- muskellunge Esox masquinongy
- 30.61 kilogram(s)
- United States (Hayward)
Native to large rivers in Canada and the USA, the largest species of pike is the muskellunge Esox masquinongy, often abbreviated to "muskie" or "musky", which has been confirmed to grow up to 1.8 m in length (although it is more commonly 0.71–1.22 m), and to weigh up to 32 kg (but typically 6.8–16.3 kg). Moreover, lengths of 2.44 m have been claimed but never been officially verified. The largest caught specimen measured 161.29 cm long, weighed 30.61 kg and was hooked by Louie Spray in the Chippewa Flowage at Hayward in Wisconsin, USA, on 24 July 1949 – as verified by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA).
The muskellunge is believed to derive its unusual name from "maashkinoozhe", a word from the Ojibwa language that translates as "ugly pike".
Like all species of pike, it is an ambush predator, remaining concealed amid vegetation or rocky outcrops, then making a surprise attack at unsuspecting prey victims approaching close by.
Its prey includes fishes as well as other aquatic vertebrates such as muskrats, ducklings, frogs and snakes, and also large freshwater crustaceans such as crayfishes.