Photo: Kassandra Moore

Ice-fishing Friday: This simple jigging tactic calls burbot to your bait


Bang heavy jigs to attract burbot (photo: Kassandra Moore)

To communicate with one another, especially when they’re spawning at night, burbot rapidly contract the striated muscles on their swim bladders to create a deep drumming sound. In bygone days, First Nation anglers would mimic this sound to call in the fish by banging their spears on the rocky lake bottom.

Ice anglers can use a variation of this technique to likewise attract burbot by dropping a one- to 1½-ounce glow-in-the-dark jig or lead spoon baited with a strip of cisco or sucker. Just lift your rod up high and let the heavy lure plunge to the bottom, where it will bang on the rocks and stir up a cloud of silt. Then slowly lift the offering a foot or so off bottom, hold it steady and watch your sonar screen for a burbot to come calling. Talk about marching to the beat of a different drummer.