close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Beautiful Lower Darby Sauger

Discussion in 'Central Ohio Fishing Reports' started by acklac7, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. acklac7

    acklac7 S.S.

    3,880
    1,143
    2,398
    Decided to give the Scioto a rest for a few days, as the evening bite has been horrible with the high temps. Anyway me and a buddy floated the lower Darby down to the confluence in search of Smallies, of which we found none! Still was a beautiful float trip, and a long one at that (started at 6:00, got out right at dusk (9:50).

    We did manage a few BEAUTIFUL Sauger, and a couple Spotted Bass, but other than that we were basically skunked :S.

    Anyone else familiar with the lower Darby? I would have to think there is a decent # of Smallies down there, maybe they are just on the "morning bite" schedule too? And im betting that strech holds good numbers of Flatheads and Musky, there is downed timber EVERYWHERE once you get within an hour of the confluence (watch it if your floating when the water is up even a tad bit).

    Anyway here is one of the little cigar Sauger, His belly was a translucent Orange/Pearl color..An absolutely beautiful fish ;)[​IMG]
     
  2. StuckAtHome

    StuckAtHome Mad SOT YAKER!

    Beauty of a fish. How do you tell between a true sauger and a saugeye, both look so similar it would be nice to have an easy way to identify in the future, thanks. I would like to know about the lower Darby also, its on my short list for this summer.
     

  3. here we go again!!:) Nice Sauger by the way!! Miss those wading or floating river days!
     
  4. acklac7

    acklac7 S.S.

    3,880
    1,143
    2,398

    There really is no true way to positively distingush a Sauger from a Saugeye (in the Field). However the presence of black dots (instead of lines) on the dorsal, combined with the absence of a white blotch on the caudal generally mean it's a Sauger.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    That being said I've payed very close attention to Saugeye over the past few years and have noticed there is a great deal of genetic variation in the species. For example I've seen Saugeye with the full white blotch on the tail, 1/2 the white blotch, 1/4 of the white blotch, and absolutely no white blotch (like the Saugeye on the bottom of the second pic). Also look at the "Saugeye" at on the top, this ones up for debate, it lacks the white blotch, and has black dots instead of stripes on the dorsal. However I would still call it a Saugeye, just b/c it looks to green/yellow to be a true Sauger. (again..there is NO way to make certain in the field) I've also seen a number of Saugeye that look nearly identical to Walleye: They are very round and robust, and lack full body saddle bands (Most Saugeye will have bands below the mid section of the body, Where Walleye's saddle bands will end at the halfway point, and won't be as pronounced).

    All in all I would say there is a good chance you have a Sauger if you answer yes to the following questions: Does it lack a white blotch on the lower part of the caudal fin? Does it have dots on the dorsal fin? Does it have extremely pronounced saddle bands that extend past the midsection of the body? Does it lack any hint of Green/Yellow? Is the body almost completely white/black? And finally does it's body morphology resemble that of a torpedo?

    If you answer yes to all of these question's there's like a 95% chance you indeed have a Sauger. :)
     
  5. acklac7

    acklac7 S.S.

    3,880
    1,143
    2,398
    I hope not!! I knew I was taking a risk posting the word "Sauger" LOL....

    Also if I had it to do over again I would have brought a cat pole spooled with like 40/50lb test and a dozen baby blue gill..There is a god-awful amount of submerged timber (more like submerged 20ft trees!!) in that stretch. A little gilly on a slip float wouldn't last long if you dropped him right in the thick of things..The only problem would be wresteling a 30lber up out of there before he wrapped you up!
     
  6. StuckAtHome

    StuckAtHome Mad SOT YAKER!

    I'm not trying to start anything, I just like to know if and when I get one. I tried looking it up on the web, and all I find are general markings that work most of the time like you posted above. So in general, saugeyes are fatter, hence that why they are liked by anglers, more to eat, and no white spot on lower tail you have more than likely a sauger(plus other signs listed above). Off subject a hair but do spotted bass have a smaller mouth than LM, similar to a SM? I know spots have a patch of teeth on the tongue and are smaller than LM, just wondering because I have caught a few like this with body and color of LM, but the mouth seemed small.. Saugers/ spots I know cause a lot of misidentification, Just trying to figure it out so I don't misinform myself or others, or hook myself,lol.
     
  7. acklac7

    acklac7 S.S.

    3,880
    1,143
    2,398
    I know u weren't trying 2 start anything, but sometimes "what kind of fish is it" debates can get hairy...

    To answer your question yes the Spot did have a noticably smaller mouth, so much so that at first I thought it was a hybrid LM (LM/SM mix) But my buddy (who works in the fisheries field) pointed out that it was a Spot. He said there are a few tell tale signs to look for: Smaller mouths (almost like a SM), Teeth on the tounge, and black spots on the belly... My bet is people catch them all the time, only to count them as LM.
     
  8. StuckAtHome

    StuckAtHome Mad SOT YAKER!

    Thanks, thats what I thought too. I admit, a few years ago, I didn't think spots were around here in Central Ohio, call me doubting Thomas, I had to see one myself then admit I was wrong, which nobody likes doing, but I did it. Sometimes we forget that we do not know everything, after being proved wrong, it tells a lot about a person by what they do next:)

    Nice SAUGEYE by the way:) :) :) lol
     
  9. Mushijobah

    Mushijobah Urban Angler

    Nice Saug-fish....I had to be PC!
     
  10. Cool looking sauger. The water is extremely low and it has been very difficult lately to find and catch any good numbers of smallies.
     
  11. acklac7

    acklac7 S.S.

    3,880
    1,143
    2,398
    My bad, those aren't my "Sander's" lol, I should have given credit to Fishslime for the pic..That's not to say that I don't run into a few good Eye's every now and then :D

    [​IMG]
     
  12. That you do A.J. That you do!! You are a river Guru in my book!! great info for those river cats as well.:)
     
  13. I have caught lots of sauger or saugeye in that section of Darby. I always called them sauger and thought thats what they were but lots of people have told me that they would had to have been saugeyes. I guess there is no way to know 100% for sure but what makes me think that they have been sauger is that the ones I have caught over the years always have had more sauger like markings than saugeye markings. I could see if being more in question if it were one fish one time but many fish over many years and almost all of them being more sauger like makes me think they are really are saugers. I would think that after that many fish over the years if they were all saugeyes that some would look more like the saugeyes I've caught from other places. Bottom line, it really doesnt matter eithe one is a nice surprise when fishing Darby. ;)

    By the way I grew up just about a mile from that section of Darby Creek. Did you put in at 104 and float down? If you want to know a few good spots for some smallies send me a p.m.
     
  14. acklac7

    acklac7 S.S.

    3,880
    1,143
    2,398
    Yea, we put in @ 104, wasn't a bad little float, however we had to skip alot of the holes near the end b/c we ran out of time..I also want to add that this is a potentially deadly section of the Darby: the water was only going at a trickle and I still mangaged to get pinned sideways against a log while negotiating a run: in a mater of seconds the yak' began to capsize, and water came rushing in. I was able to quickly hop out and tow the kyak back to shore...But it still scared the piss out of me..There are like 20+ runs that I would consider "lethal" in that strech (if the water is up). All it takes is one mis-calculation when navigating a riffle and your done. Your Yak'/Canoe will get pinned, capize, and the current will take you down & through a maze of timber a flathead would have problems navigating. Good luck getting back up to the top! If the water is up (twice what it is now) please wear a life vest!
     
  15. StuckAtHome

    StuckAtHome Mad SOT YAKER!

    When I take new people out in the yak's, its hard getting through to them that even with the water being low, its deadly, get sideways in current, big trouble even for experienced guys. The sheer power of moving water will amaze you when you get pinned, its a sinking feeling and at that point you don't give a hoot about your gear, you just want out. I've flipped the Sit in yak a few times misjudging a chute, but since I got the SOT, different story, haven't tipped yet( bet that won't last long after posting this) and its SOOOO much easier to bail out before trouble. After my worst scare, I think hard and long before committing to a run, and if a strainer or low overhang(SPIDERS!!!) looks bad, I don't worry about pride and tote the yak around it.
     
  16. StuckAtHome

    StuckAtHome Mad SOT YAKER!

    I emailed ODNR a while back on the sauger/ saugeye and the spotted bass questions, and I got a really nice response, he said it would be great to share this since its a common question, so here is the meat of the email(Keep in mind I'm not trying to start anything, just would like some more info on the subject from a qualified(not that people here aren't) source,):

    Hello Mike,



    Thanks for your questions regarding saugers and spotted bass in central Ohio. I am restating your questions and will answer each:



    1) One of the questions/arguments we have from time to time is are TRUE saugers found in central Ohio, or are they just saugeyes that are stocked upstream in the impoundments?



    Saugers do exist in central Ohio. They have historically been collected in the Scioto River as far north as the confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers (one record) with most records coming from below the City of Columbus. Saugers prefer slower moving more turbid waters like the Scioto River and the Ohio River (which as you likely know is a tremendous sauger fishery). Most sauger range from 9 to 15 inches in length and are less than 1 pound, although the state record fish weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces and was 24.5 inches long.



    The barrier to upstream movement of sauger in central Ohio is Greenlawn Dam on the Scioto and the dams on Alum Creek Lake (on Alum Creek) and Hoover Reservoir (on Big Walnut Creek). Sauger can potentially be found up to the base of these dams. The Scioto River below Greenlawn has the right flow and conditions to consistently support saugers. Alum Creek and Big Walnut Creek are a little too fast moving to consistently support saugers, so the chance of encountering one in these waters is less likely. We have however collected a few saugers in Big Walnut Creek in the past. Any fish taken upstream of any of these dams should be a saugeye. Fish taken below Greenlawn are most likely saugeye but could also be sauger. Fish taken below Alum Creek Lake and Hoover Reservoir are most likely saugeye, but there is a slight chance they could be sauger.



    Both sauger and saugeyes are very similar in appearance. Here is a run-down of the two best characteristics to distinguish between the two fish:



    Characteristic
    Sauger
    Saugeye

    Spiny (first) Dorsal Fin
    Large rows of dark spots between spines
    Dark bars between the spines

    Tail
    No white on tail
    White tip on the lower tail




    I am attaching a couple of links to fish life history notes from on our website that anglers could also use as an aid in identification between sauger and saugeye…



    Sauger: http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/wildlife/Fishing/aquanotes-fishid/sauger.htm

    Saugeye: http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/wildlife/Fishing/aquanotes-fishid/saugeye.htm



    2) How common are spotted bass here in central Ohio, I know both are found in the OHIO river, and I have caught a few fish that didn't fit the typical Largemouth profile, and I know spots have a patch on teeth on the tongue. LM don't.



    Spotted bass are occasionally found in central Ohio, but this area is at the northern limit of their range. Spotted bass have been collected in the Scioto River, Big Darby Creek and Big Walnut Creek. As you mentioned, the presence of a rough patch of teeth located in the middle of the tongue is one of the distinguishing characteristics for this fish. The spotted bass also has a dark spot on the gill cover and spots or streaks on the lower side of the body. The mouth, when closed, does not extend beyond the eye as it does in a largemouth bass. The life history notes for this species are found at http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/wildlife/Fishing/aquanotes-fishid/sptdbass.htm



    I hope this answers your questions. If you have further questions, please feel free to email me directly at the address below or call.



    Take care,



    Rich



    Rich Carter

    Fisheries Biologist 2

    ODNR Division of Wildlife

    District 1

    1500 Dublin Road

    Columbus, Ohio 43215

    (614) 644-3925 ext. 1015 (phone)

    (614) 644-3931 (fax)

    rich.carter@dnr.state.oh.us

    www.dnr.ohio.gov/default.htm