Walleye and sauger are close relatives and look quite similar to one another. Saugers have similar shapes and colors as the walleye but without the white tip on the tail and the black spot of color at their dorsal fin's rear. With some experience and fishing techniques, you can be well on your way on catching both species.
Baits and Lures
Walleyes mostly feed on other fish like yellow perch. Periodically, they also feed on crayfish, insects, frogs and leeches. Live bait makes effective lures when fishing for walleye though a combination of artificial lures with live bait-like spinners can also produce a lot of bites. Jigs work really well with both sauger and walleye. You can cast them, bounce along the bottom while drift fishing or jig vertically to attract both species. According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, minnow plugs tend to work best for walleyes. Use a 3- to 6-inch Rebel or Rapala that mimics yellow perch to entice fish. Also try the twister-tail jigs, chartreuse or green bucktail in sizes that range from 1/4 to 1/8 oz.
Walleye and sauger can be found congregating in their preferred water temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of their intolerance to light, they favor murky waters or water with low clarity. Find walleyes in gravel bottoms, weed beds and along rocky areas with calm water currents. Sauger normally linger in water depths of at least 5 feet deeper near where the walleyes are.
Trolling with lead-core line using level-wind reels and stiff trolling rods is one of the time-tested walleye-sauger techniques on the river, states the Gander Mountain Outfitters. Use reels with a 25- to 40-pound lead core with a minnow plug or a crankbait. Choose a fast-action rod when jigging and trolling and a medium action rod for live-bait fishing.
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.