Putting their difficult-to-catch trait aside, muskies also fight hard when you finally get them on the hook. They present a challenge to anyone going after them, as muskies fight hard and hit your bait harder. But do they fight that hard? And if so, is there a chance you can come out on top?
Do Muskies Fight Hard? Yes, muskies fight hard. Muskies have a predatory nature that makes them good at fighting to be able to hunt most of their time. Their powerful bodies are built for speed and their strong muscles allow them to fiercely attack their prey and fight their way out of a lure as well.
Read on to know more about these vicious creatures, and how can you beat them in the fight they put.
Do Muskies Fight Hard?
Muskies are known to be one of the most aggressive freshwater fish out there. Some people call it “the Barracuda of freshwater” due to how vicious and aggressive they can be. They spend most of their time hunting and attacking their prey underwater, and they continue fighting their way out of the net when caught.
Muskies are big fish that can grow as long as 6 feet (1.8 meters) long, while possibly weighing more than 50 pounds (about 22.5 KG) with strong muscles that allow them to be fast and vicious. So you can imagine that they won’t raise the white flag so easily when they catch your lure.
Muskies also get easily stressed when taken out of water for longer than they should which can result in more aggressive behavior. So don’t think they will calm down once you hold them in a net, they brutally fight their way out of the bait or net and won’t stop rapidly moving for a while.
How Hard Do Muskies Fight?
Muskies are one of the strongest freshwater fish. They have a body of a predator, it’s long and thin and allows them to swim and attack quickly. They have well-set muscles and a powerful tail. They also have sharp sets of teeth that help them in their attacks.
When they attack, muskies use their whole body to thrash around on the surface and throw water when they hit your bait. Right when a muskie hits your lure it immediately realizes it has something in its mouth that shouldn’t be there, so it does everything it can to shake it out.
Many anglers confirmed that a muskie can break and damage your gear when they’re fighting, their powerful muscles and teeth may break your rod in half and cut the line.
That’s why muskie fishing requires special gear with at least medium-heavy rods and 80 lb braided lines with a 100 lb fluorocarbon leader to put up with muskies’ weight and the extra weight of the fight. You can check the braided lines you need for muskies here, and you can check my list of recommended muskie reels here as well.
How Long Can Muskies Fight?
It’s true that muskies fight hard however, their fight rarely lasts for two solid minutes. You’ll see them rapidly moving around using all their muscles to get out of your net or bait, but that will last for only a minute.
Once you get through these sixty seconds or so, you can safely hold a musky with both hands and they will just lay there motionless as long as you don’t keep it too long out of the water till it’s stressed out again. Note that holding them any other way will cause them stress, which can result in more aggressiveness.
To learn how handle a muskie in much more details, check out my guide on handling muskies here.
9 Tips to Win the Fight Against Muskies More Easily?
When it’s inevitable that you’re facing muskies’ fight when you hook one, you have to use some tips and tricks to outmaneuver these brutal creatures and go home with pictures, not memories of failed attempts.
These 9 tips will help you get through the sixty challenging seconds you face before you get a muskie on the boat:
- Sharpen your hooks so they easily penetrate a musky’s tough mouth.
- Pull hard in the opposite direction of the way the muskie swims to ensure that the hook is set. You need to set the hook hard. It may take two or more swings of your long rod to get the hooks set. In most cases, one hard hookset is all it takes to lock-up the muskie.
- Use a rod that’s longer than 8 ft (about 2.5 meters). Long rods do a better job of setting the hook more than shorter ones. They can help you with longer casts and bigger figure-8’s. Also, after hooking a muskie they do a greater job in keeping the line (use no-stretch lines) tight.
- Set your reel tight to get a better hookset then back off the drag while you’re fighting the muskie.
- Keep the rod tip low and to the side. Don’t vertically pull a muskie. This will also help you keep the muskie’s head under the water so their actions are slower and more manageable.
- Pull the musky for a lap around the boat once you’re sure the hook is set. This will make the muskie swim rather than thrash and it’ll minimize the effort spent to control it.
- Be ready with your muskie net. Muskie net provides great control and ensures both the fish safety and yours as well. It’s advisable to put the caught muskie in the net and keep it under the water during the measurement process so as not to stress it out. It’s easier if you have a partner on the boat so while you’re reeling the muskie, they’ll be ready to put it on the net.
- Don’t vertically hold your muskie. It gets stressed out when you hold them this way and can lead up to more aggressiveness. Holding them horizontally ensures a natural position, make sure you’re not holding them by the gills either as it may damage them.
- Hold your musky with rubber gloves to avoid getting a bite on your fingers. To say you won your fight against a muskie you need to get out without injuries as well.
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Can You Eat Muskie Fish?
Yes, you can eat muskie. Muskies are edible and can be cooked in many tasty ways that appeal to fish eaters. Before you decide to keep a muskie for dinner make sure you’re not catching them in regulated waters when it’s banned to keep them.
Will a Muskie Attack a Human?
Yes, muskies can attack humans. However, it occurs very rarely and it’s not based on feeding purposes. Muskies may bite humans with their set of sharp teeth because they mistook them for something they could eat. You can avoid the bite if you followed some simple precautions.
How Many Casts does it take to Catch a Muskie?
Ten thousand casts are what it takes to catch a muskie according to a popular saying. They’re hard to catch and very unpredictable when it comes to biting the lures, many anglers spend hours and sometimes days trying to get it right.
How To Rig Muskie?
To rig a Muskie you need 8-to-6 feet (2.5-to-1.8 meters) medium-heavy rod, a large bait-casting reel, A 100-pound-test (45 KG) braided line, Release tools, muskie net, and highly visible lures. Locate yourself in their prime spots, mostly around weed beds, depending on where you’re fishing.