Target Walleye/Ice email

Cold front boat positioning tip, Ned rig walleyes, Snow storm fishing

Today’s Top 5

If I could summarize the MN “fishing opener” with one pic…

…it would be this shot from @ziegleralex putting his Simms Challenger insulated suit to good use. #TillerLife


Alex ^ wasn’t the only one fishing through the typical “opener” weather — here’s a couple other shots that caught my eye under the #TargetWalleye hashtag on Instagram:

Riley Cullinane (@rcullinane) slip-bobbered his way into some fish tacos. Looks…enjoyable? #ButWorthIt


Check how much snow accumulated on Nolan Sprengeler’s (@nolan_sprengeler) head LOL. #DoubledUp


The things we do for a walleye….

This “tuna hold” has me rollin’!

Another Nolan Sprengeler (@nolan_sprengeler) shot I couldn’t scroll past without double-tappin’:


Reminds me that I put together a list of 22 unique ways to hold a walleye a few years back. For sure worth hitting up again if you need a chuckle — click the pic below to see ’em all:

Tom Boley’s killer boat-positioning trick for pitching jigs.

Talkin’ COLD-front walleye fishin’. Normally you wanna Spot-Lock so you’re casting back to the fish with the wind:


But around the 11:30 mark Tom shows how he slides around the fish and sets up parallel to ’em during a cold front, so that he can watch Humminbird Side Imaging — while stationary — and make sure that every cast counts:


Allows him to burst his trolling motor sideways left and right and see which way the fish are sliding, to stay on ’em. Worth a watch to hear Tom break this technique down — click the pic below to jump to that section of the video:

My favorite kind of muskie fishing.

Sorta…. This 30.75″ slob-eye smoked Jamie Risovi’s custom-painted Phantom. More proof you don’t always have to downsize to catch BIG walleyes. Impressive fish!


Anyone else notice its dorsal fin is shaved down like it tried to give itself a quarantine haircut? Could be worse I suppose:

Where do burbot go in the summer…?

Evan Rosemore got himself an open-water burb [!!] and even watched it eat his jig + shiner on Garmin LiveScope:


Awesome fish, man!

Love this quote speculatin’ where burbs hide in months that don’t rhyme with schmebruary or starch:

> Evan: “A buddy of mine has a theory that they turn into coots in the summer….”

I reckon that’s why coots have barbels?


Okay, I made that part up. Be weird if they did though….


1. US/CAN border expected to stay closed to Jun 21.

To non-essential travel. Though could argue a TON of different ways that fishing seems essential to local businesses, mental health, etc….

2. Lake Erie charters get the green yellow light.

Sounds like as of yesterday they were able to begin operating “as long as they follow mandatory precautions in place during the COVID-19….” Meaning customers legit need to space out 6′ from each other. Need a long net handle!

3. “Wear your life jacket to work day” is a real thing.

It’s Fri, May 15 this year. Might be a good excuse to upgrade into something a little more comfy that you’ll actually wear.

4. ND fishing-tourney permit update.

> “The G&F Dept does not intend to revoke any fishing tournament permits for the remainder of this year [had already revoked Apr and May] unless the coronavirus pandemic warrants such a decision.

> “No new fishing tournaments, beyond what is currently permitted, will be allowed or rescheduled this year on the Missouri River, lakes Oahe and Sakakawea, and Devils Lake (Stump Lake).”

5. New monthly water-level records on 3 Great Lakes.

Talkin’ Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Erie…but all 5 Great Lakes are well above average. Folks are saying that Lake Michigan and Lake Huron might hit an all-time high this summer.

6. John Hoyer’s lovin’ his new walleye-king-size mattress:


Am totally diggin’ that AquaTraction marine flooring. Looks freakin’ saweeeet, and the extra cushin’ is supposed to help with the feets and back. Have a bunch of different textures, colors and styles on their site.

And something I never thought of — having it customized for a fish-house floor:

7. New national boating access map.Somewhat helpful in finding covid-related changes or closures.

8. MN: “Youth” license sales have doubled.

All license sales are up 44%, but I’m especially pumped to hear that youth sales (the $5 license for 16 and 17 yr olds) are skyrocketing. Btw kids under 16 yrs old don’t need a license to fish.

9. MN: Fishin’ folks flocked to Upper Red Lake.

> …288…. That’s how many pickup/boat/trailer rigs were parked near and not so near to the public landing at Big Bog State Recreation Area on the shores of Upper Red Lake.

> That figure, of course, doesn’t include the hundreds of boats that were launched Sat at private accesses.

> The DNR and Gov. Tim Walz had encouraged anglers to stay fairly close to their homes Sat, suggesting that destinations within a tankful of gas — return trips included — should be the outer limits of opening-day travels.

> Yet the largest aggregation of the state’s 1 mil+ anglers lives in the 7-county metro area, and having them all gather on piers and at boat launches in and near the Twin Cities seemed to many to be counter-intuitive….

10. KastKing has new spincasters for the kiddos.

Case they’re always reaching for your stuff (lol):

11. NE’s lookin for conservation officers.

12. It’s a strange time in the fishing industry…

Here’s a few recommendations from National Professional Anglers Association’s (NPAA) Brian Bashore on how to take advantage of this downtime — from a fishin’ biz standpoint:

Tip of the Day

Some of my (Brett’s) biggest walleyes ever have been caught on a jigworm…which I believe you kids call Ned Rigs nowadays (lol). Lots were caught on accident while bassin’ in the weeds, but more and more on purpose….

The Ned Rig has become one of the hottest finesse-’em-up bass presentations but really it’s nothing new in the Midwest. I’ve been throwing one for about 15 years now, and the guy that showed me had been using it since the ’70s. The biggest difference IMO is that a Ned Rig should technically have a more-buoyant plastic on the back, so it floats up off bottom.

Basically it’s a compact little treat (usually a stickbait) slapped on the back of a mushroom-shaped jighead — believe Gopher Tackle made it first (?) but lots of options are out there now for jigheads.

One of my favorites is the VMC Finesse Half Moon Jig. Lighter is better, so typically a 3/32- or 1/8-oz is what I tie on first…will occasionally bump up to a 3/16-oz if the wind is rippin’. This one’s paired with a 3″ YUM Ned Dinger:


Light braid gives you extra casting distance and feel. Either 8-lb Sufix 832 or NanoBraid, with a 7- or 8-lb fluoro leader. My leader length varies based on water clarity…no shorter than 4-5′, but up to 10-12′ long for spooky clear-water fish.

I’m almost always throwing natural, green pumpkin-ish colors to mimic craws or perch pecking at the bottom. Will occasionally chuck lighter shiner patterns up shallow in the spring when water temps are say 55-60 degrees and/or you start seeing shiners dancing up in the shallows at the boat ramp.

How to fish it depends on the day…usually for me it’s more of a slow drag with little hops, just creepin’ and crawlin’ that thing along. They usually hit it in the first 10-15 seconds of the bait hitting bottom, so after that I crank up and repeat.

Know the exposed hook seems goofy for throwing in the weeds, but it comes through ’em way better than you’d think. Doesn’t matter if it’s 7-13′ cabbage weeds, or 14-22′ coontail later in the season, a quick snap of the rod can usually rip the bait out of the weeds (thx braid!) and sometimes help trigger a strike.

Quote of the Day

“Oh hey, we’re both in our 30s.”

– That’s @caiti_shae’s #money caption under this @spenser_samplawski shot:


Can’t wait to see that fish when it’s in its 40s….

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Filthy-good Chaden Roggow shot of a “green tiger UV” color Rapala Rippin’ Rap takin’ a dark plunge:


Get this: Chaden pulled off that shot in a dang vase! #BehindTheScenes


Props dude!

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Target Walleye — 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 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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