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Jameson

Why are the muskies all beat up right now?

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Over the last week on Tonka I have probably seen 10 muskies ranging in size from just over 30 inches to probably over 52 inches. Every one of them has been "beat up" pretty bad with many marks on them. One was easy to see the gash left from a hook in the top of the muskie's mouth, and grab marks just behind the head, but all the rest sort of look like prop damage. The muskie today was probably just over 40 inches and had a big white mark on it's head, and many smaller marks mid body, and again toward the tail.

Are they that beat up from spawning? Propellers? Ice fisherman? Today's 40 incher's marks looked like maybe the could have been from another muskie mouthing it from the side, but that just seems not entirely possible.

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Seems a little early for the spawn but I have watched muskies spawn from my deck in Wi since 1971. The female will swim a slow serpentine pattern while the smaller males ram and bite her inducing her to drop eggs. They are pretty brutal the females get really beat up and scarred.Takes about a month to heal up. Muskies make no nests and offer no parenting. Just broadcast spawning. The male fish should remain pretty clean and all females of spawning age will be beat up.

Mwal

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I'll second Jameson on that- I saw some in Tonka yesterday and I did notice some marks, too

would it be the same deal for big pike, too?

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It's possible but i have never observed Pike spawning since they will spawn under ice if its a late spring and tend to be more in tune with the length of daylight as the trigger. Muskies are temperature spawner's and spawn according to water temp. So a lot of years that's in May. This year early ice off will have water warming faster so perhaps they have started already. That why Pike season opens with general as they spawned well before the opener whether the ice was late coming off or not. Muskie opener is later to give them time to get r done. When they are doing the actual spawning swim they are oblivious to what is going on around them and have almost hit us when putting docks in. They are very vulnerable to being snagged etc.

Mwal

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It's spawning,,,spawning is a violent act,,in fact I was told by a well known local guide the dnr was out on Rebbeca two weeks ago getting eggs.

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Actually this got me curious so I called the west metro dnr fisheries office and asked them if they were stripping muskie eggs yet and needed any volunteers. They said they were completely done with all their egg take got what they needed on Rebecca,,,Reb is smaller then Tonka but I'm sure those beat up Tonka fish were spawning too.

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Muskies really beat the snot out of each other when they spawn. Some of the males look like somebody beat them with a rake. Caught one on Lake of the Woods once that had one of its pectoral fins completely pulled off.

They seem to take it all in stride - swimming around with big smiles on their faces... smile

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full-17837-55213-fishie.jpg

Got a pic today of the same fish from yesterday. It has a big mark on the head, and many smaller marks on the body. Also a tag in its tail.

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Yep they're spawning.

I had muskie feva under control until I saw that pic. Good thing I'm in MA/CT right now or I'd be impulse buying like crazy!

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What are water temps like in the shallows? Main basins? I didn't think it was that warm yet but the proof is in the pics! Awesome shot by the way.

Seeing other species spawn yet?

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What are water temps like in the shallows? Main basins? I didn't think it was that warm yet but the proof is in the pics! Awesome shot by the way.

Seeing other species spawn yet?

I've seen muskies spawning less than a week after of ice out, so the spawn is likely over on most lakes in the cities.

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...Seeing other species spawn yet?

no,,,,,,,,,but I am not out there fishing, I am installing docks. Haven't seen many LM bass or sunnies at all. Those are the only two species I will usually see on nests.

Also thanks for the replies everyone. I have a very short very clear video, too. But don't think that would actually help anyone here. grin

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Jameson,

Was that muskie in the pic from St. Louis Bay? It looks just like the one I saw a couple weeks ago. It had the same marks but I thought it was a little early for the muskie spawn.

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nope, Smithtown Bay.

Anyone thinking they now need to go to Smithtown Bay for all the muskies, think again. We have been seeing them all over the lake. They seem to be attracted to our dock installing activity. Not sure if it is the floats in the water, or the pinging noise from pounding pipe, but they seem to hunt us at times.

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