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The saugeye is a hybrid fish created by crossing a female walleye with a male sauger.
These fish are often confused with their parental species but can typically be distinguished by their markings. Saugeyes have dark brown backs with darker saddle shaped markings like that of a sauger, and a white blotch on the lower tip of their tails like that of a walleye. These fish also have a continuous black blotch at the base of the dorsal fin, while saugers only have rows of distinct black spots.
Saugeye occur in the middle portion of the U.S. and are focused along the Mississippi River drainage basin and its surrounding tributaries. They can be found as far north as Michigan and as far south as Mississippi. Although they do occur naturally in the same regions as walleye and saugers, they are often farm raised and released into the wild to supplement other sport fish populations.Saugeyes are typically more tolerant of warm water than walleyes, and are particularly suited to life in turbid reservoirs. Saugeyes often run upriver in winter and spring, congregating in slow moving waters below dams. As the water warms in late spring, many disperse back downstream into shallow, turbid reservoirs. In muddy reservoirs with slow moving waters, the faces of dams and other prominent structure may attract and concentrate spawning saugeyes when the water temperature reaches between 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit. Later in the season towards the fall, fish tend to move out towards areas of main waterways and channels that have high turbidity and low visibility. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish:
Like their parent species, saugeyes can be taken with light spinning and bait casting tackle using spinners, spoons, or live bait like minnows or night crawlers. These fish can often be caught at night and are considered to be excellent table fare. The following are fishing methods used to catch this fish:
The following are lures, tackle or bait that can be used to catch this fish:
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