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Thread: How common are 55"+ fish?

  1. #1
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    How common are 55"+ fish?

    So I don't target musky very often and have caught under 5 in my life but the other day I was fishing a lake and caught a 55-1/4" musky in Metro MN. It was on the skinny side and I know its a huge fish. But how common are 55"ers, are they as common as 30" walleye? I guess since im not as familiar with Musky as most other species I dont know what to think, my buddy made it sound like very few musky fisherman ever catch a 55?

  2. #2
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    They are rare in my opinion. I have personally caught over 2850 musky and only have 1 over 55". It also depends on where you fish. Some lakes will never produce a fish of that caliber. Some lakes put out a few a year that size (Mille Lacs, Vermillion, St. Clair, St. Lawrence, Eagle) and a few others but not many.
    Congrats on your fish you may never get another one that big.
    Jeff Hanson
    madisonmuskyguide.com

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    Greetings,

    I believe that Jeff summed it up pretty well. The true giants (i.e. >55 inches) are likely pretty darn rare. The fish must have the genetics and the environment (e.g. type of water and food) to grow that big, plus be lucky enough to live that long.

    I regularly fish a lake in NW Ontario that has a minimum size limit of 54 inches for muskies. I have seen only one fish in about fifty weeks of fishing that I am pretty sure would have been legal. I've seen a few other fish that might have just squeaked past the legal size limit. My personal bests in that lake are 52 and 52.5 inches.

    I was able to get a very good look at the fish over 54 inches that I mentioned above. It came in and paused for a few moments just as I started my figure 8. It then went under the boat. I kept the figure 8 going for what seemed forever. That fish came out from under the boat, grabbed my bait, ran out about twenty feet of line and then spit the lure out.

    It was that moment that I acquired a much better appreciation of the importance of using sharp hooks. In addition, my bucktails now have much larger hook sizes than I was using that day.

    Good fishing and tight lines!!

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    While 55 + inch muskies aren't real "common", I don't believe that they should be considered "rare" (in the book world, "rare" denotes 3 or less known to exist). Double nickels however are at that point in the musky realm where few anglers get the opportunity to catch one that size or bigger.

    Having said that, I sincerely believe that WHERE you fish has far more to do with having that opportunity than just time on the water. In my 61 years of musky angling, I have been fortunate enough to have caught a half-dozen or more at 55 and larger, but I have been spending the majority of my fishing time on waters capable of producing fish of that caliber.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Steve Heiting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry_Ramsell View Post
    While 55 + inch muskies aren't real "common", I don't believe that they should be considered "rare" (in the book world, "rare" denotes 3 or less known to exist). Double nickels however are at that point in the musky realm where few anglers get the opportunity to catch one that size or bigger.

    Having said that, I sincerely believe that WHERE you fish has far more to do with having that opportunity than just time on the water. In my 61 years of musky angling, I have been fortunate enough to have caught a half-dozen or more at 55 and larger, but I have been spending the majority of my fishing time on waters capable of producing fish of that caliber.
    I was going to say "rare," but given Larry's definition, I guess they aren't. How about very uncommon?

    Congratulations on your fish. As Jeff said, you may never get another that big, but I certainly hope you do.
    Steve Heiting

    www.steveheiting.com

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    Greetings,

    I found these definitions of the word "rare":

    1. Coming or occurring far apart in time; unusual; uncommon
    2. Thinly distributed over an area; few and widely separated

    For me, muskies at 55 inches or greater are rare indeed!

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    Yes I have caught under 5 muskies, this lake was VERY small but has some depth. The friend who told me about this said his uncle caught a 60" out of the lake and he isn't he type to exaggerate. Now that I have got this 55 I believe him %100. I have fished the lake under 10 times and my friend got a 45 and now I have the 55 so I'm sure the lake is loaded. I guess its better to be lucky than good, I have a replica on the way from Artistic anglers in Duluth MN. After doing some research it appears this fish was past its prime probably over 20 years old as it had the big head and skinnier body, was not super skinny but should of had another 5-10lbs on her.

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    While appreciate Larry's definition of "rare", I think it quite appropriate for a 55 inch musky. Sure, they are out there, but many avid musky fisherman have never seen one, let alone caught one, through a lifetime of fishing.

    My advice would normally be to "walk away", as your expectations for future larger fish are most likely to go unrealized. Kind of like someone who shoots a really big white-tail buck as a kid, and never even sees another one as large through the next 30 years. That's what you would normally be dealing with here.

    On the other hand, if your first two fish out of this lake were a 45 and a 55, then maybe your third will be a 65... I believe she is out there somewhere.

    I've lost a couple of fish that may have been 55+, and have seen one larger, so it's always possible!

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    All fish are rare until you cook them.

  10. #10
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    For me, fish that are 50"+ aren't real common. However, when I talk to the crappie & walleye fishermen, they seem to be pretty common. They must be a lot better fishermen than me......

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