The Fish Responsible for Huge Smiles

Ohio Department of Natural Resources

There's no freshwater fish in North America that can make you smile like a musky can. Yes, that musky - the greatest of all freshwater fish, known worldwide for its thrilling strikes and magazine-cover leaps. It's the biggest rollercoaster ride in freshwater fishing.

Sharing that excitement is the aim of a new marketing campaign created by a new non-profit, Big Musky Smiles, formed by a group of self-proclaimed musky fishing nuts in Minnesota who want to promote the joy of musky fishing to everyone throughout Musky Country.

"Regardless of your age, gender or your fishing skills, there's no freshwater fish in North America that produces as big a smile as a catching a musky," said Jack Supple, one of the co-founders of Big Musky Smiles. "The mystique of the musky is as much a part of lake living as the cry of the loon. They're for everyone."

The new campaign will launch with a web site,, a Facebook page, billboards and print ads encouraging those who live in Musky Country (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec) to share photos of themselves with the muskies that they've caught to demonstrate the growing popularity of musky fishing.

"We're inviting dads, moms, kids, grandparents, guides - everyone - to share photos of themselves sporting a huge grin while holding up a musky," added Stephen Dupont, one of the other co-founders of Big Musky Smiles. "The more photos we can get, the better. We want photos that communicate how much fun musky fishing is for everyone."

The Big Musky Smiles campaign was donated by Minneapolis advertising agency Pocket Hercules, and is being funded through contributions and grants, including a grant from the Hugh C. Becker Trust and Foundation.

"We would love to open up our Big Musky Smiles campaign throughout Musky Country with billboards starring photos of kids, moms, dads and grandparents holding up their first muskies," added Supple.

The other intent of Big Musky Smiles is to showcase the value of muskies to the culture, environment, and economy of the states and provinces where muskies grow naturally and are stocked.

"Muskies are a critical component of the species hierarchy," Dupont said. "That's why they deserve to be honored and celebrated."

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