There are numerous activities involving a fishing rod, reel, and assortment of lures that can be described as fishing. For example, people who don hip waders to cast flies designed to lure trout to the surfaces of rivers in Idaho and Montana are said to be fishing, while the same term applies to those who go for marlin, dorado, and bonito off the coast of Baja. But people who motor out into the middle of an upper-Midwest lake in search of muskies? They are called hunters.

That’s because the musky, or muskie (it’s full name is the muskellunge), can grow to be 5 feet in length, weighing in at a healthy 70 pounds. Even at their typical weight, which is about half that, muskies are beasts, whose mouths are filled with sharp teeth that are used to rip and rend pretty much anything that has the misfortune of swimming in its path. In addition to other fish, the musky diet includes frogs, ducklings, and even water snakes.

Lures designed to attract the musky resemble all of these creatures. Heddon made a Musky Mouse and Paw Paw had a two-legged Musky Wotta-Frog as well as a gunmetal-gray Musky Minnie Mouse, complete with a tail. Paw Paw also made a number of musky lures shaped like pike, which is a relative of the musky that the predator apparently enjoys having over for dinner. In the 1940s, Pflueger produced Musky Mustang lures, one of which was jointed, that were more than 7 inches long.

Perhaps because they could be made so large, musky lures were favorites of amateur tackle makers. Today, some of these pieces are considered works of folk art, in the same way as handmade duck decoys. In fact, simple wooden lures designed to attract muskies were sometimes carved in the shapes of ducks, while fancier decoys were flocked with real duck down or muskrat fur.

Some lures were long and nasty-looking, resembling live electrical wires, with hooks at their ends that appear as charged as cartoon-like sparks. Others were downright artistic, like the handmade musky lure outfitted with a painted propeller and decorated with an eye-catching glass bead. There were seven-inch long, multi-barbed lures made from pieces of carved driftwood, as well as spring-loaded brass lures that released their hidden hook when the lure was clamped down on by the fish.

Even longer lures, at 10 inches or more, resembled full fish (suckers, usually), with thumbtack eyes, painted gills, and silvery, hook-tipped tails. Giant, jointed 12-inch musky lures might feature white marbles for eyes and a trio of triple-barbed hooks. But sometimes less was more, as in the case of a fat frog lure designed to attract a musky that might not notice the single-barb hooks strapped to each of the wooden amphibian’s legs.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Joes Old Lures

Joes Old Lures

Joe Yates' website is a great showcase for hundreds of old fishing lures, providing high resolution photos and in m… [read review or visit site]

Take a big bite - you won't want to just nibble at Robbie Pavey's gallery of over 300 antique fishing lures, many w… [read review or visit site]

This extensive site features over 500 pages of information on pre-1940 wood fishing lures and lure boxes. Start wit… [read review or visit site]

This site is sure to snag you with its great collection of fishing lures from the early 1900s. Includes lures from … [read review or visit site]

Larry Nicholson's site dedicated to vintage fishing lures. Features beautiful images of lures and boxes from Fred A… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage 8" Heddon Musky Vamp LureBarfighter Musky Fishing Lure Magnum Size Great Condition!Extremely Rare Vintage Heddon Stanley 370 Musky Sos Lure Vintage Lac Du Flambeau Chippewa Spearing Fish Decoy Ross Allen Musky1950 Wi Lure E J Deuster Black Flock Finish Gopher Musky Lure Gem Mint With ObVintage Creek Chub Husky Musky In The Nice Mullet Color 1930 Pre L & S 3-pc 5" Musky Lure Walter Heinze Handcrafted Prototype Yel Op GeVintage Fishing Lure In Correct Box Pflueger Musky Globe Bait 3750 Antique!!!!! Vintage Pflueger Musky Globe Bait In Correct Box #3796 Old Antique Tackle Vintage 9 1/2" Grandma M-9 Crankbait Musky/muskie Lure--sucker ColorVintage Creek Chub #601 Husky Musky (perch Scale) Hpgms, Hpfs, Intro HardwareLakewood Musky Lure Tackle Box Black(3) Unmarked 6" Musky Size Wood Fishing Lures Flap TailsCreek Chub Husky Musky Antique Lure Dlt Wire ThroughVintage Fishing Lure, Creek Chub Husky Musky Pikie, Glass Eyes, Tiger StripeNos-rare Old Vintage Bear Creek Coho King Salmon Musky Lure New In Cardboard BoxVintage Beno Eel Ohio Crankbait Fishing Lure Great Frog Color Bass Musky2 Vintage Mills Run Beno Crankbait Lures Tough Lime Green Color Bass Pike MuskyGood Color L&s Muskie Master Jumbo Shiner Yellow, Dark Brown Bars C 1946-7Heddon Musky Flaptail, Brown Mouse, Vamp, Lures, FishingCustom, Creek Chub, Musky Lure, Giant 12" , "legend & Wiley" StyleVintage Fishing Lures Lot Used Saltwater Tackle Musky WoodVintage Old Wood Heddon Deluxe Salmon Musky Fishing Lure Glass EyesEd Latiano Large Musky Pike Lure 2 Vintage Husky Cisco Kid Musky Fishing Lures In Box 601, 625Vintage Musky Pike Fishing Lure Segmented Unidentified Creek ChubVintage Muskie Lure Wood 10 Inches Long Split Body Chippewa Fishing Lure 8 Inch, Vintage Musky, Muskie, Rare Peice, Wisconsin 3 Musky Spoons, Gibbs Stewart #7, Worth Musky Fin, Mepps Giant Killer, All NiceThree (3) Large Muskie Type Fishing Lures Large Wood Center-weighted HandmadeVtg Rebel Floater Striped Bass Saltwater Musky 6" LureEarly Millsite "daily Double" No. 834 Orange Black Pike Muskie Lure Original BoxVintage 10" "believer" Musky/muskie Lure--manufactured By Drifter Tackle - Ex!Vintage 6 1/2" Jerk Bait Musky/muskie Lure--unknown Manufacturer--great ColorBobbie Bait Musky And Pike Vintage Lure In Box With PaperworkVintage Tackle~abalone Mother Of Pearl Spinners~musky Size~fishing~lureMusky Big-o, Cordell 6"Helin 5" Flatfish Frog Musky Muskie Fishing Lure Crank BaitVintage, Wooden, Topwater Lure, For Muskies Or Big PikeVintage Le Boeuf Creeper Musky Lure, PlasticMarathon Bait Co 1960 Wi Lure Musky Ol Buddy Soft 7.5 Sucker Mint Muskie FishingVintage, Original, Large 8" Wooden, Bagley Musky Glider Shad.Tough Len Hartman "the Fishin' Fool" Diving Musky Lure Made In Fl Weedless Master Muskie Wiggler Fishing Lure Box Only Wisconsin Bait Pre ZipWeedless Master Muskie Wiggler Fishing Lure In The Box Wisconsin Bait Pre Zip The Original "calf Killer Glider", Color Sexy Shad, Musky/pike/striper/big BassWeedless Master Muskie Wiggler Fishing Lure In The Box Wisconsin Bait Pre ZipVintage Heddon Musky Flap TailLindy - Little Joe Crankbait Fishing Lure Musky Pike Lure Yellow Green 6"Vintage Arbogast Plastic Musky Jitterbug/solid Black Color!Unmarked 4" Musky Size Wood Fishing Lure Vintage Arbogast Jitterbug Muskie Fishing Lure Leopard Frog Plastic 4-3/4"Vintage 'unknown' Wood Musky Lure In Orange Tiger Stripe - Muskie Plug! ~ L@@k!Vintage Homet Le Blanc Swim Whizz Muskie Lure