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    

Early Creek Chub Husky Musky In Box MulletHeddon Heddon Musky Surfusser 359r W/ Correctly Marked BoxVintage Heddon Musky Vamp 7600 Wood Glass Eyes Natural Scale Wonderful Vintage Musky Hammer Handle Pike With Box Fishing Lure / Bud Stewart !Vintage Musky Moonlight Bait Company Pikaroon Fishing LureTrue Glide Musky, Muskie , Pike, Bass, Striper Glider/jerkbaitSuper Shad Raps (3) Musky/muskie/pike/murray Cod Bait/luresWooden Heddon Giant Flaptail Saltwater Or Musky Allen Stripey Finish ExcellentVintage 4-1/2" Musky Sucker Lure In Original BoxVintage Wood-plug Striper Lure, 6 Inches Long, Metal Lip, Surf Or Muskie4 Large Muskie Fishing Lures Including Grandma And Reef HawgVintage Antique Tackle Hildebrandt Musky Fishing Counter Top Display PlaqueLot Of Vintage Fishing Lures Heddon Creek Chub Millsite Muskie Trap + Creek Chub Surf Popper Musky Pike BassVintage Fred Arbogast Musky Jitterbug Shad Fishing Lure 4 1/2" MuskieRinehart Jinx Tenite Fishing Lure For Musky W/ Box Item #2 Creek Chub 6835 Purple Eel Striper Pikie With Box Musky Pike Bass Creek Chub Surf Popper Musky Pike Bass6 Hook Bonnet Muskie Musky Pike BassHeddon Black Sucker Replica Lure By Musky DanUnidentified Lou Fisher Style Baby Musky Globe Lure In FrogHeddon King-basser 8552m White/red Gills Fishing Lure Bait Vintage Bass Musky Creek Chub Husky Injured Minnow Musky Pike BassVintage Creek Chub Fishing Lure Antique Tackle Box Bait Rare Paper Musky Bass LVintage Marathon Musky Houn No 476 R&w 4/0 New Old Stock In Original BoxVintage Grandma J-9 Lure 9 1/4" New Old Stock In Original Package Musky Muskie Vintage Marathon Musky-houn Lure Wausau, Wis. W/boxRinehart Jinx Tenite Fishing Lure For Musky W/ Box Item #1B20) Vintage P&s Ball Bearing Bait Co (e.o. Pealer) Musky Size Spinner Lure Creek Chub Striper Pikie Two Baits Musky Pike Bass Creek Chub Striper Pikie Two Baits Musky Pike BassVintage Gooch's Banana Bait Wisconsin Musky Fishing Lure HaywardTwo Creek Chub Musky Champs Champ Musky Pike BassCreek Chub Striper Pikie In Rainbow Firs Muskie Musky Pike BassCreek Chub Husky Plunker Musky Pike BassVintage Bagley Musky Smoo - Pink/black StripesRinehart Jinx Tenite Fishing Lure For Musky W/ Box Item #3Bagley B Flat 8 Fishing Lure Bf8 Muskie- Striper Size New Old StockRinehart Jinx Tenite Fishing Lure For Musky W/ Box Item #6Creek Chub Striper Pikie In Yellow Spot Muskie Musky Pike BassVintage E O Pealer Musky Size SpinnerVintage Rinehart Jinx Musky Size.Vintage Fred Arbogast Wood Musky Jitterbug - Printing On SideVintage Rinehart Musky Jinx Fishing LureVinatge Bomber Fishing Lure Antique Tackle Box Bait Bass Musky Walleye LureVintage Worth Musky Tiger Fishing Lure Antique Tackle Box Bait Musky Pike BassVintage "muskie Mania Tackle" Musky Bait, "burt",size- 9" Silver/blackVtg Large Muskie Spinner Bait Metal Fishing Lure W/feathers Chautauqua Lake #1 Vtg Large Muskie Spinner Bait Metal Fishing Lure Feathers Hair Chautauqua #3 Vtg Lot Of 9 Spinner Blades Metal Fishing Lure Muskie Walleye Pflueger, Ke-ad Burmek Jointed Musky LureGerman Made Muskie LureCharlie Swim Baits Muskie Musky Pike Bass Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Musky Wood Black Body Fishing Lure Vintage Wood Bagley Diving Bang-o Db06 Sh4 New On Card Pike Musky Sized 6" LureUnbranded Musky Lure~ Yellow, Red & Black Cotton Cordell C C Shad Deep Diving Purple Blue Lure Bait Bass Pike Muskie UsedVintage Old Large Unused Unknown Brass Muskie Fishing Spinner Lure, Collectible!Vintage Wooden Musky Fishing Lure Sucker With Spinning TailVintage 6" Wooden Jointed Makinen Holi-comet Musky Muskie Size Lure 4 Hook