Welcome to Musky Heaven

Ontario is the top destination in the world for Musky fishing. Ontario is also home to most of the biggest fish even caught, which is why it's a meca for fishing. Muskellunge have been referred to as the freshwater sharks of the north and sit at the top of the food chain as the freshwater apex predatory fish in North America. They have a reputation for being the hardest fighting freshwater fish and have become the fishing poster fish representing true sports-fishing and conservation in Ontario, Canada. You already know that if you are experienced with these fish.

Even though most fish caught are in the 30 to 45 inch range there are thousands of fish 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 lodges ready to make your fishing vacation a very enjoyable experience and help you catch one of Ontario Monster Trophies. I have all the top fishing lodges in Ontario listed in this website as well as tons of fishing photos, fishing tips, techniques and fishing information. I even have outpost camps listed.

Musky Research Information

Their scientific name is Esox Masquinongy. The words Muskellunge is 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 Muskie 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 Muskie 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. In eastern Ontario there are the Kawartha Lakes and north of Kingston and Belleville is Big Gull Lake. These lakes all produce Muskie over 40 inches. 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. Lac Suel is in Northwestern Ontario, which is where most of the biggest fish come from.

Biology & Reproduction

Muskellunge 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.

Big Fish Alert (not Ontario):

55 pounder caught-&-released December 4/2013 by Dr. Mark Carlson of Illinois in the St. Lawrence River. Click Here to see photo.

Growth Rates

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. Fish 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.

Age Calculation

This is how to calculate the age of a Muskie over 40 inches. If your fish is under 40 inches then the value for B has to be recalculated. Below is calulating the age of a 54-inch Musky.

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 located in the menu above.

If you are a Musky fanatic and would like to contribute to this web site, please send your fishing tips, fishing stories and Musky 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 Musky lodge or destination for your Ontario Fishing vacation. Email me at gary@musky.ca