Eelpout fishing on the St. Louis River takes place around Christmas and New Years every year. During this time is when they swim up river from Lake Superior to do their spawning thing. If you time it right, the fishing can be quite good. For me, the bite has started right at 5pm as it gets dark and lasts for about an hour after dark. Sometimes the action is so fast you can’t get your lure back in the water fast enough after unhooking your previous fish.
I like to use something big that glows in the dark and tip it with a minnow or part of a minnow.
These fatties have a lot of belly. Most of the meat you will find along the back.
I fish about one or two feet off the bottom and watch my vexilar for the big red line rising off the bottom. A lot of times they will approach your bait and you may not feel anything as they are sitting there sucking it in. Most times there is the tell-tale “tap”.
A frog? A toad? Salamander? No, that’s a pout!
They don’t always fight hard with big runs pulling out line. A pout will typically wiggle and twist as you lift it up towards the ice. The trick is getting them through the hole while they are twisting and wriggling around under the lip of the ice.
Phil with the first eelpout of his career.
A pout slaying.
I have tried a couple of different ways cooking the eelpout. Either pan-fried in butter with just some salt and pepper, or boiled in 7up or Sprite, then dipped in melted butter. I enjoyed both. Cube up the meat for both of these methods. Do a little search and you will find other recipes to try as well.
[ig_tab_section][tab title=”Poor Man’s Lobster” id=”tab-1″]Two burbot fillets cut into chunks
Two quarts water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup salt Juice of one lemon
Melted butter, and additional lemon juice fr dipping purposes
Combine water, salt, sugar and lemon juice in a large kettle and bring to a boil. Then drop in the fillet chunks and boil, just until the fish rises to the surface. Serve with melted butter and lemon juice. Leftovers make an excellent Faux Lobster Salad.[/tab] [tab title=”Burbot Turnovers” id=”tab-2″]Two burbot fillets
Two ounces flour
Four fluid ounces cooking oil
Three tablespoons water
Two ounces flour
Two tablespoons butter
Four ounces shelled garden peas
One bay leaf
Make dough with the flour, oil, egg, water and a pinch of salt. Then let mixture blend for a time in a cool place. Cook burbot and mussels in salted water, along with the carrot, onion (sliced) and bay leaf.
After being steamed, remove mussels from their shells, chop finely and mix with the burbot. Cook garden peas in salted water.
In a saucepan, make a thick Bechamel sauce (a white sauce made with butter, flour, cream and seasons-named for Louis de Bechamel, King Louis XIV’s steward), then cook for five minutes.
Roll the dough and cut out rounds four inches in diameter, moisten the edges and place a spoonful of filling in the center of each round. Fold over the pastry and seal the edges. Deep fry, drain, and serve with parsley.[/tab] [tab title=”Burbot Veracruz” id=”tab-3″]Four fillets
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
One each, shopped red and green bell peppers
One chopped yellow onion
Teaspoon chopped garlic
One 15-oz. can roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon each of ground cumin and cayenne pepper
12-ounce can tomato juice
1/2 cup Spanish olives
1/2 cup fish stock
Season fish with salt, pepper and lemon juice. In a skillet, heat two tablespoons vegetable oil and sear fish for about four minutes per side. Then set fish aside.
In a large saucepan, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add peppers, onions and garlic and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add roasted tomatoes, cumin and cayenne pepper and cook for another five minutes. Then add remaining ingredients, simmer 15 minutes, and fish, head thoroughly and serve.[/tab] [/ig_tab_section]