COLUMBUS, OH - It's spring fishing season and anglers can enjoy some of the best saugeye fishing of the year during the next few months, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Saugeye qualifying for the "Fish Ohio" program (meaning they are 21 inches and larger) often are caught in April, May and June. The "Fish Ohio" program recognizes anglers for noteworthy catches of 19 fish species, including saugeye.
"Some of the biggest saugeye of the year are caught along rocky shorelines after dark during the early spring," said Ray Petering, inland fisheries program administrator for the division and an avid saugeye angler. "On average they weigh one to three pounds and are 12- to 18-inches long. Some older fish are much larger." Quality saugeye fishing can be found at
- Indian Lake in Logan County,
- Buckeye Lake in Licking, Fairfield, and Perry counties,
- Scioto River below low-head dams,
- Piedmont Lake in Belmont County,
- Atwood Lake in Carroll and Tuscarawas counties,
- Alum Creek Lake in Delaware County,
- Hoover Reservoir and Griggs and O'Shaughnessy tailwaters in Franklin and Delaware counties,
- Pleasant Hill Reservoir in Ashland and Richland counties,
- Clendening Lake in Harrison County,
- Caesar Creek Reservoir in Warren and Clinton counties, and
- Rocky Fork Lake in Highland County.
Saugeye are hybrids, produced from crossing a female walleye and a male sauger. Saugeye are reared at the Division of Wildlife's fish hatcheries in Hebron, Senecaville and St. Marys. Five million to 10 million saugeye are produced annually and released into more than 50 inland waterways across the state.
Anglers using lead-head jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawler have the most success catching the bottom-dwelling fish. Because saugeye are sensitive to light, anglers should focus on fishing in the early morning, during the evening hours and on overcast days. The daily bag limit for saugeyes varies by location. Consult the 2004-2005 Ohio Fishing Regulations before heading out to your favorite lake or stream.
For more information on fishing opportunities in Ohio, refer to the Division of Wildlife's web page at ohiodnr.com.