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How to catch, clean, and cook a fresh water burbot!

Updated on May 17, 2015

A gentle monster from the depths.

They can be caught all year long!

The name burbot comes from a Latin word (barba) that means beards. They have one single whisker (much like that of a bullhead or catfish) on their chin. That whisker is called a barbel.The genus and species name "lota" comes from the old French[4]lotte fish named also "barbot" in this language. The InuktitutIñupiaq word for burbot was also used to name the recently discovered extinct transitional species Tiktaalik. It is the only fish in the genus lota.

I included a picture so you can see this odd looking creature from the deep. they are long like an eel, very strong (as i learned trying to land one), and have a flat head with a wide mouth. They also have no real teeth to speak of.

Normally, they are caught on a minnow or a grub through the ice. My recent episode was a two footer on a worm while bullhead fishing at night. They are bottom feeders that feed in small groups with other species of fish. Get ready for a great fight if you hook one! They are strong and fight similar to an eel and a big bullhead at the same time.

This fresh water member of the cod family is often mistaken for a ling, or a bowfin. The bowfin has a big spot like a peacock bass on its tail. A burbot does not, so look for that and the lone whisker.

And here is the visual!

How to clean this tasty devil.

- Lay them on their back on a board or paper. Make a T cut on it's underside (using a shape knife, make a horizontal cut underneath the gills. Then, in the middle of that cut, make a long vertical cut going all the way down to the tail. Flip it over and do the same on the back, removing the fins as you cut.

-Then after you have pulled all of the skin off, remove the meat from the bone by cutting along the spine on both sides.

- Once you have your 2 pieces of meat make sure that the bones and rib cages are removed.

-Then, you can leave the 2 fillets long (which I prefer) or cut them into smaller rectangles.

Now, let's get cooking!

To broil-

(I prefer this method)

Pre heat oven to 350

-Let the fillets soak in a large bowl of cold salt water.

-Then, let them soak in water with less salt and lemon juice.

-Season them to taste.

- Then put them in for 20-30 mins. Make sure they are cooked!

To fry in a pan-

-Soak the fillets like above

-Turn the stove on and put a dab of butter in the pan.

-Flour and season them and put them in.

- Cook both side until brown. 15-20 minutes a side . Be sure they are done!

To deep fry-


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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Looks like quite a fish.