Everything You Need to Know About Muskie Fishing

What is a Muskie?

The muskellunge (that’s the name his parents gave him, but everyone calls him muskie or musky for short) is an alpha freshwater predator in North America. This is the pike’s big brother both figuratively (they’ll eat pike) and literally (the muskie is the largest member of the pike family of fish).

The name muskellunge comes from tribes native to the northern US and Canada, and originally meant “great fish” or “big pike”. The fish itself is a large ambush predator with a long, thin shape built for speed. They have an impressive set of chompers built for snagging prey, and just like pike they will eat nearly anything that is unlucky enough to be nearby, including reptiles and mammals and other fish that appear almost too large to even fit in the muskie’s mouth. 

Muskie are targeted mostly for sport and as a trophy fish due to their size and the difficulty and skill involved of catching them - they aren’t known as the fish of 10,000 casts for nothing.

How big do muskie get?

Muskie closely resemble their family members the pike and even the American pickerel in both appearance and behavior but reach substantially larger sizes. Muskie are typically between 28 and 48 inches and between 15 and 35 pounds, but they are known to reach up to 72 inches long and 70 pounds in extreme cases. Juvenile fish tend to grow to about 12 inches in their first year.

What's the biggest Muskie ever caught?

When fishing for muskie it is more common to brag in terms of inches than pounds, and a 50 inch fish seems to be the threshold for what are considered to be trophy fish. There are two fish that compete for the world record muskie and while the true record is somewhat contested, both fish are just over 60 inches and almost 70 pounds. Fish about this size have been seen when doing electroshocking on certain lakes as well.

In 2013 a man named John Grover allegedly caught a 64 inch musky on the shores of Lake Michigan but mistook the current record to be 70 inches so he let his fish go before official measurement. 
 Many suspect Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota to be the home of the next big record.

What is a tiger muskie?

Tiger muskies are highly sought after combinations of a pike and a muskie.

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