Target Walleye/Ice email

Auger wars vid, Community hole beatdown, Fish with pumpkin spice

Today’s Top 5

Boss hawg of the week!

A few Target Walleyes back we shared a story about Bryan Mason’s journey, and how he credits fishing in his recovery from alcoholism:

> Bryan: “I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get into a boat…or ice house and not drink…but I found out how many more fish I caught when I was actually fishing…not mixing drinks and pouring shots.

> I was like, ‘Man, this is a lot of fun. I should’ve been more serious about this a long time ago.’

> “A guy can buy a graph for his boat for $400 or a lot of jigs or Rapalas. It’s really mind-numbing.”

Come to find out he’s a Target Walleye reader and has been getting his fishin’ therapy on in a BIG way — check it out:

> Bryan: “Hey guys! Thanks for the shout-out about the recovery story! I love your guys’ email each week…keep up the great work! I’m up at Lake of the Woods now. Fish are moving into 4 Mile Bay and the Rainy River thick…1st shiner run is happening and the fish are following — game on!”

Here’s Bryan with a 31″ [!] slaunch from that day:



Keep doing you, fishing brotha!

Auger wars video!!

Lots of different drill combos out there nowadays — each has its pros and cons, though I’m still trying to figure out what the con part would be for the new StrikeMaster Lite Flite Lazer Drill:

Has “synthetic resin-molded flighting” to make it super light (6″ weighs 4.4 lbs — 8″ weighs 5.3 lbs) but it’s also craaaaazy fast thanks to those twin serrated Lazer blades.

How fast? Check it out going head-to-head with a couple other units – amazing!

You’re seeing it here first!!

[Couple things I wanna say… This vid obviously isn’t shot in a lab somewhere — it’s out in the real world — so of course it’s tough to control variables. Variables such as: Do each of the units have brand new, sharp-as-possible blades? Were all the batteries fully charged?? Was the ice the same thickness and consistency in each of the areas??? You get the idea…

Also, I mentioned above how all augers have their pros and cons, and specific purposes they’re designed for. Some may be on the slower end, but that’s ‘cuz they’re designed for re-opening old holes or drilling ’em on top of each other when sight fishing or chasing absolute giants. Other units may be designed for sheer speed, but as a result could leave more slush in the hole or may have blades that need to be sharpened more frequently, etc. What’s most important is to do your research and find the unit that best fits your style and type of fishing you do.]


Has the Lazer Power Point too, so it won’t hop around when you’re starting the hole. Throw it on a brushless 18V cordless drill — or even your regular powerhead — to shave a ton of weight and make hole hopping great again.

Word is they’re starting to trickle into some retailers now. Don’t see ’em on StrikeMaster’s website or FishUSA yet, but will keep you posted when we do.

Are you the “pumpkin spice” type?

Not judging if you are, but don’t want it in my coffee…

1) …will take it in my AuthentX Pulse-R Paddle Tails though:


2) Olivia Michaud (@oliviamfishing) prefers her pumpkin spice on the fly:


3) Marc Tremblay (@wallyfishing_marc) plucked this one outta the melon patch — caught it trying to carve up that Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow Walleye Deep Diver even though it doesn’t look quite ripe yet:


4) Sick shot of a Berkley Flicker Shad in the pumpkin spice “firetail hot perch” color:


Word is those firetail patterns will be available starting Monday (9/16). People have been dipping the tails of soft-plastics for years — gives fish a little something extra to hone in on — so cool to see it in hard baits.

WTHeck is the “fall turnover” anyway???

Not talkin’ these kind of turn-overs:


We’re talking what happens when water temps start to drop in the fall:


Science is hard…but Bemidji MN fishing guide Paul Nelson does a solid job explaining what a lot of lakes have goin’ on this time of year: the fall turnover. Loads of info in his full write-up here, gonna snag a few quotes below:

> The thermocline on the deep lakes will start to break down as soon as the water temps above that line get close to water temperatures below. …can see a thermocline on sonar in the deepest parts of a lake if one exists. Parts of a lake where the water is not deep enough won’t have a thermocline.

> Once the thermocline is gone, the fish will be able to return to the deepest parts of the lakes, if that’s where they want to be.

> Water becomes more dense as it gets cooler until it reaches about 40 deg. Once surface water becomes cooler than the water on the bottom, it will sink. When this happens in the fall it’s called “turn-over”, which oxygenates the entire water column….

> Turnover also makes water temps uniform from the surface to the bottom, so the lake can continue to cool and eventually freeze.

> The fall patterns really don’t start to kick in until the thermocline disappears in the deep lakes. Shallow lakes and shallow bays of larger lakes don’t have a thermocline, with the walleye bite usually improving as the lakes cool.

Definitely worth reading Paul’s full write-up for more info.

Parade of pigs.

We get sent a pile of pics from TW fans, so can’t always get every one into the emails…but know we see and appreciate ’em — thx all! Heeeere we go:


1) This beefy 30-incher went 13.79 lbs! Kyle Williams and Jonny Nelson caught it with just 15 minutes left in the MT Governor’s Cup:


Kyle said they were:

> “…bottom-bouncing on main lake points with big nightcrawlers with 2-3″ of tail hanging off the back of the harness! I catch [flack] for leaving that much hanging off the back of the harness — and little ones do pick me off sometimes — but I’ve found those 25″+ fish can’t resist that tail hanging back there….”


2) Danny Goerges sent in this shot of his nephew with a Lake of the Woods belly-dragger. Guess you could say the buffet is open:


3) Here goes TW fan Mike Keller getting outfished by his wife AGAIN — good problem to have lol! — with a 29.5″ waldo caught night fishing with slip-bobbers and leeches near Ely, MN:


1. ND: Day 2 of the Devils Lake NWT cancelled.

Thx Mother Nature! So the whole field is fishing again today, and the top 10 will go out tomorrow. Day 1 had 16 bags weighed over 20 lbs [!] and Mike Gofron is leading with 28.22 for 5:


The top 3 teams give a little insight — actually way more than I expected — on what they’re doing in this NWT Insider Report. Gonna be livestreaming the weigh-in here at 3pm CST again, and here’s a link to the live leaderboard.

Will follow up with the winning deets in the next TW email.

2. Some deep thoughts from Al Lindner…

…in this Woman Angler & Adventurer podcast. They talk about fishing careers, women in the biz, and the future of the sport. Hosts Angie Scott and Barb Carey have been cranking ’em out — this is podcast #76! — keep doing your thing!!

3. ND: Fargo Ice Show happenin’ Dec 13-15.

At Scheels Arena = 45,000 sq ft of ice-fishing goodness! More info comin’ soon, but wanted to get the date out there ‘cuz I know how fast calendars fill up….

4. How fish-sexxy are these…

…custom-painted cranks whipped up by Matthew Fairbank. That’s the Phantom Lures Abyss (left) and Boogey (right):


Embarrassed to say I own like 2 or 3 custom-painted cranks…always too scared to throw ’em! Might need to start building up the collection though….

5. MN: DNR captures and tags silver carp in St. Croix River.

> The capture and tagging of the carp was a direct result of the DNR’s tracking of a previously tagged bighead carp. The tagged bighead carp has led to 4 invasive carp discoveries this year and 2 last year.

> Since carp tend to congregate, we’re also hopeful that the tagged silver carp will lead us to any other individual invasive carp that may be in the area, just as the tagged bighead carp has.

I’ve literally had dreams of tagging/tracking fish, especially burbot to see where they hide all year…which I’ve heard the DNR is working on right now….

6. Traditional Merc Verado vs the new V8 (video).

NWT pro Keith Kavajecz translates engineer-ese into terms us regular folk can understand.

7. MT: $1K reward for who shot the pelicans.

> FWP game wardens have seen or retrieved nearly a dozen dead pelicans…between the dam and Two Leggins Fishing Access Site. They believe dozens more may have been shot and killed this summer in the same area.

8. SD: Whitney Lake ice derby benefits lake improvements.

9. WA: 2 days of sturgeon fishing to open…

…on the Lower Columbia River Sep 21 and 28. White sturgeon, the ones that grow 87-ft long (lol).

10. AL: Antique tackle show in Decatur Sep 27-28.

Can’t imagine we have too many Alabamie readers, but know there’s a few!

11. Meet Catch Co and head dude Ross Gordon.

Company that owns Mystery Tackle Box and various other fishin’ brands. Here’s an interesting quote from Ross in that write-up that’s a good one to think about:

> “As long as we continue to not conform to the industry, I have no doubt that we will continue to grow.

> “We use humor to build the brand and humanize it. We carved out this unique voice on social media. It removes a lot of intimidation.”

Whatever you do, be YOU and be unique….

Funny enough Ross is originally from MN — where it seems half the industry is from — had no idea until I read the post.

12. Did you win the ION giveaway?

Sent an email to that they won our ION G2 giveaway. Haven’t heard back and wanna make sure it didn’t go to their junk box.

Only got a few days left before we have to draw a new winner!

Tip of the Day

Few tips to out-fish everyone on a community hole.

No one (I think?) likes fishing around crowds, but sometimes that’s just where the majority of fish are. Here’s a few things full-time guide Brad Hawthorne does to be “that guy” of the bunch who’s always waving the net:


Pretty sure B-Rad called me “Comas” in that vid [chin-scratch emoji]. Either he skipped half my last name ‘cuz he was in a hurry to get back fishin’…or he was still salty ‘cuz I went 9 fish up on him including a blue-finned 27-incher lol:


I don’t like braggers either (sorry had to!) but It’ll probably never happen again so felt like I needed to bring it up at least once lol.

Btw we caught ’em that day pulling a “copper” Rainbow Spinner Harness and ‘crawler INTO THE WIND at 0.8-1.2 mph in 8-9’. Couldn’t get bit on passes going with the wind, which is what everyone else on that community hole was doin’….

Quote of the Day

“It’s not as big as yours but it’s a nice one!”

– Couple guys talkin’ while absolutely crushing the walleyes outta Viking Lodge, a drive-to destination in Manitoba’s northern region. Vid gets me hyped up:

Guess it sits on the Cranberry Chain of Lakes, which gets overlooked ‘cuz it’s smack dab in the middle of several other world-class bodies of water. Some more info here if you’re lookin’ to plan your next roadtrip.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

The force is strong with this one:

***No walleye’s were harmed in the making of this photo…except for the one already destined for Craig Van Torre’s fryin’ pan lol.

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Brett McComas is the main man for Target Walleye He was discovered in Brainerd, MN after years of wondering how in the heck people break into the fishing biz. He’s in it now, but still can’t answer that question…. Brett is one of those guys who majored in marketing, only because there was no such thing as a “fishing degree” at the time…. Get him at
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