Ice Fishing for Burbot | The Canadian Angle

By | January 10, 2023

The Burbot is slowly growing a niche following across the ice belt. In this video, Jay Siemens and Sean McGaughey head out on Lake of the Woods to do some ice fishing for these unique creatures, and show off why they are underrated as both sport fish and table fare.
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Presented by Ion

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[Music] Look at the rod just cork yeah if There's a fish that swims I need to Catch it fresh water salt water from a Boat from a kayak or from four inches of Ice I drive off the new experiences I'm An exhibition guide turned videographer Calling the Lake of the Woods Ontario my Home I'm Jay Siemens and this is the Canadian angle There's a fish that fills our Northern Waters but rarely gets the respect they Deserve often left on the ice for birds To eat on this trip we're fishing on Lake of the Woods Ontario in my backyard In search of a fish called by many Different names Ling eel pot lawyer and Most commonly called The Bourbon these Wild looking creatures while not as Commonly targeted in open to water have Grown a cult following over the last few Years for ice Anglers on this outing I've enlisted the help of my buddy Sean Magahi a lover of the Ling to take me Out on the ice to hunt down these Underrated fish Um so just drill a line and we'll go From 25 just do like let's do two Horseshoes yeah we'll just kind of Fisher out so this right on the dot this Is like where the best it's been yeah Bourbon time This is when they spawn or maybe a Little bit after yeah we're gonna be

Spawn post spawn but uh hopefully a Couple fat dirty burbs yeah okay I'll Pop some holes you tell me where to Drill and that will drill [Music] Foreign You got some Cisco's a verbit's favorite Meal okay so this is like a Cisco a lake Herring a really prominent Bait fish we Have up here in Northwest Ontario most Lakes have them they smell they're scaly They don't have anything spiky on them Pike love them later I love them Everybody loves them bourbon loves them No fish is going to turn down a chunk of Cisco on the bottom so we're laying this Down for burbot but we might catch Anything really so these bigger ones We're gonna chunk them up for bait on Our jigging rods and then we have some Smaller more bite-sized ones that are Going to be laid on the bottom that is Great right there that we could we could Very well catch a giant walleye a big Pike but a burbot a bourbon is the goal Normally burbit's the bycatch Sean right Here has a special place in his heart And I have a lot of friends that you Know live in the States live in the Midwest and they love burbit I don't Feel like that love is translated into Canada the same way but it has Translated to you no so it's everybody Catches them accidentally yeah walleye

Fishing and I mean that's how I cut all My first burbot and I mean the thing was Is everybody hooks a big bourbon they Think it's a huge walleye and they're Losing their mind and it comes up the Whole oh no it's a bourbon but meanwhile They just had a fantastic fight they're Crazy aggressive but I was lucky enough I got exposed to like strictly fishing Through some friends through the U.S I Mean this time of the year when the Spawn is on I mean you can once you get On a school I mean you can catch fish From the 5 to 15 pound range as fast as You can and drop down to bottom I don't Know anybody that's not going to enjoy That yeah totally so and it's it's just It's a shame because even today with all The education on the internet people Still will leave them on the ice when They catch them I mean they're not the Prettiest looking fish in when people Think about them but if you actually Stop and look at them the leopard print The leopard print on them the design the Huge lateral line they're just a solid Muscle they're a big Predator fish I Mean they're around the spawn right now But normally in the year like they have No problem Open Water targeting like big Pelagic Bait fish like they're eating These things up in the water column yeah To see it when you're lake trout fishing It's surprising you'd be convinced it's

A Laker ones coming up but yeah anyways I'm excited we got we're doing today We're fishing tomorrow yet tomorrow We're going on on a big tour down the Lake and we're with the bourbon King so I got treble hook 20-pound floral split Shot so it sits on the bottom and sinks Down a little quicker and then as far as Rods were going anywhere from like a 38 38 medium to a 50 media Um yeah we're basically on a big Extended Point here points hold Everything they hold lake trout they Hold Pike they hold walleye I mean Burbit so we might catch some other Stuff yet but right now we're kind of Drilling it out and this is just the Start this is awesome [Music] That did not take long well we didn't Even get our set lines out Mr magai Has a verb He backed out of the hole oh no oh There's something I think the spawn's Still happening I saw one is on can Confirm not a giant one but that's what Other fish does that and curls on itself It's pretty cool is this what average Size here Yeah this is probably the size we're Gonna eat tomorrow but this guy is lucky And he's going back today do you want to Touch him kiss him anything

Maybe like the next one okay next one Sweet so what are you using meat a Little meat a couple of rattles I'm sure That's loud pounding in the mud yeah It's all about making a big disturbance Um they have that huge lateral line they Can feel everything going on and a nice Big chunk of meat for some smell and They're actually pretty aggressive so I Marked that fish it came up chased me Like a foot off bottom and ate it so so Often when you're bourbon fishing you'll Catch them as the sun dips into the dark But now at this time of year you kind of Catch them all day which is it's Directly related to the spawn so for us Up here I'll start getting into it late February Um once the spawn takes off like this Then they'll get Super Active and you Can catch them in the daytime and it Gets even more fun I'm excited that was Good oh that's cool we're gonna get some Good old footage yes oh this looks way Better now Oh one just hit the camera Oh A whole bunch of [Music] Them There's so many I see you're trying to work some magic Did you see him Oh it might be like some of the coolest

Favorite footage come on never been Recorded three pack one bump the camera Three of them came in and just like Mobbed it look at them oh man eat it There's two of them now oh man dude Oh that was so good That is some of the coolest bourbon Footage I've seen the other ones are There yeah I need to drop down another Rod oh that was amazing they came Through and one like bumped the camera And it spun around oh ice fishing with Underwater cameras is just the deal wow Catching the fish is pretty neat but Just watching that all happen underwater Pretty one Looked even better on the camera oh so Cool nice So this one is going to be our meal so This is going to be a perfect eating Size and yeah this is going to be one We're gonna eat and we're gonna do some Cooking with this one tomorrow tomorrow That was amazing Oh look at this oh Sean come look at This this is madness oh Look at him oh oh pretty underwater Oh Man now you can't catch that one Jay big One oh this is so cool that is oh look At that thing swimming they look like They shouldn't be in fresh water Oh look at this look oh he's coming Around the boulder Oh

[Laughter] Man that was awesome that was so sweet Yeah if you want to eat bourbon that's Like the perfect size yep little male Take that meat back save the meat There you go that would be a male Judging by the white coloration can Confirmed There we go sweet oh man yeah this is Gonna be no fun at all no I hate this Oh I hit him in the face Oh no wrong-handed reel Did you get one Yeah White one crazy how they come up Backwards yeah they really struggle with The whole well I don't think the spawn's Quite over They're biting Sean's Got The Touch There we go Back down Oh So Graceful always so what's what's a Big one in your in your books what what Gets you excited how big of a burp I Would say once they get over eight Pounds I would call like a 10 pounder a Really big one and anything from 10 plus a super big one Lake of the Woods I truly believe has some of the Biggest burbot around I haven't been Doing it all that long with my limited Exposure I've caught multiple fish in That 15 pound class that's like a 33 34

Inch fish never I've never put a tape on Them really no they're so they're the Toughest fish to measure is a bourbon You try to put a bourbon on it here you Take this oh oh Oh my oh that was so good I had him the Rod and just like instantly burp it Comes in Well we're not really showing the Struggle today we're just showing up on Sean's magical burbot hole Sean's Matt Oh There we go So Lake of the Woods we have these Invasive Rusty crayfish and they are Burbit's most favorite little snack And obviously as that guy's puking them Up okay another bear bit another one Down the hole uh I mean we're keeping Them on bottom with the camera too but Um you can definitely get them to chase 10 12 feet no problem And it's so neat to watch them when they Turn vertical and they get all animated And flare and then they come and grab it Oh he's coming in hot Oh man jeez he was angry hold on here he Comes back yeah come over I promise oh This one's coming for you Nice Nice you gave him a little more and That's what he needed he tasted that Cisco You just fluffed him up though yeah I

Know Oh so you think most these are little Males working yeah so these are all like Smaller males so oh oh that's a bigger One oh Man That's a little better This might be a female it looked pretty Sizable down there Just gonna tuck this little nail back Oh Jay's getting bullied oh I love this If you didn't know you think that's a Lake trout oh yeah And you think of like their body like That's that their whole body is Undulating yeah This is probably I think the biggest one We got so far oh yeah That's a proper bourbon right there we Go under the belly Nice wow this was supposed to be the Number spot but we got a proper Lake of The Woods bro you think this would be a Big female I think it's gonna be a Spondo feeder yeah That was so cool so yeah so she's she Spawned out So yeah Awesome all right slide her back Big shovel head Cool Nice work that was so good oh man Foreign

[Music] Half spoon so this is tungsten so it Sinks a little faster than lead Well a lot faster and just gets down you Don't need a finesse presentation no and That is the one thing that's nice about Fishing burbit you don't need all the Fancy Electronics you don't need any Fancy gear you can come out you can Drill holes and you can just pound Bottom with a big jig and the thing is If you're fishing a tighter slope Sometimes your electronics don't even Pick up your bait like a lot of the Times you're not even marking your bait On the bottom and you won't Mark these Fish until they're coming up off the Bottom so anybody can get out here try a Spot drill some holes pound some meat on The bottom and you'll get a reaction if They're there if you want to bring the Toys though I would recommend an Underwater camera because this has been I've been giddy watching these fish roll In Oh God I'm trying to eat it again Oh man oh come down here and play with Us oh eating it oh man that is the Coolest footage he's there's a bourbon Attacking the camera oh he's angry we Need to put hooks on the camera next Time Oh That is wild

[Music] Oh yeah nice Oh man he's doing some crazy stuff Oh man Such cool fish So you pretty much just like their rib Cage is kind of different than a walleye Like you wouldn't get any meat off the Road no so basically all the meat on These things are gonna be off their back Strap here yeah tail and the back strap And it's going to be boneless uh what I'm gonna do is we're just gonna start We're gonna make the standard cut We're gonna go Follow along the spine And basically like your knife's gonna go Down and you'll feel it hit the rib cage Yeah And then once you get two two thirds of The way through then you'll go all the Way yeah so we're just gonna keep Following down the spine basically Right past the anal and then it's like Very similar to any other fish you just Yeah falling right along Boom so then you come along the back Here Run your knife down and then you get to The rib peel it off ribs on that step Yeah so then once you get to here I just Stick my knife through Connect the cuts That's great

Boom so guys we'll do also is I'll you Could peel the skin off and then you can Actually kind of gut them and then They'll end up with just the whole you Could cook it like that yeah yeah Okay we're taking the quick Road peel The skin off like any other fish Perfect we'll keep that up tomorrow make Some Alfredo on the ice bingo We're probably not going to fish that Much later we're doing another day Tomorrow we're uh heading to where where Potentially the bigger ones live into Some darker water Um so we might not get the same Underwater reaction but we may tangle With a 10 plus pounder so that'd be nice Pack up pack it in Cool [Music] So same deal as yesterday just a big Extended point we're going to kind of Fish off the edge and yeah big extended Point fish are going to be pulling up Out of this main Basin coming up here After what we've seen yesterday they Probably have spawned so they're either Going to be real post spawner right in The middle of yeah doing it but we're Looking for a big one today that's the Goal we got the one to eat from Yesterday we might take another small One but uh

We got the good stuff one of those does What the week's worth of crayfish would Do so I'm gonna pop some holes All right [Music] Well we got one bigger bait set up a Little shallower 20 feet right on the Edge of the point there we're sliding Off the edge here but um that one we did A full Cisco this one I just got a Little chunk of Cisco belly Sean's Jigging just phenomenal weather Oh there's a fish under me Oh wow Wally's hater in front of the Camera Got him This is kind of what I expected would Happen more yesterday but we are seeing Walleyes mixed in And these deeper mud flats that is what Most people come to Lake of the Woods For right there Often walleyes the bycatch normally Walleyes The goal for many Anglers [Music] Foreign [Music] It is pulling line I am very curious This isn't 20 feet of water We had a full Cisco this could be a big Burbot it could be a big Pike I want to Wait till it's moving away because then I know the hooks are going to get into

The back of it S mouth We are hooked up oh This fish has some weight I think it took a lot of line Oh My just lost her Maybe there's Lobster there's no fish There anymore Oh man that's a heartbreak look at those Big teeth marks on the side Judging by that I would say a pike had it just like that Normally it's a decent sized fish the Try is taking a slap at a bait like that We'll get back down Sean is going around to whole hop so We're gonna pull his line out of the Water Because you have to be within I think It's 60 yards of your line so We're going to pull it out to be legal And yeah we're gonna stay here as our Home base Sean's gonna go whole hop Around he's a little more mobile without All the film and gear and uh hopefully He can Find a couple burbit but man nothing Wanted that tail but I am going to leave The Cisco out the shallower one we had There and you know maybe we get that Pike to hit again or maybe a big old Burbot rolls up like I have caught some Big burbot Lane full size Cisco so

Anyways we're gonna go back to chicken Man's on a mission he's gone he may Never come back bye Sean [Music] [Music] We'll play Click same one same one Oh She's moving some line maybe we'll get Redemption Imitate down the dragon hit her [Music] There we go Oh this might be a burbot Moving towards me This one is not getting off we got the Big Rod the 43 heavy For these big baits Sean was hole hopping oh I don't know I Could be a bourbon door Pike wow did That fish take a lot of line Big Gator fat fat Pike Oh that's a fat Pike oh You never know What you're gonna get when you lay a big Juicy Cisco down Look at that big fat Pike That's a 10 inch hole I don't want to Pull too hard right now because we don't Have a steel leader Look at this fish Just like that she was so lightly hooked All right take a look at this big fat Lake of the Woods Pike Wow that is a nice surprise look at that

Tapeworm coming out of it as well that Tapeworm is definitely feeding on Whatever this Pike is feeding on Sweet Probably high 30s close to 40 inch fish Not the bourbon we're looking for but Just like those markings this is just a Just a sweet April Pike And that is why you always set out your Second line That is a 10 inch hole she's filling up Sometimes you target one thing and Something else makes your day Oh there's a fish foreign Could have been the same one maybe like High 30s That was big This is what we got To show for well actually we got a big Pike to show for our morning too yeah Well we're gonna head back we're cutting Our losses we're going back to where we Caught them yesterday the big bourbon Spot vacant I don't know where they Would have went do you think they pushed No deeper maybe or they were just a Little bit too post spawn and Everything's kind of Move back out and they're that's that's The one big mystery about like burbot in General is there just isn't tons of Knowledge about them the draw I find to It is yeah there's something different And it's challenging to figure out these

Fish in a totally different environment Anyways well let's pack up we're gonna Head back to where we were yesterday and Then we're gonna cook up that burbot and We're gonna watch you catch some more Yeah let's go catch them Thank you Oh This is yeah this is a nice flat rate Before the drop off look Okay so if you drop down we'll just make Sure you're right beside this Cisco Because then you'll be in the frame oh There you are yes and Lake of the Woods Oh oh Two of them Come on Sean Oh Whoever's calling can wait yeah This is ridiculous they don't care about That Cisco on the bottom at all Look hit the line you see that yeah here We go wow this is cool footage They heard your ringtone yeah and they Took off oh Yeah oh yeah Nice Man Well the right where we left them where Sean left him and what blows my mind is That they do not care about that Beautiful Cisco on the bottom oh wow There's three down there now oh man this Is the spot

Yeah we were just off the spot yesterday Apparently Cute little guy here we go And they are strong that's for sure Okay They are going up oh Man There's two more on the camera right now As he sets the hook into it oh lost that One oh man this is cool There's four Birds just hammering my Spoon and oh I'm pulling away from them Stop it oh my goodness okay this is I have a a whole ball of bourbon Underneath my bait right now I'm looking At Five possibly six individual burbits And like oh Jay there are no bourbon here oh and I Got the good one it looks like nice That is just great watching those fish Interact with each other And with the bait That's great awesome okay There we go now we're getting better That's a nice chunky one Oh yeah They're so strong like they're just all Muscle Their mouths are hard [Laughter] Are they at you ah not right now but Oh no Was there one

I'm snagged no the guy that gets snagged Ice fishing I can see where I'm staying That's the worst part Oh there's a burbot there's a bourbon Coming in hot I have to rely on a burbot To come dig me out oh come on Come on baby oh there's two oh that's a Bigger one no no no I got the small one There's three oh man This is dude this is borderline bourbon Ball activity going on I got the one I Haven't set the hook yet look at this oh He dropped it There's four this is a burbot ball I'm Telling you Oh okay there's a burp coming he's gonna Oh man get my bait unsticked unreal you Can do it this is what I picture when I Think of a burbot ball I know it gets Crazier This is some of the coolest underwater Footage come on Oh come on baby Back it up Let's just back up a little further Oh Nothing wrong with that There you go Won't be our last one tonight I'll tell You that There's so many burps down there are They down there right now oh yeah They're like there's three on the screen Right now and I'm just nope four come on

Come on just it's right there smell it Dig it out he's gonna get unsnagged by a Bourbon watch this I'll get two three four perfect Here they come get my spoon out whoa You're gonna get both lures Tangled down There full burbot ball flock of burbs I'm gonna catch one Oh look at them oh wow Houston we have ignition no oh no I got That is insane of them how many verbat Are down there one two three four five Six seven eight nine get your mouth away No no dang it Foreign What is going on here Now he's got both lines I can't help you that Rod's really Bouncing are you sure there isn't a fish On that is that the one that was an egg That was the one that was snagged the Bird backed me out who's got the fish That was a snake one yeah No no this is the one that that bait is Off this Rod All right well yes we got unsnagged God Is not my favorite spoon back oh and the Berber to God use a verb to swim down And unhook your other spoon Okay yeah easy as that that's exactly What I meant to do no problems that was Easy Yeah that was the full-blown burbot ball Full blown

All right all right it's cooking time we Got the bourbon meat from yesterday We're doing some bourbon bites I'm gonna Keep them up small deep fry them real Classic but then I'm gonna do some pasta Some alfredo sauce to do some bourbon Alfredo perfect Sean's gonna catch them While I'm cooking them sounds good All right [Music] I mean I think a lot of people get in Their head that you know I only eat While I only perch and it's like man if You're blindfolded you would no you know Same thing with Pike I've had that Discussion with so many people it's like I could rest assured that the majority Of people if a fish is properly cleaned They couldn't tell the difference no [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] All right there you have burbot Alfredo On Lake of the Woods with Sean mcgahy we Are going to enjoy A beautiful meal and then we're probably Gonna call it a season for The Burbs Probably wrap it up we should have Probably been here two weeks earlier But we still put a SmackDown on them but I think they would have been a lot Fatter and yeah maybe a couple more uh Big females a couple more pounds on them

Oh we even got the real utensils too Mess around glass I'm surprised they Didn't break thanks buddy thank you Oh yeah Is that gonna work That'll work This is carb loading It's important 10 out of 10 would eat again Definitely would eat again Perfect travel conditions I demolished this I was hungry [Music]