Please register or Login
MuskieFIRST | WalleyeFIRST | SalmonFIRST | IceFishing | WhitetailFIRST | BassFIRST | OutdoorsFIRST Upload
Spring Bay Resort Lake Vermilli0n, MN

Muskie Discussion Forums

Forums | Calendars | Albums | Quotes | Language | Blogs Search | Statistics | User Listing
You are logged in as a guest. ( logon | register )
Moderators: sworrall, Slamr

View previous thread :: View next thread
Jump to page : 1
Now viewing page 1 [30 messages per page]

More Muskie Fishing -> Muskie Biology -> Musky Coloring
 
Message Subject: Musky Coloring
curleytail
Posted 7/30/2013 12:14 PM (#654492)
Subject: Musky Coloring




Posts: 2004


Location: Hayward, WI
Typically it seems like muskies that come from dark stained water tend to be more of a solid, olive/brown color, and those coming from clear water are lighter in color with more detailed markings.

However, some areas seem to have muskies with different types of markings on them (Vilas county muskies seem like some of the prettiest to me with green backgrounds and more striking white lines).

How much of a fish's coloring depends on the water conditions they live in vs the genetics/strain of fish?

Tucker
Flambeauski
Posted 7/30/2013 1:11 PM (#654506 - in reply to #654492)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring




Posts: 2701


Location: Smith Creek
Seems to me that some strain's coloring are resistant to conditions and some are not. Take LL strain and stick them in coffee stained water and they stick out like a sore thumb. Shoepeks are another that's green no matter where they live.
Difficult to say on a lot of our waters that have had 10 different strains put in over the years. I've caught barred in the TFF where they are traditionally green on green, but it's been stocked extensively with different strains. Some old pics of Chequamegon Bay spots all look the same, whether they lived on rocks in the bay or weeds in the river.
esoxaddict
Posted 7/31/2013 4:48 PM (#654816 - in reply to #654492)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring





Posts: 5330


Here's what I've noticed:

1. Coffee colored water produces coffee colored fish
2. Muddy water without much clarity produces light colored fish with very few markings
3. Clear water produces fish with very pronounced markings

But then I've caught fish from the same area that were radically different from each other in color AND markings. That I am thinking is genetics - different strain of fish. Nearly all the fish I've caught in N/WI are that same greenish brown color, but every once in a while you get one with beautiful markings. Leech strain fish always have spots and always seem to be the same color, though.

But they all smell the same...

Weird fish they are.
JKahler
Posted 8/1/2013 12:48 AM (#654882 - in reply to #654492)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring




Posts: 1206


Location: WI
I've caught leechers that are olive gray on the sides with spots, and ones that are very light colored in the same lake. Another local lake the leechers are very light colored, almost albino. In the St Louis river I've caught WI strain in a number of different color patterns. Even caught a fish in a small WI lake that was bright gold! Wish I would have taken a picture of that one!
Flambeauski
Posted 8/1/2013 9:02 AM (#654908 - in reply to #654816)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring




Posts: 2701


Location: Smith Creek
esoxaddict - 7/31/2013 4:48 PM

Here's what I've noticed:

1. Coffee colored water produces coffee colored fish
2. Muddy water without much clarity produces light colored fish with very few markings
3. Clear water produces fish with very pronounced markings

But then I've caught fish from the same area that were radically different from each other in color AND markings. That I am thinking is genetics - different strain of fish. Nearly all the fish I've caught in N/WI are that same greenish brown color, but every once in a while you get one with beautiful markings. Leech strain fish always have spots and always seem to be the same color, though.

But they all smell the same...

Weird fish they are.


Lundbob's 53 came out of coffee colored water. Weird indeed.
dtaijo174
Posted 8/1/2013 12:37 PM (#654944 - in reply to #654506)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring





Posts: 1034


Location: New Hope MN
Flambeauski - 7/30/2013 1:11 PM
Shoepeks are another that's green no matter where they live.


I have never caught a green shoepack strain fish. All have been brown with brown belly spots being the big key indicator. That includes fishing Shoepack lake. What a hike that was...
Flambeauski
Posted 8/1/2013 1:32 PM (#654961 - in reply to #654944)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring




Posts: 2701


Location: Smith Creek
Pretty green if you ask me. In this stocked lake they run from a little golden to GREEN. Wish I had (digital) pics of one I caught, it was like a pike without spots.


Zoom - | Zoom 100% | Zoom + | Expand / Contract | Open New window
Click to expand / contract the width of this image
(Wisconsin07%2000005.jpg)


Zoom - | Zoom 100% | Zoom + | Expand / Contract | Open New window
Click to expand / contract the width of this image
(4937_4a5e3ed2acc0c.jpg)



Attachments
----------------
Attachments Wisconsin07%2000005.jpg (66KB - 50 downloads)
Attachments 4937_4a5e3ed2acc0c.jpg (25KB - 60 downloads)
Flambeauski
Posted 8/1/2013 2:37 PM (#654967 - in reply to #654492)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring




Posts: 2701


Location: Smith Creek
2nd pic was taken from another website, author said he was fishing Shoepack Lake.
dtaijo174
Posted 8/1/2013 4:25 PM (#654991 - in reply to #654492)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring





Posts: 1034


Location: New Hope MN
They may be green in certain lakes. I'm not disputing that. just saying I've caught brown ones. I'll try to remember to post a pic of a few shoepackers i boated (wrong computer).

One thing is for sure, they do change their markings. That adds to the cool factor IMO!
Flambeauski
Posted 8/1/2013 8:44 PM (#655031 - in reply to #654492)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring




Posts: 2701


Location: Smith Creek
No doubt. Just when you think all muskies on a body of water have a certain color pattern you catch an oddball that's completely different than every other fish you've caught there. My completely uneducated opinion is that its genetics.
curleytail
Posted 8/9/2013 2:20 PM (#656560 - in reply to #654492)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring




Posts: 2004


Location: Hayward, WI
I have to wonder if it's genetics too. Most of the fish I catch tend to be fairly boring in color, with most of the fish being light olive green to darker brown, and very few markings. Have not caught a lot of fish from gin clear water, but many on only slightly stained water.

I have caught a couple on very very clear water that were still quite bland in coloring, but a few in stained water that had pronounced markings.

My two biggest fish came from different lakes. One very clear and one "mostly" clear, in two counties about an hour apart. They had somewhat similar colors and markings.

It seems like I've noticed certain size structures having similar color patterns. Also makes me think the coloring is strain related.
Brew city baits
Posted 1/19/2014 11:04 AM (#685649 - in reply to #654492)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring




Posts: 3


There are hybread musky's as well as tiger musky! Well in wisconsinwe do!
CiscoKid
Posted 2/1/2014 9:41 AM (#688714 - in reply to #654492)
Subject: RE: Musky Coloring





Posts: 1788


Location: Oconto Falls, WI
I think it is a combination of both genetics and the water color.

Example 1 - Genetics - A lake I fish frequently has two distinctive types of fish in it. One are the greenish hued fish, and from what someone told me (I cannot verify validity) is those fish were stockers. They fight ok, but nothing out of the ordinary. The other type of fish in this lake tend to be more straight brown with brown belly spots. These are to be from the "native" strain. These fish, every one of them, fight like the dickens. It is crazy to see the difference between the two.

Example 2 - Water color - Pretty sure majority of coloring is dictated by water color, and to take it further the surroundings in that lake. Fish in the same lake have very different coloring. Those that tend to stay in weeds and around timber and other structure tend to have very distinctive markings. However fish that spend their lives in open water on those same lakes tend to be more of a solid coloring. Also fish have the ability to change their coloring based on surrounding. Think of trout/salmon coming in from the big water, and those that have been in the water awhile. The fresh run almost always are brighter in color, and have fewer markings. Those that have been in a while tend to be darker in coloring. Also think of fish you are keeping to eat. If you have a light colored livewell they usually end up being very light in color compared to how they were when you first threw them in there, and if you have a dark colored livewell sometimes the fish will actually end up getting darker in color.
Larry Ramsell
Posted 2/2/2014 9:14 AM (#688868 - in reply to #654492)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring




Posts: 782


Location: Hayward, Wisconsin
Travis: I agree with both of your examples and would like to add another observation. In "some" waters, where the muskies have been stocked, they seem unable (at least from my observations) to modify color for camo...the water I'm referring to is very dark, but almost all of the muskies are WHITE! They actually almost glow when seen following a lure. I don't know if it is the chemistry of the water that causes this OR the possibility that them being white in that water body makes them less visible to their prey. Doesn't seem to affect their ability to grow to good size and all are very healthy.

Also, in an area where two major muskie rivers come together, coloration can be quite different; one river being darker/muddier and the other clear/clean. Very easy to tell them apart.
yoopertrout
Posted 5/27/2014 8:31 PM (#713048 - in reply to #654492)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring




Posts: 36


I've noticed that, in one body of water that I fish, the smaller fish are heavily barred, and the larger fish have only faint barring toward the back. Not sure if this is common.
Flambeauski
Posted 5/28/2014 9:48 AM (#713104 - in reply to #688868)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring




Posts: 2701


Location: Smith Creek
Larry Ramsell - 2/2/2014 9:14 AM

Travis: I agree with both of your examples and would like to add another observation. In "some" waters, where the muskies have been stocked, they seem unable (at least from my observations) to modify color for camo...the water I'm referring to is very dark, but almost all of the muskies are WHITE! They actually almost glow when seen following a lure. I don't know if it is the chemistry of the water that causes this OR the possibility that them being white in that water body makes them less visible to their prey. Doesn't seem to affect their ability to grow to good size and all are very healthy.
.


But doesn't this example contradict the 2nd example Travis gave?
If environmental conditions caused muskies to change colors wouldn't these fish do so? I have a pretty good idea of the lake and fish you are referring to, they stick out like sore thumb.
I don't believe fish can will their colors to change, nor do I believe that patterns change due to their surroundings, as I've seen too many examples of muskies caught several times in several different locations and their markings were exactly the same, whether it was caught from open water or weeds or rocks.
Trout and salmon (or fish in the livewell) are going through physiological changes which causes them to gain or lose pigment.

Edited by Flambeauski 5/28/2014 9:50 AM
dtaijo174
Posted 5/28/2014 12:15 PM (#713133 - in reply to #654492)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring





Posts: 1034


Location: New Hope MN
I think they change color to match their surroundings + genetics. the leech lake strain stocked in Minnetonka look night and day different than the leech lake musky from leech lake.

Also, the little musky in my tank change color in seconds when stressed out or just when I flip the light on from dark. Actually almost all the fish in my fishtank change color when I turn the light on.
Flambeauski
Posted 5/28/2014 1:07 PM (#713142 - in reply to #654492)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring




Posts: 2701


Location: Smith Creek
First off, I'd guess its more your perception of their color changing with the increase or decrease of lighting. Unless it happens well after the lighting has been altered.
I can get behind some color alteration occurring due to water tint, but I've yet to see bars or stripes increase in boldness or form on a fish that didn't have them previously. More often they fade, like yoopertrout observed. If anyone has pics of a muskie caught multiple times where the markings increased rather than faded or stayed the same I'd love to see them.
achotrod
Posted 5/29/2014 1:52 PM (#713311 - in reply to #654492)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring





Posts: 637


Flam fish in a fish tank absolutely change color after you turn the lights on. When its dark they tend to lighten up, and after a couple minutes with the lights on darken to their normal coloring. Their markings never change though except getting lighter or darker.

In the WI lakes I fish I have seen every color/pattern. The chain has crystal clear lakes and very stained lakes. We have caught Green, brown/gold, barred, spotted and tigers on all the lakes. I dont think the water color made any difference.
dtaijo174
Posted 5/30/2014 7:04 AM (#713366 - in reply to #713142)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring





Posts: 1034


Location: New Hope MN
Flambeauski - 5/28/2014 1:07 PM

First off, I'd guess its more your perception of their color changing with the increase or decrease of lighting. Unless it happens well after the lighting has been altered.
I can get behind some color alteration occurring due to water tint, but I've yet to see bars or stripes increase in boldness or form on a fish that didn't have them previously. More often they fade, like yoopertrout observed. If anyone has pics of a muskie caught multiple times where the markings increased rather than faded or stayed the same I'd love to see them.


haha no... not perception. From a Dark tank, turn the light on the bars/spots coloring is darker. You can watch the bars/spot coloring lighten over I'm guessing 10-15 seconds. My natural muskies did this too. I can't prove if since we can't own them in MN anymore. It was less obvious than my bass, sunnies, crappie and even walleye, but they did it.

All the bass I have owned changed color very rapidly and boldly. A happy bass has a rich vibrant dark pattern down the side and over his back. Drop in 10X more minnows than he wants and he would turn pale cream in 5 seconds. He would hide on the bottom.

On last thought, on lake vermilion I had fish moving on the reefs and weeds that were dark in color. Then later i was fishing an open water spot and getting follows from "blondes." A much brighter coloring.
dtaijo174
Posted 5/30/2014 7:10 AM (#713367 - in reply to #713142)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring





Posts: 1034


Location: New Hope MN
Flambeauski - 5/28/2014 1:07 PM

First off, I'd guess its more your perception of their color changing with the increase or decrease of lighting. Unless it happens well after the lighting has been altered.
I can get behind some color alteration occurring due to water tint, but I've yet to see bars or stripes increase in boldness or form on a fish that didn't have them previously. More often they fade, like yoopertrout observed. If anyone has pics of a muskie caught multiple times where the markings increased rather than faded or stayed the same I'd love to see them.


Sorry one more point!
Throw a pike into the livewell and check on him in 10mins. they turn pale from stress!
Flambeauski
Posted 5/30/2014 11:52 AM (#713410 - in reply to #654492)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring




Posts: 2701


Location: Smith Creek
I see stress as more of a physiological reaction than a reaction to the environment.
The question is, can one take a muskie, introduce it to a different body of water (different color tint, structure, etc.) and expect the fish to change color or markings to match the environment? And if so why the H are the fish in that coffee colored flowage by Duluth so pale? And why are the fish around Price/Ashland (mostly) clear even though they spend their entire lives in weed choked lakes and rivers?
esoxaddict
Posted 5/31/2014 11:25 AM (#713504 - in reply to #713410)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring





Posts: 5330


Flambeauski, I've always wanted to test this theory on a few lakes that I fish regularly.

One in particular has the darkest water I have seen. All the fish are brown, almost black. It doesn't matter if they are pike, perch, sunfish, bass... They're all brown. They don't lose their coloration in a livewell, or a bucket. What I don't know is if I were to put them in the lake down the street that is very clear, with a population of light colored fish, if they would eventually lose the brown color, or not. Since it's now illegal to transport live fish from one body of water to another, I will likely never know.
pamuskyhunter
Posted 5/31/2014 9:11 PM (#713533 - in reply to #654492)
Subject: RE: Musky Coloring





Posts: 613


Location: big cove tannery pa
The river I fish is pretty much clear with sandy bottom. The pure strains are a tanish color. But some of the creeks I fish have a green color to it all year long n there more of a darker tan color. Also the tigers have very pronounced side markings on them. Here is a couple to show. Not monsters but fun to catch.



Attachments
----------------
Attachments 000_0118.jpg~320x480 (18KB - 30 downloads)
Attachments 35inchnatural001.jpg~320x480 (7KB - 18 downloads)
Attachments 43INCHMUSKIE.jpg~320x480 (13KB - 27 downloads)
Nershi
Posted 6/1/2014 8:14 PM (#713617 - in reply to #654492)
Subject: Re: Musky Coloring




Posts: 218


Location: N. MN
I have caught leechers from a stained colored lake that were clear with spots, pronounced color with intense patterns, dark green similar to a WI strain and brown. I've always thought it was a combination of genetics and where they spend their time in a particular piece of water.
Jump to page : 1
Now viewing page 1 [30 messages per page]
Jump to forum :
Search this forum
Printer friendly version
E-mail a link to this thread
VIO POV

(Delete all cookies set by this site)