How to Hold a Musky (and other info)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Tiger muskie maven offers fishing tips

Warmwater anglers looking for the chance to tangle with a big fish should consider the tiger muskellunge.

These toothy crossbred fish can reach 30 pounds and measure nearly 50 inches long. And they can be found in lakes spread across Washington.

A cross between male northern pike and female muskellunge, the sterile tiger muskies were introduced in Washington when they were planted at Mayfield Lake in 1988. Since then, they have been planted in 11 lakes statewide.

Don Wittenberger has been fishing for tiger muskies in Washington for the last 15 years. He grew up fishing for muskellunge, often called the fish of 10,000 casts, in Wisconsin.

While he concentrates most of his efforts on Merwin Reservoir, a Clark County impoundment on the Lewis River, Wittenberger also has fished for tigers at Lake Tapps, Mayfield Lake, Evergreen Reservoir, Curlew Lake, Newman Lake and Red Rock Reservoir.

“There are some significant differences between fishing for tiger muskies in Washington, and fishing for muskies in the Midwest,” Wittenberger said.

One of the big differences is few Washington anglers fish specifically for muskies.

“So the fishing pressure for tiger muskies is comparatively light, and your chances of catching a muskie in Washington may be better than in Wisconsin or Minnesota,” he said.

Another major difference is the makeup of Washington lakes. They tend to lack the structure, such as sunken rock bars, points and islands, that are common in Midwest lakes.

In Washington, anglers are most likely to find tiger muskies in weed beds or close to wood structures in the lake, such as stumps, Wittenberger said.
Jeffrey P. Mayor, The News Tribune


At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a 3 foot musky living off my dock at Lake Tapps, come and get him...


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