How to Fish for Tiger Muskie in New York

by Dan Taylor

Tiger muskie, a cross between the muskellunge and the northern pike, is a popular sport fish that can grow very large, and if you're trying to land one in the State of New York, you'll need to employ a few tactics. Tiger muskies are silvery in appearance with brown-colored fins, and they like to eat crayfish, other fish, and even ducklings. You'll need a strong pole with a stout line in order to land one -- the largest tiger muskie ever caught weighed in at 51.2 pounds.

Items you will need

  • Large, flashy lure or live bait -- small fish, crayfish
  • 30-pound-test line, minimum
  • Fish finder
  • Long wooden, metal or plastic pole
  • Landing net
  • Long-nose pliers
Step 1

Visit the larger New York lakes for the best chance of success. Rockland Lake State Park, located just north of New York City along the Hudson River, is a prime spot for fishing for tiger muskie. The nearby New Croton Reservoir also is known to have tiger muskie. Or, head northeast, to Tupper Lake in Adirondack State Park to try your luck. Seneca Lake, one of the glacial Finger Lakes on the western half of the state, also features good fishing spots for tiger muskie.

Step 2

Try large, quiet rivers. The Tioughnioga River, a tributary of the Chenango River in central New York, is where one fisherman landed a New York state record tiger muskie in 1990, which weighed in at 35 lbs. and 8 oz. The Chenango River itself is also popular with muskie fisherman. The Mohawk River, a tributary of the Hudson River in eastern New York, is also a good spot.

Step 3

Rig your line with a crank, spinner or jerkbait that is big and flashy. Tigers will eat whatever is available and like to ambush their prey. The lure should be 4 to 8 inches long. Use a minimum of a 30-pound-test line so that the fish doesn't snap the line when you hook it. You can use live bait such as crayfish and small fish, but large artificial lures often work just as well or better.

Step 4

Fish near drop-offs in fairly deep water -- at least 8 feet. Use a fish finder, which can tell you the depth of the water, to look for a drop-off. If you don't have a fish finder, use a long pole to periodically test the depth.

Step 5

Use a landing net to bring the muskie into the boat, but don't allow it to flop around on the floor of the boat. Flopping can injure you or others in the boat, and it can injure the fish. Hold the muskie horizontally at the midsection, and remove the hook, using pliers if necessary. Then store in a cooler or fish box.

Tips & Warnings

  • Early morning hours during early or late summer is the best time to catch tiger muskies.