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Oklahoma State Record Saugeye

State Record Saugeye
Curt Wilkerson, and his 10 pound, Saugeye from the Fort Cobb Lake, Oklahoma

March 2, 2006

A Lawton man caught a 10-pound saugeye Feb. 24 on Fort Cobb Lake in Caddo County, establishing a new state record.

Curt Wilkerson, who runs a fishing and hunting guide service in southwest Oklahoma, caught the big fish about 8 a.m. using a Northland rattle jig with a Mister Twister Sassy Shad on 6-pound test line.

“I invited about four different friends to go with me that morning, but none of them could get away, so I just decided to go by myself,” Wilkerson said. “It sounds unbelievable now, but I had a really good feeling on my morning drive to the lake.”

Saugeye are a hybrid fish produced at the Wildlife Department’s Byron Fish Hatchery in northcentral Oklahoma. Hatchery biologists collect native sauger from the Arkansas River in northeast Oklahoma and walleye from Canton Lake in northwest Oklahoma and then cross the two species to produce saugeye. The toothy fish are stocked in many lakes around the state for two reasons. First and foremost, they provide an additional fishing opportunity and they also help to control over-populated crappie populations.

Wilkerson’s record fish weighed 10 pounds even and measured 28 1/4 inches long and was 19 inches around. He was using a Shimano Spirex spinning reel and a Cabela’s Fish Eagle II rod.

“When I finally got it up to the surface, I couldn’t believe how big it was. I am originally from Minnesota where walleye and saugeye fishing is a big tradition, so this is a huge honor for me to catch a state record saugeye,” Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson donated the record fish to the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks, however the fish did not survive.

The previous state record saugeye, a 9-pound, 14-ounce fish, was caught from Lake Thunderbird in 1992.

Wilkerson, who goes fishing anytime the weather is “good, or at least not too terrible,” offered a few tips to anglers new to saugeye fishing.

“Just like most types of fishing you can make it as simple or as complicated as you want, but I think there are a few things that are important in consistently catching fish, including good boat control, proper tackle and quality electronics like depth finders,” Wilkerson said.

According to Wilkerson, saugeye and walleye often bite in windy conditions, which means anglers must have a way of speeding up or slowing down their boat to keep their baits in the strike zone.

“If you can’t control the speed and direction of your lures by controlling the direction of your boat, it is difficult to catch fish,” he said.

Having the right tools for the job is an equally important component of catching saugeye and walleye.

“I wouldn’t use a rod designed for catfishing to go bass fishing, and I wouldn’t use a crappie jig for saugeye fishing. If you invest in the right equipment, your odds of catching fish will improve,” he said.

Lastly, Wilkerson suggested investing in quality boating electronics.

“Really good depth finders and fish finders can be pricey, but they are worth it and they can be very helpful when you are trying to locate fish,” Wilkerson said.

Check out the other Oklahoma State Fishing Records


Questions, answers and tips about fishing for Saugeye, Walleye and other species can be found in our Fishing Discussion Forums.

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