Missouri may not be a hot destination for Muskie fishing but, that is changing thanks to the tireless efforts by the Missouri Department of Conservation. colgraber photo

Muskies are not native to Missouri, but a stocking program begun in 1966 introduced them into a handful of the state’s waters. Muskies, short for muskellunge, are currently stocked in five Missouri lakes, each of which offers the chance for anglers to tangle with trophy sized fish.

Muskies are the top predator in lakes where they have been introduced. Reaching lengths of 40 inches or more, these toothy fish are known for their vicious strikes and line ripping fights.

The most popular technique for catching muskie in Missouri is casting large, artificial lures, usually 5-10 inches long and weighing 1-3 ounces. This technique allows anglers to cover a lot of water and offer a variety of presentations. Avoid getting too close to the location where you suspect a muskie is lurking. Instead, stay back and cast to the location to keep from spooking the fish. This is especially important in shallow water.

Muskies have a habit of following lures to the boat without striking. Watch for a toothy giant trailing behind your lure. “Follows” are nearly as exciting as a strike and are an important draw of muskie fishing.

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