Muskellunge (Muskie) Information, Photos, and Facts
Relatively uncommon in the United States, the Muskellunge is a long, slender fish that tends to get confused with the Northern Pike. With its intense swimming speeds, it is a truly incredible fish.
The Muskellunge (Esox masquinongy), more commonly known as The Muskie, is the largest member of the pike family. American Expedition is proud to present information, interesting facts, and photos of the Muskellunge.
A Muskie has an elongated body and a flat head, with light colored with dark bars running down the sides of their body. Their underside is plain white in color. The biggest difference between male and female muskie is size. Both genders continually grow with age. The male fish tend to measure between 22-39 inches long, while females are slightly larger, measuring 22-50 inches long. Males weigh normally 3-20 pounds, while females normally weigh 3-40 pounds.
Muskies spawn in late spring when the water temperature is in the mid-50s. It usually happens in late April to early May. The male first claims territory and then the female arrives. The spawn lasts 5-10 days and the eggs are laid on a rock or sand bottom. The male and female then leave the eggs, which will hatch within two weeks. The majority of the juveniles do not make it, but those that do feed on zooplankton. Within 6 months of age, the juveniles will measure close to a foot long.
- The Northern Pike is oftentimes confused with the Muskie.
- The world record Muskie weighed 67 pounds and 8 ounces. It was caught in Wisconsin in 1949.
- Muskies have needle-like teeth.
- Muskies sometimes form small schools.
- Muskies are commonly fished for in the Northeastern United States and Canada.
- The Muskellunge is the state fish of Wisconsin.
- Adult muskies generally have no other predators than humans.
- Neither the male nor the female muskie takes care of the eggs once they are laid.
- Muskies do not make nests for their eggs.
- Muskies are known as ambush predators.
Muskies are located in the Northern to Northeast part of the United States and up into Canada. They are one of the more uncommon freshwater fish in the United States. Muskies live in lakes and large rivers. They prefer shallow water with a rocky bottom and heavy cover. They like thick weeds to hide in when they hunt for other fish.
What Do Muskie Eat?
A muskellunge’s diet consists mainly of fish, but also includes frogs, ducklings, mice, and other small mammal and birds. They are known as ambush predators, meaning they will hide in the vegetation and strike their prey as they pass by.
Muskellunge Fishing Tips
- Use a lure that will be easy to remove from the muskie’s mouth. Do not use one that has a lot of hooks. Barbless hooks are the best to use when fishing for muskies because they are easy to remove from the fish’s mouth.
- Bucktails and Crankbaits are great lures to use for muskie fishing.
- Cast near the shore, close to or in weed beds, or near a rocky shore.
- Remember that muskies have VERY sharp teeth. Be sure you know how to handle them before you go fishing for them!
- Find the correct fishing reel that you feel most comfortable using. The spin cast reel is the easiest to use for a beginner.
- Each state has varying fishing regulations. It is important to educate yourself on them before going out to fish.
- Remember to acquire a fishing permit if taking up this sport. Fishing without a permit is illegal and could result in a fine. Many states allow young children or veterans to fish without a permit.
- Although many fish have an open season of all year, there are some that do not. Look at your state’s regulations to find out when you are allowed to fish.
- Most states have a length limit for their fish. If the fish you caught does not measure the minimum, it is required that you let it go. There are sometimes maximum limits for certain fish as well.
- Most states also have daily limits on the amount of a certain fish you can keep in one day.