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    

1933-36 Heddon Musky Surfusser #350 -glass Eyes/yellow-red & Black Spots Color Vintage-antique Heddon 8" Musky Vamp 7600 SeriesVintage-antique Heddon Musky Flaptail Spotted-teddy Bear EyesSucker In ( Honduran Rosewood Swirly Burl With Burl Base ) ( By Musky Dan )Vintage Bon Net 6 Hook Musky LureVintage Musky Fishing Lure Lot, Creek Chub, Cisco Kid, Swim WizzDingbat In ( Spalted Hackleberry With Burl Base ) ( By Musky Dan )Vintage Fishing Lure Heddon Musky Vamp 1925 ? LargeVintage Tackle Box, And Lures, Heddon, Fly Bass Fishing, Antique Musky Tackle,5 Hook Lure By Musky DanVtg Lure Vtg Salt Water Lure The Musky Sucker Lure #101 W/boxLot Of Vintage Oversized Musky Lures - Burmek - Lee - DrifterVintage Pflueger Globe Musky Size Fishing Lure With Box1940s Minnesota Muskie~folk Art Fish Spearing Decoy~ice Fishing Lure24kt. Gold Plated 5 Hook ( Honduran Rosewood 2 Tone Burl ) ( By Musky Dan )Large Lot Of Vintage Fishing Lure Wooden Floaters Muskie Frog MoreAntique Halik Frog Muskie Size With Orig. Box And Papers Ca. 1940's Rare & Nice!Creek Chub Wood Husky Muskie #600 In Box Musky Wiggler Red White VintageHusky Pikie In White-scale By Musky DanScarce Vintage Michigan Jointed Musky Size Sucker Fishing Lure / Bud Stewart !Dingbat In ( Honduran Rosewood Burl With Burl Base ) ( By Musky Dan )Alligator Gar Minnow By Musky DanVintage Old Wooden Bait Co.musky Pikie LureRare Emmerson & Ruhren Fire Plug Musky/muskie Wood 8 1/4" Fishing Lure C.1940-50Tony Burmek Secret Bait Musky Fishing Lure With Box WisconsinVintage Old Wooden Bait Co.musky Pikie LureOld 1960 George Randall Tiger Muskie~fish Spearing Decoy~ice Fishing LureVintage Wood Musky Pike Lure Flat FishAcrylic Shorty Husky Pikie ( By Musky Dan )2 Vintage Bagley's B-flat 8" Lures In Little Musky And Rainbow Trout Brass Hw!!Vintage Old Wood Heddon 6 1/2" Musky Flap Tail Fishing Lure For Your Tackle BoxOld Style Gar Minnow By Musky DanDingbat In ( Shorty Pikie In Checkerboard In Dyed Maple Burl ) ( By Musky Dan )Vintage Old Musky Size Rinehart Jinx Fishing Lure For Your Tackle Box Nr!!Vintage Grandma Musky Pike Striper Big Game Gold Green Scale Crankbait Bass LureOld Fishing Lures Buck Perry Spoon Plug Rare Color Musky Size Solid Gold LookVintage Old Wooden Bait Co.musky Pikie LureRiver Rustler By Musky DanVintage Rinehart Jinx Musky Buzzer 5 Inch In Rainbow Finish!!!!!!Dealers Box Of 6 Johnson's Musky Size Pearl Spoons Lures Illinois New Old StockVintage Heddon S.o.s.wounded Minnow #370 Musky Wood Glass Eye Fishing Lure7 Used Mepps Giant Killer Musky Buck Tails Fishing Lures Bucktail SpinnersVintage Tackle~wood~musky Jitterbug Frog Spot~topwater~fishing~lureOld Fishing Lures Buck Perry Spoon Plug Rare Color Musky Size Yellow Red Spots *outstanding* Old Wooden Bait Co. Leviathon #905 Muskie Lure - New In Box!Classic Storm Little Mac Style Lure Musky Old Fishing Lures Crankbait Bass BaitVintage Old Wood 5 3/4" Musky Size Vamp Type Fishing Lure Fat Body Ge Nr!!Buck Perry Spoon Bill Plug Musky Trout Large Lure Old Fishing Lures CrankbaitTu21) Super Nice Vintage Plfueger Yellow Gold Dot Musky Size Globe Fishing LureLot Of Three (3) Different Musky Fest T-shirts Hayward, Wisconsin New! Size XlVintage Old Wooden Bait Co.musky Pikie LureOld Fishing Lures Buck Perry Spoon Plug Rare Color Musky Size Green Black Spots Suick Lure Co. Thriller Wooden Muskie Fishing Lure- Crankbait 6-3/4"Heddon Vamp Spook Musky Pike Bass Striper Trout Crankbait Fishing Lure 003Burmek B1 Legdary Muskie Lure Black Perch N.o.s Sealed UnopenedHeddon Crazy Crawler 2150 Redhead Silver Topwater Bass Musky Fishing Lure BaitBurmek B1 Legdary Muskie Lure Pike N.o.s Sealed Unopened Vintage Old Cisco Kid 6" Musky Fishing Lure For Your Tackle Box Nr!!Vintage Musky Fishing Lure Bucktail Rat Knuckle Head Creek Chub Lure Old Fishing Lures Freshwater Crankbait Trout Musky