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Experiencing the Outdoors;
Spring Sauger Fishing
by Cory Boothe


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Last week, we covered fishing for coldwater trout. This time of the year is one of the best to fish for warmwater sauger.

Saugers look like a walleye. They are a cigar-shaped fish and have spots on their dorsal or top fin, which a walleye doesn’t. They are top notch eating. Unfortunately, like with trout, one must venture outside of Calhoun for this fine fish.

Saugers can be caught right now out of the Kanawha and Ohio rivers. Common places to fish for the sauger include tailwaters and mouths of feeder streams. Tailwaters, such as Belleville, Willow Island and Hannibal, are great Ohio river tailwaters. Marmet Lock is top notch for the Kanawha River. Anyone from Southern Calhoun should cast a line in this fishery.

Of particular note is that you fish for sauger at night or during low light, such as dusk and near dark. It’s almost like a lightswitch turns them to feeding once darkness encompasses the land. Eight-pound test is plenty, and 1/8th and larger jigheads tipped with a 3- inch grub or minnow account for many sauger. Cigar-type minnow baits, such as walleye divers and rapala x-raps work well. These fish do have teeth, so a type of pliers works well to remove the bait from caught fish, and don’t forget the flashlight or even better, a headlamp.

A great part about sauger is if you hit the right moment of fishing, it can be nonstop action. It is the best time for big fish right now. During March and April is the time that people catch them at Wells Lock, near Elizabeth. Wells Lock is the barrier that keeps Calhoun from having sauger. At one time, they stocked saugeye at Burnsville. It is an infertile hybrid created from a walleye and sauger.

Go out and fish. It’s a great time for big fish--and it’s only going to get better. Contact me at with any information or stories.

Good luck to the Calhoun wrestling team this week at the state tournament.

(Editor’s Note: Cory is the son of Ronzel and Karen Boothe of Russett. He is a 1996 graduate of Calhoun County High School and is a teacher at Meadow Bridge Elementary, Fayette County. He resides near Summersville.)

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