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Today’s Top 4
Favorite walleye nicknames from the pros.
Gravel lizards, walters, rock melons…we heard a little bit of everything while chattin’ with top ice pros and fishing-biz folk down at the St. Paul Ice Show. We aren’t the only ones that like to keep it light:
You know the bite’s good when this guy takes a break from writing the naughty-or-nice list to soak a Bagley Rumble B too:
Merry Fishmas, guys!
Rapid fire: Pros’ favorite ice walleye baits and why.
We put a handful of the top ice-fishing pros on the spot, giving them each just 10 seconds to tell us about one hardwater walleye bait they ALWAYS have tied on and why. Got any of these in your tackle box?
Had it on Facebook, a little grumbling ’bout how “all those baits just so happen to be made by each angler’s sponsors.” Duh!! The top ice pros in the industry have their pick of ANY company they want to work with…so of course they work with the ones they use, believe in and catch fish on. Can’t get that far in the biz putting your face on products that don’t work….
Okay, rant over — back on topic: I legit cut the camera after 10 seconds, so each guy has a ton more info on the “why” part of their choice bait…have more on that later. Also did their go-to panfish baits, which you’ll maybe see on Friday.
Here’s that 32.5″ PB walter Tony Boshold was talking about in his clip. #LikeABosh
…coming in spring. The zone thing is maybe a first for fishing regs? Gonna break the state up into 3 pike zones:
> …keep 10 northern pike, but not more than 2 pike longer than 26″, and all from 22-26″ must be released. Northern pike taken by spearing follow the same rules except 1 pike may be between 22-26″ and one longer than 26″.
> …able to keep 2 pike and must release all from 30-40″, with only one over 40″ allowed in possession. Spearers also will be able to take 2 pike but only 1 may be longer than 26″.
> Anglers and spearers will be able to keep two fish, with a minimum size of 24″.
Takes some practice, but you can make ’em dart off the side of the hole, 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.
> “Researchers believe that the reduction in the round goby population in the lake may be the reason. When gobies are abundant, walleyes typically feast on them and are less likely to take a bait presented by an angler. Gobies are also notorious bait thieves and can make fishing difficult.”
> Crappies usually prefer ‘isolated open water’ like deep holes next to structures or surrounded by shallow water. They tend to avoid larger basin areas that don’t have any type of structures nearby.
> Find the deep hole first and then search the perimeter of the hole for steep breaks, turns in the breakline or other unique features that might be used by crappies when they are feeding.
> They feed on many different things, but their bread and butter during the winter in my part of the country is zooplankton…tiny microscopic critters that crappies are able to sift out of the water.
> Zooplankton feed in the mud bottom where dead plant and animal matter collect. They rise off the bottom as it starts to get dark and concentrate in stratified layers just off of the bottom. It’s usually thick enough to see on sonar and will look like green clutter.
> Crappies have paper thin mouths, so it helps to use small lures with slightly larger hooks. If your favorite lure has a small hook gap…carefully bend the hook out slightly with a needle nose pliers so it gets a better bite on the fish.
> Crappies are visual feeders…keep your baits close to eye level of the fish. One of the biggest mistakes anglers make is having their lures below the level of the crappies, so they have to bring their lure through the school of fish, which often spooks them.
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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 email@example.com