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Tiger Muskie Release Tips


Tiger Muskellunge (Tiger Muskie) are efficient predators, but surprisingly delicate. It is important to carefully release these giant predators, so they can live to be caught another day.

Don't fight the fish to exhaustion get the fish to the boat as quickly as possible especially in the summer. Fighting the fish builds up lactic acid in it's muscles depleting oxygen and causes more of them to die when released. That's why we don't use mono line use the super braid. I'd recommend a minimum 40 lb test.

A good quality knotless net is needed to prevent injuring the fish eyes, fins, and protective coating. But these nets are pricey...so it's recommended but will leave that to you. We have a deep Frabil.

Keep the fish in the net in water while removing the hook. We've found 85% of the time the hook comes out in the net as when you hook a TM 95% of the time it's just lipped hooked. Once the hook is out get it out of the way and stow the pole. With the TM in the water in the net grab the tail and turn it on side this puts the fish into a trance like state.

Never pinch the fish's eyes - that's an old wives tail. If you do this it will permentaly damage the eyes causing blindness.

Keep the fish on it's side holding the tail then with the other hand place it in the forward most portion of the gill plate. Keeping the TM on it's side lift the fish into the boat for a quick measurement/picture. We measure first then picture then quickly back into the water. We use a bump board to measure the fish as it's quick...here's a link to view what a bump board looks like just in case you haven't seen one.

Never hold the fish continually in the vertical postion as this can damage vital internal organs as gravity takes over. And a fish uses the water to support it.

Don't place the fish on the bottom of a hot metal boat in the summer. Another death sentence to the fish.

You should never have the fish out of the water for over a 25-30 seconds maximum.

Finally, don't just plop the fish over the side place the fish in the water holding it's tail moving it from side to side until you feel the fish wanting to swim away on its own. Just plopping a "large" TM over the side is a death sentence to the fish. They sink to the bottom belly up and die.

Tiger Muskies are a "sterile" fish...once it's gone that's one less for others to catch. The Tiger Muskie is a very hearty fish and if properly released will likely survive.

So there you have it good luck and I hope the above helps you out someday if you happen to hook into one of these fish of 10,000 casts.

Tiger Muskie info

Here are a couple other pages with other useful tips.

Muskie Release Tips Video
More Muskie Release Tips