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## Musky Hunter Weight Calculator — Musky Hunter Magazine

We have designed this automatic weight calculator to compute the weight of your fish based on the length and girth. All you have to do is fill in the length and girth fields, then “Click” the “Compute” button to view the weight of your fish.

We recommend you “Clear the Fields” if you wish to do multiple fish calculations.

Enter partial length and girth measurements as decimals: 1/4″=.25; 1/2″=.50; 3/4″=.75

Girth is optional, default is calculated at 0.46 * Length

Please Note: Actual Girth measuements will make for closer weight calculations

Catch {amp}amp; Release Weight Calculator

Back when how much meat a Musky would provide was of

greater concern than how much the fish weighed, people didn’t pay as much attention to a

Musky weight or exact measurements. There were no contests or widely publicized world

record listings. One early, possibly record class Musky catch whose exact size remains

unknown was taken by pioneer guide Allison Drake.

Drake who during the twilight of his long guiding

career was said to have been the oldest guide in the world from point of service (63

years) — began guiding during the early 1890s at the age of 15, while his father, Fred

Drake, was operating a stopping place on the West Fork of the Chippewa River near Hayward,

Wisconsin. Being able to catch Musky practically from his hack door, young Allison learned

to be a skilled boatman and was soon guiding — poling river boats from Radisson, up the

Chippewa River and to the West Fork, giving guests who were coming up river a chance to

fish along the way.

The huge Musky that Allison caught was said to have been

taken around 1924 and, according to Allison, it was caught on a spoon in the West Fork of the

Chippewa River, just up from where McGuire’s Bar is now located. Allison’s fish bottomed

out his 50-pound scale but, not really being that concerned about what the fish’s weight

was, he just cut it up for the meat!

So how big was it? Well, with Allison known to be a tall

man, standing around 6-2 or 6-3; from studying the photo of his Musky, it’s evident that

his Musky ranged between 56 to 58 inches in length. And, with the current

world record Musky at the time weighing just 51 pounds 3 ounces, Allison’s thick bodied

fish would have been undoubtedly heavier and could have been a world record Musky

(weighing possibly 55 pounds or more), had it been registered.

Back then, it really wasn’t that big of a deal. Since

the passing of those early days though, Musky fishing is now being done for sport, rather

than as a means of providing sustenance. The catching of Louie Spray’s much publicized

first world record Musky, a 59� pounder from 1939, seemingly ushered in a new era in our

sport — that of great rivalries over the world record Musky title and, ultimately, in

fishing contests in general.

Since then. a Musky’s weight has been considered to be

the benchmark by which it is judged. A Musky’s weight, and not its length, has always been

regarded as being the more descriptive assessment of a Musky’s size. Because the build of

a Musky can vary greatly, a fish’s length may not tell us that much about the Musky’s true

size. A fish that measures 50 inches sounds like it’s a pretty impressive catch but, if

it’s a skinny one (in the 25-pound class), it doesn’t have to be as big as it sounds. But

if that same fish was super fat and thick bodied all the way through, it could actually be

twice as big.

So it’s the weight that is the true determiner of what

you really have. And it’s the weight that determines who the true world record holders

are. For decades, it had been a long standing tradition to weigh, measure and record any

muskies caught out of the many fishing camps scattered through out our north country’s

prime Musky centers. And. because contest prizes were often at stake. certified beam type

scales were used by many of the serious Musky camps.

Being the ‘weigh master» for our own resort ever

since 1972 and having weighed over a thousand Musky myself, I can remember the hoopla that

every Musky which was brought in created. Becoming a tradition at many of the Musky camps

including our own to ring a bell, sound a siren or horn, or raise a special flag to alert

guests that another Musky had come in, it was always regarded as an eagerly anticipated

and festive occurrence.

In this age of release where more than 90 percent of all

Musky caught are put back, how does one go about judging a Musky’s weight? And how does

one resist getting caught up in the excitement of the moment, upon catching a nice Musky,

and try to come up with a realistic weight estimate? This is definitely one of the great

dilemmas of the release program. And, while an experienced Musky angler can often judge a

Musky’s weight fairly well, they are not all immune from exaggeration.

All too often now, I’m hearing about 39 or 40

inch Musky

which go 20 pounds, 45 inch Musky which go 30 pounds, and 50 inch Musky which go 40 to 45

pounds. While in rare cases these weight estimates are indeed possible, they are certainly

not the norm. Fact is, it usually takes a 42-incher to make 20 pounds, a 48 to

49 incher

to make 30 pounds, and a 52 to 55 incher to make 40 pounds.

Why be so knit-picky in the first place? Because, if we

weren’t and we just continued attaching wild weight estimates to our Musky catches, it

would only serve to cheapen the values of the bona fide weights of Musky of various sizes.

We would then have a distorted perception of the capabilities of our fisheries and would

never be able to fully appreciate the sport for what it has truly given us in terms of our

Musky catches. Well, don’t these sportsmen who are releasing such big fish deserve the

bragging rights that they claim? Yes they do, but only to the extent that reflects the

true size of their catch.

So how can we best come up with realistic weight

estimates on our released Musky? There are three basic ways: weighing the fish on some

sort of portable scale before we release it; taking a length and girth of the fish and

then plugging the data into an accepted weight formula; or, if you possess the proper

skills, you can take an accurate length measurement and come up with a weight assessment,

based on the build of the fish, which can be even more accurate than the formula will

usually yield.

As far as which of these three methods would be the

least stressful on a Musky, it would be the latter with the first method of actually

weighing the fish being potentially the most stressful. Getting a good length and girth of

a Musky can give you a good indication of the Musky’s weight, once the data is plugged

into an accepted weight formula, but keep in mind that these formulas have their

limitations. A general formula that has been accepted for determining Musky weights is W =

(G^{2}x L) � 800. The problem with this formula is that the

bigger a Musky gets, the more the fish’s shape comes into play in determining the Musky’s

weight and the less accurate the formula becomes. In fact, for Musky weighing over 55

pounds, the formula becomes all but useless.

I decided to check the formula against 947 Musky with

known accurate weights, lengths, and girths (almost all of which I weighed and measured

myself) and plug the data into the formula, leaving the divisor the unknown. With the

average divisor coming out to be 754.5, I then had a more finely tuned formula for

yielding Musky weights: W = ( G^{2}x L) � 754.5.

Musky with a «beer belly» — thick in the

middle but not at the head {amp}amp; tail ends — throw many anglers. Their big bellies often

makes people think they are heavier than they really are. If a fish’s body isn’t fat all

the way through its entire length, it won’t be able to carry the weight that some anglers

may think.

Musky with short, blunt heads and stubby tails can be

much heavier, relative to their lengths. Musky with long, menacing, alligator-like heads

and long tails are probably the most deceiving fish to even the seasoned veteran. Creating

the illusion that they are much heavier than they are, these long-headed fish often have

their weights overestimated.

Based on my experiences, I have come up with the weight

range estimates based on Musky shapes found on the table shown below. Use it for a quick

and accurate weight estimate.

## Muskie Weight Calculator

0 pounds

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—

January 03, 2016

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as girth measurements. Weight also can be estimated using only length measurements based on relationship between length and weight. Length-weight equations can be developed for specific waters, regions (e.g., states), or for a particular species.

Formulas containing length as well as girth are often most accurate for estimating weight, because the fatness or plumpness of the fish is accounted for. If only length is available, the most accurate weights often are estimated from length-weight relationships for specific waters or regions. For instance, in some waters fish might be relatively «skinny,» and the weight estimate might be overinflated if based on a formula created from data on a water body where fish are «fat» or even «normal.» That’s why adding girth to the formula can help with accuracy. Formula’s containing girth, however, also may not be as accurate as we’d like, because of inherent differences in the shape of fish and finding the right adjustment factor (or «shape» factor) to use in the formula. And it’s important to measure girth carefully, and at the fish’s fattest point, as girth estimates affect weight estimates powerfully.

One easy way to estimate fish weight is through the use of standard length-weight formulas. Species-specific formulas, called standard-weight equations, have been developed for dozens of fish species by fishery biologists to describe the standard growth form of a species as a whole. These relationships often are used to assess body condition (the relative weight or plumpness of a fish), which provides an index of a fish’s well-being, such as whether there are forage shortages or surpluses, and can sometimes reflect fish growth rate.

These standard length-weight formulas are often developed using thousands of fish from hundreds of populations across the range of a species, so they describe the «general» growth form of that species. For instance, the equation for black crappie was developed using over 20,000 fish across a range of sizes from 175 populations across the geographic range of black crappie.

*An important thing to keep in mind is that these standard length-weight formulas describe fish in «above-average» condition. In fact, the weights in the tables represent the 75th-percentile in the samples for that particular length, and are not average weights. In other words, if you lined up 100 random bass of the same length in order of weight, and those bass were a good representation of the range of weights for that length, the weight provided in the table would be for the 75th heaviest fish. While it might have made more sense to use the median weight for these formulas, fishery biologists decided to go with the 75th percentile so that the standard weight at a given length was an above-average or «ideal» target to shoot for in terms of body condition. So, if your fish appears plump and healthy, the weights from the table should be relatively close. If your fish is skinny to average, it will weigh less, and if very plump and remarkably «fat» it will weigh more. Just make an adjustment. No formula is 100-percent accurate, but if you have only length and not girth, this should help get you in the ballpark. Your state fishery agency may have standard weight tables based on regional data posted on their website. These formulas use total length of the fish, measured from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail fin when compressed.

MuskieLength To Weight Conversion Chart

35 in | 12.08 pounds |

36 in | 13.26 pounds |

37 in | 14.53 pounds |

38 in | 15.88 pounds |

39 in | 17.31 pounds |

40 in | 18.83 pounds |

41 in | 20.44 pounds |

42 in | 22.15 pounds |

43 in | 23.95 pounds |

44 in | 25.85 pounds |

45 in | 27.86 pounds |

46 in | 29.97 pounds |

47 in | 32.19 pounds |

48 in | 34.52 pounds |

49 in | 36.97 pounds |

50 in | 39.54 pounds |

51 in | 42.23 pounds |

52 in | 45.05 pounds |

53 in | 48.00 pounds |

54 in | 51.08 pounds |

55 in | 54.29 pounds |

56 in | 57.64 pounds |

57 in | 61.13 pounds |

58 in | 64.77 pounds |

59 in | 68.56 pounds |

60 in | 72.50 pounds |

61 in | 76.60 pounds |

62 in | 80.85 pounds |

Weight(lbs) = girth» X girth» X (length» / 800)

The first choice is the standard weight calculation formula passed down to us from the ancients. It is a formula that can be used to calculate other fish species simply by changing the value 800 to something else. [eg. 750 for Steelhead, 650 for Salmon, 1200 for Panfish etc.]

Ramsell/Wilkinson Formula

Weight(lbs) = (girth»-0.75) X (girth»-0.75) X (length» / 800)

The second algorithm I chose to include is a formula developed by World renowned Musky Historian Larry Ramsel and Warren Wilkinson. It was their contention that the standard accepted formula over-estimated the weight on trophy sized muskellunge. Hence his refinement of the accepted Standard Formula.

Casselman and Crossman Formula

Weight(kg) = 0.0000418 x ((length-cm X girth-cm)^1.441)

The third formula was developed by researchers Casselman and Crossman who derived their algorithm via linear measurements and weight data from 341 «trophy» muskellunge. Although the formula is shown here in its original metric form, you can input the dimensions in inches and your result will be in pounds as the metric/imperial conversion has been coded into the algorithm.

Using all three algorithms on the same fish will give you a pretty good range to go by. Instead of potentially damaging a fish more by hoisting it up on a scale, or whatever, just get a good seamstress measuring tape and get some quick, accurate measurements. The less time the fish spends out of water, the better its chance for survival after release.

Of recent note: Tom Betka is working with Larry Ramsell on developing a P.C. program that does weight calculations, implementing some changes to the calculations. Details can be found here … www.esoxhunter.com/weightform.php