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 Wood Heddon Musky Minnow 1309r Perch W/white Box, Fish Jumping Down RareVintage Antique 1949 Wh Hobbs Supply Co Bon Net 6 Hook Muskie Lure With The BoxMacatawa Bait Co. 7 1/2" Green Scale Musky MinnowExc.- Heddon Musky Surfusser In Natural ScaleOld Early Wooden Glass Eye Creek Chub Pikie Box Catalog Musky Salt Water IndianaLarge Chapman & Son #3 Old Fishing Lure - Double Spinner - Musky SizeVintage Old Wood Fred Arbogast Musky Jitterbug Fishing Lure For Your Tackle BoxPs6) 2 Very Nice Vintage Suick Wood Musky Fishing LuresBill Szabo Musky Size Cree - Duk LureOanz Muskie Top Water Lure MuskyVintage Antique Tackle Hildebrandt Musky Fishing Counter Top Display PlaqueOld Heddon 5 Inch Musky Vamp 7542 Lum In Very Rare Correct Box See Notes!Fred Arbogast: 3 Musky Jitterbugs One Box-vintage Fishing LuresVintage Lot Of 2 Randy Shutt Ent. Sledge Wood Plastic 7" 8" Musky Fishing LuresVintage Creek Chub Fishing Lure Antique Tackle Box Bait, Musky Salmon LureVintage Paw Paw Musky Centipede Fishing Lure Bagley Musky Monster Shad Msd / Small Fry2 Vintage Musky Sucker Mfg. Co. Wisconsin Fishing Lures 1940's Excellent Pair5 Vintage Musky Cisco Kid Fishing Lures Awesome Baits Great Condition HugeBagley Musky Monster Shad Msd / Small Fry HardwoodBagley Musky Monster Shad / Super Diver(2) Creek Chub 3000 Jtd Pikie Musky Size Plastic Fishing Lure Perch/black SuckerVintage Heddon Creek Chub Fishing Lure Antique Tackle Box Bait Bass MuskyVintage Lures Spinners Johnsons Mepp Musky Pike Fishing Equipment Misc Killer Baits Musky Vamp In Monkey Puke ColorVintage Bagley's Bang O Lure Fishing Lure Antique Tackle Box Bait Bass Musky Large Muskie Lure (3) Creek Chub Husky Pikie Musky Size Fishing Lures 6" Vintage South Bend Bass Oreno Fishing Lure Antique Tackle Box Bait Bass Musky Grandpa's Vintage Pike & Muskie Lures / Spinners - Lot Of 11Bagley B Flat 8 Fishing Lure Bf8 Muskie- Striper Size New Old Stock In Lm9Baby Duck Fishing Lure Bass Pike Muskie Excellent Duck Decoy Lure L@@kOld Early Wooden Glass Eye Creek Chub Pikie Box Catalog Musky Indiana #2Nice Vintage Lure Lot Of 12 With A Muskie Kicker , Got Lures?? Need Lures??10,000 Lakes Big Doctor 285 & Guide Musky Size Spoons Ex. Cond.Very Large 7" Harry Gusick Wooden Glass Eyed Bonanza Musky Lure Wi Late 1940s Large Muskie Lure Ps27) Very Nice Mepps Musky Marabou Spinner Fishing LureBagley B Flat 8 Fishing Lure Bf8 Muskie- Striper Size New Old Stock In Lm2Vintage Don Lapp Seeker Muskie Fishing Lure Pull Jerk Bait Neutral Buoyant GreenScarce Harry Optiz Musky Spinner Bait Old Metal Fishing Lure Musky Lure MintStorm Big Mac And Little Mac Muskie LuresLot Of 9 Vintage Pike Muskie Salmon Big Game Casting Spoons LuresOld Musky Cisco Kid LureVintage Helin T50 Musky Flatfish Lure!Vintage Suick Muskie Thriller 9" Black Wood Fishing Lure L@@k No Reserve Musky Fishing Lure "cherry Sucker " Double Jointed Diver By Phillip CatesVintage Huge 15-3/4" Rainbow Lure Woody Wacker Musky Lure Tiger Stripe Muskie 7 Inch Magnum Musky Burger Jerkbait Ken Schmitz- Flame(2) Creek Chub 3000 Jtd Pikie Musky Size Plastic Fishing Lure Black/black ScaleCreek Chub 6900 Striper Pikie Musky Size Fishing Lure 6 1/4" Vintage Fishing Lure Mepps Musky Aglia Tw Killer #5 France - 2 Hooks3 Vivif Saltwater Or Musky Size Rubber Lures For Fishing & 1 Tube , 1 Single Hk