The Tiger Muskellunge is a carnivorous fish, and is the usually sterile, hybrid offspring of the true Muskellunge and the Northern Pike. It grows quickly; in one study, Tiger Muskellunge grew 1.5 times as fast as Muskellunge. Trophy specimens weigh about 30 lb. Its main diet is fish and small birds. The Tiger Muskellunge and the muskie are called the fish of 10,000 casts due to the challenge involved in catching them.
The Tiger Muskellunge the result of the true Muskellunge and the Northern Pike interbreeding. The Tiger Muskellunge has some of the characteristics of both fish. Its pattern is varying amounts of color with vertical dark stripes on a light background, very rarely the same as a Northern Pike. The body is deeper than the body of either parent fish, but that is common in hybrid fish. The caudal fins are more rounded than the tails of true Muskellunge. The Tiger Muskellunge has 10 to 16 pores on the lower part of its jaw.
Tiger Muskellunge have earned the nickname "fish of a thousand casts", but putting in the time and effort to catch one of these trophy fish is well worth it. Adult Tiger Muskellunge are voracious predators that prefer large, soft-rayed fish like northern pikeminnow and suckers as the primary items in their diet. Because of this, successful anglers sometimes use large lures to mimic large prey that muskies prefer. Other lures such as bucktail spinners, spinnerbaits, glide baits, jerk baits, and wooden or plastic plugs work well. Some people have also used large casting spoons with some success. There is a large amount of information online about tiger muskie lures that work well in Washington.
The Tiger Muskellunge lives in the lakes and quiet rivers in Canada, the Great Lakes, the Upper Mississippi Valley, and the Ohio and St. Lawrence Rivers. It is rarely found far from its natural waters except for stocked fish. Several states, including Minnesota, Michigan, New Hampshire, Washington, Massachusetts, Arkansas, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming stock tiger muskies. Each Tiger Muskellunge tends to inhabit the same areas of its lake from year to year. It tends toward shallower waters and travels half as much in the summer and fall than it does in the winter to spring, when it prefers deeper waters.