Burbot Fishing : Burbot Tacos

I know my friends and family in Minnesota have been getting slammed by blizzards, wind and cold weather. But, here is Alaska, it here it quite the opposite! Our 30 + degree temperatures have caused travel havoc and even led to classes being cancelled on Friday – all because of the warm weather!

This weekend I turned over a new leaf in my Alaska adventures by digging some holes in the ice and setting some overnight lines, “trot lines”, on the Tanana River. On the river, Burbot (eel pout, slimers, Lota lota, etc. ) are pretty common. They can be captured by leaving baited lines out over night. To be legal you need to hold a current fishing license, have a hook with a gap LARGER than 3/4 of an inch between the shank and tip, leave your name on the sets, and don’t set more hooks than fish you can have in your daily bag limit. I wanted to do quite a ‘production’, so here’s a quick video of different timelapse and shots from the two days. Hopefully it captures how much fun it is to get outside and do this great winter activity!

I went out with a group of friends and we had a blast putting the lines in. Part of the challenge was having a 6 inch hand auger, we quickly upgraded to the chain-saw. With upwards of 3 feet of ice, it was quite a bit of work no matter which way you did it! At the end of the day we were happy to celebrate the sun, pack up our gear, and head for home.

The Burbot Boyz and The Burbot Girl
The Burbot Boyz and The Burbot Girl

The lines are left out over night and then checked the next day. The fish were not jumping through the hole, but here is my first one through the ice in AK! It was a pretty big one, and I have heard fish this size may be 20 years old!

Success, my first burbot through the ice in Alaska!
Success, my first burbot through the ice in Alaska!

From the river this fish was converted straight into a fabulous meal of burbot tacos. The fish was pan seared in cayenne, salt, paprika, cumin, and chilli powder. For toppings we had fresh guac, cheese, onions, black beans, sour cream and the roasted poblano peppers. One fish was enough to feed 5 hungry burbot fishers.

Burbot tacos with Roasted Poblanos and Jalapenos, Guacamole, Black Beans, Cheese and Onions. WOW! They were incredible!
Burbot tacos with Roasted Poblanos and Jalapenos, Guacamole, Black Beans, Cheese and Onions. WOW! They were incredible!

If you want to know more about Burbot fishing in AK, just Google it. The Department of Fish and Game has a great informational website on it. You can learn all about strong lines, strong poles and locations to fish. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=anglereducation.burbot

15 thoughts on “Burbot Fishing : Burbot Tacos”

  1. Another excellent adventure to add to the Alaskan experience. Sitting in the MN blizzard, I truly felt the fun and enthusiasm expressed on all of your faces:) Thanks for the smile!

  2. I recall the “biology” lessons you and Sean did when you dissected (cleaned) pout in the Johnson fishhouse. Gonna catch some mud puppies, too?

  3. Loved the video, thanks. I have been in Alaska since 95 and never had the urge to go out in the winter and fish..maybe I am just too old and then again this year (the warmest since I moved here) I am in Texas for a visit and it’s COLD down here %#@#@. Anywho home this Friday and thanks again.

  4. Wait now. You wrote that classes were cancelled because of the WARM weather. Aren’t you at Juneau? I thought it was really cold there, especially compared to Anchorage. We are freezing here!

  5. Ian, it was a delight to view your successful ice fishing. I am impressed with how well stocked you all are with necessary tools and food supplies. Please feel free to send the warm temps our way. I especially hope the temps will be seasonal when Judy and I travel to Atlanta for a friend’s wedding in February and visit some relatives and friends along the way. Was your catch a Pout?
    Peter

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