Identifying characteristics: Single dorsal fin, upper half of cheek and gill cover has scales, body and dorsal fin have dark spots on lighter backgrounds.
The Muskellunge and northern pike family, These fish are characterized by a long cylindrical body with a soft dorsal fin, and each has large powerful jaws shaped like a duck's bill and armed with numerous fang-like teeth.

The muskellunge, or muskie, as it is often called, is an extremely efficient "predator machine." It lurks near shore in the shadows of plants or submerged logs, and ventures forth only to strike swiftly at a prey fish (which it often takes back to a concealed area before eating). During summer's peak heat a muskie may move into slightly deeper, cooler waters but will still choose the protection of a drop-off or some underwater obstruction. If necessary, the muskie can withstand water temperatures up to 90 degrees F.

The muskie spawns in early spring shortly after the ice has melted, but after the spawning of the northern pike. Eggs are laid among heaby vegetation, in water only 15-20 inches deep and with a temperature of about 55 degrees F. The young grow very rapidly for the first few years, which is no wonder since few fish can match the muskie's really voracious appetite. Predominately a fish-eating fish, the muskie eats perch, suckers, catfish, minnow, sunfishes and probably any other fish available in its habitat. Larger muskies will attack and consume nearly any living animal, including small rodents, waterfowl and muskrats. Females grow faster and live longer than males, so most trophy-sized individuals are females. Indeed, muskies are second only to sturgeons as the Great Lakes'largest fish. Individuals have weighed in at more than 100 pounds and exceeded six feet in length! The average adult size is an impressive 28-48 inches long with a weight of 5-36 pounds.

These fish become sexually mature at three to five years of age some venerable old muskies have been recorded at more than 20 years old, but most seen by anglers are 3-15 years old.

Northern pike, bass, sunfish and yellow perch as well as some aquatic insects prey upon muskie young and severely reduce their numbers. Those that survive to adulthood probably need only fear bears, large birds of prey and people. People indeed, can be a serious enemy - the extreme desirability of this fish, coupled with its habit of spawning in shallows with little caution, sometimes leads to poaching.

Tips for Fishing

Bait casting and trolling large plugs, spoons, and spinner baits are the most popular ways to catch muskies.

Species Information

Scientific Name:Esox masquinongy
Environment:Lake, River
Ideal Temp:60-70°F (15-21°C)
Technique:Casting, Fly, Jigging, Trolling
Lure Type:Crankbaits, Flies, Jigs, Plugs, Soft Plastics, Spinnerbaits, Spoons, Topwater, Trolling
World Record:30.61 kg (67 lb 8 oz) Lake Court Oreilles, Hayward, Wisconsin, USA
Other Names:muskie, musky, muskellunge, lunge,, maskinonge, great pike

Latest Muskie Fishing Reports and Spots

Sept 1-- Muskie Fishing in NC - 8/31/2021 2:04:00 PM

 Today I ventured West to the Fabled French Broad River well known as NC's only water capable of producing One of Planet Earth's Top 10 Freshwa (View)

Fading Summer - 8/31/2021 12:23:00 PM

Some nice recent rains have rivers up a bit a pleasant change from the low water conditions. Smallmouth Bass fishing has been great both top wat (View)

Weekly Fishing August 8-14 - 8/10/2021 1:00:00 AM

We are finally back welcoming guests to Duck Bay. Hoorah! Our first guest arrived after reasonable waits at the border and we couldn't be happi (View)

The Muskies are on Fire - 7/31/2021 1:00:00 AM

The Muskies are on Fire! In just a couple of hours last night we pulled up 5 muskies including this beauty. Want to get in on the action? Reque (View)

Mon 11 Aug 2014 14:01:00 +0000 - 8/11/2014 10:01:00 AM

Summer’s Sizzle We are well into the peak of the Muskie fishing season! We have had some very strange weather this summer producing a wide rang (View)

Tue 14 Oct 2014 13:40:00 +0000 - 10/14/2014 9:40:00 AM

Last Call Well we are in the final stretch of our 2014 Fishing Season and what a season it has been. September proved to be a record month for (View)

Fri 02 Jan 2015 20:28:00 +0000 - 1/2/2015 3:28:00 PM

Happy New Year! We at Mr. Muskie Charters would like to thank all of our customers for making the 2014 fishing season a great year and a huge s (View)

Summer Fishing - 8/18/2015 11:40:00 AM

Well the heat of Summer is finally upon us and the fishing has been getting hotter just like the weather! We have been fishing Bass on the Canad (View)

Fall Fishing - 9/23/2015 8:27:00 PM

Fall is rapidly approaching and we have begun our fall fishing charters. We only have a month left in our 2015 fishing season! “Mr. Muskie Too” (View)

Advantages of September fishing - 12/26/2019 1:00:00 AM

September weather can be hard to predict but the fishing and the scenery are always fantastic! All the hardwoods and pines are changing color a (View)