Tiger muskies are a big reason to fish a few select lakes in Washington and the Panhandle.
A sterile, hybrid cross between muskellunge and northern pike, tiger muskies have been stocked in seven Washington lakes to provide trophy fishing and help control non-sport fisheries, such as suckers, tench, northern pikeminnows, carp and sunfish.
Curlew, Silver and Newman are the Spokane region’s tiger waters, where anglers key on them with diving plugs, bucktails and other large baits.
In North Idaho, the behemoths lurk in Blue, Dawson, Freeman, Shepherd, and Hauser Lake, which produced the Idaho record of 38 pounds 7 ounces.
The Washington record of 31.25 pounds was taken in 2001 from Mayfield Lake in Lewis County.
Many anglers think the next Washington record could come out of Curlew, where they have been growing well dining primarily on pikeminnows.
Last year, Washington increased the minimum size for keeping a tiger musky to 50 inches long. The minimum size in Idaho is 40 inches.