Controversial Catch

Heading out in the spring hoping to make a record catch? Be sure to bring something to document your catch with. The previous world record holder of more than 50 years was recently proved to be phony. The late Louie Spray's purported 69-pound, 11-ounce muskellunge from 1949 was revealed to have been about 40 pounds, at most. The World Record Muskie Alliance compiled a 93-page document filled with analyses, including the fact that the fish's length versus weight ratio based on the dimensions given would have been impossible. They say there is also evidence of the local taxidermist stretching the fish an extra 10 inches to help Spray out [source: CBS News].

Tip 2: Best Time of Day for Catching Muskie

Rea­dy to head out at whatever hour the muskies will be just begging to jump into your boat? Even experienced anglers can go an entire day and be lucky to catch one muskie -- as they say, it's the fish of 10,000 casts. Because the muske­llunge can be so difficult to catch, there isn't a lot of concrete evidence as to the best time of day.

Some fishermen say the best time is whenever the weather stays the same. Whether that weather is good or bad doesn't matter, just as long as the barometric pressure remains steady. Some anglers maintain cloudy days are best, and others feel dusk is the perfect time. Some say dawn as well as dusk work well, and still others argue there's no perfect time at all.

Maybe if the muskellunge could be caught more frequently, we would have a more tangible answer -- though its difficulty is part of the fun. If any consensus can be found, it would seem that low light is the best time -- meaning that early morning and late evening, as well as overcast days, are the highest odds you can count on [source: Thomas].

Though some agree that the tiny window between sunset and moonrise is the best time to try for muskies, even they acknowledge that it's not always successful [source: Michelin]. With such a difficult catch, patience is the key.

Ready to catch some serious fish? You'll need some serious gear. But if those legends of needing heavy line and huge rods are just that -- legends -- then read on to find out what actually works.