Guide To Walleye, Sauger & Saugeye Fishing In Arkansas
Walleye, Sauger & Saugeye
Arkansas offers excellent opportunities for walleye fishing, with its lakes and rivers providing habitats for both sauger and saugeye, two popular species sought after by anglers. Walleye fishing enthusiasts flock to these waters in search of these elusive and prized gamefish.
Sauger, a close relative of the walleye, can be found in select rivers and reservoirs in Arkansas. These fish have similar characteristics to walleye, including their renowned table fare and nocturnal feeding habits. Anglers targeting sauger often focus on river systems such as the Arkansas River and the White River, where these fish are known to congregate in deep holes, eddies, and other areas with structure. Sauger are typically caught by anglers using jigs tipped with minnows or artificial lures that mimic their preferred forage.
Saugeye, a hybrid species resulting from the crossbreeding of walleye and sauger, can also be found in Arkansas. These fish exhibit a combination of characteristics from both parent species, including the walleye's larger size and the sauger's adaptability to different water conditions. Saugeye can be found in various lakes and reservoirs, such as Lake Ouachita and Lake Conway. Anglers often target them near submerged structures, drop-offs, or areas with good water flow. They can be caught using similar techniques as those used for walleye and sauger, such as jigging with minnows or casting crankbaits.
Arkansas boasts impressive state records for both sauger and saugeye, demonstrating the potential for trophy-sized catches. The current state record for sauger exceeds 6 pounds, while the record for saugeye stands at over 9 pounds. These records highlight the quality fishing opportunities that Arkansas's waters offer for walleye enthusiasts.
Whether fishing in rivers like the Arkansas River or exploring reservoirs like Lake Dardanelle, Arkansas provides ample opportunities for anglers to target walleye species such as sauger and saugeye. The thrill of reeling in a walleye, the challenge of finding their preferred habitats, and the reward of a delicious meal make walleye fishing in Arkansas an exciting and rewarding experience for anglers of all levels of expertise.
Walleye Lakes In AR
Arkansas has limited walleye fishing waters yet yields nice stringers and nice quality fish from time to time. Beaver Lake, Bull Shoals Lake, Greers Ferry Lake, Lake Frierson, Lake Hamilton, Lake Ouachita and Norfork Lake may be your best bet for a nice stringer.
World record: 25 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 22 lbs 11 oz
World record: 17 lbs 7 oz
State Record: 6 lbs 12 oz
World record: 15 lbs 6 oz
State Record: 9 lbs 0 oz
Click the images and links above for species details.
Top lures for walleye in Arkansas
Jigs work well in virtually any depth water. When walleyes are shallow, spinnerbaits, small crankbaits and rip baits are the often very productive. As they move deeper, spoons are ideal for active walleye. Understanding the seasonal movements of walleyes can enhance your chances of selecting the right lures for conditions on local waters.
Arkansas State Walleye, Sauger & Saugeye Records
The state record walleye was caught out of Greers Ferry Lake.
The state record sauger came from the Arkansas River.
The state record saugeye was taken out of Lake Frierson.
Fishing For Walleye
This toothy fish will eat virtually anything it can catch and get in its mouth. They prefer small fish and will eat crustaceans, worms and insects. They tend to be somewhat wary and prefer the safety of deeper darker water. Trolling for walleye with deep diving crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinners and live bait provides a way to cover vast areas and locate concentrations of fish. Use of planer boards allows anglers to cover water out both sides of the boat while trolling. Try fishing for walleye from sundown to midnight, particularly during the heat of summer.
Walleye spawn in spring and when they have the option will choose to migrate from the lake up into feeder streams to spawn. If this option is not available they seek out shallow bars or shoals with clean bottom surfaces near deep water.
Fishing For Sauger
Closely related to the walleye and similar in appearance, sauger are generally smaller than walleye, reaching 4 to 5 pounds (or more) and up to about 20 inches. Often found in muddier rivers, it thrives in larger, silty lakes. They spawn in the shallows at night, without creating or guarding specific nests.
Fishing For Saugeye
This hybrid is created by mating sauger with walleye. The walleye influence allows the hybrids to grow larger than sauger, often to sizes equaling walleye. Saugeye tend to survive best in turbid/silty water and are caught in the same general areas and habitat populated by walleye and sauger.
Walleye prefer moderately deep lakes with gravel, rock or sandy bottoms. It is found primarily in cold water lakes but has proven to survive in warmer impoundments. It is prized for its great tasting filets. Click here to learn all about walleye fishing.
Arkansas walleye spawn in spring and when they have the option will choose to migrate from the lake up into feeder streams to spawn. If this option is not available they seek out shallow bars or shoals with clean bottom surfaces near deep water.
Watch this video for walleye tips and tactics.
Also find information about walleye, sauger or saugeye fishing in these states.
Learn the migration patterns of walleye
Walleye become active in spring and begin the spawning process in medium-depth water. As summer arrives they move to deeper, cooler water. In fall walleye migrate into shallower water again and feed aggressively preparing for their move to deeper water where they will spend winter.