Burbot, Mariah, Eel Pout, Freshwater Cod… A fish with many names and an unsightly reputation, the burbot may easily acquire the most votes for the “least likely to take home” award. But for those who look past its unpleasant, eel-like persona, it’s an angling opportunity that can offer a whole lot of “wow” factor.

Sizeable burbot are frequently caught while jigging for deepwater species, and more often than not, through the confines of an ice fishing hole. Giant burbot can unleash a substantial scuffle that will surely highlight their ability to violently twist and turn. Once landed, they usually engage in an odd exhibition of unorthodox arm wrestling that finds them aggressively winding their tail section around an unsuspecting angler’s wrist or forearm. How’s that for an unexpected lakeside greeting?

Putting their unusual antics aside, the burbot does offer an amazing substitute to the sought-after eating qualities of its Maritime cousins. Poor man’s lobster or freshwater water scallops are locally known labels for their firm flesh, while properly prepared, which equals the taste of well-known saltwater favorites. With regular opportunities at 35 inch plus monsters, the burbot offers a worthy angling experience and makes a great case for a rewarding catch!

Angling opportunities for burbot are popular during the hard water months of December to April.

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For more information on angling season dates, regulations, and more – Check out the current 2021 Manitoba Angler’s Guide.