The sauger is a relative of one of the most common species of fish in America. The sauger is smaller than its walleye cousin, but, other than that, the two species are very similar in appearance. The best way to tell if you've caught a small walleye rather than a sauger is to look for a dark spot between its fins. The sauger also lacks the white tips found on the tailfin of of the walleye. Walleye and sauger often share living quarters, though sauger generally prefer rivers to lake. Bait, lures and techniques typically apply to both types of fish.
The turbulent water that flows just below a dam is commonly known as tailwaters or tailraces. Tailwaters are equipped with the kind of rock, sand or gravel bottoms that attract both saugers and walleyes. The eddies where the current is flowing the opposite direction of the main stream are also good places to fish for walleye and sauger. They are most likely found along the channel margin according to "The Art of Freshwater Fishing."
Both saugers and walleye are schooling fish, so if you bring one up, you have a very good chance of bringing up several more before you're finished. Both types of fish prefer darkness and so usually are found close to the bottom. The special night vision capacity of these fish make them much more efficient feeders when the sun goes down, so you have a better chance to catch them at night.
Seasonal changes affect sauger and walleye greatly. They remain in warm shallow water for several weeks following their early spring night-spawning period. During this period they can stay in shallow waters for longer periods of time because the angle of the sun is low and not harmful to their light-sensitive eyes.
Trolling is a useful technique for catching sauger and walleye. Troll with live bait more slowly than with artificial lures. Choices for live bait include shiner minnows, leeches and nightcrawlers. Favorite trolling lures include flatfish, rebel and jointed rapala. Long-line trolling should allow between 100 and 150 feet between the boat and the bait because these fish are easily spooked by the noise of the engine and the shadows cast by the boat.
A slip-bobber is especially useful for catching walleye and sauger during the middle of summer because it allows you to easily cast a line and place your bait at any level. Experiment with several different depths when using the slip-bobber technique, which allows the line to slip through the bobber until the knot halts the bait at the desired depth. The sinker's weight causes the bobber to tip upright.
Article Written By Timothy Sexton
Timothy Sexton is an award-winning author who started writing in 1994. He has written on topics ranging from politics and golf to nutrition and travel, and his work appears online for Zappos.com, Disaboom and MOJO, among others. He has also done work for "Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.