Alias: Muskellunge, Muskie, Musky, Lunge (Esox Masquinongy)
Average sizes: 10 to 20 lbs (4.5 to 9 kg)
Average length: 71-137 cm. (28-54 in.)
Key identifying characteristics: Dark vertical bands on light body at times spotted or clear; tips of tail fin more pointed than northern pike.
Habitat: Muskellunge are freshwater fish found in waters ranging from southern to northern Ontario (Canada) and much of the Great Lakes (with the exception of Lake Superior). Muskellunge prefer cold, clear lakes and large rivers, where they lurk among the weeds and floating plants, waiting for an opportune moment to strike.
Temperature: Often found in warmer water up to 25.5°C (78°F). However larger muskellunge specimens, prefer cooler water. The best spawning temperature is 12.8°C (55°F).
Biology: Muskies spawn in late spring, after their relative the northern pike. However because both species frequently share the same habitat this sometimes results in interbreeding. The offspring of such a union is a sterile sub species called the tiger muskellunge.
Muskellunge Diet: Composed primarily of other smaller fish species. However they will eat small mammals, amphibians, or even water fowl.
Muskie Angling: Anglers seek mature muskies as coveted trophies or simply for a good fight. They are known by anglers for long, powerful runs, and stunning aerial acrobatics. At best a challenging fish to catch, the muskie has been called "the fish of 10,000 casts". For trophy examples see our Big Muskie Fishing photo album
Muskie Tackle: In order to capture a muskellunge, anglers will use large lures averaging 6-7 inches in length.