How to Fish for Tiger Muskies in Washington

by Nicole Fotheringham
Flies, plugs and spinners are the best choice for tiger muskie in Washington.

Flies, plugs and spinners are the best choice for tiger muskie in Washington.

Medioimages/Photodisc/Valueline/Getty Images

A relatively new addition to the Washington State fishing repertoire, the tiger muskie is a cross between a muskie and a northern pike. Tiger muskies are territorial and live near underwater structures. They occupy small territories, which make them harder to find. In the spring, they are closer to the shore where they feed on spawning fish. In the summer, they are more likely to be in deeper waters. Tiger muskies can grow to be 30 pounds or more.

Items you will need

  • Large plug or bucktail spinners (the flashier the better and must contain some red)
  • 7-foot rod
  • Reel
  • Short wire leader
  • Fishing line that can handle fish up to 30 or 40 pounds
  • Net
Step 1

Fish for tiger muskies in the warm summer months. Find points that extend out into the lake and are flanked by reeds or vegetation. Fish on the lake side of structures on the point.

Step 2

Use a sink tip line and a fly with red accents. Predator fish will mistake the red for gills. Tie the fly to the short wire leader and then to the fishing line. Use a longer rod with a soft action.

Step 3

Cast beyond the structure and pull the plug or spinner across the front of the structure. Keep the lure about 5 feet below the surface. Strike hard to set the hook once the fish has taken the bait. Play it until you get it near the boat and then use a net to get it out of the water.

Step 4

Make some figure eight patterns when the lure gets close to the boat. Tiger muskies often follow the lure and will not be able to resist the temptation when it slows down.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some recommended bait includes Big Woolie Buggers, Lefty's Deceiver, Bunny streamer #2's, or big bucktails and streamers.
  • Use a short wire leader to prevent your line from being severed by the tiger muskie's sharp teeth.
  • The last two hours of sunlight after two or three warm summer days is the best time for fishing tiger muskies.
  • Do not handle a tiger muskie. It has big teeth than can cause injury if it gets hold of a hand or finger.

Photo Credits

  • Medioimages/Photodisc/Valueline/Getty Images