There's fishing, then there's the elusive challenge of the muskellunge.  The Department of Environmental Conservation is opening the Muskie Season May 27 in some locations, June 17 for the rest of the state.

There may not be a more rewarding, yet frustrating challenge as finding, hooking and landing a Muskie. And we're fortunate enough to live in one of the country's premiere locations for them.

The season begins this Saturday, May 27 in most New York locations.  However, it won't begin until June 17 on Lake Erie, Upper Niagara River, Lower Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River.

Biologists with the DEC are predicting a banner year for NY's largest freshwater sport fish, especially on Chautauqua Lake. Home to the state's stocking program, they handled "472 muskies during the annual egg take operation, including 95 fish over 40 inches and several over 50 inches." That's the most since the program began in the late 70's.

There's been a size limit change; minimum 40 inches statewide, 54 inches in the St Lawrence and Niagara rivers.  That means you need to be proficient in safely releasing your catch. has some tips on the proper way to release and the tools you'll need.

SOURCE: Department of Environmental Conservation