“Epic day on the large pond! Limits of jumbo perch and a possible Indiana state file burbot.” That’s what an angler named Scott Skafar posted on his Fb web page with images of his New Yr’s Eve catch on Lake Michigan close to Portage, Indiana. The submit exhibits Skafar hoisting two large burbot—eel-like backside dwellers which can be notoriously robust to catch on Lake Michigan.

Skafar set out from a public marina in Portage with fellow angler Tom Solomon to fish for perch. After they’d bagged their restrict, they determined to focus on lake trout earlier than heading again, so Skafar tied on a big jig head with a 5-inch white Zoom Fluke. 

He and Solomon landed a number of lakers. Then Skafar reeled in a burbot, not realizing that it was something particular. “There’s fairly a number of of them displaying up, and with the gentle winters there’s extra entry to the lake as of late,” Skafar instructed F&S. “Usually, they’re in 100 ft of water in the course of the summer season, however proper now they’re up feeding and spawning on the rocks.”

However when one other forged produced an excellent greater burbot, Skafar determined to seek the advice of the Indiana file books. He weighed the fish on a handheld scale and realized it was a lot greater than the present file holder.

He took each fish to the seafood counter of the Strack & Van Til grocery retailer in Valparaiso the place they had been photographed and weighed with a licensed scale. The primary fish weighed 9 kilos, 8 ounces. The second was 10 kilos, 2 ounces. Each fish crushed the earlier file of seven kilos, 11 ounces—which was caught on Lake Michigan by Larry Malicki in 1990. 

Skafar had his burbot weighed on a licensed scale at a neighborhood grocery in Valparaiso. Scott Skafar

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As a result of vacation weekend, the Indiana Division of Pure Sources’ (IDNR) workplace in Michigan Metropolis was closed, so Skafar froze the larger of the 2 fish till he may confirm the information with a Lake Michigan fisheries biologist. Then he filleted and ate the 9-pounder, which he known as wonderful desk fare. “I discovered a little bit recipe the place you simply form of boil it with salt and vinegar, and then you definitely dip it melted butter,” he stated. “No fishy style in any respect. Simply gentle chicken. It was large.”

Skafar stated he doesn’t maintain out a lot hope for his new burbot file’s general longevity. “My intestine feeling is, I feel that file goes to be damaged once more within the close to future,” he stated. “I feel the common measurement of those fish which can be coming in to spawn is true round 10 kilos.”

In keeping with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, burbot are the one members of the cod household that reside solely in freshwater. They’re usually described as a cross between a catfish and an eel. One among simply two circumpolar fish species, they go by such regional names as lawyer fish, lush, mud blower, eelpout, and poor man’s lobster. Like catfish, anglers are inclined to pursue them at evening once they emerge from daytime haunts to feed. 

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