Saugers are an aggressive game fish that can be found in several areas of northern North America. They live in lakes rivers and tributaries and are most often caught by trolling, drift fishing and still fishing. These fish will respond to both live baits and colorful lures.


Region: Midwest, South
Habitat: Lake, Pond

How to identify Sauger

Because walleyes are close relatives of saugers, they look very similar. Saugers can be identified by looking for several features, including the dark dots on their dorsal fins. Saugers are also missing the large marking at the end of their dorsal fin that is present in walleyes. Saugers are also smaller than walleyes. Hybrid sub-species of a cross of sauger and walleye add to the confusion of being able to identify them with hybrids, often becoming known as saugeyes. The sauger’s coloring is bronze or olive with a white belly.

Where to catch Sauger

These fish can be found in the U.S. and Canada from central Alberta to Montana, southeasterly to Arkansas and Tennessee up to Quebec. They are found in James Bay to the Great Lakes, northerly to Ontario and Saskatchewan. Saugers prefer the dark, muddy waters of tributaries, lakes, rivers, and water reservoirs. They stick to warmer waters and often hide in vegetation. Their spawning season runs from March to May.

Range: Midwest, South
Sauger Fishing Map

The following are habitats where you can catch Sauger:

How to catch Sauger

Saugers are known as an aggressive game fish. They can be difficult to catch because they hide during the day. Look for them in thick vegetation in areas with muddy bottoms. The best times to fish for them are in the early mornings and evenings. Because they are bottom-dwelling fish, fly fishing can be difficult. Anglers should aim their jigs at holes in which the fish may be hiding. For gear, a 7- to 9-foot rod equipped with 8- to 12-pound monofilament line is the best option. The best methods for catching saugers include drift fishing, still fishing, and trolling.

The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Sauger:

Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Sauger

When using baits, choose crayfish, shad, small panfish, and minnows. For lures, try a brightly colored bucktail, spoon, or jig.

The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Sauger: