How to Catch Walleye & Sauger

How to Catch Walleye & Sauger
Walleyes and saugers are among the most popular game fish in the United States. They are known for their light-biting feeding habits and are also good to eat. The two freshwater fish are closely related with similar habits. Both begin to spawn when the water warms into the 40s, typically in mid- to late April in the eastern and southeastern regions. The two-week time frame before they spawn is the best time to catch them.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fishing reel and rod
  • Baits (jigs, crankbaits, worms and minnows)
Step 1
Use a 5 1/2- to 6-foot spinning reel outfit with 6- to 8-pound monofilament line. This is adequate for walleye and sauger fishing.
Step 2
Choose a fast-action rod for trolling and jigging. For live bait fishing, choose a medium action rod.
Step 3
Look for walleyes and saugers in shallow waters. Both fish prefer shallow water because that's where they feed, though saugers tend to stray even shallower than walleyes. Use jigs when fishing in shallow waters.
Step 4
If you cannot locate your catch in shallow water, look along the first drop-off from shore or the weedline. Use crankbaits in these areas.
Step 5
Use live bait if an artificial lure is ineffective. Consider the temperature. A good tactic to try is the 50-degree rule. When the water is 50 degrees and above, use worms or night crawlers for bait. When the water is cooler than 50 degrees, try minnows.

Tips & Warnings

Leeches and frogs are other live baits worth trying.
Remember that your bait has to be lively for it to work.
Other productive places to fish for saugers and walleyes are below dams and at the mouths of creeks, according to Tennessee Sportsman magazine.
Try trolling from a moving boat with a short, stiff trolling rod to catch walleyes and saugers.

Article Written By Rona Aquino

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.

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