One of the most notable freshwater fish in the northeastern United States is the muskie. Muskies have an appearance similar to that of the saltwater barracuda. The fierce-looking muskellunge is a treat for anglers because of both the battle in addition to the photo opportunity as bragging rights for your friends. Despite this type of fish being most notable in the north, can muskie fish be caught in Georgia?

Are There Muskie In Georgia?

Yes, the state of Georgia has populations of muskie. The fish reside in the northern portions of Georgia, where the water temperatures remain cool. Muskie fish will not survive in waters with high temperatures. 

Initially, the fish was introduced to Blue Ridge Lake; however, the stocked muskellunge could not reproduce to allow the species to become plentiful.

Today, these fish populations are in the Tennessee River Basin just south of the Tennessee and Georgia state line. Venture to the river basin for your shot at catching a muskellunge.

What Is A Muskie And How Do You Identify A Muskie

A muskie is part of the pike family. Each member of the family is long and slender and primarily colored some form of green. 

Unfortunately, it can be easy to confuse a muskie and a northern pike. To identify a muskie look for the following characteristics. The muskie fish is light in color, with black lines running vertically from head to tail. Peer at the head, and you will recognize the elongated mouth and razor-sharp teeth.

As far as size is concerned, it will range between 20 and 50 inches weighing four to forty-five pounds. Always be prepared to get hooked up with a bruiser-sized fish. 

Is Musky Hard To Catch?

Many people ask the question, why are muskies hard to catch? Muskie fish are challenging to catch for a multitude of reasons. First off, they are elusive therefore challenging to find in addition to a multitude of other reasons.

When determining how hard is it to catch a muskie know that beyond locating the fish, the mouths are lined with sharp teeth that bite through the fishing line in a matter of seconds when the fish strikes if the reel is not spooled with the proper line weight. Bite off’s result in losing expensive fishing lures. 

Lastly, muskellunge are equipped with a combination of size and strength. The fish will make long fast runs which could result in the fishing line parting in half. 

We had the opportunity to hook a muskellunge. However, the line became wrapped around the rod’s tip, resulting in the fish breaking the line and getting away. Since then, we have not connected with another muskie fish. 

What Is The Best Bait For Muskie

When determining how to catch a muskie both live bait and artificial lures are effective for catching muskie fish in the state of Georgia. Here are the best options for live and artificials.

Live Bait

The best live bait to draw strikes from muskellunge is shiners. Shiners can be dropped to the bottom with a weight or fished near the surface below a float. 

When the fish strikes, expect a long and fast drag screaming run. Lastly, utilize a strong leader line to help avoid the fish from biting off the hook. 

Artificial Lures

When selecting a fishing lure, the number one choice is large bucktail spinners. The combination of the shiny blade and the vibration it causes entices the fish to bite. 

In addition to bucktails, large hard-bodied lures resembling baitfish in the body of water you are fishing are also effective. 

Cast the lures around structures such as docks, trees, rocky shorelines, and riprap where muskellunge are waiting to ambush prey. 

Can You Eat Muskie?

Yes, believe it or not, muskie fish is good to eat. The fillets are white, mild, and flaky when cooked. Due to its taste and texture, the meat can be cooked in a multitude of ways. However, the muskie fish is high in mercury which causes bodily harm when consumed in excess, eaten by children, or women who are pregnant.

Keep in mind that there is not a significant population of musky in Georgia. So, while the answer is yes to can you eat muskie fish, you should instead practice catch and release. 

Are You Ready To Head Out Musky Fishing

Gather a stout rod with strong fishing line and head to the Tennessee River Basin in northern Georgia. Remember to obtain a freshwater fishing license before casting a lure into the water. The fight and the photo will leave you with a memory that will last a lifetime. Lastly, carefully remove the hook to avoid being cut by the teeth.