The Largest Tiger Muskellunge Ever Caught in Ohio was a Fierce Trophy

tiger muskellunge
© M Huston/

Written by Nixza Gonzalez

Updated: September 21, 2023

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Ohio is filled with various fishing spots. It’s an angler’s paradise. You can spend hours, or an entire week-long vacation visiting different fishing lakes and rivers in the state. Within Ohio are trout, bass, perch, and muskies. One of the longest fish within Ohio lakes and rivers is the tiger muskellunge. Can you guess the state record? Follow along to discover the largest tiger muskellunge ever caught in Ohio and other amazing state fishing records.

What is the Largest Tiger Muskellunge Ever Caught in Ohio?

The largest tiger muskellunge ever caught in Ohio weighed 31 pounds and 10.64 ounces. Matt Amedeo caught this 47-inch muskellunge on April 28, 2006, in Turkeyfoot Lake in Summit County. Turkeyfoot Lake has a surface area of 1,681 acres and a shore length of 37.84 miles. Within this lovely Ohio lake, you can also find pumpkinseeds, yellow perch, rainbow trout, channel catfish, and bluegills.

The largest tiger muskellunge ever caught in Ohio was 47 inches long and weighed an astonishing 31 pounds and 10.64 ounces.

©Jennifer de Graaf/

About Tiger Muskellunge

Tiger muskellunge fish are also called tiger muskies. They are hybrids between the true muskellunge and the northern pike. Keep reading to learn more about these massive, unique fish.

Appearance and Size

Tiger muskies range in appearance and size since they are hybrid offspring. However, generally, they have long, cylindrical-shaped bodies and rounded caudal fins of the tail. They also have long, but compressed heads with a prominent duckbill-shaped snout. They are silver, brown, and grey. Young tiger muskies have dark spots on a light background. The size of a tiger muskellunge varies a lot. They can measure anywhere from 18 to 48 inches long. They can also weigh well over 30 pounds.

Tiger muskie in the Brandywine creek.

Tiger muskies can weigh over 30 pounds.

©Bob Garvine/

Distribution and Habitat

Tiger muskellunge live in many different habitats. During warm months, they inhabit shallow weedy bays. They live in lakes, ponds, and rivers with coverage and vegetation. In some Ohio lakes, these popular gamefish are frequently stocked.


Tiger muskies are excellent and large opportunistic feeders. These voracious predators have a wide diet. They eat anything from large fish to small mammals, birds, and even ducklings. Tiger muskies may also eat frogs and crayfish.


There are few animals large enough to overpower and consume a tiger muskie. The only natural predators of a tiger muskellunge are large birds of prey or people, much like the predators of a northern pike or muskellunge. Young tiger muskies are most vulnerable and may be eaten by fish like yellow perch, sunfish, and bass.

Yellow Perch

Sometimes, adult yellow perch hunt young tiger muskies.

©Keith Publicover/

Other Fish in Ohio

Tiger muskellunge fish aren’t very common in Ohio, so it’s always exciting to find one! Still, there are dozens of other common freshwater fish you can try to catch. Listed below are a few fish that live in Ohio and their state records.

Black Crappie

The first fish on our list is the black crappie. They are freshwater fish native to North America with a wide range. They can be found in all of the 48 contiguous U.S. states. Black crappies have seven or eight spines on their dorsal fin and laterally compressed bodies. Most black crappies are between 4 to 8 inches long and weigh about 1 to 3 pounds. The largest recorded black crappie in the world weighed 6 pounds and 7 ounces. So, how does Ohio’s state record compare?

The largest black crappie ever caught in Ohio weighed 4 pounds and 8 ounces. Ronald Stone caught this 18.125-inch-long black crappie in a private pond on May 24, 1981.

Black crappie

Black crappies rarely weigh over 4 pounds.

©Smithsonian Environmental Research Center / CC BY 2.0, Flickr – Original / License

Green Sunfish

The next fish on our list is the green sunfish. These fish are vibrant and small. The average size of a green sunfish is 3 to 10 inches long. They are popular aquariums and gamefish throughout North America. Green sunfish are native to large parts of North America, from the Rocky Mountains in the west to the Appalachian Mountains in the east. You can also find them from Canada to Northern Mexico. They’ve also been introduced to other states in the United States.

Fun fact, the maximum recorded weight of a green sunfish is 2.12 pounds. The largest green sunfish ever caught in Ohio weighed nowhere near 2 pounds. Instead, it was 99 ounces. Timothy C. Hively caught this 10 5/8-inch green sunfish in a farm pond in 2005.

Green Sunfish

Green sunfish have a very wide range in North America.

©Pocket Draw/


Walleye are very popular gamefish in the United States. They are native to most of Canada and the Northern United States. Walleye are members of the Percidae family. Some anglers refer to walleye as the yellow pike or yellow pikeperch. Walleye are long and predatory fish. Most walleye weigh up to 20 pounds, but more commonly weigh 3 pounds. They are also about 12 to 20 inches long. Walleye are fished for food and as a sport. A popular method of catching walleye is to fish at night using live bait like minnows.

The largest walleye ever caught in Ohio weighed 16 pounds and 3 ounces. On November 23, 1999, Tom Haberman caught this 33-inch walleye in Lake Erie.

Walleye are among the most popular gamefish in North America.

The largest walleye ever caught in Ohio weighed about 16 pounds and 3 ounces.


Northern Pike

The northern pike is one parent of the tiger muskie and deserves a mention on our list. In Ohio, you can find northern pike in many lakes and rivers. You can even find them in some tributaries of the Ohio River. Northern pike are long and slender fish with needle-sharp teeth. They are generally green with white or yellow spots on their sides. Northern pike use vegetation as coverage when hunting for food. They prefer clear water. Although northern pike are common in Ohio, their range used to be a lot larger, especially in Lake Erie.

Northern pike are between 2 to 10 pounds and can measure up to 48 inches. How does the largest northern pike in Ohio compare? In 1988 Chris Campbell caught the largest northern pike in Ohio. It weighed 22 pounds and 6.08 ounces and was 43 inches long.

Underwater photo of a big Northern Pike

The largest northern pike ever caught in Ohio was 43 inches long and weighed nearly 23 pounds.



Another common fish in Ohio is the bluegill. Bluegills are fish native to freshwater bodies of water east of the Rocky Mountains. They are beautiful, vibrant, and colorful. Bluegills are best known for their black spot on it’s gills. Like crappies and black basses, bluegills are members of the family Centrarchidae. They are small fish, only growing up to about 12 inches long. Bluegills also have small mouths, which can make them hard to catch. They have blue-green and silvery bodies with 5 to 9 vertical bars on the sides of its body most noticeable when afraid or caught.

The largest bluegill ever caught in Ohio was 12.75 inches long. Although only about a foot long, this is impressive for a bluegill sunfish! Willis D. Nicholes’ state record catch weighed about 3 pounds and 4 ounces. He caught this fish on April 28, 1990, in the Salt Fork Reservoir.

Fishing Detail of a Bluegill Sunfish at a Lake

Bluegills are common fish in Ohio.


Brown Trout

Last but not least is the brown trout. This lovely fish is native to Iceland, Europe, western Asia, and northwestern Africa. Although they aren’t native to North America, they are very common. These very adaptable fish can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Brown trout are members of the family Salmonidae. In Ohio, according to the Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, only three river streams stock brown trout. You can find brown trout in the Clear Fork Branch of the Mohican River, alongside white crappie, smallmouth bass, and white bass.

The largest brown trout ever caught in Ohio was 27.25 inches long. Robert B. Campbell caught this impressive nearly 12-pound fish in 2012 in Lake Erie.

Brown Trout

Brown trout are common in North America but aren’t native.


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About the Author

Nixza Gonzalez is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering topics like travel, geography, plants, and marine animals. She has over six years of experience as a content writer and holds an Associate of Arts Degree. A resident of Florida, Nixza loves spending time outdoors exploring state parks and tending to her container garden.

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