Illustrations by Joseph R. Tomelleri ©
Often called "the fish of a thousand casts," muskellunge can be hard to come by; they are slow to mature and take many years to reach the mid-40-inch range. Many anglers consider these fish to be a trophy if they just catch one, but fish more than 50 inches are elusive and of the utmost challenge. If accidentally caught by an angler, they are difficult to land because of their large size and sharp teeth, often breaking 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.
Did you know the DNR rears Great Lakes muskellunge at the Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery?
Department of Natural Resources