Target Walleye/Ice email

Special early-ice baits and gear issue!

Another special Target Walleye/Ice issue, this time filled with early-ice baits and other stuff you absolutely “need” lol!

Heads up that I’m givin’ the TW sponsors some love here ‘cuz they: A) make great stuff and B) help make this all possible for your enjoyment.

Btw happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Hope your day is filled with family, food and fishing…or at least fishing stories…. Be safe out there!!

Can never have enough baits!

Can catch ’em lots of different ways early-ice while oxygen levels are high and the fish are active. Spoons, rattlebaits, jigs…we’ve got you covered! [drool emoji]

1. Spoon feed ’em

How many jigging spoons are there — a million? Two million?

No doubt there’s a pile out there…’cuz they straight-up catch fish! You’ve probably already got your faves — which might be in this list too — else maybe you’ll find a new go-to neither you nor the fishes have seen before….

Clam Peg Flutter Spoon

Know it’s designed for bigguns when it’s named “Peg,” after Lake Winnipeg…land of the greenbacks. Way it dances on the drop caught my attention — few seconds of that in this vid talkin’ ’bout it. Bright colors on a big profile flash ’em in from a distance:

VMC Tingler Spoons

If you still haven’t used Tingler Spoons…where ya been?! Works great on heavily-pressured fish when you’re stuck feeshin’ the community holes — close to shore — early ice. #SilentButDeadly

Northland Tackle Glo-Shot Spoon

No more crankin’ up to re-glow your spoons, these puppies come with replaceable light sticks (red, green, chart) that’ll keep it glowing for 8+hours. Always been a sucker for Wonderbread:

Here’s Tony Roach talkin’ at ya about ’em:

Bagley Brite Spoons

Didja know Bagley’s been making spoons for DECADES? Things put off more flash than your aunty’s camera before Thanksgiving dinner (#cheese). Can get ’em in gold or silver, with hammered or mirrored finishes:

Tundra Tackle Co has LED baits

Yup, water-activated LED jigging spoons and blade baits are a real thing. Check it:

Backordered a couple-ish weeks, but you can check ’em out right here.

Clam Small Pea Slab Spoon

Honestly have never tried single-hook spoons ‘cuz always thought they looked funny. Been told the single hook (instead of a treble) swings more naturally — like a minnow’s tail — and is great when panfish are fussy, or really big and smart:

VMC Rattle Spoons

The new classic. Everyone needs a couple rattlers in their box. Don’t have a ton of action, but let their words do the talking instead:

2. Shake, rattle and roll ’em out

Sometimes you’ve gotta ring the dinner bell to bring fish to the table….

Bagley Rattlin’ B PlusBig-nasty bait for bigger-nastier fish. Designed by Jarmo Rapala (grandson of Lauri “The Legend” Rapala) as a deeper-running lipless crank, but is also ideal for hardwater. Rattles are grab-your-ear-plugs loud to bring fish to you…then has a fluttering spiral action — like wounded/dying prey — so they put their lips on it:

Rapala Ultra Light Rippin’ Rap

The new #3 “snack size” weighs just 1/16-oz soakin’ wet — has a slightly larger profile than your thumbnail — and is already icing big ol’ slabradoodles across the ice belt. Here’s the one Joel Nelson tried to steal outta my box:

Wait ’til you see it underwater:

Custom Jigs & Spins Rattlin’ Rotating Power Minnow

Believe this is the first “balance bait” (AKA hard-bodied jigging bait) with a rattle chamber built into the tail. Killer for shallow stained water and expansive flats where walleye have to find the bait:

> Has a wide gliding motion to fish far off the side of the hole, maximizing your fishable space. Use short repetitive rod snaps to attract walleye in and then small jiggles to activate the rattles and elicit strikes.

3. Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It

Someday Isle Tackle Water Puppets

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:

Here’s a vid playing ’round with a 1/8-oz Water Puppet paired with the tail off a YUM Genie worm. Could sit and tinker with different combos all day long in the tank:

Vexan Crystal Reaper

One thing that makes it different is the glow epoxy resin treble you can really get swinging to seal the deal on sightsee-ers. They’re switching over to single packs, so 3-packs are chopped down to just $9.99. Guess Black Friday came early:

Custom Jigs & Spins Magnum Chekai

May look like a panfish jig, but this is actually 7mm of walleye catchin’ tungsten. Weighs 9/64 oz with a super-sticky #6 Japanese hook and can pound through the weeds to bottom when walleyes hunker down during tough bites:

Jig designer Chekai “The Croatian Sensation” Matan legit sent me this pic of him catching “magnum fish” with it lol:


Lunkerhunt Magic Bean

Just the size of a penny, but weighs a stout 1/4 oz. See rotating blades in a lot of open-water applications, but it’s crazily overlooked though the ice. #Works

Make sure there’s actually fish under you!

All the new baits in the world won’t do you any good ‘less you’re on the fish! Lucky for you we don’t need to do it the old-fashioned way anymore…unless you want to:

Aqua-Vu HD underwater cams

How do you know you’re actually fishing the fish you’re after…and not sittin’ on a school of suckers? Most-easiest way to know FO SHO is to actually see ’em, and Aqua-Vu has been helpin’ us to do just that for the last two DECADES.

Water can be cloudy at first ice — thanks to the wind churning things up before the freeze — and back in the day underwater cams were nearly useless…not no mo with Aqua-Vu’s new HD camera lens.

Brian Brosdahl likes using ’em in down-view mode to see how fish react to the bait:

Love that their newest HD units have a detachable — and RAM mountable — screen so you can slap it on your boat, wheeler, truck, permie shack, forehead, you name it:

MarCum Lithium Ion Shuttle

Crazy lightweight and fully decked-out “shuttle” for your ice flasher/sonar. Has a 12Ah lithium-ion battery that can extend a unit’s run time by 40+ hours [!] and trim about 3 lbs off. Plus LED lights, USB power ports and rod holders. #Jackpot

Quick walk-through with a sunburnt-as-heck Brad Hawthorne:

As far as battery life goes, IDO’s James Holst ran his LX-7 from sunup to sunset and still had 81% charge remaining. #TheWeekender

Garmin Panoptix Ice Fishing Bundle

Ever think there’d be a day you could drill a single hole and scan for fish 100′ away in any direction…? Now you can, it’s called the Garmin Panoptix Ice Fishing Bundle:

Ain’t cheap, but can’t put a price on outfishing the snot outta your buddies lol. Lucky for you: we’re giving away one of their top-of-the-line $1,800 ice fishing bundles just in time for Christmas!!!

Yup, this is real life!!! Just enter your email addy, then share the link you get for more chances to win. Good luck!

Gear it up!

Some more goodies you “need” (lol) to bring ’em topside once you’ve found ’em.

Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel

Fell in love with these egg beaters last season when using ’em for panfish, lake trout and everything in-between. That C-10 matches up nicely with most all ice rods and is a budget-friendly $44.99. #Purtty

StrikeMaster Lithium 40v Electric Ice Auger

Cuts 100 holes through 16″ of ice on a single charge, plus StrikeMaster put an extra “gas tank” in each box for this first year…. Rotator cuffs rejoice: she starts on the first pull every time lol:

Lots more info in this Ice Force vid:

Can’t wait to try one (maybe this weekend):

Catch Cover Ice Rod Rack

You hard-house guys have probably been “driveaway camping” for weeks now. Case you’re out there wrenchin’ — getting ready for things to thicken up — here’s a rod rack that’s actually made for ice rods. Can even store ’em up on the ceiling, outta the way:

IceArmor Ascent Float Suit

Flat out: If you ever break through the ice, this suit will help get you back out. What more does a guy need to say? Plus the 300-denier shell is like wearing a fish house, so you’ll stay out hole hopping instead of hiding by the heater in the shack:

Bonus ice-safety tip: Stop using your “spud bar” (AKA chisel) as a walking stick, and start learning what each swing means for you in actual inches of ice.

Three hard swings might mean 2″ of ice for some…might mean 5″ for others. Completely depends on which specific chisel you’re using and how hard you’re swinging it:

Eskimo Rocket Augers

Completely re-designed. Runs/spins/cuts faster…like a rocket….The 8″ F1 Rocket Auger (gas) weighs just 22 lbs [!] and the 8″ P1 (propane) is the lightest propane on the market at 26 lbs. S’more info from Eskimo Sales Manager Trever Miller:

Up for an adventure?

Fishing the same lakes each time out can get a bit stale. Here’s some incredible spots to get in on the early-ice goodness if you’re up for a roadtrip.


First thing that comes to mind is Lake Winnipeg and its portly “greenback” walleyes, but there’s zillions other options too depending on what you wanna catch. Ice-heads have already been plucking fish through the ice for a couple of weeks now [insert not-fair, huffy-puffy breath here]!

Here’s a few recent pics that’ll make you wanna head north ASAP:

I’m planning to get back up there again in a few weeks to chase greenbacks and maybe some of those gorgeous brown trout like the pic above. Seems like no matter what species you’re chasing up, it grows stupidly big in Manitoba.

Earlier this fall I gave my Favorite Jack Hammer a workout while pitching around light jigs/plastics at Bloodvein River Lodge — for sure the most gorgeous place I’ve ever fished. BTW – don’t know exactly how that rod got it’s name, but it weighs just 4 ozs so it feels like a freakin’ jack hammer hit the bait when they’re on it lol.

Lake of the Woods

The fall bite was en fuego [fire emoji] with good numbers of walleyes in river, along south shore and in the NW Angle. Seen it before up there: a hot fall bite usually = excellent ice feeshin’, and you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy it.

They have “full-service ice fishing” where all you gotta do it show up. They pick you up from the resort and drive you to a heated fish house where the thermostat is set to 70 deg and the fish are hungry. Will even bring you back to shore in time for “happy hour” if that’s what you’re into…unless you’d rather have “happy hour” on the ice:

That’s Zippel Bay Resort’s Igloo Bar that they set up ON THE ICE each year. Big screen TV, full bar, food menu…and the answer is “yes,” they catch some g-g-g-GIANTS out of it:

Devils Lake, ND

Lake Alice (National Wildlife Refuge) will be open for ice fishing again this season and it’s one of the first areas of Devils Lake to get safe ice. Sounds like it may have locked up last week — main lake won’t be too far behind.

Devils Lake is a world famous perch fishery — with 15-16″ jumbos being a real possibility — but don’t overlook the hefty walleye population. Leave the 6″ auger at home: Devils is packed with freshwater shrimp and the fish have serious girth.

Case in point: Joe Koors stuck this 15″ stump-knocker while fishing out of Woodland Resort. Weighed 1.83 lbs and was caught on a Northland Buck-Shot Spoon:

Still some die-hards hitting the open-water.

Not everyone is into the whole ice-feeshin’ thing…some may curl up with a good book (or 2018 Lund catalog lol) instead and daydream of warmer times. Of course it doesn’t freeze over everywhere — there’s actually some open-water fishin’ fools whackin’ the slush melons RIGHT NOW as you read this.

Bay Rat Long Extra Deep Divers

While most Great Lakers are catching fish higher in the water column, Brent Long is finding bigger fish down in 30′ and catchin ’em on Long Extra Deep Divers in the “high blood pressure” color.

> “Running them 145′ and 170′ back on Off Shore Tackle Planer Boards puts them at 22′ and 24′. The best speed was 1.8 mph. This 29″ chunk cracked the 10-lb mark”

Moonshine Lures Shiver Minnow

Catches ’em through the ice, but it’s been killer for late fall spot-on-the-spot walters. Gotta love the hand-to-hand combat!

Yo-Zuri 3DR Series

Gotta shout out the purtty new 3DR (Real) Series of Jerkbaits, Long Bills and Minnows. Have an “internal 3D prism” that’s supposed to be killer on heavily-pressured fish or super-clear water. Might feel bad getting teeth marks on these gaw-jus patterns though:

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

To send us walleye pics, ice shots or whatever, just respond to this email or click here to email us. Or post it on the Target Walleye Facebook page.

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