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Muskellunge illustration


World Record ~ 67 Lbs. 8 oz. Caught at Hayward, WI on July 24, 1949 by angler Cal Johnson

Scientific name ~ Esox Masquinongy

Other names ~ Musky, Maskinonge, Muskie, Spotted Muskellunge, Barred Muskellunge, Great Muskellunge

Identification ~ Muskellunge are long, slender fish with dark vertical bars on a background ranging from light green to light brown. They have soft-rayed fins, with the dorsal fin located just in front of the tail. Muskellunge have large mouths full of sharp teeth. Muskies can be distinguished from northern pike by the presence of 6 to 9  sensory pores on the underside of each jaw where as pike have only 5. Muskellunge also have cheek and gill covers scaled only on the upper half unlike the Pike where the cheeks are fully scaled.

Size ~  Muskellunge commonly grow to lengths of up to 40 inches and weights of 5 to 15 pounds, with occasional larger individuals. Anglers occasionally catch Muskies over 20 pounds but Muskellunge over 30 pounds are rare. Females attain larger sizes than males.

Habitat ~ The muskellunge is usually found concealed among aquatic plants at the sides of channels, or off shelving rocks and offshore shoals in lakes and rivers in summer. It moves into the shallow waters in the fall. Muskellunge are found in lakes and large rivers from northern Wisconsin and northern Minnesota through the Great Lakes region, north into Canada, throughout most of the St Lawrence River drainage and northward throughout the upper Mississippi valley, although the species also extends as far south as Chattanooga in the Tennessee River valley. They are also found in the Red River drainage of the Hudson Bay basin.

Feeding Habits ~ Muskellunge's diet consists of fish such as Yellow Perch, suckers, Golden Shiners, and Walleye but it also may include crayfish, frogs, ducklings, snakes, muskrats, mice and other small mammals. The Muskie's mouth is large with many large and hair-like teeth. Muskies will attempt to take their prey head-first, sometimes in a single gulp. They will take prey items that are up to 30% of their total length.

Fishing Prints


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