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Thread: Big Lake success

  1. #1
    Member Rising_Creek's Avatar
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    Default Big Lake success

    This pic is about two years old. The goal for this year is burbot. I hear they are in Big Lake but I have not hooked one yet. I'd also like to try Lake Trout. If anyone wants to share gas $$ and is driving north for Lake Trout let me know.
    i am looking forward to the ice fishing section of this forum.
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    Member matjpow's Avatar
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    The tricky thing about Big Lake is you can only use artificial bait (at least last time I checked.) No scents or anything. How do you fish for burbot with artificial bait and a single hook?
    That's what she said...

  3. #3

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    Thats how I fish for them all the time. A 3 or 4 inch glow in the dark Mr Twister ( usually Kalins grubs ) and a half or 1/4 oz jigghead on a fairly stiff rod. Jig for them an hour before lights go out to an hour after the sun comes up. Very fun stuff. Make sure you charge up your glow in the dark stuff every couple minutes. Makes it a lot of fun.

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    Trying chumming for them. As long as there's no bait or scent on the end of your line you are legal.

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    Member Rising_Creek's Avatar
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    Thanks for the burbot tips.

  6. #6

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    One day (on Big Lake) bouncing a crock off the bottom I hooked several burbot. Kinda rare for me, must have been on the honey hole that day. Point is I guess if conditions are right they have no problems attacking lures. Found that works better in late spring as a rule...
    "If your not the lead dog.... the view never changes"

  7. #7

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    I have picked up burbot jigging with a crock as well. Stay low and if they're around most likely they'll hit. Recall picking one up while fishing fairly deep in Big Lake one time. Funny thing is I was reeling up from the deep and got hit about 7 ft from the hole. It has been a while though so not sure if that was just luck.

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    Member matjpow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21'-Grayling View Post
    I have picked up burbot jigging with a crock as well. Stay low and if they're around most likely they'll hit. Recall picking one up while fishing fairly deep in Big Lake one time. Funny thing is I was reeling up from the deep and got hit about 7 ft from the hole. It has been a while though so not sure if that was just luck.
    It might have followed the lure up. How deep do you usually find them this time of year? Is there any type of bathymetric structures that they like? Has anyone been out on Big lake this week? Is it frozen?
    That's what she said...

  9. #9

    Default matjpow..

    It might have followed the lure up. How deep do you usually find them this time of year? Is there any type of bathymetric structures that they like? Has anyone been out on Big lake this week? Is it frozen?
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    Has been a while but think usually between 25 to 50'-ish. Not sure of structures they like do to not using sonar. Hope someone can tell you the condition, have not been to B/L lately.

  10. #10
    Member matjpow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21'-Grayling View Post
    Has been a while but think usually between 25 to 50'-ish. Not sure of structures they like do to not using sonar. Hope someone can tell you the condition, have not been to B/L lately.
    If you look at lake maps you do not need sonar.

    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/statewide/lakedata/
    That's what she said...

  11. #11

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    Yeah, but it's not so fun then.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by matjpow View Post
    If you look at lake maps you do not need sonar.

    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/statewide/lakedata/
    Not trying to be argumentative matjpow, but I gotta differ with you. From experience I can tell you that ADF&Gs maps, especially for the larger lakes, are not very accurate. I use them as a starting point. Within a given area, there is often a lot of structure that these maps don't give you any indiction of. A sonar will help you ID much more specifically where you need to be. Little humps and holes, how steep a drop off really is, the real depth, presence of weeds, edges of weedbeds, bottom type (gravel, mud, etc.) are easily determined with sonar, but are completely undeterminable with ADF&Gs maps. ADF&Gs maps only give you a general idea of what a general area is like. You'll do much better, more consistently, if you employ a sonar. In some cases, GPS is very helpful too to mark areas that are off shore or otherwise hard to locate.

    Also, fishing blind, you have no idea if any fish came by or not. With the sonar, I can see them and if they don't like what I'm doing I can change my presentation and often catch those lookers. Blind, I wouldn't have a clue. I can't tell you the number of times I've started cranking up my line only to have a fish materialize out of no where. If I keep cranking, they normally follow but don't bite. If I play cat and mouse with them, I can usually get them to bite. Plus, just knowing there are fish around or not helps me be much more productive.

    In big lake, char, rainbows and burbot aren't always on the bottom. I've caught all three in open, deep water (let's say 50 or 60' deep) where the fish were suspended well off the bottom. I've caught all three in water this deep from the middle of the water column, all way up to just a couple of feet under the ice. My sonar is what allowed me to know they were there, and catch them. Bottom line, if I go ice fishing and forget my sonar, I am bummed because I know I'm severely handicapped without it.

    Since the original question was about burbot, let me add a little more of my experience. I've caught hundreds of them ice fishing in big lake. I'd say about half were caught on spoons, and the majority of the rest on leadhead jig/soft plastic combos. Most of the burbot I've caught were near the bottom, just like the char. Something people don't seem to think of often is that burbot aren't just scavengers; they are aggressive predators. I've caught burbot in Big Lake with as many as 11 3" to 5" juvenile salmon in their stomachs. As such, it isn't all that hard to find a lure they'll bite. I've caught them at all hours in the winter. Location is somewhat important. Some places produce more burbot than char and vice verse, but remember the burbot and char are eating the same thing in big lake. However, burbot and char have different habits, and move to feed at different times. I believe that burbot spend some of the day moving little, perhaps in ambush mode. However, they do move around chasing baitfish too. As you probably have heard, burbot are creatures that like low light. Well, this time of year we have lots of that. I've fished them around the clock. Some time periods are definately better than others. If you catch a burbot at 3pm in a given spot, make a note of that. It is likely you can repeat it in the future. If you find a spot where you catch 4 or five in short order, then you've probably found an area burbot like.

    I use single hooks on all my winter char and burbot gear. This way I can more easily release fish without tearing them up or accidentally hooking myself. You can land burbot just like a largemouth bass--reach down and put your thumb in the fishes mouth while it's in the hole, grasp the lower jaw, and lift it out. Then remove your single hook. It's very easy to handle burbot this way with little or no damage to their skin from snow and ice.

    Once you get dialed in to a few good locations, go easy on the resource. They grow slowly, don't reproduce until they are several years old, and in a high pressure lake like big lake they we could do serious damage to the population if we kill too many.

    If you have questions feel free to PM me or call. 529-6172.

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    Member WaterWolf's Avatar
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    Thanks for that reply Charholio.

  14. #14
    Member matjpow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charholio View Post
    Not trying to be argumentative matjpow, but I gotta differ with you.
    I was being a little sarcastic. If I was a more dedicated ice fisherman I would definitely have sonar. Lake maps are about the best info I have. Maybe someday I'll have some better gear.
    That's what she said...

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