Target Walleye/Ice email

Custom painted plastics, Biggest NWT fear, Windy jig pitchin tips

I’m in Devils Lake, ND for the final regular season NWT event — firing this off then headin’ to the rules meeting. Might be the only Target Walleye email this week, back to the regular schedule next week. Thx for reading!

Today’s Top 5

Tips for windy-day jig pitchin’.

It’s no secret that walleyes bite in the wind — here’s a few things you can do to make sure you’re not missing [as many] fish:

If all else fails:

Rock donkeys of the week!

The AIM catch-record-release derby on Green Bay was called off due to crazy-high winds (props for keeping safety first). Know most teams agreed with the decision, but had to be heartbroken they couldn’t fish their fish…

Especially when you’re on the caliber of goldendoodles that guide Jacob Kaprelian and Rob Korth were. Didn’t say how they were catching ’em…but do see an Okuma Cold Water Line Counter in the background…. #Slaunches

Cory Campbell thwacked this ON rock donkey on a Rapala RipStop — has a hard-plastic boot tail that’s like putting a brake pedal on a jerkbait…stops like it hit a wall and is super-easy to fish. Awesome shot:

Guide Denis Kreze is putting his boat on some mega Lake Erie wall-dawgs — running Off Shore Tackle planer boards (?) — like this big-headed water pig:

Gavin Krogstad caught and released this 32-incher outta Stump Lake, ND on a bottom-bouncer and spinner tipped with a nightcrawler. Congrats dude!

Custom-painted soft plastics are a thing.

Custom-painted crankbaits are all the rage right now…but have you ever seen custom-painted soft plastics?! I’m traveling with NWT pro Drake Herd and got to digging in his tackle box — wait until you see some of the stuff he and the Renegade Outdoor Innovations crew are kickin’ out [heart-eyes emoji]:

Pics don’t even do ’em justice — they’ve got a special thing going on. Sounds like they can do-up just about anything when it comes to soft-plastics, cranks, decals, you name it. Hit ’em up here for more deets.

Drake’s been out pre-fishing on Devils Lake, trying to get ’em dialed in for the next 2 days of the NWT. They say when the cows are feeding, so are walleyes…so what does it mean when the cows are swimming? Lol:

Good luck tomorrow, man!

My biggest (dumbest) fear about fishing the NWT.

Speaking of the National Walleye Tour — here’s some random car ramblings while on my way to Woodland Resort on Devils Lake. Funny how a lot of the NWT pros and cos are worried about the same thing…and it’s not just getting dialed-in on the fish:

Don’t worry, my anxiety levels are no longer through the roof (#goosfraba) lol. Have only been here a couple days, but already don’t wanna leave!

Woodland Resort is one of the coolest places I’ve stayed — has everything you need right here on the grounds. Hardest part for me is staying focused and getting work (this email) done when there’s walleyes waiting a few feet away:

More info on the fishing soon-ish…can’t give up all the goods before the tourney.

Joel Nelson’s jig color selection tips.

There’s a zillion colors to choose from so which is best when? Fish-head Joel Nelson breaks down his go-to colors for clear and stained water, sunshiny or gloomy days, and when fish are feeding on specific prey…but gotta make sure you’re on fish first:

One of Joel’s favorites for plastics and ‘crawlers is the Northland Current Cutter Jig:


1. MN: NPAA annual conference comin’ to Minneapolis.

That’s the National Professional Anglers Association — if you’re not a member yet, better get on it.

2. MB: Cornell/Slobodian win Lund Mania Pinawa.

Matt Cornell and Chad Slobodian’s 37.68-lb bag won ’em a new Lund 1675 Impact SS. Well deserved, guys!

3. WI: Cabela’s MWC heading to Green Bay…

…at Oconto Aug 3-4. #SlugFest

4. WV: Cheat Lake bounces back from acid pollution.

> Acid mine drainage and acid rain eliminated most of the fish [in Cheat Lake]. In the 1980s, nine-tenths of the fish that managed to hang on were bullhead, catfish or white suckers….

Thought this was pretty interesting:

> The river’s water quality began to improve in the early ’90s, partly because the DNR began dumping limestone sand into some of the Cheat’s acidic headwater tributaries. The limestone buffered the acid and added much-needed fertility to the river’s waters.

Did you know West Virginia had walleyes? Now Cheat Lakes got a healthy population of these:

5. Garmin wins ICAST “Best of Show”…

…in the new product showcase with their Panoptix LiveScope. #Insane #InAReallyGoodWay

6. ND: New Fargo ice show comin’.

‘Bout time! Happenin’ Dec 7-9 at Scheels Arena — that’s 45,000 SqFt of ice-fishing goodness.

7. Phantom Lures adding more walleye cranks.

Love that they have underwater vids of each bait.

8. MN: Lake of the Woods is kickin’ out megas.

> An incredible week for trophy walleyes — super aggressive this week. Drifting and trolling spinners and crawlers in the morning/evenings on fire. Trolling cranks on the mud in the afternoon has been really good in 24-32′. Many pike over 40″ being caught among the walleyes. Some go-to colors: hammered gold, chartreuse, pink and UV colors.

9. MN: Guides, anglers take 100 kids out fishing.

On Vermilion. #stout

Line that says it all about phone-generation kids:

> “Why is it taking so long?” Libbie, 11, asked…had been fishing with a nightcrawler under a slip bobber for a full 5 minutes and the bobber had yet to dip below the surface.


10. ND: 50 new lakes increase ‘eye stocking demand.

11. OR boat-registration fees may be going up…

…33% from $4.50 to $5.95 per foot. Never fun, but still not as ridiculous as car tabs where the state values vehicles using MSRP….

12. MB: Hot bite happenin’ right now at…

…Q Lake Lodge in eastern Manitoba — hope to cross it off my fishing bucket list one day. Love how jacked up my buddy Eric gets on every hookset:

Gotta admit those smallies look like a blast too. #AlsoABassHead

13. Coast Guard wants name/addy on paddled vessels.

Because if one is found, without that info they have to search for a missing person even if it just drifted off or whatever.

14. Didja enter the Do-it Molds giveaway yet?!

Have a shot at winning this killer $550-ish spread from Do-It Molds! Comes with a $100 gift card, Soft Plastic Starter Kit for pouring your own baits, assorted jig molds and way more (walleye not included lol). Click here to enter. Share the link you get for more chances to win — good luck!!

Tip of the Day

No one line is perfect for all situations, which is why Brad Hawthorne keeps both braided and fluoro setups in the boat when pulling bottom-bouncers for walleyes. Here’s when he likes to use each:

Quote of the Day

I know there’s 20 people right now that just went “leadcore!” Well you’re wrong as [beep].

Brad Hawthorne talkin’ about his favorite way to catch walleyes…rigging:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Gettin’ some tooth marks on that shiny-new Someday Isle Tackle Water Puppet:

Takes some practice, but you can work it like a puppet: make it dart off and swing in a pendulum or figure-8 motion. Mix and match different plastic tails (or minnows) on the back to change the look/action — quick underwater vid here.

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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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