naturally occur in nature where walleye and sauger coexist, as in
Ohio River. However, most saugeye are
produced in Division of Wildlife hatcheries. Saugeye parents are
Ohio waters: sauger males are
collected from the
Ohio River and walleye females are
collected in the March from lakes such as
C. J. Brown,
The Division of
Wildlife’s first successful saugeye production occurred in 1977
when limited numbers were raised at the Kincaid State Fish
Hatchery. In June 1978, the first introduction of saugeye
fish surveys at Deer Creek (pictured left) indicated favorable
survival and growth. The success of this inaugural stocking led
to the expansion of the saugeye program.
Ohio’s saugeye program has
focused on stocking saugeye where walleye introductions have been
unsuccessful and where saugeye are more likely to provide a
Hatchery saugeye production recent years has been between
fingerlings per year. In 2004, 8.7 million saugeye fingerlings
were stocked into 59 water areas.
Stockings in some
onstream flood control reservoirs have also provided high
densities of saugeye in tailwater areas (the stream below the dam
of a water body- pictured right) which can provide great fishing
opportunities from November to July after high discharges of
water. Fishermen find tailwater areas, at lakes like Paint Creek
and Deer Creek (central Ohio),
attractive getaways from the traditional cabin fever ills of
provide excitement and are a prized sport fish to Ohio's anglers.
state recordsaugeye is a 12.84 pound, 28 ¾ inch long fish
which was caught at Alum Creek in late January, 2002.
saugeye fishing tips by season.
it a Saugeye, Walleye, or Sauger?
How can you identify a
saugeye from a walleye or a sauger? Since saugers are primarily
found in the Ohio River,
the identification problem most likely to occur is between the
saugeye and walleye.
Saugeye look similar to both the
sauger. Saugeye have saddle-like markings on their sides,
similar to the sauger, but saugeye can have some white pigment on
the lower portion of their tail along with dark bars on the dorsal
fin membranes. Walleye do not have saddle-like markings on their
sides, have white pigment on the tail, and have solid shading on
the dorsal fin membranes.
saugeye management and research has
been concentrating on how to make saugeye fishing consistently
better for fishermen. Currently, research investigations are
being directed towards saugeye condition and prey availability
during the winter, spring, summer, and fall time periods.
Biologists are also examining whether later stockings of
fingerlings improve saugeye survival. Knowledge gained from
ongoing research projects will provide the Division of Wildlife
with information necessary to modify management techniques in such
a way as to substantially reduce mortality and thus improve
saugeye stocking success. This, in the long-run, will eventually
mean more saugeyes for the angler.
Reprinted courtesy, Ohio Division of Wildlife
Saugeye in all seasons
How might I catch a saugeye?
The following is a table of
basic saugeye strategies to get you started. There are many
techniques, locations, lures and baits that will work at times that
may not be listed here.
45 - 72oF
78 – 90 - 72oF
72 - 45oF
tipped w/ minnows, minnows below bobbers or with tip-ups, blade
baits & Rat-L-Traps style lures.
Jigs tipped with
minnows, in late May switch to nitecrawlers on jigs or with worm
harnesses, crankbaits on rip-rap & shallow bars at night
harnesses or “mayfly rigs” tipped with a piece of nitecrawler,
trolling or casting small shad imitating crankbaits (1”- 3”) &
casting jigs tipped with worms.
Troll or cast
larger crankbaits (3”-6”) and use crawler harnesses and jigs
tipped with worms. Small gizzard shad are plentiful-makes
finding active fish difficult
style lures, using crankbaits and jigs with minnows.
Below dams & on
shallow bars (points & reefs) at twilight in reservoirs w/o ice
or in nearby deep water during the day
high “flow-through” lakes), the rip-rap on dams and causeways in
lakes, large structures (bars, points, underwater roadbeds,
etc.) that reach all the way to the old stream channel in a
Some fish using
same locations as spring, however, fish are now scattered
throughout the lake using all available structure, especially if
it has cover like weed beds, stump fields or downed trees.
Deep lakes are now
stratified and fish are forced to remain
above the warm/coldwater interface (known as the thermo-cline)
so they can obtain enough oxygen from the water.
Fish can move
extremely shallow at sunset & sunrise. Try rip-rap areas and
large points with a gravel silt make-up.
·Always fish tight to the
bottom for saugeye, which means using a jig heavy enough for the
conditions. Use a lift-and-drop retrieve for jigs.
·The darker or muddier the
water, the shallower the fish will be.
·It’s never too muddy for
a saugeye, try black jigs and twister tails in these conditions.
·Always check good
overhead cover in shallow lakes, saugeye have even been known to
hide under lily pads like bass.
·From “ice-out” until
about 55oF water, be sure to use a stop-go method when
casting and retrieving crankbaits. Saugeye like to inhale the lure
on the pause.