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Tiger Musky

Updated: Sep 11, 2020

Bill Matthews Outdoors Musky

Tiger Musky in WA State? Absolutely! I had always heard that a few lakes had Tiger Musky in the state, but never knew they got this big around here! I was fortunate enough to be able to take a trip this Summer to see what it is all about and landed this monster 45” beauty. Once again I was fishing with good friend and master Musky angler Kelly Reichner on a beautiful late summer day.

Tiger Musky as defined by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife


Tiger muskies are one of three members of the pike family living in Washington. The other two are grass pickerel and northern pike. The tiger muskie is a sterile cross between northern pike Esox lucius and muskellunge, or true muskie Esox masquinongy. All members of the pike family have the same general appearance, having a long, cylindrical-shaped body with the lobe-shaped dorsal and ventral fins far back on the body near the tail. Their head is somewhat compressed and they have a prominent duckbill-shaped snout. Tiger muskies have dark spots (juvenile) or vertical stripes/bars on a light background while northern pike have light horizontal spots on a dark background. It is the angler’s responsibility to know the difference (see  Tiger muskies are classified as game fish while northern pike are classified as prohibited.

I am always amazed at the unbelievable fishing opportunities in the Pacific Northwest, and catching a big Tiger Musky is one more fish that I can mark off my bucket list.

For more information on Tiger Musky in WA state please visit Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife at:


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