Target Walleye/Ice email

Find the best weeds, Walleyes on the fly, Kavajecz goes Cast Away

Today’s Top 4

Can you name each of these flavors?

Clockwise front the top left = cabbage, coontail, milfoil, and chara (aka sand grass).

This AnglingBuzz write-up is JAMMED FULL [!] of the ins and outs of snatching walleyes out of the weeds. They do an awesome job of breaking down each weed category, and how/when to approach ’em.

Few quick excerpts on how Al “catch ’em all” Lindner finds the best weeds:

> “Day in, day out, it comes down to using my digital lake mapping, in my case LakeMaster digital charts on Humminbird Helix units. I can usually tell by looking at the contours where the good weeds are going to be….

> “With LakeMaster, you can set a Depth Highlight, which is the most important factor for me. Key in on the initial breakline the fish are using on the first dropoff edge — whether it’s weedline or just a natural breakline that rolls into deeper water — and you can stay spot-on all the time.”

> The best weed habitat for walleyes are found on large, tapered flats, points and humps. Find erratic weed edges, pockets, and seams that form…funnels….

> For example, if the weed edge is in 15′ Al will set his Depth Highlight at 13′ and key in + or – 2′ to reveal areas of 11-15′ where the bottom flattens out, forming a funnel going up on to the flat.

> “When you’re fishing shallow-water breaklines, fish will penetrate farther up into these funnel areas than you might expect. What you find is a living space that is much more extensive than the sharp breaks on the weedline. You’ll find groups of fish, not just a single here and there.

> “It’s astounding how many walleye fishermen avoid shallow water. They get into 12′ or shallower and start touching weeds, and they get nervous and immediately go back down. It’s mind-boggling to see guys pulling rigs, boards and vertical jigging the breakline and deeper when the walleyes are in the weeds.”

Way, way, WAY more info in the full write-up — click here to keep reading.

“Time to clean up my act — tournaments start this week.”

– That’s Keith Kavajecz doing his best Cast Away impression before and after the lock-down beard:

Wonder if he’ll be throwing any hand-tied hair jigs at the Lake Winnebago AIM derby…? Lol. Good luck, man!

‘Eyes on the fly!

Trout are one thing, but we’re talking gravel lizards the hard way! Most don’t have the patience to give it a go, but these guys do:

Colin Campbell (@streamsideoutfitters) N95’d his way into this Bow River, AB beaut! Might just have to add a walleye-on-the-fly trip to my fishin’ bucket list:


Awesome fish and pic from Mike Callian of a Columbia River bruiser:


No doubt Kelsey Rosborough (@rosborough_k94) put in his time — talkin’ 11 hours straight of fluff chuckin’! — to crack this paunchy SD waldo:


Marcus (@bigbasshead) with an upstate New Yawk woolly bugger:


Steve Gardner (@welovehardyflyfishing) snatched this one outta the cattails — gotta love springtime ‘eyes when you can catch ’em in bassy-looking spots:


Bonus points to IG user @flycatcher69 for pulling off a fly-induced zander [!] in western Europe:


Did you know it’s nearly impossible for a fly guy to take a fish pic without their reel in the shot?

Some interesting walleye-spawn factoids.

From this Hunt/Fish Manitoba blog post:

> The walleye spawn has a plethora of factors that affect and trigger the spawn. Of these factors, the photoperiod and water temperature are kings.

> The photoperiod is a key signal for the walleyes spawning journey…. The amount of light a walleye encounters throughout the day will eventually hit a critical point. …triggers an internal signal in the body which initiates the releasing of hormones to begin preparing the walleyes for the spawn.

> …one of the only factors that allows for an exact date every year in relation to the spawn. No matter the weather or temperature, the amount of sunlight during a specific time will always be the same year after year.

> In Manitoba’s northern climate, this magic temperature is typically around the mid-40°F range. During a warm spring this 44-48°F range can happen very early…during the fishing closures across the province. …cool springs like the one we just had can yield waters too cold for the walleye spawn right away. This can push the spawn much later into the spring. In some cases, this will leave you with pre-spawn walleyes into the early weeks of the reopened angling seasons.

> …the average female deposits around 100K eggs at once and after fertilized neither the male or female [protects them].

> The majority of walleyes actually spawn during the night, and a singular walleye will completely spawn out in only one night. With that being said, although the migratory spawning journey takes time, the actual act of depositing and fertilizing tens of thousands of eggs happens in only a few hours.

> Typically, female walleye mature around the age of 5 and males around the age of 3. …it’s good to keep this in mind when deciding which fish to keep and release. Due to natural selection, there’s way more…immature [fish] than are mature in a waterbody. …keeping sexually mature fish does much more damage on a fishery than keeping an immature fish.


How many babies do you think this 30″ greenie kicked out? Part of a 250-fish day for Dylan Foui — fish was released btw:

Can keep reading the full Hunt/Fish MB blog post here for a bunch more info on how the stork drops off baby walleyes.


1. WI: Fisherman missing on Lake Butte des Morts.

Ugh. A strong thunderstorm capsized their 18′ boat. One of the guys survived for 3 hours in the water before making it to shore, but crews are still searching for the other. Prayers to all involved.

2. MN: Father/son duo wins Mille Lacs AIM.

Shout-out to Jake and Dave Bonsack for taking home the ‘dubyah’ with a 2-day bag (10 fish) of 80.09 lbs! Besides some serious bragging rights…they also hauled home a $55K prize package including a new 1898DC Warrior w/ a 150-hp Yamaha 4-stroke and Garmin electronics. #Jackpot!

Will have the details on their baits/techniques on Friday.

3. MN Fishing Challenge raised more than $300K [!]…

…for MN Adult & Teen Challenge drug and rehab programs statewide. This family-friendly tourney has now raised more than $2.5 mil since 2009!

Garth Askegaard (@garthy33) and his future better-er half Ali Kispert won the walleye division with 5 for 131.5″ — over a 26″ average! Said they were pitching jigs to shallow windblown rocks:

Asked where they caught ’em and Garth just looked at me with this kinda face:

Lol congrats you two! Nicely done.

4. WI: 387 jobs gone at Evinrude plant.

Ouch. Hope those folks/families make it through this okay, and maybe find a little extra time on the water in the meantime. Evinrude says the plant will be “repurposed” but not sure what and when.

Was reading Jay Kumar’s last BassBlaster email and saw a few interesting snippets on the recent state of Evinrude:

> This post says Evinrude owner Bombardier is really struggling financially, but that still says to me they should’ve sold it. Shoot, every day without sales or a market, the value goes down!

> This post from ’19 said ‘Rude only had 3.7% of the outboard market. Yikes.

> Sounds like something changed corporately. In AR, where BRP is shutting down its Alumacraft plant:

> “We were really surprised. They’d been talking about a possible expansion. It’s been a fixture in the community for years and years.”

5. ON outfitters hurting BIGtime.

Of course they’re not the only ones struggling to survive through the COVID-19 shutdowns…but there’s some pretty eye-opening stats in this write-up talkin’ how this segment of the fishing industry is getting absolutely crushed by the border closure.

Gerry Cariou, executive director of the ON Sunset Country Travel Association, said he estimates a total economic impact approaching $50+ mil by the end of the month.

Wayne Clark of Clark’s Resorts and Outposts said 99% of their clientele is American-based, so a closed border (until at least 6/21) means no business. Typically 60% of their annual revenue is made by the end of June….

Scary times for folks trying to live out their lifelong (and entire life savings) dreams.

6. OH: Lake Erie MWC happenin’ Jun 5-6.

Their first event of the 2020 season.7. OH: Lake Erie switching to summer patterns.


9. Big-Nasty Tackle has new owners.Previous owner Adam Forsythe posted a quick video announcing the sale. Big-Nasty Tackle hand makes those killer burbot baits us slime-ers love so much.

Word is Matt Erickson and Dave Wittner bought it — longtime customers who also own a bait shop in Cass Lake, MN — and Adam will be working with them to perfect the bait-making process to keep kicking out the goods.

Wanna say a big props to Adam for all the hard work he put in to making those awesome baits. Maybe now you’ll have a little spare time to hit the ice with me for some spawn-time burbot, dude!

Headline of the Day

While battling cancer, he would sleep with his fishing pole. Then he caught an enormous musky with it.

Wowza…this is one powerful story ’bout how Lee Franzen won a nasty battle against throat cancer — got back in the boat and hauled in a 57″ (45 lb) muskie:

Bless ya fishin’ brother! Highlights

Tip of the Day

If your fish haven’t made it out to their summer spots yet:

> …understanding the spring migration is a lot easier if you keep 2 things in mind. The 1st to remember is where you’ve been catching the fish since the season opened…. The 2nd is where you normally catch them in the middle of the summer. …right now you’ll find the walleyes somewhere in between.

> To…pinpoint your best options, grab your lake contour map and start by highlighting where the walleyes spawned and where you’ve been catching them. Next, circle your favorite summer hangouts — the places you either catch walleyes in late June, July and August or would anticipate doing so.

> Now draw an expressway between the 2 locations and note all of the key structural features that intersect the two locations. I am referring to the tips of islands, sunken reefs, humps, shoals and isolated rockpiles, anything that either crosses or is positioned close to the highway.

Quote of the Day

Saying “hi” to the “ishies.”

– That’s Brett Garry’s caption under this pic of some on-the-water daycare:

Love it, dude! My little one just started saying “ishes” too — SO pumped to get her on the water soon-ish.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Normally save these type of shots for #FishFlopFriday…but wanted you to know well before the weekend that even fishing YouTuber Tom Boley occasionally has one that gets away from him. #HeIsHuman? #FishingRobot

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Who is Target Walleye
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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