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MUSKYMAN1011

How Often do Muskies eat?

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I have read many different opinions on this but I thought I'd put it on the board and see what you all think?

In Africa if a Lion makes a Kill on a Zebra and gorges itself it can go for several days before eating again.

Would this also hold true when a 48 inch 28 lb Musky eats a couple 3 lb suckers....would the big ole female go days before eating again?

Or if a Muskie eats a small perch would this mean the muskie would have to eat several times a day to get a Stomach full?

I have a friend who eats like 5 times a day (smaller meals) but I also have a friend who can "gorge down" a Large Pizza and wash it down with a medium size pizza all by himself.

FYI: The Pizza eater is a BIG MAN!

the friend who eats 5 times a day is on the slim side!

Any theory’s out there?

Thanks

Brian K

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Well, the lion analogy is tough to use because they are warm blooded. They're metabolism changes based on age/growth and minimally on climate. Compared to cold blooded fish who's metabolism dramatically increases with temperature.

I've seen schools of "bait" fish getting chased all over the place for quite extended periods of time. I'd imagine the kill/catch ratio is pretty good for esox, so maybe their multiple feeding? Then I start pitching a lure in there and catch a fish after say 20 minutes of chasing the pod of bait. I caught an upper 30's pike a couple weeks ago and I could feel and see the bluegill/sunny/etc in it's stomach and it came right after my bait within 5 minutes of the bait jumping around.

At the end of the day, they are and have to be oppurtunists to survive. Where's an 800lb gorilla sit? Anywhere he wants. How often does he eat? As often as he wants....

-Jeff

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I'd imagine a couple times a day, depending on the forage. If it can eat a big sucker maybe once a day, but if it has to feed on 6" perch and gills several times a day. They can certainly survive longer without food, but they'll want to eat again pretty soon.

And if it's my pet bass, it's always feeding time. It surprises me how much something that never has to move more than 2 feet to eat is capable of eating.

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We've all either seen it or had it happen, where we catch a fish (pike usually) and their gut is bursting and the tail of the fish they just ate is still sticking out of their gullet - yet they tried to eat our lure. I think Jeff's thoughts on muskies being opportunists is probably correct. In Indiana this spring, we saw two muskies chasing shad right on top. We saw one of them t-bone an 8-9 inch shad. I threw in immediately and hooked a fish. Didn't know if it was the one, but when I got him close to the boat and lifted up on him a bit and he opened his mouth, a shad popped out and swam away. So I think when they're in the mood and the opportunity presents itself, they keep feeding. On the one hand I hope the fish I'm fishing for are gorging on big oily ciscoes and suckers so they get big and fat, but on the other hand we'd probably catch more if they had to work to feed themselves on 6" perch - I think they'd be a lot more likely to also try to eat our baits than if they had just eaten a bigger meal. But I think the comparison has some merit when describing your big friend - our quarry is not going to keep her girlish figure by only eating once every few days - I hope!

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I had a grass pickerel in a tank growing up, and I'd feed it a dozen goldfish every week. It was only 7-11 inches long during the time I had it, but it would absolutely go ape nuts over these goldfish. Once it slammed 7 in a row (these are 1-2 inch feeder goldfish) and had them in his gullet, mouth, and everywhere in between. But then he'd be fine not eating for a week or even two. I think they're just all opportunistic predators that eat as much as they can whenever they can get it

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I think these three pics show a lot. Look at the beer gut or lack there of depending on the fish.

46 that was pretty empty--

Misc069.jpg

44 that was FULL--

Opener.jpg

48 that was probably empty, but the hold could be deceiving. (and the fish looks empty too! :-P)

resize800_WB_48_DCG.jpg

My point is they all ate pretty big lures, even the 44 that looks like it just ate a school of perch.

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I had a grass pickerel in a tank growing up, and I'd feed it a dozen goldfish every week. It was only 7-11 inches long during the time I had it, but it would absolutely go ape nuts over these goldfish. Once it slammed 7 in a row (these are 1-2 inch feeder goldfish) and had them in his gullet, mouth, and everywhere in between. But then he'd be fine not eating for a week or even two. I think they're just all opportunistic predators that eat as much as they can whenever they can get it

My bass ate a minnow that was the same size as it (only about 2" at the time). Literally the tail was sticking out of its mouth until it digested the first half, then it swallowed the second half. Currently it eats a half dozen worms a feeding (normal size you would have a kid use as bait). The fish isn't even 6" long yet.

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it's temperature based in all cold blooded animals and aquatics, warmer means more food to sustain a faster metabolism.. how much is... when they are satisfied... and how often is... whenever they are not satisfied. simple huh?

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