If you want to test your fishing skills against a tough fish, Musky fishing is for you. Have you ever wondered what gear to use to land a world-record musky?

Today, we’re hanging out with musky legend Larry Ramsell. Larry has been fishing for muskies for over 60 years and has some crazy stories. In this episode you will hear some interesting musky stories, where you can find musky, what is the best time, what is the best musky fishing gear, best musky baits, how to go to musky fishing and what are the government regulations of Musky fishing.

We chat about fake IGFA records, his mission to set things straight, and why some lures are worth $900! We’ll also cover the significant issues facing the musky population and how to preserve these giants long-term.

This is another epic episode with one of the old-school anglers who paved the way for all of us.

Show Notes with Larry Ramsell on Musky Angling History. Hit play below! 👇🏻



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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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Larry Ramsell

Episode Chapters with Larry Ramsell on Musky Angling History

2:33 – Larry’s fly fishing journey started when he was young. He landed his first musky in 1957 and has spent 68 years chasing muskies all over North America and Canada.

03:44 – Muskies are native to areas like the St. Lawrence River, Georgian Bay, the Ohio River drainage down into Kentucky, the Mississippi River, the Chippewa River, the Wisconsin River, and parts of Eastern Minnesota.

Due to stocking and propagation efforts, muskies can now be found all over the northern half of the US and in Ontario and Quebec.

Larry Ramsell

World Record Musky

4:31 – Some of the largest muskies ever caught have been found in the St. Lawrence River and Georgian Bay.

Despite being a native of Hayward, Wisconsin, which claims to be “home of world record muskies,” Larry says that the records of the ’30s and the ’40s were all bogus.


6:19 – There are various record organizations for muskies:

  1. International Game Fish Association (IGFA) in Florida
  2. Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward
  3. Modern Muskie Records

Larry helped build the record program for the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in the early ’70s. He later resigned from the Hall of Fame and started Modern Muskie Records.

Larry Ramsell
Photo via https://www.modernmuskierecords.org/current-records

07:00 – Their current record at MDMWRP is a 58-pound fish caught on Lake Bellaire, Michigan, in 2013.

IGFA recognizes Cal Johnson’s 67.5-pound musky while the Hall of Fame recognizes Louis Spray’s fish at 69 pounds, 11 ounces. Larry points out that both records have been proven to be questionable.

13:26 – We discuss the challenges of verifying the legitimacy of musky records. Larry shares some instances of tampering, such as adding sand to increase the weight of the fish.

Photo via https://www.greatlakesnow.org/

The Rise of Musky Fishing 

20:42 – In the 1960s, Muskies Inc. was founded, and they heavily advocated catch and release for muskies. As more people practiced catch and release, the musky population flourished. This led to the increased popularity of musky fishing.

23:00 – Larry points out the need for better handling practices when catching muskies. He says anglers should use the proper tools and techniques when handling and releasing the fish to ensure survival. Here are some of his tips:

  • Use a pair of bolt cutters to remove the hooks quickly.
  • Consider hand-holding the fish at the side of the boat instead of using a net, and keep the fish in the water as much as possible.
  • Avoid excessive photography.

29:08: Muskies can live up to 20 to 25 years or older. Larry also mentions the difference in egg production between musky strains.

Larry Ramsell

Larry Ramsell’s Musky Fishing Tips 

44:00 – Larry expresses frustration over some musky fishermen prioritizing expensive lures over proper gear, such as quality rods, reels, and lines.

He says that while it may not be a poor man’s sport, there are affordable options to enjoy musky fishing. Here are some of Larry’s tips for beginners:

  • Start with areas that have a higher population of musky.
  • Learn the techniques for catching muskies and how to handle them properly.
  • Remember that catching large muskies requires patience and skill.

Larry Ramsell


Visit LarryRamsell.com

Visit Modern Muskie Records


Check out Larry Ramsell’s books:

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Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below

Larry Ramsell

Conclusion with Larry Ramsell on Musky Angling History

Wow. Did you enjoy learning about musky angling history as much as I did? I hope to get Larry back on again. Let me know if you’d like that, too. Head over to our Instagram, find that post with Larry, and leave a comment!