The delicious burbot

Accessibility and chances to catch it

Also known as


Where to find it

  • St. Lawrence River, large cold-water rivers, lake bottoms.
  • It is usually fished during their spawning season (winter).

Why anglers like it

  • It has thin, delicious flaky meat that tastes a bit like cod.
  • When the meat is steamed or poached, it resembles and tastes like lobster.
  • It is enjoyable to fish during winter.

Pro tips and tricks

  • It is caught using night lines (left unattended) in the waters of lac Saint-Jean
  • It is caught using a tip-up or a jig stick in bodies of water where ice fishing is allowed and where burbots can be found.
  • Its favourite bait is minnow, but it also likes earthworms, leeches and pieces of meat.
  • It likes taking its time before swallowing. You have to let it swim away with the bait before retrieving it.
  • It is easier to fish in the evening or at night.

The chef’s recommendation

Brochette de lotte (Ricardo) (in French only)

How to recognize it

  • Average length: 35 to 50 cm.
  • Its long, robust body makes it look like a cross between an eel and a bullhead.
  • It has a big, flat, triangular head, tiny teeth in many rows, a chin barbel and 2 big dorsal fins.

Good to know

Night lines in lac Saint-Jean (without surveillance at night)

  • Required licence : Fishing for burbot in lac Saint-Jean.
  • From December 20 to March 31, without any catch limit
  • 2 lines with a maximum of 10 hooks each at the bottom of the water
  • Each line must be identified with one of the tags issued with a licence, affixed to the identification marker

With tip-ups or jig sticks