Ice fishing tips for catching Burbot
When to fish:
- Burbot are typically most active at night.
- Fishing the first 2-3 hours following sunset and the couple hours before sunrise can be very productive periods.
- Anglers also talk about a productive bite in the middle of the night.
- Anglers also catch a few Burbot during the middle of the day in deep water.
Where to fish:
- Fish within or immediately adjacent to rocky areas both on the main reservoir and within bays.
- The substrate may vary greatly, but fishing in or immediately adjacent to rocky substrates is always good!
- Target the habitat adjacent to cliffs and rocky areas with a slope typically less than 60 degrees
- The mouth of bays tucked within a large cliff complex can also be good.
- The deep vertical habitat immediately in front of most cliffs tends to hold few Burbot.
- A good bathometric map that shows the underwater contours of FGR is essential to identify promising areas that will hold Burbot (for example: Fish-n-Map Company available from local stores or online at www.fishnmap.com or use an app on your phone like Navionics).
Lures and bait:
- Lures that glow are a must for Burbot.
- Find lures in local tackle stores or by searching the web for “glow lures” or “lures that glow”.
- Jigs with glow grub or tube bodies, wide hook gap, and in ¼-½ ounce sizes are recommended.
- Jigging spoons that glow from ¼-½ ounce weight with stout treble hooks also work well.
- Glowing lures that rattle and vibrate when jigged are both very productive.
- Burbot are not lure or line shy. Use sufficient weight to get the lure down quickly.
- Stout and sharp hooks and strong fishing line (8-12lb test) are a must.
- It is critical to recharge glow lures every 15-20 minutes with flash lights, UV lights, or camera flashes.
- Bait hooks with a strip of sucker or chub meat (skin on) that is 1 inch long and ½ inch wide. Sometimes sizing down your bait can pay large dividends while still having plenty of scent and flavor.
How to fish:
- Auger 20-30 or more holes before wetting a line.
- If you fish a hole for more than 15 minutes without a bite – try a different hole.
- Remember on Flaming Gorge, you can fish up to 6 rods or tip-ups per angler through the ice.
- Fish within a few inches of the bottom in 20 to 60 feet, these depths tend to be productive.
- Jig at last one lure lightly, bouncing the lure on the bottom from time to time.
- Check tip-ups every 20 minutes or so, Burbot frequently swallow lures without triggering the flag.
- Hand jig tip-up lines for a few minutes every time you check them.
- Don’t fish by other groups of people – noise and commotion can negatively impact the bite.
- Burbot move and forage in small schools. Take advantage of this.
- You can catch a 2nd or 3rd fish quickly if you get your lure back down to the school quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Burbot?
The burbot is a freshwater cod-like fish that has a serpentine-like body, and is like a cross between an eel and a catfish, but with only a single barbel on the chin. Many fisherman have claimed burbot wrap themselves around their arms as they try to disengage the hook. The burbot’s body is elongated, while the head is flattened, with a wide mouth consisting of many small teeth on both the upper and lower jaws. The burbot is often called a ling cod, but is actually only a close relative.
Besides having voracious appetites, burbot are nocturnal feeders, which is a cause for concern in the Flaming Gorge where most other fish are day time feeders. They love the eggs of other fish and have been known to feed on the spawning grounds of other species. Female burbot egg releases range from 60,000 to 3.4 million eggs for each batch.The known predators of the burbot: northern pike, muskellunge, and some lamprey species are not found in the Flaming Gorge, which is another reason why the Burbot Bash is needed to help keep their numbers under control.
How can I win prizes during the Burbot Bash?
There are several methods of winning prizes during the Burbot Bash. The main thing is you have to register to win. See below for the list of angling prizes to be won this year. Remember that this is a family friendly event and there are prizes for all ages! But don’t despair if you are new to ice fishing – we have thousands of dollars of prizes that we give away by drawing random entry numbers at our closing ceremonies. So anyone can be a winner!
BURBOT BASH – January 26-28, 2018
PRIZE CATEGORIES AND RULES
All cash and prizes WILL BE based on 300 participants. Prize payouts and places will be adjusted with increased participation.
Burbot size is determined by length with weight being a tie-breaker.
Tagged Burbot Grand Prize - $1500
Most Burbot ~ 3 places $ 1500, $1000, $750
Biggest Burbot ~ 3 places $1000, $750, $500
Smallest Burbot ~ 3 places $500, $350, $200
Biggest Burbot ~ 3 places $100, $75, $50
Smallest Burbot ~ 3 places $100, $75, $50
- Tagged Burbot Grand Prize: All tagged Burbot (including internal PIT tags and external Floy tags) will be eligible for the Tagged Burbot drawing. The first tag drawn will win the grand prize of $1,500.
- Tagged Burbot Rewards: All remaining tagged fish, excluding the Tagged Burbot Grand Prize winner, will be entered into the Tagged Burbot Reward category. This is a sponsorship category and all funds will be split equally between participants who catch a tagged fish. For example, if the Reward category has $1000 and ten tagged Burbot are caught, the payout is $100 per tagged Burbot (excluding the Tagged Burbot Grand Prize winner discussed above).
- Teams should check-in all Burbot, large or small; any of them could be a tagged fish.
- Entrants who catch a tagged fish must be present (or designate a team member to represent them) at the closing ceremonies to be eligible for Tagged Burbot prizes.
- All tagged Burbot caught during official tournament hours will be retained by a tournament official in a bag with team information until the awards ceremony on Sunday, January 28th.
Do fish caught during the tagged fish portion of the tournament count towards the Biggest, Most and Smallest prizes during the event?
If I want my youth to qualify for higher prize monies, what can I do?
It’s easy. Just enter them under the adult fee rate.
Can I have 4 youths on one team?
No. Each team must have an adult (18+) as its captain.
How many persons are needed to make a team?
At least 2 and up to 4 persons.
Do I have to pre-register?
No, but registering at the event will cost you another $20 per team. We encourage everyone to pre-register, as it allows us to purchase more prizes for the event. AND, if you are one of the first 150 teams to enter, you will qualify for a $500 Flaming Gorge getaway package drawing!