Cold-active burbot (Lota lota (L.)) display reduced food intake during the summer. The impact of temperature on their energy budget was investigated in starved fish in a laboratory setting, simulating summer (20°C) and winter (4°C) conditions, to elucidate the impact of high temperature on burbot metabolism. Metabolic effects in burbot were compared to roach (Rutilus rutilus (L.)), which typically fast in winter. During warm acclimation, starvation (four weeks) resulted in a metabolic depression of oxygen consumption in both species. In roach, metabolic rate decreased by 55% after two weeks of starvation. Burbot, in contrast, displayed an immediate depression of metabolic rate by 50%. In both species, no reductions were observed in the cold. The temperature-induced differences between the metabolic rates at 20°C and 4°C showed a lower thermal sensitivity in burbot (Q10 = 1.9) compared to roach (Q10 = 2.7). Notably, for each species, energy consumption during starvation was highest under experimental conditions simulating their natural active periods, respectively. Warm acclimated roach relied mainly on muscle reserves, whereas in cold acclimated burbot, liver metabolic stores made a major contribution to the energy turnover. In cold acclimated roach and warm acclimated burbot, however, starvation apparently reduced swimming activity, resulting in considerable savings of energy reserves. These lower energy expenditures in roach and burbot corresponded to their natural inactive periods. Thus, starvation in burbot caused a lower energy turnover when exposed to high temperatures. These season-dependent adaptations of metabolism represent an advantageous strategy in burbot to manage winter temperature and withstand metabolism-activating summer temperatures, whereas roach metabolism correlates with the seasonal temperature cycle.