Ontario is the top destination in the world for Muskie fishing. It's also home to most of the biggest fish even caught. They have been referred to as the Sharks of the north and sit at the top of the food chain as the apex predatory freshwater fish in North America. They have a reputation for being the hardest fighting freshwater fish and have become the poster fish representing true sportsfishing and conservation in Ontario, Canada. You already know that if you are an experienced Muskie hunter.
Even though most fish caught are in the 30 to 45 inch range there are thousands of Muskie caught in Ontario's lakes every year in the 50 to 62-inch range. Ontario is your best chance at a trophy fish and there are hundreds of Muskie fishing lodges ready to make your fishing vacation a very enjoyable experience and help you catch one of Ontario Monster Trophy Muskie. I have all the top fishing lodges in Ontario listed in this website as well as tons of photos, fishing tips, techniques and information. I even have outpost camps with Muskie fishing listed.
The scientific name for Muskie is Esox Masquinongy. The words Muskie, Musky or Muskellunge are derived from the Cree Indian word Maashkinoozhe, which means ugly Pike. Muskie are indigenous to North America but generally many lakes with Muskie south of the Great Lakes are lakes where Muskie have been introduced and in many cases have not had time to evolve to suit their environment, whether that means getting bigger or smaller. In Northwestern Ontario where Musky have been present for thousands of years, they have evolved into monster sizes in the bigger lakes/
If you are new to Ontario and you are specifically looking for a trophy Musky then I suggest you first look at the following lakes & Rivers: Eagle Lake, Canyon Lake, Wabigoon Lake, Dinorwick Lake, Lake Nipissing, French River, Ottawa River, St. Lawrence River, Lake of the Woods, Lake St. Clair and Lake Nosbonsin. Even though Muskie are not found in great numbers in Lac Suel, which is French for Lake of Soles, there have been Muskie of unbelievable sizes coming out of Lac Seul in the last couple of years including three fish that hit the 62-inch mark in 2012
Muskellunge or Muskie spawn just after the ice goes out on a lake and the females will drop their eggs as soon as the water temperature reaches 50° Fahrenheit or 10° Celsius. The Muskie will drop their eggs in unfavorable conditions if they have to but the prime areas are sandy areas along the shore where there is lots of dead-fall in the water or rotting lodges sitting on the sand. The rotting logs moderate the alkalinity of the water and greatly increase the survival rate of the fertilized eggs. In lakes without sandy areas Muskie have been observed to wait until the water temperature reaches 60° and dropping their eggs on newly growing weed shoots. This is why Muskie season does not open until June on most lakes in Ontario.
55 pounder caught-&-released December 4/2013 by Dr. Mark Carlson of Illinois in the St. Lawrence River.
On average Muskie will grow 6 inches per year until they reach 24 inches or 4 years old and then their growth rate slows down to around 2 inches per year depending on the food supply. In a healthy lake a Muskie should reach 40 inches at the age of 12 years. Once they reach 40 inches they may only grow 1 inch per year. Genetic variances and environmental conditions can either increase of decrease Muskie growth. Every water system is different.
In lakes with warmer water and higher concentrations of suspended organic material, the Muskie can grow a little faster but also rarely live past 20 years old due to the increase chance of contracting diseases; with Lymph Sarcoma being one of the top killers. Muskie in water systems with Zebra Mussels are more prone to scratches, which causes skin infections and death. In northern Lakes with no Zebra Mussels and clean clear water the Muskie growth is slower but can they live much longer.
This is how to calculate the age of a Musky over 40 inches. If your Muskie in under 40 inches then the value for B has to be recalculated. Below is calulating the age of a 54-inch Muskie.
Length = 54 inches
A = 4 (first 4 years - 24 inches)
B = 8 (Next 8 years - 16 inches)
Age = (A + B) + (length-40)
Age = (4 + 8) + (54-40)
Age = (12) + (14)
Age = 26 years
Try my Musky Weight Calculator
If you are a Muskie fanatic and would like to contribute to this web site, please send your fishing tips, fishing stories and Muskie photos to me and I will post them. Please do not send me any copied or copyrighted material. I am also here to help you find the perfect Muskie lodge or destination for your vacation. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org