Target Walleye/Ice email

Black spots in fish, DIY quick set rigs, Fishing is romantic

Today’s Top 5

Do you like your pike pickled or peppered?

We’ve all seen fish with those little-black spots on ’em, but Ashley Scanlon’s ultra-freckled pike caught our eye:

It’s called “neascus” or the super-original name of “black spot disease.” You can learn a lot about it — and other sciencecy stuff — from Gord Pyzer:


> “The black spots are small cysts in the fish’s skin. In a heavily-infected fish you’ll find them sprinkled in the flesh as well. If you inadvertently happen to eat one, they’re crunchy — like a speck of sand or a piece of pepper corn. [We’ll take your word for it!]


> “A fish-eating bird (eagle, osprey, great blue heron, kingfisher, gull or cormorant) consumes an infected fish and the black spots — which are tiny-encapsulated worms called trematodes — mature inside the bird’s digestive system.

> “Once they mature, the worms lay eggs which the bird passes into the water in its droppings. The eggs then hatch into microscopic organisms called miracidia that have about 24 hours to find their next host — typically a snail.”


> “There the parasite develops into its next life form, emerging from the snail as a tiny creature called a cercariae. When this parasite burrows into a fish, the fish reacts by encrusting the little bugger in a cyst with black-pigmented melanin.
> “The black spot can survive in the fish’s flesh and skin for many years, while it waits for the fish to be eaten by a bird, so that the process can repeat itself once again.


> “Literature suggests that the parasites neither affect the fish, nor humans that may eat them. I’m betting that like me, you’ll pass on eating either of these pike for dinner.”


Think you can you remember all that next time your buddy asks?

DIY quick-set rigs that don’t spook walleyes.

Will Roseberg’s favorite way to catch BIG walleyes is on BIG minnows (usually suckers) under set-lines. Most quick-strike rigs have a ton of hardware that can spook ‘eyes, so Will makes his own from scratch using VMC SureSet Treble hooks and 30-lb Sufix Fluorocarbon Invisiline Leader:

Who says ice fishing isn’t romantic?

Your news feed was probably cluttered with more sappy-love posts than fish pics yesterday (thx a lot Valentine’s Day!). Here’s a few of our favorite fishy-love notes:

This pile o’ Maki Plastics would provide a lifetime of panfish happiness:

Does it get more sentimental than Matt Breuer’s heart-shaped burbot poem?

Rapala found the secret (spot) to our hearts. Would guess that a chrome red Jigging Rap would do the trick:

Hope Manitobans don’t lose any “keepers” since they’ve gotta use barbless:

Man-bathin’ with BaitCloud is a thing? One time you won’t want to attract more bites:

How the UPL was won.

Michael “MT” Thompson and Stuart Manning’s 10.25-lb bag snagged 1st place at the Ultimate Panfish League on Lake Pokegama, MN:

> Stuart: We noticed the best concentrations of feeding fish were at the bottom of breaks in 14-16′ [during pre-fishing]. We looked at our maps…and drilled lots of holes…’til we narrowed it down to 3-4 spots that held a mix of crappies and sunfish.


> Sunday morning a front had come in and the sun was out full power. We were concerned how this might move the fish we located, but we carried on with the game plan: crappies first and sunnies in the sun.


> Our first fish were a bit of a surprise — bluegill…BIG bluegills. While I worked on a limit of those, MT dialed in the crappies. He changed lures, bait and went from tightlining to wire rods till he found a formula that worked.


They caught ’em on 3mm Mormyshka Lucky John Balls and 4mm Custom Jigs & Spins Chekai Tungsten Jigs (red glow) tipped with a Trigger X Wax Tail (pearl white).


> MT: “We were fishing where the sharper contours widen and become a flat with a softer bottom. Starting at where the lines are closer together, and working out ’til we were on the flat.

> “My ACE Custom Rods green hornet ‘quack’ got me lots of nice crappies.”


MT’s gotta be the only one with a $400 paint job on a $5 reel. Lol love it man! Ice Team pro Craig Oyler tipped us off that “MT” is actually just an alias that Chicago Cub’s head coach Joe Maddon goes by during the off-season:

Congrats guys, much deserved! #KeepItRolling

A different kind of ice fishing.

Here’s how Lund boat owner Jeff Bondar has been ice fishing. #Dedication

Anybody else out on the soft(er) stuff yet? Pulling planer boards might be out of the question…unless you’re the walleye-obsessed Jeff Chisholm:


1. NH: Two dead, one missing on Winnipesaukee.

Two separate incidents where snowmobiles broke through the ice during a tourney. RIP fishing brothers, prayers to the families.

2. Gander Mtn filing for bankruptcy?

Doesn’t mean they would go away, but doesn’t sound good. Despite a growing industry, this would be the 5th outdoor retailer to file for bankruptcy in the last 12 months. Think it’s ‘cuz more and more people are buying online?

3. BP and Cabela’s deal falling through?

> …the deal looks like it’s unraveling. Although the FTC’s request for more information is not a death sentence…it’s going to be more complicated and may require divestitures that will delay any potential closing date for some time.

4. MN: Upper Red Lake then and now.


> “Fishing got so bad in 1999 the DNR and the Red Lake tribal government closed Red Lake to walleye fishing for everyone. We went from real hard times to now, some of the best fishing on the lake ever.”

Plus, the crappies are making a comeback.


5. Water temp under ice.

Most overlooked piece of “invisible structure” out there, but it doesn’t need to be. Now-a-days there’s products like the Fish Hawk TD that will automatically record the water temp every 5′ down. This awesome Matt Straw write-up breaks it down.

6. Evinrude renews with NWT.

Less than 2 months ’til the first event on Erie.

Click the pic to have a shot at winning a ton of Yo-Zuri loot, including all 12 new colors of the Crystal Minnow Walleye Deep Divers! Can’t wait to give ’em a troll:

Tip of the Day

Trolling is all about putting a pattern together. The most efficient way to do that is to make sure all of your line-counter reels are reading exactly the same. Here’s how Fishing 411 TV’s Jake Romanack gets ’em spot on:

Jake’s been fishing with Okuma Clarions for awhile now, which we believe have been replaced with the Cold Water Line Counters. Doesn’t matter which reel you have, the important thing is that you’re #DialedIn.

Quote of the Day

Geocaching and PokemonGo are for chumps!

– That’s what Aaron Wiebe said after capturing an iPhone7 that was “marinating” 18′ down in Lake Winnipeg. Took ’em 8+ hours and a handful of underwater cameras to get it in the net! Nicely done guys — love the celebratory shot:

Headline of the Day.

Mayo study finds hazards of ice fishing are many and varied.

> “Mayo Clinic researchers looking at ER data found a surprising variety of injuries…anglers have suffered everything from burns to broken bones to concussions while hunkering down in their shanties.”


Also found that injuries were most common among men under 40, which seems to be the case for everything. There’s a reason women live longer than men:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

John Hoyer iced this paunchy slush melon on a Clam Snow Drop XL Jig (watermelon candy) tipped with a PowerBait Ice Whipworm and said, “These fish were roaming a sand break in 10-16′ and…were only biting for about 60 mins a day.” Glad you and Spenser Samplawski were there for the power hour:

Sign up another ice-head!
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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 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 quit sports in high school because they were interfering with his fishing time. Get him at

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