Fishing season for New York's most notorious fish will no longer start in May.

Muskie hunters will now have to wait a little bit longer for their annual shot at capturing New York's largest freshwater sportfish. The legendary Muskellunge is an elusive fish that can take days, months or even decades to fish. Although it's at the top of the food chain, the gigantic fish is quite fragile. Anglers who decide to dedicate themselves to catching one will also need to face the fact that they'll have a few brief moments to pose with their trophy after releasing it back into the water.

While some Muskies can grow to over 50lbs, the average weighs between 15 and 26lbs and measures from 28 to 48 inches. However, minimum size limits are 54 inches for Great Lakes waters and 40 inches for inland waters. This means most fish will need to be quickly released before succumbing to shock.

YouTube/The Fresh Angle
YouTube/The Fresh Angle

Although it may seem silly to spend months hunting down a fish only to have to quickly throw it back into the water, Muskie anglers find the sport highly rewarding. Unfortunately, this year there will be slightly less time to hunt the elusive fish in New York.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced this week that the fishing season for muskellunge will officially begin on June 1 for inland waters and on June 15 in Great Lakes waters, which include Lake Erie, Upper Niagara River, Lower Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River.

Last month, the season-opening date was changed from the usual last Saturday in May to June 1. Moving forward, the floating Saturday opening will no longer be in effect and the season will always begin in June. Because many people may have already planned fishing expeditions for the last week in May, the DEC will make an exception this year, allowing anglers to begin fishing for Muskies on May 29 for inland waters only.

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