This is NOT a fish tale: 11-year-old Maren Kesselhon was enjoying watersports with her family on Island Lake in northeast Minnesota when a muskie suddenly grabbed Maren’s leg.

While muskies have been known to eat small mammals, ducklings and certainly other fish of all sizes, it’s likely that this muskie simply mistook Maren’s kicking feet as a struggling largemouth bass, sunfish or crappie. In fact, there’s also a chance that Maren’s attacker was a large northern pike instead of a muskie; both species inhabit Island Lake and feed on the same prey.

Another view of wounds on Maren Kesselhon foot
The water clarity in Island Lake is typically about 4 feet. However, during the heat of summer with weed production at its maximum, plus the waves caused by boats and other recreational watercraft, the water can become quite turbid. In other words, the muske (or pike) thought it was attacking a fish, but grabbed Maren’s leg instead.

Muskies and pike have long teeth designed to hold large fish until they can be turned and swallowed whole headfirst, so it makes sense that Maren’s leg contained 25 gashes, 9 of which required stitches. You can listen to Maren recount the scary encounter in the video above.

P.S. So just how big do the muskies get in Island Lake? Last year, an angler caught and released one that measured 55 inches. Think about that the next time you decide to swim in a lake containing muskies!

Image is a screenshot from the video

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