Target Walleye/Ice email

Biggest mistake for walleyes, Hot dog trophy pike, Burbot tricks

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Today’s Top 5

Mega toads of the week!

‘Nother Lake Oahe slob-eye! This one went 15.37 lbs and was caught by Justin Erickson on a Northland Buck-Shot Spoon. #Money

Nic Dittbrenner has been leaning into the Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba greenbacks using the Bagley Rattlin’ B Plus — a rattlebait that’s designed for jigging. He swears by it and rightfully so seeing as they landed 7 fish over 27″ in one day! This slob came on the “sexy shad” color:

Bob Rustowicz cracked this Lake Erie 14.67-lber jigging the trusty-ol’ Swedish Pimple with an emerald shiner:

Brian “Bro” Brosdahl stuck this Lake of the Woods razorback in 18′ with a “UV pink tiger” Northland Glo-Shot Spoon. Love me some Lake of the Gooooods…tons of “eaters” a bonus biggies. #ChaChing

Jake Brooks had himself a perchin’ road trip to Cascade Lake, ID. These things are tough to even comprehend. Like he said, “I think the Idaho DNR started adding stripes to their walleye.” #Toads

> “They fish different out there. I’d never think to use a red worm through the ice but they catch a ton of fish on them. I was using a 6mm ‘perch’ color teardrop tungsten tipped with half a worm…fishing a huge flat in about 14′ on top of a steep break.”

Congrats dude!

How and where to catch burbot through the ice.

The burbot/eelpout bite is comin’ in hot around the upper Midwest, so of course we’re gonna show ’em some love! The fight is incredible, they’re so ugly they’re pretty (can relate), and the bite lines up with working-man’s hours. Full write-up here on, few excerpts:

> Hard, gravel-bottomed humps are king in late Feb and March when burbot spawn on bigger bodies of water, but don’t overlook deep weed edges off large feeding flats that break into ultra deepwater. Burbot follow the food just like other predators.

> Daylight: Cruise the basin looking for 40-60′ water near the deepest holes in the lake. Any fish caught is a bonus…makes it easier to predict and follow their evening migration.

> Evening: Slide up towards the base of the dropoff where the basin meets the bottom of the break. These areas will look like classic walleye structure. This breakline bite is usually best the hour before and after sunset.

> After dark: Gradually work your way into shallower water until you’re fishing on top of the hump or flat. Focus on fishing the very edge of the top of the flat before it breaks off into deeper water.

> Jigging spoons that are 1/2 up to 1 1/8-oz (depending on how deep) pound the lake bottom to stir things up and call those nosy burbots in from a distance. The brighter it glows, the better. Reel up and recharge about every 10-15 minutes.

> Tip ’em with a pair of torn-in-half shiners/fatheads…don’t be stingy on the minnows: Pile ’em on and replace ’em often to make sure you’re getting as much scent into the water as possible. I’ll even soak ’em in a bag with shad or crayfish scent.

> Swap out the braided line for 8-lb Sufix Ice Magic Mono. Doesn’t absorb moisture/freeze up like braided line. Not a big deal when fishing out of a heated shack, but I rarely “set up camp” chasing burbs…prefer to hole-hop or fish out the truck door…moving spots every 15-20 minutes if there’s no action.

> A beefy 10- to 14-lb mono/fluoro leader and tiny snap swivel makes it easier to land the fish…you can grab the small snap and help guide ’em to you (burbs are even harder to grab than you think lol). Of course it also helps with line twist and the thicker line keeps the spoon from getting tangled when aggressively jigging.

> Burbot primarily feed tight to bottom — they don’t mind picking their dinner right up off the lake floor. I like to pound bottom several time to stir things up, then lift my spoon 6-12″ off bottom and dance it in place for several seconds…followed by a larger lift of the rod tip and let the bait crash back down into bottom.

> You won’t always graph ’em, often times your rod will load up as you go to lift your bait off bottom. Usually the breaks are so steep that there’s a “dead zone” where you can’t see the bottom couple feet on the flasher.

> Still, you need to make sure to keep a close eye on your flasher — some of your bigger bites could come through as a large, active blob 3-6′ off bottom.

Respect the ‘pout! More pics and info in this write-up.

Wow! Some seriously-strange catches you’ve probably never seen before?!

Massive merp brown trout [!] caught on 6-lb test soaking a shiner under an Automatic Fisherman while fishing the Milwaukee Harbor with guide Doug Wegner. Got it all on video here, but a pic of the slob below:

Trent Kadel caught himself a half-pickled (?) pike somewhere in MN. WTHeck:

We joked about catching “peacock perch” but this 13-incher David Wisner caught is taking it a little too far:

Trophy Lake of the Woods pike…on hot dogs??

Yup, you read that right…and it’s actually nothing new for big pike. Read the full Jim Edlund write-up on, but a few excerpts below:

> Fish routinely eclipse the 40″ mark — with a handful up to 48″ [!] each year — on Lake of the Woods, MN.

> The optimal bite is typically the last 2-3 weeks before ice out. Some years that happens early…other years, well into April. “Changes in depths around breaks, points, humps, and areas of current or flow can be key. Lots of good stuff from Pine Island to Muskeg Bay.”

> All starts with buckets of Frabill tip-ups, a 10″ auger, and a Stanley measuring tape: “Learned the measuring tape trick from a game warden friend years ago. Great for getting a sense of the bottom…can feel if it’s rock or mud. When it comes to telling depth, tapes don’t lie. For $10 you’ve got a depthfinder you can put in your pocket.”

> Arnesen impales a 12″ sucker or similar-sized dead bait to the beaded and spinner-adorned Quick Strike Rig. “These big pike are feeding primarily on ciscoes, so big suckers and dead bait are often the ticket, but not all the time. Sometimes they’ll eat hot dogs.

> “It’s something we picked up from the guys in the Dakotas. Like everybody, at first we shook our heads — then we started catching big fish. And on those days when suckers or dead bait work better, you can grill the dogs.”

Full write-up on

Bad dog…VERY bad dog.

And you thought the dog eating your homework was bad…


1. Netflix and chill fish?

Was tipped off on this new Raymarine technology by my buddy Jim Edlund:

> Just introduced this technology today at the Miami International Boat Show. Yes, you can now control your drone and watch Netflix on Raymarine Axiom/Axiom Pro units. Axiom Pro also accepts analog or digital video in so you can plug your Aqua-Vu in directly and monitor in split screen with sonar, SideVision, DownVision, mapping, or Lindner’s Angling Edge 😉

How freakin’ crazy is that?! Remember when depthfinders were this:

2. ND: Devils Lake chamber walleye tourney.

Happenin’ Jun 23-24. Was over $61K in prizes last year. Said it caps off at 125 teams so might wanna jump on it early.

3. New Merc 4-strokes announced.

New 175, 200, 225 hp 4-strokes:

4. Get Vexan Crystal Reapers for a steal.

The 3-packs are still just $9.99 (all colors and sizes, even the new ones below). Blowing ’em out ‘cuz they’re switching over to single packs soon-ish.

5. First-ever ONLINE sports show?

Had never heard of one before. If you hate crowds, maybe this is your thing.

6. Have you seen the Moonshine Jigging Spoons?

Lots of talk (and walk) about their Shiver Minnow, but they also have a Jigging Spoon with the same sick patterns/glow paint. Few that look super fishy:

Check ’em all out right here. Let us know if you’ve tried ’em.

7. SD: New GFP (DNR) phone app.

> …users can customize it with favorite maps, licenses, handbooks and key dates….provides the ability to view maps offline if the user is in an area with little to no cell phone service.

8. Fishing/boating 2nd biggest segment of outdoor market.

> …US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) show that the outdoor recreation economy accounted for 2.0% ($373.7 billion) of current-dollar GDP in 2016…. [First time for the outdoor recreation industry being a significant economic contributor to the GDP.]

> Boating/Fishing activities were $38.2 billion in 2016, an increase of 4.0% from the previous year.

9. Guy uses Asian carp in concrete?

> “These organic materials, along with the fish oil, add benefits to concrete like increased longevity and a reduction in the freeze-thaw cycle, to name a few.”

TWI Survey/Giveaway!!

Please take just a couple minutes to fill out this survey and have a shot at winning $200-ish worth of Lunkerhunt ice-fishing lures! Click here to take the survey. Your answers will be super helpful for us here at Target Walleye/Ice. Thanks for doing it and thanks for reading!

Tip of the Day

I’d (Brett) say the biggest mistake most walleye fishermen make is fishing too close to bottom…specifically on ice. Fishing higher — say 3-4′ off bottom — can help pull fish in from farther and target more aggressive fish. Don’t take my word for it, here’s Tony Roach’s take:

Meme of the Day

Pic of what it actually feels like to drive a Lund:

If you don’t believe us, try it out for yourself.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

The look in this fish’s eye [crying-laughing emoji]. He for sure knew that Jay Siemens wasn’t putting him back lol. Whatcha get for wanting a closer look at all that camera gear:

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Who is Target Walleye/Ice

Target Walleye/Ice — walleye during open water and all species during hardwater — is brought to you by Al and Ron Lindner, Jim Kalkofen, Brett McComas and other diehard fish-nuts like you! #fishheads
Brett McComas is the main man for Target Walleye/Ice. 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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