Tiger Muskie Fishing In Lake Michigan

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tiger musky fishing luresLocated along the shores of Lake Michigan, Jean Klock Park is one of Michigan’s great treasures. Growing up in the area, I can remember dad taking me out in the boat in Lake Michigan along the shores of the beach of Jean Klock Park. Out on the lake, we would fish primarily for salmon, which is what most fishermen of Lake Michigan aim to catch. But, did you know, that Lake Michigan is also home to some rare musky and even rarer tiger muskies? Although, muskies are rarely caught on Lake Michigan, as very few anglers actually set out to go tiger muskie fishing in Lake Michigan. Grab one of your favorite muskie rods and get ready as we explain more about tiger musky fishing in Lake Michigan.

According to the Michigan DNR, Michigan is home to two types of muskie – the Northern musky and the Great Lakes muskie. In 2011, the state shifted it’s focus more towards raising Great Lakes muskie. Tiger muskies, which are a hybrid between muskellunge and northern pike, used to also be stocked in Michigan. However, tiger muskies are no longer being raised in Michigan fish hatcheries. While more abundant in in-land lakes with more northern pike, naturally-produced tiger muskie are very rarely caught on Lake Michigan.

tiger muskie

The reason that muskies in Lake Michigan are so rare, and almost always caught by “accident”, is because the lake lacks something that most smaller lakes offer. Structure. You see, Lake Michigan is essentially a giant sand box under all of that water. In order to thrive in larger numbers, musky require weed beds, rock piles, and steep edges. The flat bottom and lack of structure make Lake Michigan less ideal for tiger muskie than smaller lakes.

The Great Lakes muskie of Michigan are by far most common in the Detroit River and the very popular Lake St. Clair. Lake St. Clair features world-class tiger muskie fisheries, and offers an extensive fleet of musky charter boats that aim to catch muskellunge by trolling for muskies. Additionally, the number of smaller, private boat anglers that jig or cast for musky also continues to grow. The Lake St. Clair musky season opens the first Saturday in June and closes on December 15th. The later tiger muskie season is because the water system is fed by much colder, Lake Michigan water.

Interest in fishing in Michigan is likely to increase thanks to the focus on Great Lakes muskie and the number of lakes that have been stocked with them. This is great news for the state’s economy. The shift to muskies is anticipated to lure anglers in from other states, like Wisconsin and Indiana. Although, it will take several years before the muskies are more common in the catch. Using Lake St. Clair’s musky fishery as a guide of what to expect, muskie fishing in Lake Michigan is something worth waiting for.

Check out this video of awesome tiger muskie fishing in Michigan. If this doesn’t get your blood pumping, or make you want to help to preserve Michigan’s natural wonders like Jean Klock Park, then we don’t know what will.

Back in February of 2014, Howard Meyerson wrote a great article describing the musky stocking efforts of the state. The author doe s a nice job of explaining the details of the state’s muskie stocking program. We encourage you to give it a read. You can also learn more about tiger muskies at TigerMuskie.net.