What Is The Weight Of An Average 4 Year Old Catching Muskies – All About Muskellunges

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Catching Muskies – All About Muskellunges

Quick Facts:

  • Muskies can live to be 30 years old
  • Muskie’s maximum length: 6 feet
  • Muskie’s maximum weight: approximately 70 lbs
  • Trophy Length: Over 4 feet
  • Trophy Weight: Over 40 lbs
  • Mature females tend to be larger than males but are slower to mature and grow.

Muskfish are predatory fish that do not learn, and they generally tend to stay out of sight of each other.

They typically lurk near rocky or sandbar drop-offs in the middle of lakes, along weed beds or other vegetation, and in shady waters near banks lined with overhanging trees. They prefer larger lakes with deep and shallow basins and large beds of aquatic plants.

They have the typical design of an ambush predator, with an elongated body, a flattened head, and a tail fin located behind the body.

The stealthy muskrat hunts by sitting still and waiting. When a fish swims past (any fish, including other muskfish), they attack, impaling the prey with their large canines, spinning it, and swallowing it headfirst. Curiously, the size of the fish muskfish eat seems to be related to the ultimate size they can achieve. As the fish gets bigger, there will naturally be greater variations in the size of the prey. Even with lots of small fish, muskfish may not be able to grow up if there are no big fish to eat. Muskrats, ducks, shrews, mice, frogs and other animals also appeared in Musk’s stomach from time to time.

A varied diet:

Muskellunges have been known to have a varied diet. They will eat other muskfish and any fish they see, as well as ducklings, smaller muskrats, shrews, mice and frogs, while the largest muskfish have been known to eat whole adult ducks. There was a report in 1999 of a Wisconsin man dangling his foot in the water (not fishing) when a medium sized muskfish swooped in and tried to swallow his toe! Finally he pulled the muskrat out of the water and off his feet. The foot required 66 stitches and he was eventually allowed to keep the fish despite the fact that the size and fishing methods were illegal.

This is not recommend Use your toes as bait.

Other Facts About Muskellunges

Musk Dogs and Spear Dogs (or “Northern Dogs”) look very similar. The easiest way to tell a muskhound from a northerner is to count the pores under the chin: muskhounds have six or more. Northern dogs have five or fewer.

The musk tiger (E. masquinongy x lucius or E. lucius x masquinongy) is a hybrid between the musk dog and northern pike. Male hybrids are almost always sterile, although females are sometimes fertile. Some hybrids are produced and grown for fishing by anglers. Tiger musks tend to be smaller than non-hybrid musks but grow faster. The body is usually silver in color and mostly or completely free of spots, but has indistinct longitudinal stripes.

Zoologists typically recognize zero to three muskellunge subspecies, although interbreeding with other pike species complicates the classification of some individuals.

  • Great Lakes (spotted) musk (Esox masquinongy masquinongy) is the most common species in and around the Great Lakes Basin. The spots on the body form oblique rows.
  • Chautauqua muskellunge (E. m. ohioensis) is found in the Ohio River system, Lake Chautauqua, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River.
  • The clear or striped muskrat (E. m. immaculatus) is most commonly found in inland lakes in Wisconsin, Minnesota, northwestern Ontario, and southeastern Manitoba.

Capture Muskie:

If you want to catch muskrats, you’ll need a heavy casting rod, a sturdy horizontal reel, 20-35 lb test line, a variety of artificial or live baits, and plenty of patience. Allow at least 20 minutes at each spot before moving on – larger fish are usually less active.

It takes an angler an average of 20-80 hours to catch a legit musk!

Muscats are generally not a food fish. As predatory fish, if the food fish in their area contain a small amount of the poison, they will accumulate more of it in the muskfish that feed on them. Before eating muskellunge, be aware of the fishing recommendations for the lake or the state you fish in.

Threats to Muskie:

The health and success of a muskellunge depends largely 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 and hunting grounds for the muskrats they love to catch. Measures are being proposed, including a drastic reduction in the number of piers allowed on the lakeshore, thereby reducing the human footprint on the lake.

Both the Muskie and the Northern Pike are considered sport fish and trophy fish in Minnesota, and thus have great value to the sport fishing community and tourism economy, but overfishing has really hurt the population of this lone fish.

So fish carefully and practice catch and release with this fish to keep it in constant abundance in all the Great Lakes.

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