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Al Lindner’s take on FFS, Lake Erie freakazoids, Muskie swims 68 miles

The best walleye and ice fishing pics, tips, gear hacks, and news year round
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Today’s Top 5

Some really interesting comments on forward-facing sonar…. 👂

Anytime Al Lindner talks…I’m all ears.

Some very interesting comments in this news released called, “Fisheries Managers Need To Keep a Watchful Eye On Forward-Facing Sonar” 👀 where NPAA prez Patrick Neu and the legend himself, Al Lindner, talk about the effects of forward-facing sonar:


> Patrick Neu: “This technology has been around for about 3 years now and it is truly amazing. It is, quite frankly, far superior to any fish-finding electronics I’ve ever used, and therein lies the concern. As the technology comes down in price and even more anglers utilize it to find and catch greater numbers of fish in both freshwater and saltwater, there will be much higher catch rates. In species that are targeted for harvest, especially, higher catch rates ultimately lead to more stress on the fisheries.”


> “We need to help fisheries managers across the country understand how effective this new technology can be, and we need to assist them in any way we can as they begin to look into the effects of increased catches due to this new technology.”


> Essentially, FFS allows anglers to scan 360-degrees around the boat (or under the ice), finding fish with amazing efficiency and watching how they react to a lure or live bait in real time. This technology makes the fish infinitely easier to find and follow, even in open water, whether suspended, on the bottom, or tucked into structure. FFS is a game changer for anglers who embrace the technology and learn to use it effectively.


> As of now, only a small percentage of anglers have this technology on their boats…which is no surprise since the current systems run approximately $4K per unit. But as with all technology, the price is likely to come down in the next few years.


> Patrick Neu: “I wouldn’t be surprised to see this technology available at or near $1K in the next 3-4 years….”

Lol kidding. I just know that last line probably made quite a few of you excited.

Now here’s some comments from Freshwater Fishing Hall of Famer Al Lindner:


> Al Lindner: “Technology never goes backwards…so this is not going away. It has been a real revelation in terms of learning about fish movement and their reaction to lures and baits. It shows the number of fish in various locations and the direction they are moving. It allows anglers to uncover and explore what used to be hidden sanctuary locations where we never suspected the fish might hold. The technology is amazing. It is changing the way people fish and making them more productive than ever before. That brings up the question of if we are putting too much pressure on the fish stocks we pursue when employing forward-facing sonar?”


> Overall, says Lindner, it is too early to fully comprehend the magnitude of what we are dealing with, but he has already seen at least two fishing situations where it has clearly demonstrated a negative impact.


> Al Lindner: “The harvest levels and damage to crappie populations on some very popular waters around the country have been staggering because the fish can no longer escape our vision…especially when they winter in tight schools. It used to take some effort to stay on crappies when they moved. That is no longer the case when you use FFS. Some crappie populations have been greatly impacted.”


> Muskie is another species taking a hit, expands Lindner. “These used to be the fish of 1,000 casts. Now, you move around with your trolling motor, look at the screen and they stick out like a sore thumb because they are so big. You cannot miss them – and when you find them you many times catch them!”


> According to Lindner, many people in the fishing industry are seeing similar results – and he, like Neu, believes that FFS technology is now beginning to take a bite out of the walleye fishery as well. Both agree the time for fisheries managers to act is now, preemptively, before the effects of FFS technology are compounded by greater availability, additional improvements, and more usage.


> Al Lindner: “It’s been my experience that state agencies and fisheries managers usually don’t move until fisheries collapse. We need to get out in front of this before it becomes a genuine problem. There is no time to waste.”




> To be sure, neither Neu nor Lindner want to ban this technology. The genie is already out of the bottle, and FFS is a significant improvement that will help anglers at every level catch more fish.


> Patrick Neu: “What we need right now is to make the appropriate state agencies and fishery managers aware of the extra stress and possible increased mortality rate this new advancement may have on specific fish populations in both freshwater and saltwater environments in the near future. At NPAA, we believe the time to act is now. Open seasons for harvest, possession limits and length regulations all need to be analyzed for the species that are proving most vulnerable to this new technology, and we need to adjust those parameters accordingly.”


> In other words, concludes Neu, this is a true case of better safe than sorry. “It is clear that appropriate changes to fisheries management need to be in place before FFS technology explodes on the scene. It is my hope that technology may become a critical part of fisheries management in the near future as well. I envision cell phone applications that can help fisheries managers gather data, and the use of artificial intelligence that will help guide them to quickly adjust harvest rates to protect and allow the fisheries to flourish into the future.”

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a walleye built quite like this one!

Recently posted on Off Shore Tackle’s FB page, but I believe Jason Fischer caught it some years ago on Lake Erie. Thing literally has Brock Lesnar’s shoulders!

Lake Erie grows ‘em special!


You might remember this paunchy specimen caught with Randy Gaines (Nibble This Charters) while pulling Off Shore Tackle Planer Boards and cranks near Port Clinton, OH thru the cleanest water they could find:

Think I’d pass out if I caught something shaped like either of those LOL.

Tom Boley’s jig + plastics rotation for fall transition walleyes.

In this vid, Tom breaks down which plastics he likes to throw when, and how he works each for shallow-water walleyes. Filmed a couple days ago on Mille Lacs Lake, MN and a bite that will get better and better as the water temps finally dip into the upper-50s.

Sounds like his best setup the last couple days has been a 1/4-oz Kalin’s Rattlin’ Google Eye Jig with a Kalin’s Jerk Minnow Jr in darker, more natural colors:

Tom also said walleyes were preferring smaller pops, versus the big aggressive snaps you’d expect with a shallow-water plastics bite. But that’s something you’ve got to play around with because every day (or even hour) is different on the water – especially with seasons and conditions changing soooo fast.

Another neat tagged fish story. 🌎

Came across this cool story shared by Gord Pyzer earlier this week. His friend Lisa Goodier (Ottawa River Musky Factory Guide) guided her guest to this gorgeous 51” muskie the other day:

> Lisa: “We decided to hit one last spot before heading in. It is a big weedbed and the conditions were perfect – warm weather and calm wind – for throwing a topwater. I could hear John retrieving the gurgling lure as I slowly used the electric motor to guide us around the edge of the weeds. Then I heard an explosion, and it was fish on.”


> …could tell immediately from the stout fight the fish was putting up, that it was a good-sized muskie. So she was thrilled to slide the net under a personal best fish for her guest, measuring 51” in length and 22” around the girth.


But that was only part of the story…she then noticed a floy tag sticking out of the fish.


> “It had obviously been tagged several years ago, because the marker was covered with a thick black coating of algae. But I was able to rub it off and get the number before we carefully released the fish.”


> It turns out the muskie – a female – had been originally tagged by the Quebec fisheries folks, which isn’t surprising given that the Ottawa River is the boundary between Ontario and Quebec. What was a source of amazement, however, was the fact the fish was originally caught in 2011, in the Lake of Two Mountains, which is the delta where the Ottawa River spills into the St. Lawrence River, not far from Montreal.


> “In the intervening 12 years, the muskie grew a little more than an inch per year, given that she was 37” when she was initially tagged. But she also traveled more than 110 kilometers [68-ish miles] upriver and somehow managed to navigate her way through the massive Carillon Dam and hydro-electric generating station [thru locks]. How amazing is that?”


Catch and release works! Even on those fickle critters.

This MLB dugout has a bass boat seat?! 🏟️

I spotted this in the last BassBlaster email. Apparently Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona rocks one of those bass-boat style pedestal butt seats in the dugout:

Wait ’til he finds out about the Lund seats that recline and have arm rests. 😂


1. MN: Pine River business owner is hosting a kids fishing contest.


Free event hosted by Damsite Supper Club. The kid’s fishing contest will be at the dam in Pine River from 12-2pm this Sun, Oct 8.


> Owner Robert Walton: “We will be putting out several more docks so everyone has a spot to fish. Free meal for the kids afterwards at Damsite Supper Club.


> “There are fewer and fewer kids getting into fishing and hunting…which I think is an important staple to our area in rural MN. I just want to keep more kids interested in living in rural communities and being part of that hunting and fishing type community.


> “Our goal is just that every kid that fishes gets [a prize]. It’s not a money-making thing. It’ll be a money-losing thing I’m sure, but it’s trying to get people to come to town in Pine River and trying to get the kids involved in fishing and hunting.”


Super cool! I say we do our part to make sure it’s not a “money-losing thing” for them…. Earned at least one new customer with me – their food looks great, I can’t wait to try it.


2. 🥶: Clam has a fresh new website…


…that looks really clean and functions great – they crushed it.


Clam also just released a TON of new products for the upcoming hardwater season. I’ll be diving into more of them as we start shifting into the frosty time of year.


One of those things I want to mention right now is the new MaxEntry Door System on their new X-Series Hub Shelters. It’s 38” wide [!!!] and can still be banked into the snow. Amazing.

I’m eyeing up the big-boy X-600 Thermal – Ice Team that has their new Aurora Lighting System built right in. Filming comes with a lot of baggage 😅 and extra bodies. And I’m hoping to bring the cots and do some ‘ice camping’ this season, too:

3. 🥶: New VMC Rattling Roach Spoon is out now!


> …VMC connected with Tony Roach to work on the Rattling Roach Spoon. VMC leaned on Roach’s experience as a heavily booked, multi-species, all-season guide on MN’s Mille Lacs Lake to develop its new killer bait.


> The Rattling Roach Spoon features an intense fluttering action combined with an exposed rattle chamber to deliver maximum sound vibrations. …a marabou teaser tail and a holographic eye…16 eye-popping colors….

> To give hardwater anglers an additional edge, 14 of the 16 Rattling Roach Spoon finishes feature an Ultra Glow finish and 3 feature a UV Bright finish. Ultra Glow colors give off a glowing effect that lasts for 15 min in dark water – all to make sure this lure is seen by fish.


I got to play around with it last winter and it’s the real deal. 💪 And looks like FishUSA is fully stocked-up.


4. 🥶: Brad Hawthorne’s favorite walleye ice-fishing rod of all time.


The TUCR Power Precision. Super fast + carbon fiber = what he calls a “feel rod” (versus watching the tip) where the bite telegraphs from your wrist right up to your shoulder. He runs 30-32″ when fishing inside the shack, and the longer 36″+ for hole-hopping outside.


I finally got my hands on one last year and it’s a killer all-around walleye rod for most spoons, and can even handle medium-ish minnow-profile baits like #5 Rapala Rippin’ Raps, etc.

If the particular length or handle type you’re looking for isn’t in stock, you can order it custom and choose the specs and colors. Believe it takes about 4 weeks of production time for custom rods to ship, so this is perfect timing.


5. Humminbird’s new 5 Port Ethernet Switch…


…has indicator lights to check the status (connected, data transfer in progress, no connection) of networked devices:

6. ND: 40th-annual DLVFD Ice Fishing Tournament is Jan 27.


Over $325K in prizes. Proceeds from the tourney are used to buy equipment for the Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Dept = awesome.


7. MN: Brainerd Ice Extravaganza is Feb 3.


The largest charitable ice fishing contest on earth.


8. Rod-builder TFO is looking for a consultive sales mgr.


Temple Fork Outfitters


> This entrepreneurial, multi-functional position combines elements of sales, project management, market development, and customer engagement.”


9. New CEO for Sportsman’s Warehouse.


Paul Stone = a “lifelong outdoorsman” who was the chief retail officer of Cabela’s, then served as president and chief operating officer of Hertz Global Holdings.


10. Brent Vulgamott named COO at American Outdoor Brands.


Internal hire at the parent company of fishing brand Bubba.


11. MN: Zebra mussels confirmed in East Leaf Lake.


Otter Tail County.


12. FishUSA has 15% off its entire Walleye Store today.


With promo code WALLEYE at checkout.


13. Have you seen Clam’s Stoplight Bobber?


The Stoplight Bobber has a lighted stem that glows green BUT when a fish takes the bait, the light will change to red as it dips below the water. 😮

Small holds 1/32- to 1/8-oz spoons and jigs. Large holds 1/8- to 1/4-oz spoons and jigs.


14. Genetic breakthrough announced in breeding trophy bass.


> …the identification of multiple, naturally occurring genetic indicators that predict the growth of FL-strain largemouth bass to trophy size. This breakthrough, resulting from the analysis of millions of genomic markers, signifies a remarkable achievement in global sportfish research.


> …Red Hills Fishery has unlocked the potential of these innate genetic markers, paving the way for the breeding of a groundbreaking line of Titan Maxx fingerlings. These fingerlings are bred from parent fish carrying a significant number of the newly discovered trophy DNA markers, ensuring the passage of these markers to their offspring.


Man, I want some “Titan Maxx” walleye fingerlings! 🥵😅


15. Scientists have recorded the deepest dwelling fish ever…


…on camera 27,000+ feet below the surface, and they look just like an albino burbot (aka eelpout) if you ask me!

16. Get your hands on some CrushCity before anyone else.


Rapala is running a sweepstakes all Oct where every week 3 winners will receive a kit of CrushCity plastics, RedLine Series hooks and a CrushCity patch hat. 🔥

Tip of the Day

Are “tattle flags” even more important in the fall?


It’s easy to tell when you’ve got a big walleye on since they usually rip the planer board back, but a ‘tattle flag’ helps you know when you’ve got a small fish on so you don’t accidentally drag the little bugger around.


Lot of times you’ll be trolling slower in the fall (0.7-1.5 mph) than you might in warm-water months (2.0+ mph). The slower you go, the easier it can be for those pesky, smaller fish to nip at your bait.


There’s also usually way more floating debris that can be snagged on the bait or line this time of year, and needs to be tattled on….


Fishing 411 TV’s Jake Romanack says he also uses tattle flags to tell him if a fish takes a nip at his bait but doesn’t get hooked – the flag pops right back up. Allows him to coax those fish into biting ‘cuz a lot of times they’ll continue following the bait.


Better look at the tattle flag (upgrade kit) system from Jake in this Fishing 411 TV video:

Meme of the Day

Don’t jab! 🤣😭🤬🤦‍♂️ Never jab:

Parting Shot

First they’re sour – then they’re sweet…. Aidan Chamberland shot:

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Target Walleye – walleye during open water and all species during hardwater – is brought to you by Al Lindner, Jim Kalkofen, Jay Kumar, Brett McComas and other diehard fish-heads like you!
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