The muskellunge (long-face of the French) is a noble fish. He is an enormous pike, with the lower projecting jaw armed with needle teeth clear into the throat, ranging from five to forty pounds weight, agile as lightning, and a perfect water tiger among the smaller fishes. No more beautiful fish to look upon than he, nor one so destructive to the finny tribes, cleaves the water. The Niagara river abounds in them - or rather they are plentier in the Niagara than in any other water we know of. They are caught here chiefly with the seine, but occasionally with the book, in trolling; and when you do get fairly hold of a twenty-pounder, look out! Ten to one - unless you are a thorough expert, and give him a long play, wearying him out, and foiling his prodigious efforts at escape, with our gaff hook or dip net at hand - he snaps your line, or breaks your hook and escapes forever! This fish is an acrobat for feats of agility. He no sooner feels the barbed steel in his gullet, than he commences a series of writhings and contortions that would astonish an "India-rubber man." He makes a semi-circle of himself, and then springs back to a "normal" position as suddenly as a tense bow when the string is cut. He zig-zags horizontally, darts upwards, darts downwards, spins round, turns somersaults, and finally, if all these dodges fail, launches his lithe body, with a quiver, six feet into the air, and coming down head foremost, darts off at a right angle like a streak of lightning. If this last maneuver does not break the tackle, the muskellunge gives in, and suffers himself to be lifted out of the water without betraying the slightest emotion. But for all that, in dislodging the hook from his mouth, look out for the chevaux de frise that guards the entrance - the psikes are sharp. A sharp customer is your muskellunge, but a more delicate fish - flesh white as snow, and savory as an oyster, well boiled, and served upon the dinner table with proper sauces - does not exist.
This article was originally from the Boy's Own Book of Outdoor Sports, published in the early 1900s and in the public domain.  It should be updated.