Last updated on August 29th, 2018 at 03:00 pm
What Is A Muskellunge?
Muskellunge (musky or muskie for short) can be the most challenging, elusive and unpredictable of all freshwater game fish. They will test your mental abilities as much as your physical. A simple encounter with a “Musky” can create unforgettable memories for an angler. While catching a Musky is a true thrill, this fish is very rare in any water and should always be released to grow & fight another day!
Where To Fish For Muskellunge
Genus-Species: ESOX MASQUINONGY can be found in lakes, rivers and reservoirs. Fossil records of Muskellunge tell us this species once inhabited a wide range of North America. In modern times both pure strain and hybrid (Tiger Muskie) Muskellunge have been distributed well outside there native range.
How Long Do Muskellunge Live?
Muskellunge have been known to live over 25 years. Age can be determined by examination of the cleithrum bone. A typical 48″ to 50″ Musky is approximately 15 years old – this can vary widely. Females reach maturity around 4-6 years of age, males around 3-5. Females will commonly grow bigger and faster than males. A giant, heavy Musky is almost always a female. Males rarely grow over 45″ inches.
What Do Muskellunge Eat?
Muskellunge primarily feed on other fish but have also been known to eat mammals, reptiles and birds. Rocks, clams and other foreign objects have also been found in their stomachs.
How Did Muskellunge Get It’s Name?
The name muskellunge is thought to be a corruption of the Ojibwe word mashkinoozhe meaning “ugly fish” and lunge meaning “lake trout.” Another possible etymology stems from maggue allongee, the name given to the fish by early French settlers meaning “long face”
Muskellunge are an elongated and slender fish that can carry a heavy load. They have a lateral line system (sort of like a radar system) running along the sides of their body and onto their head allowing them to triangulate vibrations in the water. With that they can locate and kill their prey in stained waters or in other poor visibility conditions. Muskellunge also have very good vision and are exceptional sight feeders. In clear water conditions anglers often pursue this species at night!
Muskellunge are a fierce predatory animal that can reach high rates of speed while ambushing their prey. They are capable, and will often leap from the water in an amazing display of aerial acrobatics and tail-walking action!
Muskellunge Vs Pike
Muskellunge have 6 or more sensory pores, Northern Pike have 5 or less
This fish can sometimes be spotted lurking just beneath surface or on top of the water! Surface baits are an exciting and effective method to attract and catch a Musky. They are known to follow an anglers bait, sometimes repeatedly and on occasion strike at boat-side with an unrivaled intensity found in freshwater fishing.
Muskellunge, the fish of 10,000 casts!
They are a magical creature who’s past is filled with legend, folklore and myth. However the future of this species depends on preservation of critical spawning areas throughout the United States and Canada.
Habitat degradation can have devastating effects on Muskellunge. Please do your part to help protect our natural resources and remember to always practice 100% Catch & Release!