My Alaskan Fishing Trip
Ratings and Reviews Powered by TripAdvisor Tripadvisor Logo

Muskie Fishing Tips and Species Information

Would you like to contact to check availability or learn more?


Fill out the info below and someone from will get back to you.

Email Sent


The Muskellunge, more commonly known as the "Muskie", is a species of large, relatively uncommon freshwater fish that are native to North America. The close cousin of the Northern Pike, these fish species are similar in many ways. Both species are extremely aggressive and physically designed to ambush its prey and take them with haste. Muskie can be a light silver, brown, or green, with dark vertical stripes on the flank, which may tend to break up into spots. The major difference between the two species is size - Muskies will grow to be much larger than its cousin. Common Northern Pike will fall in the 18" to 40" range while the typical Muskie caught will be in the 40" to 50" range. The record Muskie caught in Canada is listed at 58" in length and weighing 65 pounds; it was caught in Georgian Bay's Blackstone Harbour .

Muskie caught at Tetu Island Lodge, Ontario
Trophy Muskie caught at Tetu Island Lodge

Where to Fish for Muskie

Muskellunge are found in lakes and large rivers from Northern Michigan and Wisconsin, through Northern Minnesota and the Great Lakes region as well as North into Canada. While you can find Muskie in almost every Canadian province, Ontario and Quebec are two of the best provinces if you are targeting Muskie.

Understanding Muskie Behavior

Muskie prefer clear waters where they lurk along weed edges, rock outcrops, or other structures to rest. A Muskie has two distinct home ranges in summer: a shallow range and a deeper one. The shallow range is generally much smaller than the deeper range due to shallow water heating up. Muskie will continually patrol the ranges in search of available food in the appropriate conditions and water temperature. Unlike the Northern Pike, Muskie will sometimes form small schools.

Most of the Muskie diet consists of fish but also includes crayfish, frogs, ducklings, snakes, muskrats, mice, other small mammals, and small birds. Their mouth is large with many long, needle-like teeth. Muskies will attempt to take their prey head-first, sometimes in a single gulp, and will take prey that is up to 30% of their own length. In the spring, they prefer smaller bait since their metabolism is slower, while large bait is preferred in fall as preparation for winter.

Anglers seek large Muskies as trophies or for sport. These fish are fast, but do not maneuver well. The fastest runs are usually fairly short, but can be quite impressive and intense. They are known for their strength and for their ability to surface from the water in amazing acrobatic displays. The Muskie also does headshaking in an attempt to rid itself of a hook. All these factors result in a challenging fish to catch and the Muskie has been called "the fish of ten thousand casts".

Preparing to Catch Muskie

Anglers tend to use smaller lures in spring or during cold-front conditions and larger lures in fall or the heat of summer due to the Muskie's slower metabolism in the spring and its tendency to feast on smaller prey during that time. The average lure is 7.9-12" long (20-30 cm), but longer lures of 14-26" (36-66 cm) (14-26 in) are not uncommon. Many times, live bait can be used in the form of "Muskie Minnows" or 8-12" (20-30 cm) long fish strung on treble hooks. Frogs can also be used as live bait, as they are part of the Muskie diet.

Due to the size of a typical Muskie, it is important to have the right equipment when targeting them. A heavy duty pole with heavier fishing line is recommended (target 20-25 pound line) and be sure to use a leader wire in the 75-100 pound range. Nobody wants to lose a trophy Muskie (or any fish) because they aren't prepared.

Anglers in many areas are strongly encouraged to practice catch and release when fishing for muskellunge due to their low population. Be sure to check to local/provincial websites for the specific conservation guidelines and regulations

Additional Info

Big Baits for Big Muskie

Top Fishing Trips for Muskie


Anderson's Lodge
Anderson's Lodge
34 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $3,000 to $4,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $2,000 to $3,000 Per Person
Manotak Lodge
Manotak Lodge
51 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Andy Myers Lodge
Andy Myers Lodge
47 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $750 to $1,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $750 to $1,000 Per Person
Wilderness Air Escapes
Wilderness Air Escapes
4.9 out of 5 43 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
Rainbow Point Lodge
Rainbow Point Lodge
41 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Maynard Lake Lodge
Maynard Lake Lodge
37 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $2,000 to $3,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $2,000 to $3,000 Per Person
Birch Dale Lodge
Birch Dale Lodge
4.8 out of 5 36 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Bear's Den Lodge
Bear's Den Lodge
32 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Gateway North Outfitters
Gateway North Outfitters
4.7 out of 5 31 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
Oak Lake Lodge
Oak Lake Lodge
25 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
4 - 5 Days: $2,000 to $3,000 Per Person
Slippery Winds Wilderness Lodge
Slippery Winds Wilderness Lodge
25 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $1,500 to $2,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
Delaney Lake Lodge
Delaney Lake Lodge
4.8 out of 5 23 Google Reviews
4 - 5 Days: $2,000 to $3,000 Per Person
Stanley's Resort
Stanley's Resort
20 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $750 to $1,000 Per Person
Clark's Resorts and Outposts
Clark's Resorts and Outposts
16 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
Gold Arrow Camp
Gold Arrow Camp
4.7 out of 5 15 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $500 to $599 Per Person
Big North Lodge and Outposts
Big North Lodge and Outposts
4.9 out of 5 15 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $750 to $1,000 Per Person
Hideaway Lodge
Hideaway Lodge
14 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $750 to $1,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Cliff Lake Resorts
Cliff Lake Resorts
4.8 out of 5 14 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $250 to $500 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $250 to $500 Per Person
Perrault Lake Camp
Perrault Lake Camp
4.8 out of 5 13 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $250 to $500 Per Person
Indian Lake Lodge
Indian Lake Lodge
4.7 out of 5 12 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $250 to $500 Per Person
Blue Heron Resort
Blue Heron Resort
12 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $250 to $500 Per Person
Howey Bay Resort and Outposts
Howey Bay Resort and Outposts
11 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $750 to $1,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
Booi's Fly-In Lodge and Outpost
Booi's Fly-In Lodge and Outpost
5.0 out of 5 9 Google Reviews
6 - 7 Days: $1,500 to $2,000 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $1,500 to $2,000 Per Person
No Image Available
Big Canon Lake Lodge
8 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
Huber's Lone Pine Lodge
Huber's Lone Pine Lodge
7 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
Pine Sunset Lodge
Pine Sunset Lodge
5 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $250 to $500 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $250 to $500 Per Person
Fletcher Lake Lodge
Fletcher Lake Lodge
5.0 out of 5 5 Google Reviews
4 - 5 Days: $2,000 to $3,000 Per Person
Ghost River Lodges
Ghost River Lodges
4 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $1,000 to $1,500 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $750 to $1,000 Per Person
Cedar Lake Lodge
Cedar Lake Lodge
2 Reviews - TripAdvisor® Traveler Rating
6 - 7 Days: $500 to $750 Per Person
4 - 5 Days: $250 to $500 Per Person