- Black sea bass have dangerously sharp spines on their dorsal fin that can puncture human skin.
- The all-tackle world record for black sea bass is 9 pounds, 8 ounces.
- When hooked in deep water and brought quickly to the surface, a black sea bass will often regurgitate its stomach contents.
Saugeye are a hybrid produced by interbreeding male sauger and female walleye. As would be expected of a hybrid, saugeye have some features of both parent species. The body of the saugeye is tubular and elongate and the tail fin has a white border on the lower end, like a walleye. This sleek body style allows them to burst through the water for short sprints, as well as swim long distances at moderate speeds.
Like saugers, saugeye also have the dark blotches across their sides and back, and the dorsal fin is usually spotted. Their coloration is generally yellowish- to golden-brown.
Saugeye have been stocked in a number of states, most successfully throughout the Midwest. They are most commonly found in the central area of the United States running from Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee west to Oklahoma and Colorado and then north to the eastern Dakotas.
Many facts regarding habitat preferences of the saugeye are still being established because of their relatively recent introduction to many of the waters where they reside. However, it is known that saugeye tend to gather close to the bottom on sand bars or near underwater drop-offs. They can thrive in partly murky water, but their introduction into some lakes has been unsuccessful because the water was too muddy.
Hybrid species are almost always sterile, this being so, saugeye are bred in fish hatcheries and stocked on a regular basis to maintain populations of the fish. However, saugeye do on occasion breed with sauger or walleye, a fact that concerns many state fish and game officials because it can compromise the genetic integrity of the sauger or walleye stock.
Saugeye primarily eat other species of fish, especially shad, where available. They also feed on crustaceans, such as crayfish, as well as snails, insects and insect larvae. Young saugeye will feed almost exclusively on insects and insect larvae.
Saugeye possess the good eating qualities (meat is soft and sweet) and moderate fighting abilities of walleye but can be easier to catch. In general, winter fishing is better than summer since saugeye are much more concentrated in winters while scattered in summers.
Saugeye generally relate to the bottom of lakes or rivers and are often found near deep underwater structure. A good strategy to find these deepwater fish is trolling with deep-diving crankbaits. Once a group of saugeye is found, many anglers then switch to jigs or jig and minnow combinations, vertically jigging in that area.
At times, saugeye will often feed on abundant baitfish located near the shoreline, which enables them to be caught by shore casting. Casting a jig or spoon in these areas where the saugeye are feeding can produce success.
Saugeye are light sensitive, so the best fishing is usually in the early morning and after the suns sets, as well as during overcast days. They tend to congregate around underwater structures and are generally found at greater depths than walleye. Saugeye have a habit of scattering during the summer, which can make it more difficult to catch them during this time. However, they are among the most cooperative species for winter fishing because they remain active in cold water.
Jigging and trolling are two popular methods of catching saugeye. Medium-sized crankbaits and live bait rigs are reliable when trolling. When jigging, leadhead jigs with hair, feather or plastic bodies are effective, especially when tipped with live bait. Traditional live minnows and nightcrawlers are the most productive live baits, whether fished on a live bait rig or tipped on a jig.
- Because mature saugeye will eat crappie, they have been introduced to lakes with overpopulated or stunted crappie to reverse and control this trend.
- The all-tackle world record is 12 pounds, 6 ounces caught in Ohio.
- Other freshwater hybrids engineered by man include tiger muskies (pike crossed with muskellunge), wipers (white bass crossed with striped bass), and splake (brook trout crossed with lake trout).