Sauger Species Breakdown
Scientific Name: Sander canadensis
Also Known As: Jack Salmon, Spotted Jack, Spotfin Pike, River Pike, and Sand Pike
Sauger are a member of the perch family. They are closely related to walleye and will occasionally interbreed to create hybrids called saugeye.
How to Identify a Sauger
You can identify a sauger by their bronze to olive color with dark blotches on their sides and white belly.
They have a slender body with 2 dorsal fins. Their first dorsal fin (closes to mouth) has spines, while their second (closes to tail) is soft and spineless. Their upper jaw extents down to the edge of their eye.
You can distinguish a sauger from a walleye by their tail. A walleye will have a white tip, while a sauger have no white on their tail.
Sauger are most commonly found in the 12″–15″ range and weight 1-2 lbs but can grow up to 22″ long and weigh up to 9 lbs.
Sauger Size Chart – Length to Weight Conversion
|13″||1 lb 2 oz|
|14″||1 lb 5 oz|
|15″||1 lb 9 oz|
|16″||1 lb 13 oz|
|17″||2 lbs 3 oz|
|18″||2 lbs 9 oz|
|19″||2 lbs 15 oz|
|20″||3 lbs 8 oz|
|21″||4 lbs 2 oz|
|22″||4 lbs 12 oz|
Where Sauger Are Found
Sauger are native to central and eastern United States. They are most often found in rivers and streams with swift current. This helps them be highly migratory and spread throughout the United States and Canada.
They prefer warmer water in the 68-85 degree range. Their spawning season is March to May.
Lifespan of a Sauger
Sauger can live up to 13 years. In the wild they tend to live closer to 7 years.
You can tell the general age of sauger by referring to the table below.
Sauger Age Chart
|1 Year Old||8 – 10 inches|
|2 Years Old||10 – 12 inches|
|3 Years Old||12 – 14 inches|
|4 Years Old||14 – 16 inches|
|5 Years Old||16 – 18 inches|
|6 Years Old||18 – 19 inches|
|7 Years Old||19 – 20 inches|
Fishing For Sauger
Sauger are aggressive which makes them a lot of fun to fish for. They often hide during the day in muddy areas, in vegetation, or under driftwood.
They are light-sensitive fish that have eyes specialized for the dark. This make them one of the best species to target when fishing at night or early morning.
Sauger are bottom feeding fish so be sure to use a weight to get your bait down and keep it down.
Are Sauger hard to catch?
Sauger aren’t too hard to catch. They are primarily bottom feeder so it is best to use bottom contact baits.
What type of bait is for Sauger?
The best baits for the saugers are minnows, nightcrawlers, or small crayfish.
What size hook to use for Sauger?
The ideal hook size for sauger are #1, 1/0, or 2/0 depending on the size of your bait.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are sauger good for eating?
Sauger are a great fish for eating. They have a mild fish taste and are big enough that you can get a decent size filet from each fish.
Do sauger taste like walleye?
Yes, sauger and walleye taste very similar. Most people would not be able to tell the difference in a blind taste test.
Is sauger a hybrid?
Sauger are not hybrids but when they interbreed with walleye they create a hybrid called saugeye.
Do sauger have teeth?
Yes, sauger have very sharp teeth. You should avoid putting your fingers in their mouths to prevent getting cut.
What do sauger eat?
Sauger primarily eat small bait fish, insects, and crayfish.
Is sauger a walleye?
Sauger and walleye are not the same. They are very similar though and are both members of the perch family.