’ll need a short, icy stick for ice fishing, so a 34-36 graphite rod with a lot of backbone would work great.

For the line, monofilament of 10-15 lb test is a decent option for catching burbot. However, you have to use 20lb if you locate a location with larger ones. Additionally, braided may occasionally be a better option depending on how snaggy the bottom is.

For the hook, don’t be scared to use larger hooks because burbot have large jaws. 4 through 7 should work. However, you can require hooks with a long or short shank depending on the type of bait you’re using. For instance, you’ll need short-shanked hooks if you’re fishing for mussels, but longer hooks with medium or longer shanks are preferable if you’re using fish strips or nightcrawlers.

For the rig, it’s best to first be knowledgeable about the laws and restrictions of the location you’re fishing in when it comes to burbot rigging. You might only be permitted to employ a particular number of hooks or rigs. However, the traditional rig, which places the sinker (4 to 8 oz.) at the end of the line and the hook with a 10 inch leader, should work in most cases. It’s not terrible to have a braided or fluoro leader because these forms of line are more abrasion-resistant despite having little teeth. Additionally, it’s crucial that the bait rests on the bottom, therefore placing a small sinker or small jig-head hooks on the hook is not a terrible idea.

Read more: How To Catch Burbot From Shore?


To sum up, summer is the time when it is harder to catch burbot, but it is still possible to do that. In 40 to 50 feet of water, baited hooks lying on the bottom are the primary method of catching burbot. Fishing bait that works well includes bits of bacon, wiener, or fish belly fat.

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