Can a Tiger Muskie reproduce? No. It is a sterile fish. It is also a hybrid fish. However, it can appear in nature when a muskie and a northern pike crossbreed in the wild. This happens when a male of either species fertilizes the eggs from a female of the other species. When the hybrid fish was first discovered in the wild it was believed to be a separate species. But then scientist discovered how to crossbreed the muskie with the northern pike. That’s when they new the true origin of the tiger muskie. Nowadays, deliberate crossbreeding of this species by managers of fisheries is more common than the natural crossbreeding that produces the tiger muskie.
So why is this fish becoming so popular in our fisheries? The fact that they are sterile makes it easy to control their population. It also grows quickly and is a veracious eater, which makes it a great attraction for anglers. But, it is a very skittish fish. Talk to any angler who fishes for northern pike and tiger muskie; and they will tell you, tiger muskie are much harder to catch. There really is no concrete answer as to why. Maybe their just smarter. Who knows? But the fact that they are harder to catch just adds to the allure of this fish. These fish, with their veracious appetites, do a great job of keeping the non-game fish population under control.
Tiger muskies are often confused with the true “muskie.” This tends to happen because the size and shape of both fish are very similar. But the hybrid does have a distinctive look. The true muskie can have bars are stripes on the sides or no markings at all. But most anglers would agree, the true muskie, can’t hold a candle to the hybrid. And I’m talking about looks of course. The hybrid has beautiful tigerlike stripes on the sides that are set against a lighter back-round.
Anglers hold the naturally occurring hybrid in higher esteem than its parents because of its rarity, beautiful markings, and it is such a challenge to catch. The average length is three feet and the average weight is eleven pounds. If you ever catch one, don’t stick your fingers in its mouth, this fish comes with some sharp canine teeth.