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    

Vintage Old Wood Heddon 2150 Musky Crazy Crawler Fishing Lure Toilet Seat HdwrLot Of 13 Vintage Musky Lures Huge! Tackle Box Burmex Bagleys Flatfish 2 Vintage Heddon Musky Crazy Crawler Fishing LuresRare Antique Shakespeare Musky Spinner Old Collectible Display Tackle Box BaitVintage Legend Lures Sunny Musky Lure/very Rare/very Nice!Hard-to-find Heddon 6" King Basser Salmon Musky Plug Lure3 Hook Wagon Wheel Lure In Buckeye Burl By Musky Dan 2 New Unfished 12'' Suick Muskie Lures - Great Colors!Musky Striper Pikie #2 ((( New Build ))) By Musky Dan Vintage Rare Pflueger Live Wire Musky Size 5" Old Antique LureDragon Fly In Red Mallee Burl By Musky Dan Vintage Moonlight Wilson Fluted Wobbler Musky Size 5" Old Antique Wooden Lure2 New In Boxes Older Model 9''suick Muskie Lures - Great Colors!Vintage Old Wooden Fishing Lure Fred Arbogast Musky Muskie Jitterbug Nice Color!Vintage Arbogast Musky Jitterbug Lot 4 Old Baits Nice Color Bait LureNew Unfished Rainbow Trout Color Older Model 14'' Jake Musky Bait - Great Color!Antique Musky Lures And Tackle BoxDingbat In Maple Burl By Musky Dan Dingbat In Ambonya Burl By Musky Dan Injured Minnow In Maple Burl By Musky Dan Vintage Big Lot Arbogast Lure Musky Jitterbug Hula Popper Spatterbug Old BaitVintage Old Wood Unmarked Musky Jitterbug Type Fishing Lure Nice Color Nr!!Vintage Lot Of Musky Spinnjng Lures. Mepps Killer Butchertail Large Tackle Box5 Hook Lure In Mallee Burl By Musky Dan Duck Lure In Buckeye Burl By Musky Dan Musky Minnow In Mahogany Wood ((( Old School 2010 Prototype ))) By Musky Dan Old Fishing Lures Rebel Popper P-4400-07 Gray Rare Musky In Box Look!! Wow!!Vintage Wood Musky JitterbugUnused Older Model Grandma 9'' Musky Lure - Great Color!Vintage Wooden Mud Puppy Fishing Lure, Wisconsin Musky Tackle Box Bait, Bass New 8'' Danny Lure - Lupo Lures - Casting Trolling Model - Musky/saltwaterVintage Old Wood 5 1/2" Smithwick Musky Devils Horse Fishing Lure Nr!!New In Box Musky/lake Trout Size Cisco Spoon -lundquist Bros. Ontario,canadaVintage Old Wooden Fishing Lure Fred Arbogast Musky Muskie Jitterbug Frog Nice!Heddon Antique Vamp Glass Eye Musky Vamp Dowagiac3 Wood Old Fishing Lures Shakespeare & Musky LunchVintage Antique Weber Musky Duck Fishing Lure Tackle Crankbait Bait Exc CondAntique Wood Vintage Musky Lure Lot. Rat Monarch Nice Tackle Box Large Husky Surfster By Musky Dan Vintage Pflueger Globe Lures 2 Musky Lure Lot Of 3 Baits TotalVintage Fred Arbogast Musky Jitterbug Nice ColorNew In Box 7'' Rapala Cd-18 G-mag Musky Lure & Another That Has Light WearRare Early Wood Fred Arbogast Musky Jitterbug LureMusky Plastic Fishing Lure Musky Mania Tackle 4 Li'l Ernie Deep Divers Vintage Creek Chub Look Alike Lure Dingbat Flap Tail Glass Eye Xxx Musky LuresNew In Package From Minocqua ,wisconsin 9'' Smitty Musky Bait - Walleye Color!Vintage Arbogast Musky Jitterbug With Box2 Vintage Arbogast 4 1/2" Musky Jitterbugs In Good ConditionVintage Original Musky Lazy Ike Wooden Minnow Fishing Lure M-gbr Nos In PackageEarly Pflueger Musky Spinner/rare Lure!Old Fishing Tackle Lures Crankbait Corp Musky Size Lure Awesome Fish PatternCisco Kid 600 Husky Muskie Musky Pike Trout Lure Vintage Crackle Frog CustomVtg Tony Burmek (large 8") Jointed Musky Pikie Pike Northern Crankbait Plug LureEddie Bait Company "hot" Muskie Lure... Eddie's Bait Fishing Lure (#3)6" Harvo Muskie Musky Pike Lure Original Jailbird10" Lapmaster Lapper Muskie Musky Lure Vintage Black SuckerVintage Arbogast Musky Jitterbug With Box Ex++Unusual Fur Musky Lure Made To Look Like Squirrel By Bill Weber Of IllinoisVintage Creek Chub Musky 6" Wood Fishing Lure W/ Glass Eyes Husky Pikie Nr!!Vintage Storm Pre Rapala Big Mac Lure Dr 41 Rainbow Trout Used Musky Beware