Difference Between Pike and Muskie

There are a lot of giant predator fishes that are present in the water. Such two freshwater game fishes are Pike and Muskie, which are found in North America. They both are large predator fishes that share common habitats.

They look very similar to each other, but when they are seen in a closer look, one can find much difference between them.

Pike vs Muskie

The main difference between Pike and Muskie is that Muskie is larger and has light bodies with dark-colored spots, whereas Pike has dark bodies with light-colored spots. Pike has an average size of 20-30 inches, whereas Muskies have an average size of 30-40 inches. Also, Muskie weighs more than Pikes. Pikes are very easy to catch predators, whereas Muskies are not easy to lure.

Pike and Muskie

Pike is a giant freshwater fish that is often referred to as “Water Wolves.” They are fast are apex predators found in different regions of North America. They have dark-colored bodies mainly of dark green color and white or cream-colored spots on their bodies. They have a long, forked tail that is rounded at the ends. They are somewhere easy to catch and lure.

Muskie is a larger predator than Pike, found in Great lakes and rivers. They are pretty difficult to catch and lure. They have long, forked tails with pointed ends. They are light-colored with dark spots on their bodies, and also sometimes, they have no patterns at all. Interestingly they have various kinds of spellings, such as they may be called Muskellunge, Muskelunge, “Muskie,” Muscallonge, Maskinonge, or Milliganong, and “Musky.”

Comparison Table Between Pike and Muskie

Parameters of ComparisonPikeMuskie
Markings and ColorsThey are dark green to olive green in color with white or light-colored bean-shaped spots.They have dark, strong, thick bars, have faint spots or no patterns at all.
Weight and sizeThe average length of pike is 10-20 inches, and the average weight ranges from 5-10 lbs.The average size of a Muskie is 30-40 inches, and the average weight ranges from 10-20 lbs.
Tail shapeThe shape of the tail is a large, forked tail with a rounded tail fin.The shape of the tail is a large, forked tail with a pointed tail fin.
Number of PoresPike normally has 4-5 pores and a maximum of 6 pores present on the lower jaws.Muskie normally has 6-9 pores present on each side.
Gill coverThey have scales on both upper and lower gill covers.They don’t have scales on the lower half of the gill cover.

What is Pike?

A large game fish, the Pike, is found in the freshwater in North America. They are dark-colored fishes having light-colored, bean-shaped spots and markings on their bodies. They have dark-colored spots on the top of their head. With smaller scales on their bodies, Pikes also have serrated dorsal fins. Commonly found in small ponds, lakes, and streams, Pikes have an average size of 10-20 inches and an average weight of 5-10 lbs.

The lifespan of Pikes is only 20 years in the wild. They are a bot easy catch and easy to lure. They have long, forked tails with rounded ends and have 4-5 pores on the lower jaws. Pikes generally are very tasty meat and can be eaten as they have a good flavor. They are a bit difficult to clean and has a lot of bones, but they are quite durable than trouts and salmon species.

Pikes also have very strong teeth and long jaws that make them a threat to humans. They feed on small mammals and fishes and grab them with their long, strong jaws. Thus, they will be able to bite their fingers if someone comes closer to them.

What is Muskie?

Muskie is also one of the ambush predators, just like Pikes but has a different physical appearance and a bit different habitat. While pikes are found in small streams and ponds, Muskies are found in slow-moving waters such as backwaters behind dams and marshes. They feed on smaller fishes. They are quite larger than Pikes, weighing around 10-20 lbs.

They are light-colored, having dark or no spots on their body. If taken proper care of, they can live up to 50 years. Muskies are generally very oily and bony for eating and not considered to be taken. They also have dark skin and unpleasant flavor, which is not suitable for people’s taste. Although they have sharp teeth, they are not considered a threat to humans.

Main Differences Between Pike and Muskie

  1. The average size of Pike is 20-30 inches, and weight ranges from 5-10 lbs, whereas the size of muskie is 30-40 inches and weight ranges from 10-15 lbs
  2. Pikes has a dark body having light-colored spots and markings, whereas Muskies have a light-colored body with dark markings or sometimes no patterns at all.
  3. Pikes have 4-5 five pores on each side of the jaws, whereas Muskies have 6-9 pores present on each side.
  4. Pikes have scales present on the upper as well as the lower half of the gill covers, whereas muskies don’t have scales on the lower half of the jaws.
  5. Pikes are usually found anywhere in the lakes and rivers and thus an easy predator to catch, whereas Muskies are pretty harder to lure and catch.
  6. Pike has long and forked tails with rounded fins, whereas Muskies has long, forked tails with pointed fins.


Both these freshwater fishes are large predators and can be difficult to catch sometimes. They have a wild habitat, and they are found in different regions. They both are very amazing fishes to catch because of their huge appearances. Although they have very many differences, they both hunt in a very similar way.

These apex predators are very prestigious catches, and they use every bit of their strength and ability. So, the following tips for better fishing should always be in mind. Since they both are sharp and quick, one has to be patient to catch them.


  1. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10641-016-0482-0.pdf
  2. https://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=XF2016036639
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