Target Walleye/Ice email

Bro’s split-shot trick, Where Gussy is finding walleye, Hilarious redtail hack


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The best walleye and ice fishing pics, tips, gear hacks, and news year round

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Today’s Top 5

Bro’s split-shot trick for fishing rocks with creek chubs. 🎯

For those of you willing to bundle-up and get after the fall walleye bite, Brian “Bro” Brosdahl’s got a whole pile of creek chub pulling tricks – you maybe haven’t seen before – for fishing in the rocks. Very cool! Full write-up and video here, some juicy excerpts below:


> Post-turnover – when dissolved oxygen is more evenly dispersed throughout all depths – walleyes can be literally anywhere. A majority of anglers still target steep breaks, sunken islands, points, etc…but MN guide Brian “Bro” Brosdahl is fond of fishing shallower.


> Bro: “A majority of my fall walleye rigging is done in 10′ and less. Especially around rock, from softball- to Volkswagen-sized boulders to jagged shield rock. On rivers, you’re talking submerged rip rap, wingdams, and other soft-to-hard bottom transitions.”


> The problem rigging around rock – or any kind of hard cover – is getting snagged. Conventional weights like egg sinkers and bottom-bouncers are easily wedged. …ultimately, the system he arrived at shares some likeness to the multiple split-shot rigs used by steelhead anglers.


> …run a 3-4′ fluorocarbon snell (8-10 lb) with tiny split-shots placed about 8” apart all the way from a quality ball-bearing swivel down to a Gamakatsu Finesse Wide Gap hook. In areas with vegetation and rock, he uses the same hook with available weedguard.


> “One split-shot won’t do it, but several will. What you’re doing is turning your fluorocarbon leader into a chunk of leadcore…but a series of small split-shots doesn’t spook walleyes in clear water. In fact, on some waters the sound of multiple split-shots tickling rocks can help attract fish.”

> “The nice thing about the system is even if one gets stuck it either pulls down the line or completely off. So, I always carry a bunch of split-shots, which are cheap. Most of the time you’ll feel them tickling the rocks okay. When you’re in round rocks you don’t typically snag because there aren’t many imperfections. Granite and shield rock are the tough ones…they have cracks that your line can thread or grab. Same around wood. But the split-shots typically work through all of it pretty well.”


> …perhaps the biggest mistake anglers make rigging live chubs or other big minnows is thinking you need to ride the bottom at all times. “Walleyes will move pretty far off bottom to grab a big minnow. If you’re in 5′, you only need your rig 3-4′ feet down…if you’re in 10′, 5′ down is usually plenty.”


> …depending on the wind and fish location…Bro will deploy the rig on a controlled drift, a slow troll, or Spot-Lock with his bow into the wind, pitching the rig downwind to pods of fish he locates on his electronics. In the case of pitching, he’ll often go down to a shorter, 2′ snell.


Setting the hook


> …use the first couple bites to determine the best hook-setting procedure. “If you get a bite and you pull on it and the fish is already hooked, you know they’re eating it. Don’t overfeed the fish. There’s no reason to pull their butthole out the mouth. Most of the time. I’m feeding them line 5-10 seconds. The only exception is if I’m using giant chubs – then I’ll give ’em a bit longer.


> “When I feel a hit I’ll feed line, then I’ll check before I set the hook, pulling the chub a little bit – maybe a couple short pulls so the walleye eats it a bit more. I call this the ‘tease.’ Teasing walleyes a little bit really gets them to commit. Big walleyes are like ‘give me my steak back!’ Even in tournament situations when I watch guys feed fish for minutes, all it takes is a little tease.”


> The exception is rigging during extreme high-pressure situations when the tease can turn some walleyes off. “If they don’t eat after the tease, they’re typically small fish. But bug the big fish and they’ll gobble almost every time, even during post-frontal conditions.”


Bait choice and care


> “Fact is, chubs ain’t cheap – and they can dirty water fast. Proper live bait care makes the most of the investment. I always keep my chubs in fresh water with a bubbler.


> “In tournament situations I’ll also add some G Juice, which prevents ammonia build up. It also contains electrolytes, which is like Gatorade for bait. When transporting back and forth with well water, I’ll actually feed the chubs small hunks of ‘crawlers to keep ’em full of fighting energy.”


The full write-up has a bunch more info, including how to catch your own creek chubs/redtails and some alternatives if you can’t find any….

Speaking of redtails being hard to find….

Tourney-nut Will Pappenfus figured out the ultimate hack (lol) and said he’s selling them for just $20.99 per dozen. 🤣🤣🤣

In case you don’t have redtails around you, or don’t know much about them…that ^ is actually a sucker minnow that Will is pretending to mock-up. He might wanna add a little dash of red to its cheek too:

Folks legit go bonkers for redtails in the fall, and they can be insanely difficult to find. I’ve heard of people paying $100 for a dozen the night before a fishing tournament. Seriously.


Why creek chubs and redtails? Because they’re hardy minnows that will often swim right along with the boat. There’s times you’ll actually feel them ‘getting excited’ down there the moment before a walleye smacks them.


Sure you can catch the occasional fish on a sucker minnow, but they’re usually too lethargic for this technique and will end up being drug behind the boat (versus lively darting from side to side) and a lot of times when you slow down, or try to hover over fish, sucker minnows will just collapse down to bottom. ☠️


Obviously there’s plenty of other ways to catch those fish too…but it’s tough to compete with creek chubs and redtails when that bite is ON. Spendy critters, but there’s a lot of folks who make a ton of dough in fall tourneys by getting their hands on chubs and babysitting them in make-shift tanks in their garage all fall. Seems like anytime I try to squat on good bait it ends up being a Jigging Rap bite on tourney day anyway 😂 so I guess choose your battles.

Easiest way to tell if someone is rigging redtails or creek chubs?

If you’re trying to figure out what the boat next to you is doing differently to be catching so many dang fish…the “sky rats” are always a dead giveaway lol:

Although you can’t believe everything you see…. There are some shysters out there, like Lake Erie guide Ross Robertson 🧙‍♂️ who fashion up a marker buoy using a landfill chicken (seagull decoy) and an old-fashioned “Schooley” ice reel. Said it helps him to catch more fish, and a lot less fishermen – love the #ingenuity:

Where “Gussy” is finding walleye RIGHT NOW.

Here’s Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson talking in this Fort Frances Times write-up about where he’s finding walleyes right now 🕵️‍♂️ after they seemingly disappeared from the humps and points folks had been catching ‘em on a couple of weeks back:

> …I’ve also noticed that there are less walleyes on the structure – humps and points – than there was only a couple of weeks back. Where did they go?


> The electronics on my boat are my eyes underwater. Most days I rely heavily on them to find fish. Being patient while you look for fish with your electronics instead of just pulling up to a hump and dropping a line is always more effective by the end of the day.


> There is often going to be a section or edge of a point or hump that walleye and other fish relate to. Watching your electronics for fish under the boat while you slowly idle over these spots is a great method for finding schools of fish.


> As you learn to trust your electronics and what they are telling you, you can also see when your favourite spots don’t have any fish on them. Fish can move in the blink of an eye so when I can, I let my electronics tell me if they are on a spot or not. If I don’t see any fish, I’ll move on to the next spot. There are times when you only see a fish or two on your screen but when you actually drop a bait down, many more appear.


> …recently I have been seeing schools of fish off the sides of the humps and points in deeper water. If you watch your sonar, I’m finding the walleyes just off the edge of the rocks, where the bottom flattens out. In some basins this might be 20’, in others it could be 40’. Just remember that if you get fishing too deep, it can be tough to release fish so just catch a few if you intend to eat them and try to find shallower fish.


> Crappies and perch often show up in similar locations in the fall in the areas where they can be found. They are always full of small crayfish and invertebrates that live in the soft bottom. I think the walleyes just gorge themselves in these areas this time of year. The walleyes that I’ve been catching this week on these soft-bottom flats are all chunky and healthy, like they’ve been eating well.


> When you find walleyes, they seem to be quite active and eager to bite. The old standby jig and minnow will work great but you can use artificial baits and catch plenty of fish as well. I’ve been having the best luck with a Ned rig, which is a small plastic worm on a jig head. It’s one of my top bass baits and walleye like too, so I usually just use that. A Smeltinator jig with a soft-bodied minnow like a small Z-Man Jerk ShadZ on it works great as well.


Speaking of that Smeltinator jig and Z-Man Jerk ShadZ combo…. Gussy said last week his friend Doug got bit off by a pike, so they rigged up another and fired back out there…during the retrieve he got another bite, didn’t hook up and reeled in his first bait:

What are the odds?!

New “Top 5” vid coming in hot! 🥵

Just dropped episode 60 on our YouTube channel – hope you dig it!

Big thx to our friends at Sea Foam for making this video series possible!


1. Valiant Wealth Management acquires Vexilar and AWC.


> Robert A. Jablonski and Valiant Wealth Management announced…the acquisition of Vexilar Incorporated and AWC Incorporated, naming Rob Jablonski to lead the business going forward. Vexilar and AWC have been owned by Steven J. Baumann who has been president of Vexilar since 1995.

> Vexilar is the premier ice fishing marine electronics company in the United States with a 60-yr history of developing and manufacturing advanced sonar and fish-finding equipment for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts. Its state-of-the-art sonar technology provides anglers with real-time, precise information about the underwater environment, helping them locate fish and optimize their fishing strategies.


AWC is a leading ice fishing equipment manufacturer that produces the K-drill line of ice augers, patented augers designed to revolutionize the way anglers drill through the ice. These light-weight augers are powered by modern high powered cordless electric drills to make it easier for fisherman to get out on the ice and get fishing.

> After working for Vexilar Inc. as a Mechanical Engineer since 1977, Mr. Baumann, and Skip Christman bought the then struggling company in 1986, made monumental advancements and truly pioneered the use of ice fishing electronics with the Vexilar FL-8 Flasher. In 1995, Baumann assumed the role as company president following Christman’s unexpected passing.


> Mr. Baumann helped mold Vexilar into the ice fishing leader, securing numerous patents, and helping anglers countless increase their ice fishing success. Baumann’s engineering, ingenuity, vision, and contributions to the ice fishing industry are legendary. Steven Baumann was inducted into the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame in 2004, the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2012, and Vexilar Inc. was honored as a Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame inductee in 2015.


> Jablonski is a seasoned manufacturing executive with experience at General Motors, Kohler Company and Pella Corp and is an avid angler and outdoor lover. “I am honored to be leading Vexilar, a true legacy brand in ice fishing in the United States and a company with a strong runway for growth.” Jablonski said in the statement. “I’m excited to be transitioning the business with Steve Baumann, an icon in the ice fishing industry, and I look forward to building on Vexilar’s and AWC’s successful histories, in partnership with the leadership team at Valiant”.


2. IA: Clear Lake walleye die off due to fish-handling error.


> The lake recently received a stocking of 6,800 walleye on Oct 4 and approximately 900 died, washing up on the beach at the Steuben County Park.


> When the fish were shot out of a tanker and into the lake, some of them were injured and died because they were larger than the normal size of the stocked fish….


> The [advanced fingerling walleye] that are of the 6-8” range are able to be shot out of a tube from the hauling tanks and survive the dispersal.


> “…we rarely if ever see any type of mortality. However, this year the fish were running about 2” longer than normal and due to their above average size, roughly 15% sustained injuries while being stocked, which resulted in a delayed mortality event.”


> The next week the fish supplier provided additional fish to make up for the loss.


3. Hey, I’m going to be on TV! Sorta…


Our “Top 5 of the Week” videos presented by Sea Foam and then some will now be on Outdoor America streaming TV in new “shorts” blocks:


> Outdoor America CEO, Nick Rhodes: “TV formats have been inherently restrictive for next-generation outdoor personalities who don’t want to be bound to post-production requirements and specific running time. This also creates the ability for content producers to get their stories on TV platforms with seasonal topicality and immediacy.”


> Sasquatch Media CEO, Jay Kumar: “Shorter, timely content is everywhere except on TV. It’s time that someone made that happen, so it’s great that Outdoor America made the investment in technology to do that. We look forward to kick-starting the next era in outdoor TV on Outdoor America.”


Excited to see what happens!

4. IL is getting another anti-Asian carp barrier.


> Diversified Technologies, Inc has commissioned a second pulsed electric field (PEF) modulator on the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal (CSSC). Funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, these permanent barriers are designed to prevent Asian carp migration into Lake Michigan.


5. Vista Outdoor selling its Sporting Products biz to CSG.


> Vista Outdoor Inc, the parent company of 41 renowned brands that design, manufacture and market sporting and outdoor products to consumers around the globe, announced a definitive agreement to sell its Sporting Products business to Czechoslovak Group a.s. (“CSG”) for an enterprise value of $1.91 billion in an all-cash transaction…. This transaction represents the next step in Vista Outdoor’s plan to split the company into separate entities, which was previously announced on May 5, 2022.


6. Vista Outdoor announces CFO for Revelyst.


> Andy Keegan, currently Vice President and interim Chief Financial Officer of Vista Outdoor, will serve as CFO of Revelyst following Vista Outdoor’s planned separation of its Outdoor Products segment into a standalone public company. Keegan will continue to serve as Vice President and interim CFO of Vista Outdoor until completion of the separation.


7. I love these Catch Cover Rod Racks.


An affordable rod rack that’s actually designed for thin ice rods, so they don’t fall out like others. Can even mount ‘em on the ceiling if you want the rods up out of the way!

The ice-heads over at Catch Cover have a bunch of slick gadgets for wheelhouses – if you don’t have Safety Covers or Hole Sleeves yet…what are you even doing?!


8. Fishing Tackle Retailer adds podcast channel.


> FTR Podcast is designed to be a highly collaborative segment of dedicated fishing enthusiasts who have spent years honing their skill in the fishing industry. Our goal is simple: to create a podcast channel that caters to anyone working in the fishing industry by covering a wide range of fishing business interests and topics.


9. Berkley came out with new saltwater baits…


…but tell me this thing wouldn’t spank walleyes:

10. Pitman Creek names Harris as Dir. of Vendor Relations, Procurement.


11. BoatUS Foundation’s Alan Dennison elected NSBC chairman.


National Safe Boating Council.


12. ePropulsion opens US office.


Being run by Tom Watson:


> Most recently, he has served as GM at Highfield Boats…. Before that, he worked with Torqeedo, Yanmar and numerous other companies specializing in marine products.


13. Striker dropped some new cold-weather gear.


I loooove vest SZN. 😍

14. DC: EPA wants more comments on marine vessel discharges…


…that can introduce invasive species.


15. DC: Administration “pledged” $200 mil for salmon restoration.


> “…in the Upper Columbia River Basin in an agreement with tribes that includes a stay on litigation for 20 years.”


16. BC: Okanagan Basin Water Board wants US boats banned….


…because invasive mussels found in the Snake River.

Headline of the Day

This bloodsucking vampire lurks in Great Lakes.


Ultra-dramatic way to say “sea lamprey” lol.

Few Highlights


> Fall walleye fishing tips!

> Catchin’ deers, Unicorn walleye caught, Find the greenest weeds

> As seen at Lindner Media, When Down Imaging is dialed, Fattest walleye ever


Note: The FishUSA links in this email are affiliate links, meaning if you go through them to make a purchase we might earn a commission…at no cost to you. Click here if you want to learn a little more about links in TW.

What’s 🔥 on Target Walleye’s YouTube 🎥


> CRUSHING shallow fall walleye on jigs and minnows

> Dropshot tricks for fall walleye fishing

> The ultimate reaction bite for fall walleye


Drop a comment on our YouTube channel to let us know what you wanna see next!

Meme of the Day

It’s a busy time of year – hope fall fishing isn’t taking the hit. From NPAA on Insta:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Pretty sure XTR Fishing Charters caught the biggest “Swedish Fish” ever:

Thanks so much for reading! Have a great + safe weekend!

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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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