Burbot are strange-looking fish with big heads, beady eyes, serpent-like tails and leathery skin. They also make loud drumming sounds by expanding their swim bladders to attract mates.
And when it’s time to spawn, these delicious freshwater cod roll in large groups along lake bottoms, under the ice. Find one of these shallow rock, sand and gravel spawning flats, close to deep water and you’ve hit the jackpot.
If you already ice fish for walleye and lake trout, you probably have all the gear you need, including 3/4- to one-ounce jigs and spoons (glow, hot pink, orange and chartreuse colours are best).
I dress my lure of choice with a 1/4-inch butterfly fillet trimmed from the belly of a cisco; it adds scent and flaps when you rip the presentation up high, then crash it into the bottom with a mud-flying thud. When you spot a burbot on your sonar, lift the lure a foot, subtly shake the bait and hold on.