WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | Sports

Musky Attack

By: Mary Rinzel Email
By: Mary Rinzel Email

Some are calling it the "JAWS" of the Midwest after a fresh water fish attacks a nine-year-old boy.

Paris Copeland and his family were enjoying a swim in a Minnesota lake on Monday, but it only took seconds for their lazy day, to turn scary.

After a couple hours of splashing around…

"There was tons of blood," says Paris.

Paris was ready to pack up and go home.

“I felt pain and I ran back to my parents and then we went home,” Paris says.

Turns out a musky or possibly a northern pike was looking for lunch and that fish caused quite a commotion:

"I wonder how many people we freaked out, it was like “JAWS," says Westy Copeland, Paris’ mom.

But local biologists say the underwater predators aren't a joking matter. In fact, some can grow to weigh more than 30 pounds and…

"Muskies have a mouthful of teeth and big teeth," says DNR Fisheries Supervisor Bob Hujik.

But before you run from the water in western Wisconsin.

"Are people at risk? Probably not," Hujik tells us.

Hujik says muskies and northerns aren't likely to attack.

"They see the movement,” he says. “It's not like they're hungry and going to eat you, it's just a reaction."

A reaction anglers love to see:

"Muskies are the hardest to catch, but it’s very rewarding when you do pull one in," says Musky Guide Darrin Engstrom.

But Engstrom says you're lucky to get that chance.

"As soon as they see you in the water, they're probably going to swim away," Engstrom says.

As for Paris, he's ready to get back in the lake and Engstrom says his scar is more of a trophy.

"It's not a good day in the water unless there's blood on your hands,” he says.

Hujik says pan fish, like bluegills, can also nip at swimmers. But, he says attacks like the one in Minnesota, are very, very, rare.


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