It's Sauger Time!By Jason Halfen - November 16, 2020
One of my favorite ways to locate pods of feeding sauger is with a Dubuque Rig, which is designed to be trolled upstream and is centered around a standard 3-way swivel. Attach your braided main line to one of the swivel eyes. To the second and third eyes, attach mono or fluorocarbon leaders with two different lengths: a "short" leader that is about a foot in length, and a "long" leader that is 24-30" in length. Use these leaders to connect two baits to the rig: tie a heavy jig (1/2-3/4 oz) to the long leader and a 1/16 oz jig to the short leader. Dress each jig with your bait of choice; I tend to prefer soft plastics on each - 4" ringworms, 4" flukes, and 3.5" paddletails are all good choices - but it won't hurt to use a lively fathead minnow on one jig or the other. These two baits, presented at two different depths, provide the opportunity to target walleyes feeding close to the bottom, as well as those that might be tempted to rise several feet off the bottom.
When you fish the Dubuque Rig, you'll be presenting relatively heavy baits in moving water, and as such, this is no place for a wimpy walleye rod. Two rods are particularly well-suited for presenting the Dubuque Rig. On the spinning side of the family, I like a St. Croix 6'8" medium power rod with extra fast action, which you can find in series ranging from the Eyecon all the way to the Legend Xtreme. I like the same length and action in the Avid X casting series; look for the AXC68MXF to find a rod that can pull double duty for chasing walleyes and summer bass. When paired with a casting reel that features a flippin' switch, presenting the Dubuque Rig with casting gear can be accomplished with a minimum of angler effort. Whether you choose spinning or casting tackle, you'll have tons of fun chasing sauger this fall!