Must-See Video: Monster 55.25-Inch Muskie Caught Through the Ice

This 55.25-incher could be the biggest muskie ever caught by an ice fisherman, and it’s all captured on video.

Must-See Video: Monster 55.25-Inch Muskie Caught Through the Ice

Fishing guide Andrew Walker (above) worked during his teenage years at a fishing lodge in northern Ontario on the Ottawa River. There, his clients pursued northern pike, walleyes and bass. He moved to Quebec at 21 years of age, and since then he’s been able to expand his targeted species list to muskies, crappies and even carp. Click here to learn more about his Cast & Conquer Fishing Adventures business.

In the 20-minute YouTube video below, Walker shares a few days on the ice in pursuit of muskies. As you’ll see, the first fish featured is a spectacularly marked muskie that measures 45.75 inches, then later (at the 12:30 mark of the video) he showcases the 55.25-inch giant. Note: This fish was caught in March 2022, but Walker decided to hold onto the video and release it now, when anglers are hitting the ice in the North. 

Walker guides for winter muskies in Quebec’s zone 8, where it’s legal to target the species in January, February and March. He and his clients will jig with large artificial lures, but most muskies are caught on large dead baits, specifically 12- to 18-inch mackerel on quick-strike rigs, suspended below tip-ups. These rigs have smaller trebles which tear free from the bait on the hookset, yet they do a good job penetrating a muskie’s mouth.

Because you fight a fish hand-over-hand when using a tip-up, you must use heavy line to avoid snapping it. Walker relies on 90-pound-test Barbarian Braid. He said, “It’s the only line I’ll trust while musky fishing. Whether it’s on the ice or open water.”

A few takeaways from the video:

  • The muskies shown are St. Lawrence River/Ottawa River strain
  • Walker wears polarized glasses to eliminate glare as he looks down the hole to determine best course of action when a fish is at the bottom of the hole
  • It’s clear that Walker has caught many big muskies through the ice. Reaching down the hole to unhook a second hook because it’s in a bad spot is not a rookie move
  • The monster muskie shown measured 55.25 inches long and had a 24-inch girth. They don’t have a scale but it likely weighed 40 pounds, maybe even a few pounds more
  • Walker shows proof the muskie had been hooked previously when he removes a treble that had been in the fish’s gill cover for a while
  • Kudos to Walker for outstanding fish care. Note how he keeps a fish’s gills and eyes in the water as long as possible. He even cuts a live well in the ice to allow a muskie to recuperate after the fight before placing it back down a release hole.

P.S. If you’re curious what an adventure such as this costs, Walker charges $650/Canadian, which at the time of this writing is about $475/U.S. (exchange rate fluctuates). The price includes one full day on the ice for two people. He provides a heated pop-up fish house, bait, tip-ups and other gear.


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