Weekly Fraser Valley Sport fishing column; Nov 11 to 18, 2013

In my haste, to end our series on Cascadian freshwater game fish, I missed one often over looked member; the burbot. This fellow is not known for his fighting ability, but is much prized for his table quality, which is said to resemble lobster.

Though seldom written about, I find this snake like fish interesting. He is a predator, and so much so, that in certain States of the US, there is a no release policy on him. This predator eats everything from all of our other game fish and their eggs, to various crustaceans, reptiles, and insects. One would think that with an appetite like that, the burbot would have a mouth full of vicious teeth; he doesn't. This fish swallows his prey whole, which he can do up to half of his body length.

Burbot like deep cold water of 100 feet or more and have been found doing well at depths up to 980 feet. It is my guess that the low oxygen content and extreme cold of the water in the burbot's chosen territory, aid him in trapping and consuming his prey. If you choose to target this fish, be prepared to use long lines and large flashy jigs.

The Report

Our lower mainland lake fishing is fair to good. For better success try to focus your fishing on upward movements of the barometer, from late morning through mid afternoon. Try a slow troll or retrieve with: Nations Black, Zulu, Wooly Bugger, Wooly Worm, Pumpkin Head, Micro Leach, Doc Spratley, Halfback, Dragon Nymph, Sixpack, Backswimmer, or Baggy Shrimp.

Our lower Mainland bass and panfish waters are slow to fair. Bass try: Wooly Bugger, Micro Leach, Pumpkinhead, Dragon Nymph, Crayfish, Clouser's Deep Minnow, Lefty's Deceiver, Dolly Whacker, Bucktail, Hair Frog, Poppers, (adult) Dragonfly, Chernobyl Ant, Optic, or Stimulator. For Panfish try smaller (size 10 to 16) versions of the above.

The Fraser River is fishing well for chum, coho, and dolly varden. For chum try: Eggo, Christmas Tree, Met Green, Holliman, Dec 25th, Big Black, or pink & purple Bunny Leach. For coho try: Eggo, Rolled Muddler, Tied Down Minnow, Coho Blue, Bite Me, Christmas Tree, green Wooly Bugger, Egg Sucking Leach, or Big Black. For Dolly Varden try: Zonker, Flat Black, Big Black, Eggo, Clouser's Deep Minnow, Bucktail, and Lefty's Deceiver.

The Vedder River is good for coho, chum, dolly varden, and rainbow. For rainbow try: Czech nymph, Kaufmann Stone, Hares Ear, Big Black, Wooly Bugger, Eggo, Zulu, Soubou, Irresistible, Elk Hair Caddis, Tom Thumb, Black Gnat, or Renegade.

The Harrison River is good for coho, and cutthroat. For cutthroat try: Professor, Anderson Stone, American Coachman, Rolled Muddler, Black Gnat, Griffith Gnat, Zulu, Hares Ear, Renegade, or Irresistible.

The Thompson River is good for steelhead, and rainbow. For steelhead try: Steelhead Nightmare, Big Black, Flat Black, Kaufmann Stone, Rolled Muddler, Steelhead Bee, Irresistible, October Caddis, or Stimulator.