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Weird Muskies

If you have been drawn into the addiction that is muskie fishing, you have a few stories to tell.  Most of those stories will be about fish caught and fish lost, close encounters and days, weeks, without a bite.  However, with all the time on the water, you will see some strange things.  One of the strange things muskies do is described in this article.  A couple of really smart, pointy-headed fish biologists propose theories for the behavior.  Read on, you will find it interesting:

Why do muskies gulp air? The answer will surprise you

Yes, I have seen muskies doing this on Nebraska waters.  I have seen it a couple of times.  On one occasion, I was fishing, for muskies, when I saw a small fish (by muskie standards) swimming with its nose out of the water.  By the time I worked into casting range, the fish had disappeared.  I made a cast anyway and immediately hooked up.  I assumed it was the same fish although I suppose it could have been a different, unseen one.

The second time was “on the job”.  A co-worker and I had been sampling fish when we spotted a muskie swimming with its nose out of the water.  We slowly boated over, and assuming the fish was in some distress, thought we could dip it in a net.  When we got close the fish snapped out of it and took off.  We never saw it again.  That fish had not been distressed, not at all.

You might be able to tell I am not a buyer when it comes to the low oxygen theory.  Neither of the two muskies I have observed swimming with their noses out of the water appeared to have anything ailing them.  But, I really do not know, and this behavior is observed so infrequently that it is impossible to study.  Like many things in muskie fishing, your guess is as good as anyone’s.  Maybe they are just sticking their heads out of the water to see where you are?

And that is part of the legend and lore of fishing for muskies.  Only 9,999 casts more to go!


About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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