When you think of fish attacking humans, you’d think it would only happen in the ocean. However, there have been some reports of alleged attacks on humans in freshwaters, especially from big aggressive fish species.
One of the most aggressive freshwater fish species out there is Musky Fish. They’re known as “the Barracuda of freshwater” because of how vicious they can get when they’re killing their prey.
So, has a muskie ever killed a human? Muskies have never killed a human before. They have been known to attack or bite humans, however, these attacks are very rare and they’re not done for the purpose of feeding on humans. Muskies will only attack if they feel threatened or if they mistook the human body for something to eat.
Keep reading to learn more about the violent nature of musky fish and how to properly handle them without getting bitten by them.
Are Muskies Violent by Nature?
Muskies are apex predators with impressive hunting abilities. They are huge, fast and they have a sharp set of teeth that they use to tear into their prey.
They can be violent when fighting underwater for the meal and out of the water when they’re caught.
Because of their predatory nature, they will attack anything they think they can feed on or if they feel threatened. This can make them somewhat dangerous to humans, but it’s very rare that an attack actually takes place and there are never any serious injuries caused.
They can attack us, though, and you can learn why and when do Muksies attack humans here.
Will Muskies Eat Humans?
Muskies have a diverse diet because of their predatory nature. However, Human flesh is not really a part of that diet. So, in the rare event of an attack, muskies might try to bite humans but they will never actually eat them.
They actually tend to feed on various large fish species such as yellow perch, suckers, bluegills, golden shiners, walleyes, and smallmouth bass.
How to Avoid Musky Bites?
As mentioned before, musky attacks on humans are very rare but not impossible. Their bite will not cause any serious injuries but it might leave you with some cuts and scrapes, so it’s very important to take proper precautions when dealing with muskies.
Here are some useful tips you can follow to safely handle a musky fish after catching it to avoid getting injured.
Tips to Safely Handle a Musky
- Never try to hold or unhook the musky using your bare hands. Make sure to always wear thick rubber gloves and use release tools.
- Start by holding the fish in a vertical position while keeping its mouth upwards and its tail facing downwards.
- Use your other hand to hold the fish in a horizontal position by placing it on the fish’s tail right behind the anal fin. Make sure to keep the mouth angled slightly higher to relieve any pressure on the jaw.
- While holding the fish, try to apply equal pressure on all parts of the fish’s body and keep your grip on the musky fixed as much as you can because the more the fish moves around, the more likely you are to get bitten.
- To maintain a more secure grip on the musky, keep your thumb on the inside of the fish’s mouth and place the rest of your fingers pressed against the outside of its mouth. Make sure you’re wearing gloves while doing this.
- When releasing the musky back into the water, do not try to toss it. Make sure to lower the fish as close to the water as possible then slowly loosen your grip and let it swim away.
What to Do if You Get Bitten by a Musky?
If you do get bitten by a musky, their sharp teeth might tear into your skin causing a superficial cut or, if you’re unlucky, a much deeper cut. That’s why you always need to pack basic first aid supplies and an antiseptic before heading out on your fishing trip.
To treat a superficial injury, make sure to rinse the wound with fresh water, apply antiseptic and dress the wound to prevent any infection.
If the wound is deeper, make sure to apply pressure on the wound using clean bandages to slow down the bleeding and consult a professional as you could need stitches.
Can Muskies Bite off Your Finger?
Muskies can’t bite off your finger. While they do have sharp teeth, they are not strong enough to cut through your finger bone. Their bite might cause superficial wounds or even some deeper wounds but nothing too serious. You can always protect your hand from the musky’s teeth by wearing thick rubber gloves.
Do Muskies Jump Out of the Water?
Muskies do jump out of the water. The main reason they do this is because they need to force air out of their bladder through their esophagus to reduce its swelling as this allows them to swim at different depths when they re-enter the water. Another reason is to clear any debris or parasites that are stuck in their gills.
How to Safely Remove a Hook from Musky Fish?
In order to safely remove a hook from a musky fish, you need to hold the fish in a vertical position using one hand. With your other hand, use fishing pliers to grip the eye of the hook and roll it toward the hook point. When you feel the hook yanking at the fish’s mouth, twist the hook’s point then gently pull it out of the fish’s lips.
- Going Muskie Fishing? Get bigger catches quickly with these dead baits for Muskies and these effective lures for Muskies in all conditions.
- New to Muskie fishing? Learn how to make fishing for Muskies easier here.
- Explore the untapped potential for muskie fishing at night in this guide.
- Learn how to use live bluegill for super Muskies here.
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