How to catch burbot in the fall and what gear and bait to use

Fishing for burbot in the fall is the most productive time for catching this mysterious and, to some extent, exotic fish for most of our fishermen. But the non-standard behavior of this representative of the cod fish species has made burbot hunting the least popular type of predator prey in freshwater bodies, which is not entirely justified from the point of view of the availability and simplicity of the technology for catching it.

After all, catching burbot in the fall if the angler has knowledge about its habits and habitat is not such a difficult task, but at the same time this process is both entertaining and quite interesting in terms of developing fishing strategies. We will discuss how to properly catch burbot in late autumn in the material presented to the reader below.

When does the burbot start to bite in the fall?

This predator is a cold-loving fish species and its active behavior with intensive feeding begins when the water temperature drops below 10–12 degrees. Burbot fishing in the fall begins with a drop in average daily air temperatures to around 5–8 degrees. With this fall, the water bodies quickly cool, activating the predator preparing for spawning. At the end of October, the fish begins a gradual increase in fat, which will last until spawning, towards the end of December. In contrast to the warm period of the year, in the fall burbot begins to bite steadily in the waters of the entire reservoir, without focusing on cold springs and fast tributaries of rivers. This active autumn behavior of burbot makes it less cautious, which allows it to be caught using a variety of gear, from bottom to float rigs. Fishing for burbot in late autumn is rightfully considered the golden season of burbot.

Burbot fishing in November. Places you need to know

Burbot is a predatory fish. And in the fall he never ceases to be her. The only difference is that now he is most interested in the places where small fish are concentrated at night - his favorite delicacy. Therefore, burbot fishing in November should be focused on places where small fish accumulate. With the onset of night, she relocates closer to streams where the current is weak.

In a stagnant body of water, the fish sticks to the shore edges. The burbot rushes here as soon as the cold sets in. He is forced to leave his home, which, as a rule, he builds in a riverbed, where there are plenty of snags and holes. Where there is a fast current in reservoirs, burbot strives for areas with weak “return”. It does not like muddy or densely vegetated bottoms.

This is what the fisherman needs to focus on when choosing a place to catch burbot. But it doesn’t happen once at a time, and there may be options here too. Those fishermen for whom catching burbot in November involves casting gear to areas of varying depth and distance from the shore are doing the right thing. Having received a catch from one of them, you need to put the gear there the next time.

Finding a fishing spot

Burbots lead a bottom-dwelling lifestyle, spending most of it in a certain small area of ​​the reservoir.

Important! The fish loves pebble and rocky bottoms with different depth levels, ranging from 1 to 15 meters. Its habitat requires clean and flowing waters.

Consequently, large rivers are one of the most promising habitats for this cod population. Small fish stay in small groups in the coastal zone, moving in search of food along the same route over a long period of time. In connection with this feature of the behavior of the predator, it is important for the fisherman to find the so-called burbot trail , which will become the prey trajectory for installing gear. Large specimens, individuals over 1.5-2 kg, lead a solitary lifestyle, taking up snags near a rapid whirlpool or an underwater cold spring for shelter. The predator is strictly nocturnal, which must be taken into account when choosing a fishing strategy even after finding a promising place.

Techniques for catching burbot on a donk in autumn

Many fish tend to get used to a certain route on a body of water, and burbot is no exception. He is so attached to his “paths” that getting him to go beyond them is problematic. The fisherman’s task comes down to finding the “burbot trail.”

If you catch this fish in the same area of ​​the reservoir for more than one year, then approximately all the places where burbot are concentrated will be known. The fisherman can only experiment with baits, whetting the predator’s appetite.

In the new conditions, the fisherman needs to probe the water area for the presence of burbot. To do this, it is reasonable to place several rods along the shore at a distance of 5-10 meters from each other and wait for the bite to occur. The remaining donks should be pulled to the place where the first fish was caught, because there is probably a “trail” here.

When looking for fish, playing with casting range brings positive results. In principle, casting too far when catching this predator is not necessary, because burbot in the fall moves closer to the shore for feeding. But to find the optimal fishing point, you need to vary the distance of the bait from the shore. One donk can be thrown 20 meters, another – 15, and the third – 10.

Let's celebrate! Maybe I can’t call catching “freshwater cod” sporty, but it’s definitely a catching activity. This circumstance more than compensates the angler for the chilly autumn nights, and the taste of burbot, especially its liver, can seduce a picky connoisseur and force him to once again challenge the elements that conceal this precious catch.

What to use to catch burbot in the fall

The main food of freshwater cod is small fish, hiding in the rocky terrain of the reservoir. When choosing bait, the fisherman needs to focus only on the animal component of the bait and preferably with a distinct odor, and the ability to release blood or meat juice only favors a good bite. Continuing the article, we will consider the main types of burbot baits that work effectively throughout the entire autumn fishing season for this fish.


The favorite delicacy of burbots is ruff. Despite its spiny fins, the predator most often attacks this bait among live bait fish. Good fishing results are achieved by installing minnows and bleaks. Recently, with the spread of gobies in rivers, this type of bottom fish has also become part of the predator’s diet and is successfully used by burbots at their bets. Roach and small crucian carp are also suitable for catching this fish, but with less success compared to previous options.

Important! Before installing live bait, some fishermen press down the fish until blood and meat juice begin to flow from it.

This technique helps to attract the caught fish to the fishing point with great success. For a predator, the intense movements of the prey are not as important as the specific smell of food. Most often, live bait is placed on a hook under the upper fin.

Dung or earthworms

Dung scented worms are one of the most promising baits for burbot in the autumn season. Earthworms are no less suitable for fishing, but have a less concentrated odor. Predators also respond well to water worms, but due to the delicate nature of the bait, its rigs cannot always be securely attached to the hooks, especially when fishing on currents. Selected worms are used for burbot hunting, choosing large and playful individuals.

Important! To rig a worm, use hooks with long shanks, setting the bait in a bunch of five or seven specimens, piercing the worm in the middle of the length of its body.

Pieces of fish meat

The fillet of almost all types of fish, including sea fish, is suitable for bait.

Important! The cut loin part, together with the skin, but without scales, is cut into strips up to 10 cm long and 1–2 cm thick.

After the desired strips are formed, the meat is placed in a glass jar for half a day and left at room temperature, allowing the product to release its juice. For installations, use one strip, placing it on the hook with a through puncture in the central part.


Burbot also bites on frogs, which are caught directly in the predator’s habitat. The bait is suitable for small and medium-sized individuals with clean, bump-free skin. It is worth distinguishing and not confusing a frog with a toad.

Important! Before installation, the amphibian is pressed down, drawing blood and immobilizing the bait.

The frog is hooked onto the thigh, pierced right through with a hook with a long shank.

Other attachments

Other, but promising, baits include chicken offal, including in this concept the intestines and liver of the animal, cleared of contents. Good results are obtained by fishing with beef liver, previously soaked in the animal’s blood. With the presence of mollusks such as toothless or pearl barley in the reservoir, the meat of this local inhabitant can be successfully used as bait. A long black leech that needs to be crushed before installing the rig is also suitable for fishing.

Baits and lures

When choosing what to catch burbot with at the end of autumn, it is recommended to give preference to live bait. Experienced fishermen say that the best bait for this predator is a gudgeon or ruff. They are found in large numbers in reservoirs, so it will not be difficult to catch them for baiting. When using a ruff as bait, you don’t even have to place a hook on the fishing line. It is firmly tied to the tail part, and the fish is released into the pond. When the burbot grabs it, you need to pull the line so that the ruff loosens the spines. This will become a kind of hook. You can also use perch or roach, which are also found in large numbers in Russian reservoirs (on the Oka, etc.).

For bait, it is recommended to take frogs. Typically, such live bait is caught in August and kept in a jar with grass or a terrarium in a cool room. The hook is attached to two lips or to the back under the ridge, this allows the bait fish to move freely.

When deciding what else to catch burbot with, it is recommended to pay attention to phosphorescent dendrobens, crawlers, and dung worms. When choosing the last two baits, you need to take large specimens or plant them in a bunch. You can also buy herring or fresh frozen sprat in any grocery store or fish market. The predator also goes after them very willingly.

Artificial baits for spinning rods

When using a spinning rod for fishing, you need to take care of artificial baits. The ideal option would be jigs: foam fish and silicone baits. Also, in some places, the predator can respond well to submersible wobblers and spoons.

Expert opinion

Valery Andreevich Sizov

Professional fisherman with 35 years of experience

Note! It can be problematic to catch burbot with the last bait, because... it is found in areas with snags or stones. Spoons are very easy to get hooked on. If you still decide to try them, then it is better to take 5-9 cm vibrators or turntables No. 3 according to the Meps classification.

Silicone baits include vibrotails and twisters with active play in the water. Dimensions must be selected depending on the size of the fish that will be fished. Usually 7-10 cm are used. Larger ones can be used to catch trophy burbot. The so-called “edible” silicone is especially popular. It is recommended to choose ones with the aroma of fish, worms and shrimp.

Rice. 2. Nozzles in the form of crayfish and frogs also show good results.

The length of foam fish should not exceed 12-13 cm. Since you need to go fishing for burbot at night, it is better to choose brightly colored baits. This is only a recommendation; if desired, you can use white and dark colors. for spinning

Bait for autumn burbot

To lure the predator to the fishing site, burrowers have developed a technique for preparing special bait. Bait for burbot does not include plant components and is prepared from finely chopped fish meat or the liver of any animal. The chopped product is left for 10–12 hours at room temperature until juice begins to form and is subsequently mixed with sifted earthen soil. From the resulting mix, balls are prepared already on the reservoir, which are compressed, having previously been moistened to a certain consistency, depending on the strength of the current of the reservoir.

Important! The abandoned ball should reach the bottom and then fall apart into its components, forming a feeding spot.

A useful element of bait would be live maggots, added to the mixture just before the formation of the balls.

With donka for burbot

The most widespread fishing for burbot is using a donk. The tackle is a strong rod equipped with rings. It will require a reel and about 30 m of fishing line with a cross-section from 0.3 to 0.45 mm. For a leash, use a thinner line, for example, with a main line of 0.45 mm, a 0.3 mm line will be needed for the leash. The length of the leash is about 20 - 30 cm. It is better to fasten it with a carabiner and a swivel, this will prevent the line from twisting. Since in the fall almost everywhere fishing takes place in a strong current, we take a flat sinker, for example, cast in a spoon, weighing, depending on the strength of the current, around 150 g. There are no special secrets in making the tackle. This is an ordinary donka. To reduce the number of hooks, use a single hook.

It is very important to cast correctly. The edge along the shore at the border with the current is the place where the burbot comes out at night, therefore, this is where the tackle should be thrown. You can catch burbot using live bait, but here he is also original. If any other predator prefers live fish, then burbot, which does not disdain carrion, will not even look at active live bait. He would have to just open his mouth and the food would enter it on its own. This feature simplifies the fisherman’s task: there is no need to worry about the safety of live bait - that’s one thing, the burbot hooks itself - that’s two things.

How to catch burbot in autumn

Having decided on a promising place, the fishing itself is planned at night. The fish begins searching for prey in complete darkness. At dusk and on clear moonlit nights, the fish are inactive.

Important! Predators are most active during periods of unstable weather. Strong winds, rain and sudden changes in pressure stimulate the feeding activity of burbots.

Burbots feed from the bottom, therefore, baits are placed on the bottom base or at a distance of no more than 5 cm from it. No fires are lit on the banks in the immediate fishing areas; this stimulates the fish to escape. They try to make as little noise as possible and move along the shore only when necessary . The burbot bite looks like a single jerk followed by the alarm going off. If after ten minutes there are no repeated pulls, then you should check the bait and most likely there will be a positive result. No hooking is required; predators, having taken the bait, hide and can spend a long time without moving in one place. As a rule, the best fishing strategy is to check the gear hourly, regardless of the presence of bites.

Important! Any bite ends with a deep swallow of the bait, so it is necessary to have an extractor and pre-prepared spare leashes.

Tackle for burbot in autumn

Pre-winter activity of the predator provides fishing opportunities with various types of bottom gear. Starting from the classic version of the elastic donkey and ending with equipping spinning and feeder rods with bottom mounts, burrowers conduct successful and productive hunts. The equipment is not particularly thin and delicate, since the burbot swallows the bait on the fly without tasting it, and the basis for biting is only the competent and accurate placement of the bait on the fish trail. Making tackle for catching burbot with your own hands is quite simple and inexpensive. Let's talk in more detail about some popular and simple fishing methods.

Catching a predator at night

Often in inclement weather and definitely in the dark, catching burbot on the river requires careful preparation, which can ensure both success and comfort of fishing.

The fisherman needs to take care of having a convenient place to wait for bites, equipping a tent with shelter from rain and wind during daylight hours. The installation sites for gear are cleared of branches, bushes and tall grass. After all, casting rigs at night requires special care and caution, and unnecessary interference certainly does not help this matter. Having warm clothes, a raincoat and a thermos with hot coffee will help pass the minutes of waiting between bites. Necessary equipment when burbot fishing is the presence of a reliable electric flashlight, which will help both when casting and when fishing for the caught trophy. Before leaving, do not forget to check the batteries for their functionality, and it is best to have a spare set of suitable elements.

Important! As a rule, fish activity manifests itself from the evening, from the moment of complete darkening, until two o’clock in the morning. The next surge in exits occurs between five and seven o'clock in the morning.

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