How Much Does An Average American 6 Year Old Weight Catching Muskies – All About Muskellunges

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Catching Muskies – All About Muskellunges

Quick facts:

  • Muskies can live up to 30 years
  • Maximum length of a Muskie: 6 feet
  • Maximum weight of a Muskie: around 70 pounds
  • Trophy length: over 4 feet
  • Trophy Weight: Over 40 lbs
  • Mature females are usually larger than males, but mature and grow at a slower rate.

Muskies are unschooling predatory fish, usually staying out of sight of each other.

They generally hide near rockfalls or sandbars in the middle of lakes, along weed beds or other vegetation, and in shady water near shorelines lined with overhanging trees. They prefer larger lakes with deep and shallow basins and large beds of aquatic plants.

They have a typical ambush predator design, elongated body, flat head and tail fins placed far back on the body.

The stealthy muskie hunts waiting motionless. When a fish swims by (any fish, including other muskies) they collide, they impale the prey in their large canine teeth, spin it around and swallow it head on. Interestingly, the size of fish a muskie eats seems to be related to the final size it can reach. As the fish gets bigger, the size of its prey naturally varies more. Even if there are plenty of small fish available, a muskie may not be able to grow without large fish to eat. Muskrats, ducks, shrews, mice and frogs also occasionally appear in the stomachs of muskies.

A varied diet:

Muskellunge are known to have a varied diet. They will eat other muskrats and any fish they see, as well as ducklings, shrews, shrews, mice and frogs, and the largest have been known to eat whole adult ducks. There is a report of a Wisconsin man in 1999 who was dangling his feet in the water (not fishing), when a medium-sized muskie swooped in and tried to swallow his toe! He ended up pulling the muskie out of the water and pulling it off his foot. The foot required 66 stitches and he was eventually allowed to keep the fish, despite the illegal size and illegal fishing method.

Is not recommended use your toes as bait.

Other facts about Muskellunge

Muskies and pikes (or “Northerns”) look a lot alike. The foolproof way to tell a muskie from a northern is to count the pores on the underside of the jaw—a muskie has six or more. A north has five or less.

The tiger muskellunge ( E. masquinongy x lucius or E. lucius x masquinongy ) is a hybrid of the muskie and northern pike. Male hybrids are almost invariably sterile although females are sometimes fertile. Some hybrids are produced and planted artificially so that fishermen can catch them. Musketeers tend to be smaller than non-hybrids, but grow faster. The body is often quite silvery and largely or entirely unspotted but with indistinct longitudinal bands.

Although interbreeding with other species of pike can complicate the classification of some individuals, zoologists usually recognize zero to three subspecies of muskellunge.

  • The Great Lakes (spotted) muskellunge (Esox masquinongy masquinongy) is the most common variety in and around the Great Lakes basin. The spots on the body form oblique rows.
  • The Chautauqua muskellunge (E. m. ohioensis) is known from the Ohio River system, Lake Chautauqua, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River.
  • Clear or barred muskellunge (E. m. immaculatus) are most common in inland lakes in Wisconsin, Minnesota, northwestern Ontario, and southeastern Manitoba.

Catching the Muskie:

If you want to catch a muskie, you’ll need a heavy bait casting rod, a substantial level wind reel, 20-35 pound test line, a variety of lures or live bait, and a lot of patience. Allow at least 20 minutes at each location before moving on – large fish are usually not very active.

It takes the average angler 20-80 hours to catch a legal muskie!

Muskies are generally not food fish. As predatory fish, if the forage fish in their region have small amounts of toxic substances in their systems, they will accumulate in much larger amounts in the muskellunge that feed on them. Before eating a muskellunge, pay attention to fishing advisories for the lake or state you’re fishing.

Threats to the Muskie:

The health and success of the muskellunge is highly dependent on the health and availability of aquatic plants in its environment. Minnesota anglers are starting to notice that some of their favorite “weed beds” seem to be disappearing, reducing the spawning grounds and hunting grounds for the muskies they like to catch. Measures are being proposed, such as greatly reducing the number of docks allowed on the shores of a lake, thereby reducing the human footprint on lakes.

Muskie and Northern Pike are considered sport and trophy fish in Minnesota and are therefore valuable to the sport fishing community and tourism economy, but overfishing is hurting the population of this solitary fish.

So fish carefully and practice fishing with this fish in order to preserve its continued abundance in all the Great Lakes.

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