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The burbot runs up rivers under the ice to spawn. We fish Lake Superior tributaries. This is a very overlooked anadromous fish that can provide fantastic action. We target them in main-channel areas with considerable current. This is often under 10 feet deep. Glowing spoons tipped with shiner heads or simply live shiners fished on the bottom are the presentations of choice. Squid is also an option when the action gets hot, because it has very strong scent and many burbot can be caught on one piece of squid since it is very tough. Keep your baits no more than 3 feet off bottom for best results.
I don't think you can catch a pout if there isn't ice on the water. Most minnows work, but they have to be on or with in inches of the bottom. I use rattle reels with Glow in the dark jig heads and I usually hook my minnow through the tail. You usually only get a few clicks on the reel, but you don't want to wait too long. Getting a swallowed hook out of a pout is best done when you clean it. Although excessively ugly, these fish are great to eat.
When fishing cusk(burbot) under ice, the best bait to use is a 2.5 to 3 in. shiner just off bottom. Most times they wont even set off the flag, they will just set there and suck on it. That's why you need to tend your traps.
Burbot can be caught in the ice season using spoon and minnow head, glow ball jig( 8th to qtr oz) with a minnow or just a minnow on a hook with a glow bead 6 inches up the line from bait.
The best time for burbot(Mariah) fishing starts just after dark. Depending on water condition, ie. In cold water and or low visibility water a bright green or yellow jig tipped with a minnow or nightcrawler is your best bet. Leave the jig sitting directly on the bottom up to 6 inches from the bottom with occassional jigging. In clearer water a white jig with a minnow or leach is a great combination. Though make sure you don't use horse leaches, you'll never get a bite. Again same method as in low visibility water, Mariah are not aggressive feeders, but once you hook one you'll be surprised by their fight, a good sized Mariah( 3 lbs or more) will give you as good of a fight or better than any jackfish of equal size. Mariah are cold water fish, and mainly feed from late October through early June. They are a difficult fish to fillet but once you've filleted them they are incredible to eat.
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