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Muskie can be found in a variety of lakes and rivers and they do well in clear water or murky water. These fish can often be found in deep water, however, they will roam the shallows as well. They like weeds, but you will also find them around rocks, wood and out in open water. They are similar to northern pike and can be found in many of the same areas, however, the bigger fish will usually be found just a little deeper.
Muskie can be caught on a variety of different rigs, however, most serious muskie anglers will only use a few different rigs when fishing for them. Take a look at our muskie fishing rigs section to learn more.
When it comes to live baits and muskie fishing, it is pretty simple. They like big minnow baits. Suckers, big chubs, big shiners and shad can be used for muskie and all of those baits can produce some nice fish. Most anglers stick to the suckers because the suckers are usually the biggest live baits that the bait shops will carry. Take a look at our live baits for muskie section to learn more about what to use and how to use it to catch more .
Muskie can get very big, so choosing the right rod and reel can be the difference in landing a fish of a lifetime or losing the fish of a lifetime. Go heavy and grab some quality gear if you plan to get serious about muskie fishing. Learn more on our muskie rod & reel recommendations page.
You are going to need some heavy line and leaders if you plan on landing muskie consistently. Learn more on our fishing line recommendations for muskie page.
Muskie usually aren’t available in big numbers on most bodies of water. Because of this, muskie are often considered a catch and release fish. However, there are plenty of action lakes spread out in Minnesota, Wisconsin and in Canada where selective harvest is actually encouraged to try to weed out some of those smaller fish. For the die hard muskie anglers, they would never consider eating a muskie as these fish are considered the “King of Freshwater.”
If you do decide to eat a muskie, they are known for tasting good. Some people compare them to northern pike. Fry them, bake them or grill them. You have some options because of the bigger fillets.
If you do decide to eat a muskie, we recommend doing so from some of the bodies of water that have a bunch of them and be smart about the ones you’re keeping. Some of the trophy bodies of water will have 46 to 48 inch length limits and these are being managed for trophy fish and anglers come to these waters to catch a trophy fish. These waters probably aren’t going to be the places to selective harvest a muskie because you won’t be able to keep at 36″ to 38″ fish. It is your legal right to harvest any muskie that is the legal size, however, you may want to take into account how most of the muskie anglers think of this fish.