Indiana News

Valparaiso man breaks Indiana fish record on Lake Michigan outing

Scott Skafar of Valparaiso caught two Indiana record-sized burbot on Dec. 30, 2022, on Lake Michigan. (Provided Photo/Indiana Department of Natural Resources)

VALPARAISO, Ind. (WISH) — A Valparaiso man set an Indiana fish record in a recent outing on Lake Michigan, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources says.

On Dec. 30 on Lake Michigan in Porter County, Scott Skafar first caught a 10.2-pound burbot that beat Indiana’s 1990 record by 2.5 pounds, the department says. That same day, he caught another burbot that bested the 1990 record by nearly 2 pounds.

The freshwater fish can appear to some people as a cross between a whiskered catfish and an eel.

Burbots, a part of the cod family, are native to Lake Michigan and feed on other fish, the department says. Usually, burbots stay deep in the lake, but can be caught from November to April when water temperatures cool and the fish move closer to shore to feed.

The burbot is often called a “poor man’s lobster” because of its similar taste to the crustaceans.

Sean Konrad caught the largest burbot in the world, at 25 pounds 2 ounces, on March 27, 2010, on Lake Diefenbaker in Saskatchewan, Canada, according to The International Game Fish Association.

Indiana also keeps a list online of record-sized fish.