Watch: Two Big Muskies Found Dead, with One Lodged in the Other’s Mouth

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Muskies are known to wolf down big meals. They’ll eat snakes and ducks and even muskrats, not to mention all the fish species they’re known to target. But a 4-foot muskie eating another 4-foot muskie? According to a recent Instagram video, it can happen.

The short video clip shows two dead muskies floating on the surface, with one of the fish lodged in the other fish’s gullet. It was shared Wednesday by greatlakes_finesse, a lure manufacturer that specializes in soft plastics and other finesse baits for smallmouth bass.

“I’ve seen weird things before, and I spend a lot of time on the water, but nothing like this,” says Great Lakes Finesse brand manager Dan Miguel, who recorded the video on May 9 and can be heard talking in the background.

Miguel tells Outdoor Life that he and a buddy were wrapping up their day chasing smallies on Lake Ontario when they came across the muskies. He noticed a bird standing on something floating in the water, so they pulled over to investigate. The two fish were already belly up by that point.

A tournament bass fisherman, Miguel doesn’t usually target “the fish of 10,000 casts.” He says he’s caught plenty of pike in that area, but these were the first muskies he’d personally seen on the lake. They weren’t small fish, either.

“I mean, those were legitimately big muskies,” Miguel says. “The biggest muskie I’ve ever caught was 49 inches, and the biggest fish — the one that was eating the other — was for sure bigger than that. I’d say in the 52-inch range. And the other one was close.”

He explains that his first instinct was to try and pull the two fish apart, but it didn’t take long to realize they were goners.

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“As soon as I touched the fish, I could tell the big one had been dead for awhile,” Miguel says. “The bottom one’s gills were also pinned shut, and its fins didn’t even budge when I touched it. No signs of life at all.”

He can only speculate as to how the muskies ended up like that, but Miguel doubts that one of the fish realistically thought it could eat and swallow the other. He thinks it’s more likely that the two fish were fighting each other. Muskies are extremely territorial, after all, and they’ll often attack an intruder that swims onto their turf — even if the fish is as big or bigger than they are.

Great Lakes muskies also spawn in the spring, typically between mid-April and mid-May, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Like most other fish species, muskies will act even more aggressively during this period as they seek out mates and defend their spawning grounds.



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