Muskellunge AKA: Muskie, Musky, Esox , the fish of 10,000 casts, as I call them, unicorn of the fresh water rivers and lakes!
Muskie closely resembles Northern Pike but not to be mistaken as such though they are in the same group.They are the largest of the Pike family The body is similar to the typical ambush predator with the long body, flat head and fins set farther back on the body. The gator of the Northern Fresh Waters!
A way of distinguishing between a pike and a muskie is the lobes of the tail in a muskie come to a sharper point and the pike are generally more rounded. Plus muskies have no scale on the lower half of their gill plate where the pike do. And if you look under their jaws, ( ya know ya want to get that close!) There are holes that run along them.Their sensory holes. Typically a muskie has 6 to 9 and a pike with have 4 or 5.
Thank you to whoever made this chart! Was trying to find out who did this but can’t find any copyright for it!
Why is It Called MuSKIE?
The common name comes from the Ojibwa word maashkinoozhe which means “ugly pike” Who knew??
Muskie are, on average, 28 to 48” long and can weigh 15 to 36 lbs though some have reached up to 6 ft long and almost 70 lbs. And just so you know that is pretty crazy to think about! The size of the average man! Though a skinny man! And it’s hard to age them after they reach 8 to 10 years. One musky from Canada was estimated to being around 30 years old.
The Tiger muskie has become more common because of breeding. It is a hybrid of the northern pike and a pure muskie. The Hybrids are sterile though some females may try to go through the motions. Most hybrids are artificially reproduced and stocked. The Tiger muskie does grow faster than the purebred but normally won’t get to the size of the pure. And the tiger doesn’t live as long. Total bummer! But hence the reason that a lot of anglers encourage catch and release. And even when the pures spawn, which lasts around 5 days. They immediately abandon the eggs. So 2 weeks after the spawn, if the eggs aren’t consumed by other small fish or whatever may make a meal out of them, new predators are born! Which is yet another reason of low reproduction.
Expires July 4th 2016
But one of the coolest things about this fish is that they are the apex predator of freshwater lakes and rivers with people being the only threat. Take that Loch Ness! So with that comment take care of the mouth full of large long needle-like teeth! They will try to take their prey head first and sometimes all at once! I mean, momma wasn’t around to tell them to chew their food! And I can say they are pretty gluttonous. They will go after anything that is up to 30% of their length. So if you get a decent size muskie, imagine it may have a trophy walleye in its stomach!!
And, man, can they swim. It depends on the time of year and the heat outside, but there have been times we troll at speeds of 3 mph. And they ATTACK the plug. Pretty impressive in freshwater. Think of a cheetah in water though. High speed and intense but quick and to the point! AND STRONG! I have actually gotten rod burn on my stomach from needing to support it so it doesn’t take it out of my hands! And you would think they are dolphins with the flips they can do. But lets hope not because 90% of the time, it will pop the line! And they give a great head shake which is just incredible power.
Joseph Seeberger of Portage, Michigan caught A Great Lakes muskie 58” long, with a girth of 29”. It weighed in at 58 lbs which is now recognized as a world record by the International Committee of the Modern Day Muskellunge World Record Program (MDMWRP)
The world record recognized by the International Game Fish Association was taken from Lake Court Oreilles in Hayward, Wisconsin, on July 24, 1949. Cal Johnson ended up catching the world record muskie, 67.5 lbs and 60.25 in
And being that I am in the state of PA, our record is held by Lewis Walker Jr from Meadville at 54 lbs 3 oz. at Conneaut Lake in 1924.
Lewis Walker Jr.
Now here is some records to look at as well! Luckylures.com
And the world record held by the one and only Properly Uncommon standards is recently been captured by my Hubs. At 53” and around 38 lbs. Needless to say I’m pretty excited to get it. We still need to turn in the paperwork so its not official. Its replacing the mirror above my couch!! Happy Anniversary to my hubs. Though I can say it would have been a battle as to who would have snagged that rod if I hadn’t gone to work just an hour before that!!!
And if there is one thing that I know about muskie fishing, it’s that you need to put in your time. Don’t expect to go out there with an experienced angler and get your first one the first time out. Not fair! It took me 4 years before I got my first one with the Hubs. And a lot of learning and patience that definitely took me time! Fishing on a boat when your used to a speed boat is a definite change in pace! You can catch these monsters on the shore but its a lot more fun in a boat!
Now if you have any other bits of information that would be exciting please let me know!!
Here are a few links that I find interesting and helpful: