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    

Grandpa's Metal Tackle Box Lot Of 30 Wooden Lures Creek Chub Musky Cisco Kid Vintage Fishing Lure Heddon Crazy Crawler 2150 Yrh Muskie Tournament Prize AwardVintage Antique Tackle Halik Frog Bass Musky Fishing Lure BaitVintage Large Spoon Musky Muskie Big Game Fishing Lure Lot Eppinger DaredevleVintage Creek Chub Pikie Musky SizeVintage Burmek B1 Musky Fishing Lure Lot Muskie Big Game Jointed2 Unused Older Lindy Shadling Lures In The 6'' Musky/muskie Size - Great ColorsCisco Kid Musky Muskie Big Game Vintage Fishing Lure LotVintage 6 Hook Bon-net Perch Muskie Fishing Lure Wood Glass Eyes. RareRare Terminator Se Muskie Lure In Helin Frog Pattern In Excellent Condition. A+Vintage Old Wood Lucky Strike 6" Jointed Musky Pikie Fishing Lure Nice Nr!!Unknown Wood Muskie Lure In Helin Frog Pattern In Excellent Condition. A+Vintage Fred Arbocast Bug Eye Fishing Lure, Antique Tackle Box Bait, Bass MuskyVintage Fred Arbogast Mud Bug Fishing Lure, Antique Tackle Box Bait Bass Musky Arbogast Big Tin Liz Lure, Musky SizeVintage Creek Chub Darter Fishing Lure, Antique Tackle Box Bait, Musky Bass LTwo Musky Jitterbug Fishing Lures -wood-Vintage Galvanized Fishing Bait Minnow Bucket Full Floating Perch Bass MuskieOld Arbogast Musky Size Jitterbug Lure80 Year Old Musky Fisherman Retiring Ww29) Vintage Northern Tackle Company Porky Musky-saltwater Weedless Lure W BoxRinehart Musky Jinx Old Fishing Lure Antique Lure Tough ColorCustom Musky Crank Bait Antler Lure, Elk Deer Moose Antler, Collectable LuresWw54) Vintage Pflueger White Red Head Musky Size Globe Fishing LureVintage Antique Tackle Musky Cisco Kid Wallsten Tackle Fishing Lure Bait80 Year Old Musky Fisherman RetiringVintage Wooden Fred Arbogast Musky Jitterbug Topwater Fishing LureCreek Chub Pikie, Vintage Fishing Lure, Old Lure, Rare Lure, Muskie Lure, Vintage Muskie Size T-61 Helin Flatfish Fishing LureVintage Old Wood Pflueger Musky Globe Fishing Lure For Your Tackle Box Nr!!Vintage Marathon Musky-houn #478 Black - Large - With Original Box - See Details80 Year Old Musky Fisherman Retiring Vintage Wood Metal Musky Lure Muskie Pike Fishing Len Hartman Musky LureVintage Sport Plast Duckling Musky Fishing Lure Pike Muskie ExcellentLimited Edition Suick Musky Thriller In Box, First Limited Edition Of This Lure!Vintage Antique Tackle Cisco Kid Topper Musky Lure Uncataloged Purple Coach DogVintage Rapala Deep Diver 90 Marked Finland Fishing Lure Fish Musky Trout BassVintage Muskie Size T-61 Helin Flatfish Fishing LureLot Of 2 Ccbco Minnows Creek Chub - Husky Pikie 4 Musky & Jointed PikieWw55) Vintage Pflueger Pike Sclae Red Head Musky Size Globe Fishing LureOld Fishing Lures Fred Arbogast Musky Jitterbug Rare Early Wood Bait Solid BlackVintage Homer Le Blanc Tackle Mfgr Muskie LureMarathon Bait Company Shark Tooth Musky-houn Muskie Spinner Lure Wisconsin Creek Chub 7" Pikie 3000 Musky Muskie Fishing Lure Jointed10 Vintage Bucktail Fishing Jigs ~ .5oz Saltwater/musky/pikeBeater Lot Jitterbug Rapala Musky Muskie Big Game Fishing Lure VintageVintage Wooden Creek Chub Pikie 3000 Fishing Lure W Box ~ Muskie LureVintage Antique Tackle Cisco Kid Topper Musky Fishing Lure Wallsten Tackle Cop.Old Musky Size Mirrolure6 Vintage Bucktail Fishing Jigs ~ 1oz Saltwater/musky/pikeVintage Red Eye Muskie Hofschneider Red Eye Wiggler Lure Chrome PikeVintage Bomber Waterdog Rattlin Fishing Lure 5 5/8 Inches Long Musky Muskie