Re: 'How to' Sauger fish?

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Posted by Bob D on December 04, 2006 at 20:51:05:

In Reply to: 'How to' Sauger fish? posted by Kent on December 04, 2006 at 19:25:10:

Kent, I am by no means an expert when it comes to these sauger. I have some limited experience from my time in Kansas and here on the TN River system. I do fish for them the same way I do for crappie. Light line, either 4 or 6. Some folks I know use all the way up to 10. I also use a limber tipped rod, and stiff enough in the blank for the light jigs I like to throw, and can handle a nice sized fish. I like 5'6" and 6' rods for this. I know some folks that use 8' rods in Kansas very effectively.

I fish from the bank and only get out in a boat when someone offers to take me along. The secret to sauger I have found is bump it along the bottom. I like to jig fish with a 1/16 or 1/8 jig head (Just heavy enough to keep contact with the bottom every now and then). Many different colors seem to work, just depends on what they want that day. Chartreuse seems to always be at the top of the list for me. I like a hair jig with a minnow. Lots of folks use stinger hooks too. I also like curly tailed grubs of different sorts and sassy shad type bodies as well. I think the real deal is what ever you have the most confidence in throw it!

These fish seem to prefer current, and this time of year are congregating below the dams in the spill ways, narrow places with current, on humps off the main channels, and in deep pockets with current (off the bluffs). If fishing from a boat in heavy current, you need to keep your jigs verticle, so line size and jig head weight become critical to keeping your presentation verticle.

I fillet them same as I do crappie. I'll take sauger in a heart beat over a crappie for table fair. Their flesh is slightly firmer than that of crappie but still nice and flakey and wonderful tasting.

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