Monday, June 11, 2012

6/9 Saugeye Fishing

Ever since we started fishing from boats I've always wanted to learn to catch saugeye consistently. Over the years we have caught some here and there while fishing for other species but never went out with intent to catch them. This Saturday we made our first attempt at saugeye fishing at Rocky Fork Lake. We started fishing around 4pm but were unsure when the best time to fish would be. I have read that they are most active during the night and on cloudy days when there is low light so we decided to fish the evening and into the night. The water temperature when we arrived was 80 degrees. In general our rigs were jigs tipped with a piece of nightcrawler or minnow as well as a nightcrawler harness rig. Our plan was to fish whatever points, humps and drop offs we could find in the 10-20ft depth range drifting and jigging our nightcrawlers and minnows.

The day started off slow and windy. We managed to catch a couple deep bluegill in around 10ft of water at the first area we tried but no saugeye. The next couple spots yielded a largemouth for Amanda, a white bass for me, and a yellow perch for Sean but still no saugeye. Eventually we arrived at an area where we had caught some smaller saugeye while fishing for bluegill a week earlier. It wasn't long before we caught a saugeye at this spot, although it wasn't the size we were looking for at 10 inches. We continued drifting this spot catching one saugeye every drift in the 10-12 inch range. These fish were in the 8-12ft range on a flat adjacent to a ledge leading to 30ft water. We were on the brink of giving up and fishing for bluegill when I hooked into a better sized fish. After a short fight we got our first decent saugeye in the boat at 1lb 14oz and 18 inches.
1lb 14oz 18 inch Saugeye
1lb 14oz 18 inch Saugeye
Soon thereafter we took a break to do some bluegill fishing. When the sun set we decided to have one more go at the saugeye in the same spot we were catching them before to see if the bite picked up at night. We failed to catch anymore after dark and soon retired. We ended up with 7 saugeye on the day with 6 in the 10-12 inch range and the one 18 inch. It's doubtful that we will attempt saugeye fishing often but we still have much to learn about the walleye's brother of the deep

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