American Oceans

The Biggest Muskie Ever Caught

top view of a giant muskellunge in the water

Muskellunge, commonly known as muskie, is a freshwater fish native to North America. These fish are highly sought after by anglers due to their size and ferocity. Known for their impressive size, muskies can grow to be over 50 inches long and weigh more than 60 pounds, making them the ultimate trophy fish for many anglers.

World Record Muskie

The world of muskie fishing has seen many impressive catches, but the most famous and widely regarded as the biggest one ever caught is the world-record muskie. Caught by an angler named Louis Spray in 1949, this legendary fish weighed an astonishing 69 pounds, 11 ounces, and measured 63.5 inches in length with a girth of 31.75 inches.

Although many anglers have made attempts to break this world record, no one has yet succeeded in catching a muskie of greater size. The fish’s massive weight and impressive measurements have solidified its place as the biggest muskie ever caught.

Significant Catches Throughout History

person holding an enormous muskie fish

The muskie, or muskellunge, is a highly prized fish among anglers, and several noteworthy catches have been recorded throughout history. Some of the most notable muskie catches involve record-setting lengths and weights, as well as the skilled anglers who reeled them in.

In 1949, Cal Johnson caught a massive muskie in Lake Court Oreilles, Wisconsin, setting a new world record. The fish measured 60.25 inches (153 cm) long and weighed 67 lbs 8 oz (30.6 kg). This record stood for nearly a decade before being surpassed in 1957 by Louis Spray, who caught a 69 lbs 11 oz (31.6 kg) muskie in the same lake.

Another notable catch occurred in 1984, when Garry Ishii landed a 64 lbs (29 kg) muskie in Elk Lake, Ontario. Other significant muskie catches include Gene Borucki’s 58 lbs (26.3 kg) fish from Pewaukee Lake, Wisconsin, in 1979 and Joe Seeberger’s 58 lbs 29 in (26.3 kg, 73.7 cm) muskie from Lake Bellaire, Michigan, in 2012.

Controversies Surrounding Muskie Records

jumping muskie fish

In the world of muskie fishing, records and “biggest catches” are often subjects of debate and controversy. One of the main issues is the accuracy of the estimated weight of the fish. Often, the fish are caught, weighed, and released, with only photographs and the word of the angler as evidence.

Some of the more famous muskie catches are judged by biologists based on the photographs provided by the anglers. These biologists consider factors like the length of the fish, its girth, and the angler’s experience when making their estimates. However, without a certified weigh-in, doubts can remain about the true weight of these catches.

Aside from weight controversies, the handling of muskies when they’re caught can also spark debate. Some anglers argue that the practice of “bump-boarding” (temporarily laying a fish on a measuring board) or extended photography sessions can be harmful to the fish, and should be avoided.

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