Burbot are found in cold water rivers, lakes and reservoirs throughout Canada, Alaska and northern United States. The best methods for catching Burbot are bait casting or still fishing using bait or lure. The best bait for catching Burbot is cut bait from trout, perch or Northern pike.


Region: West, Midwest, Northeast
Habitat: Bay, Lake, Pond

How to identify Burbot

The burbot has an eel-like appearance due to its long, slender body. Its body is khaki-yellow with heavy mottling; however, some fish in the extreme north have a more solid brown/black appearance.
The burbot has a paddle-shaped tail, pronounced, elongated second dorsal fin a barbel just below its chin. It has an anal fin that runs from its tail to the middle of its body.

Where to catch Burbot

Burbots can be found throughout the world in the northern hemisphere. They live in Canada, the northern U.S., and northern Europe. Burbots prefer chilly waters that are up to 700 feet deep. Mid-winter, these fish spawn under ice, which very few species do.

Burbots generally stick to the colder waters of rivers, reservoirs, and lakes. They live in freshwater but can move to brackish water during spawning season. They can often be found rolling in silt, sand, gravel, and mud.

Range: West, Midwest, Northeast
Burbot Fishing Map

The following are habitats where you can catch Burbot:

How to catch Burbot

Burbots are mainly caught by unsuspecting ice-fishing anglers looking for lake trout. When fishing for burbots, it is advisable to use something to weigh down the bait to get it to sink to the bottom where these fish like to hang out. The best time to fish for them is after the water has frozen over. Unlike other fish, they like the cold temperatures and stay active during the winter.

The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Burbot:

Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Burbot

Burbots are not picky fish. They will hit on almost any type of bait or lure. Try using cut bait made from perches, trout, and Northern pike. Some anglers swear by flash lures, though it is advisable to charge them every 15-20 minutes to keep them from going dim.

The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Burbot: