Esox Masquinongy

Esocidae

Esociformes

Weedy Edges, Rocky Shoals, Shallow Waters

15 - 70 pounds

24" - 72"

Muskellunge

Also Known As: Allegheny River Pike, Barred Muskie, Great Pike, Lunge, Mascalonge, Muskie, Ohio Muskie

Guides Who Fish This Species

Muskellunge (Esox Masquinongy) Fish Description

The largest member of the Pike family, the Muskellunge is a freshwater fish from North America. Some people may even mistake it for a Northern Pike because of its duckbill looking snouts. However, there are three distinct differences. The first difference is the tailfin. Unlike the Northern Pike, the Muskellunge has a deeper indention on its tail which makes it look more forked. Next, the patterns on the body. Pikes are mottled; they have spots covering their body. Muskellunges – or Muskies – have stripes or bars, kind of similar to that of a tiger. And finally, the number of pores. Muskellunges have around 6-9 pores under their jaw.

As a member of the Pike family, they share a lot of things with the Northern Pike. One is their long body which makes them more ideal for ambushing. They have a flat head and their fins are set back into their body which helps them boost forward. For colors, Muskellunges can range between light silver, brown, or green with dark tiger-like stripes. 

 

Diet and Size

Muskellunges are decapitators. They ambush their prey and rip its head off, normally swallowing them headfirst. Because they can grow big, Muskellunges can quickly climb to the top of the food chain in any freshwater body they’re in. Some eat insects, rats, mice, the occasional duck, and muskrats.

Muskellunges grow big! On average, they grow up to 2-4 ft and weigh between 15-36 lbs. However, if left alone, these fishes can grow up to a whopping 6 ft and weigh 70 lbs! 

 

Interesting Facts about the Muskellunge

  • Muskellunges are commonly killed in Maine.
    • Because they are native to the waters in Maine, anglers who catch Muskellunges are advised to get rid of them. They are said to harm the environment.
  • Anglers look at Muskellunges as trophy fish.
    • Possibly because they put up a good fight and are huge. Who wouldn’t want a 6-foot fish as a trophy?
  • Muskellunges love the sun.
  • A Muskellunge has needle-like teeth.
  • Wisconsin has a Muskellunge as their