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    

Rare Vintage Heddon Dowagiac 700 Musky Minnow Early Perch No Reserve!Heddon Musky Crazy Crawler 2150 Fishing LureVintage Rare Rinehart Musky Buzer Fishing Lure Fred Arbogast Musky Wood Jitterbug In Black A Strong Ex- In Box 5 Hook Lure With Custom Turned Fishing Pole By Musky Dan Old Owb Musky Fishing Lure Antique Tackle Vintage Box Cobourg OntarioMagnificent Vintage # 7550pas Giant Musky Vamp & Box & Brochure / James Heddon Old Owb Musky Fishing Lure Perch Antique Tackle Vintage Box Cobourg OntarioHusky Pikie Fishing Pole With 3 Hook Frog Lure By Musky Dan Vintage Creek Chub Big Bomber Musky Lure Series No. 6700Carl Christiansen Splendour Bass/muskie Lure/fish Decoy6 Vintage Creek Chub Musky Lures Beaters Old Beater Fishing Lures3 Different Vintage Hofschneider Red Eye Muskie Spoon Lures - 4-5/8'' BodiesNew Unfished 6'' Body Hi-fin Musky Lure -dousman,wisconsin - Great Color! Two Wood Arbogast Musky Jitterbug Lure Giant Jointed Pikie Lure By Musky Dan 2014 Musky Niangua, Glass Eyes, Little Sac Contemporary Lure6 Vintage Creek Chub Musky Lures Beaters Old Beater Fishing Lures4 New In Box Musky/pike Size Spoonfish - Tiki Lures Inc.madison Hgts. ,michiganGiant Pikaroon Lure By Musky Dan Vintage Barracuda Lure By Musky Dan 2014 Musky Niangua, Glass Eyes, Little Sac Contemporary Lure6 Vintage Creek Chub Musky Lures Beaters Old Beater Fishing LuresGiant Crawdad Lure By Musky Dan 9.5 "solarfall" Crankbait Custom Muskie Musky LureVintage Fred Arbogast Musky Fishing Lure - New In Box - Black2 New In Box Vintage Cisco Musky Lake Trout Spoons - Lindquist Bros. Bait Canada2014 Musky Niangua, Glass Eyes, Little Sac Contemporary Lure2014 Musky Niangua, Glass Eyes, Little Sac Contemporary LureGiant Wow Lure By Musky Dan Muskie, Vintage Jitterbugs, Big Fishing LotMillsite Beetle #12 By Musky Dan 2014 Musky Niangua, Glass Eyes, Little Sac Contemporary LureNew In Package Burmek B1 Musky Lure 8'' Body - Walleye Color! Milwaukee,wisc.4 New In Pack Musky/pike Size 1-1/2oz.glen L. Evans Loco Lures - Great Colors!4 New In Pack Musky/pike Size 1-1/2oz.glen L. Evans Loco Lures - Great Colors!Millsite Beetle #13 By Musky Dan Millsite Beetle #10 By Musky Dan Giant Wee Dee Lure By Musky Dan Musky Innovations Muskie Musky RubberLoke Muskie Musky Lure Vintage Original 6" Jointed Blue Frog YbHeddon Musky Prowler 7075b (black Silver Flitter) New In The BoxSuick Vintage Musky Thriller Musky Pike Jerkbait Lure - Wood & PaperNew In Package 7-3/4'' Body Fudally's Reef Hawg Musky Bait - Minneapolis,minn..Vintage Lot Of Musky Or Pike Lures3 Vintage Muskie Fishing Lures Burmek King Cobra Hellraiser PhycopathFred Arbogast Yellow Plastic Muskie JitterbugLot Of 3 Saltwater, Musky Fishing Lures, Jigs.Millsite Beetle #14 By Musky Dan Millsite Beetle #11 By Musky Dan Millsite Beetle #23 By Musky Dan 2 New In Box Vintage Cisco Musky Lake Trout Spoons - Lindquist Bros. Bait Canada2 New In Box Vintage Cisco Musky Lake Trout Spoons - Lindquist Bros. Bait CanadaMillsite Beetle #16 By Musky Dan Millsite Beetle #22 By Musky Dan 2 New In Box Vintage Cisco Musky Lake Trout Spoons - Lindquist Bros. Bait CanadaMillsite Beetle #21 By Musky Dan Vintage Bagley's Monster Shad Musky Fishing Lure ***very Nice Condition***Musky Jitter Bug With Box,salt Water,freshwater,bass,frog,troutVintage Bagley Monster Shad Musky Size Fishing Lure Bagley Bait Company