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]

Mrlurebox.com

Mrlurebox.com

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]

AntiqueLures.com

AntiqueLures.com

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]

Oldfishinglure.com

Oldfishinglure.com

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]

TackleCollecting.com

TackleCollecting.com

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    

Macatawa Musky Frog Holland Michigan Contemporary Wood Fishing Lure BaitHeddon Musky Flaptail Never Fished Strawberry SpotMusky Size Crazy Crawler Fishing Lure Red & YellowHeddon 7350 Giant Jointed Musky Vamp Wood Lure VintagePflueger Musky Globe 3704 Nat. Pike Scale Red Head Correct Box, Marked Tag - Ex!C1) 5 Arbogast Musky Size Jitterbug Fishing Lures All Different ColorsHeddon Musky Flaptail, Brown Mouse, Vamp, Lures, FishingScarce Vintage Shiner Surface / Diving Musky Fishing Lure / Bud Stewart!Vintage Old Plastic Fishing Lure Leboeuf Musky Creeper FrogVintage Eau Claire Fly Company Lake O' Woods Wisconsin O Lure Musky - Used*Vintage Falls City Tackle Box, Old Early Fishing Lures, Muskie, Etc - No ReserveLarge 10" Carl Christiansen Musky DecoyBagley Bb1 Balsa B 1 Vintage Craw On White Wedge Lip Bass Musky Fishing LureOld Creek Chub Red And White Musky Fishing LureLot Of Vintage Fishing Lures / Heddon / Abrogast / Storm / Muskie / Hartmann /Vintage Bagley B Flat 8 Musky Pike Striper Jerk Bait Glide Fishing Lure2 Vintage Fred Arbogast Musky Jitterbug Chartreuse & Brown Parrot Orange BellyVintage, Antique Fishing Lure, Bud Stewart Estate, Folk Art Muskie LureCouple Of Very Large Unknown Wood Musky Or Pike Darter & Diving Fishing Lures Vintage Old Wood Fishing Lure Pflueger Musky Globe Black Silver Bolt2 Wisconsin Musky Lures Including Phantom Diver By Dick Gries & Sleight BaitVintage Suick Wooden Muskie Thriller LuresVintage Bobbie Bait Northern Pike Muskie Any Large Game Fish New In PackageVintage Creek Chub Husky-musky Glass Eyes - Red/whiteArbogast Jitterbug Muskie Fishing Lure Leopard Frog Beater Old Warrior PlasticBagley's Dbo6 Beautiful Little Musky Old Lead Lip Solid Brass Bait Nice2 Wisconsin Musky Lures Including Smity Jaw Breaker & Gutsch's Tally Wacker 2 Nitb Fred Arbogast Hocus Locust Top Water Lures Bass Musky Pike FishC.c. Roberts Mud Puppy Musky Pike Fishing Lure 1940's Glass Eyes Excellent Hpgm4 Wisconsin Muskie Lures Including Suick Musky Thrillers & Krinke Beavertail#1 Vintage Mint In Package Gooch's Banana Bait Fishing Lure Hayward Wi. MuskyVintage Arbogast Jitterbug Wood Wooden Musky Large Fishing Lure Nice Frog ColorVintage Crankbait Corp Musky Fishing Lure Rare Color - Black WhiteFred Arbogast Musky Jitterbug Fishing LureBagley Monster Shad Tennessee Shad Color Muskie P-msd-ts Medium Diver2 Vintage Large Musky Pike Fishing Lures Hellraiser & Unknown UnusedVintage Creek Chub Wood Wooden Pikie Husky Fishing Lure Musky Tackle Mint #2 Vintage Mint In Package Gooch's Banana Bait Fishing Lure Hayward Wi. MuskyVintage Wooden Musky Lure Lot 9 BaitsVintage Fishing Lures L&s Muskie MasterNitb Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Clicker Lure Bass Musky Pike FishCreek Chub Pikie 3000 Series Tenn/shad Musky Lure WoodVintage Jitterbug Wood Lure - 4-1/2" Musky Jitterbug Lure - L@@k!Creek Chub Striper Pikie 6800 Series/ Perch/orange Belly Musky LureCreek Chub Pikie 2300 Red Head White Body Musky Fishing Lure Tackle Box Find Lot Of 3 New Musky Northern Pike Bass Double Hook Spinner Bait Vintage Arbogast Muskie Size Mud Bug Tough Hot Tiger Color Ex Cnd LureNitb Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Lure Bass Musky Pike Fish