• muskellunge
    Illustrations by Joseph R. Tomelleri ©

    Often called "the fish of a thousand casts," muskellunge are hard to come by; they are slow to mature and take many years to reach the minimum legal size of 42 inches. Legal-sized muskellunge are rarely caught by anglers who are not fishing specifically for them; because of their large size and sharp teeth, they often break lines. Usually found in shallow weedy lakes and rivers with log jams and fallen timber, muskellunge retreat into deeper water during the heat of the summer.

    They can be caught by casting or trolling with very large plugs, spoons and spinners -- usually behind a wire leader -- that are retrieved or trolled at a fast rate or by bait anglers using large suckers. Though primarily fish eaters, muskellunge will take waterfowl or rodents when available.