Target Walleye/Ice email

First-ice walleye locations, Hilarious OG fishing commercials, Wheelhouse deer stand

 

A big THANK YOU to military Veterans, those currently serving and families! We owe you everything. 🙌

 

Btw have you ever seen these pics? Ron Lindner (top) during his time serving in the Korean War, and Al Lindner (bottom) taken in Vietnam and one of the few shots of him without a rod/reel in his hand…. Thx much!

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Today’s Top 5

Old-school fishing commercials make the world go ‘round.

You might remember this “VMC Water Test” commercial – hilarious and I don’t even think that Al Lindner is acting lol:

Sooooo many gems out there! And if you really want to throw it back, you for sure should check out this YouTube video that’s a whole mashup of fishing commercials from 1984-86 packed into one 26:06 long video:

That ^ includes Al Lindner’s favorite old-school fishing commercial of all time…a Trilene commercial where he accidentally fell into the water when a tree branch broke (it wasn’t scripted!) but they kept rolling anyway LOL. Amazing.

Find first-ice walleyes near current areas. 🎯

Gotta say…as I was reading this Pat Kalmerton write-up on Virtual Angling, I realized that Pat was almost perfectly describing my 3 or 4 absolute favorite early-ice walleye spots around the Brainerd, MN area…even tho we live in different areas/states. Actually had me a little shook lol:

But also had me realizing that these spots had a lot more in common than I realized.

WAY more info in the full write-up here (check it out!) but a few excerpts below:

 

> Pat: “I begin by locating the water source. It can take the form of a feeder creek, river inlet, or spring. The common denominator is that fresh incoming water supports life. And often you’ll find thriving weeds near these sources.

 

> “My favorite scenario, by a long shot, is when a river tributary opens up into a flat that eventually breaks into the main lake – pigs in a blanket to me – and the fish. And conditions improve that much more when green weeds are involved.

 

> “A typical flat opens at the mouth of the tributary in a fan shape and features a hard bottom, gravel or rocks. From there it tapers deeper until hitting the break. Breaks can be gradual or abrupt; the steeper the better.

 

> “But wait, there’s more. The key to the kingdom is finding a shelf somewhere along the main break. Let’s say the flat begins at the mouth and works itself down to 8’, where it drops hard to 25’ or 30’. Midway down the slope a shelf protrudes, call it a ledge. Walleyes will stack on it like books. That’s a key contact point.

 

> “Not every flat breaks wildly, though. My favorite lakes at first ice are relatively shallow, murky, and weedy. A break on those bodies of water might only mean a few feet. That’s where the weeds come in. Weeds can compensate for lack of physical structure. Walleyes follow edges, and thick green weeds give them something to track along. Green coontail holds lots of forage, too, but they’re the first to wither. Broad-leaved cabbage is the next best thing.”

 

Keep learning here.

Ice Castle fish house deer stand?!

I’ve gotta bring this one back since we’re in the heart of deer season, while also (im)patiently waiting on ice…. Was sent this from Cody Backstrand who said he put some bigger windows in his Ice Castle a couple years ago so he could also use it for deer hunting…then took it one step further this year!

It’s definitely a multi-species, multi-season use house now!

Mille Lacs fall netting results…

…say that walleye numbers, “plumpness,” and forage are down from 2022…. 🧐 Huh?!

I’m pulling a few paragraphs from this Mille Lacs Messenger write-up. Way too much to fit it all in here, so I recommend hitting the full dealio up if it interests you. But it interests me enough that I’m forcing you to at least dabble a bit in it lol.

 

> There are 52 nets in total. 32 are the original inshore nets that have been used since 1983 and the 20 newer offshore nets that went in use in the late 90s. Jenson said there was a fairly sharp decline in the catches overall in both sets of nets. Both net sets also fell well below the median catch rate established over the last 40 years.

 

Man, I don’t know much about the scientific side of sampling walleye populations from a specific system…. But what I can tell you as someone who spends my fair share of time actually fishing on Mille Lacs, there’s a bazillion walleyes in there! I think a lot of them are doing different things, in different places, than they maybe did years ago…but that lake is literally crawling with walleye. Just talk to anyone who fishes it.

Also…

 

> MLFAC member and guide Tony Roach said he has seen “Lots and lots of small walleyes out there, I thought they were jumbo perch on my livescope, and there all 8-10” walleyes, there were thousands of them as far as you could see on the tops of the flats and gravel bars. I was blown away with the numbers of that year class.”

 

I can 110% vouch for this. I was seeing the same exact thing on numerous mud flats and humps out there this year. I specifically wasn’t casting at these clouds of fish as I could tell by my sonar they were smaller. Finally threw into one for the heck of it and instantly caught about a 9-10” walleye. Next cast = same. It was super cool to see that massive crop of little ones coming up! Because we already know there’s a ton of quality fish in there right now.

 

Couple other things:

 

> Jenson clarified that “We do have selectivity that occurs in our gill nets, which means fish of certain sizes aren’t caught equally as well as certain other ones. The way the gill nets are set up, generally we tend to catch fish best probably in that 18”, 19”, and 20” size range, somewhere in there. So don’t lose all faith that our fish population has crapped out on us.”

 

> Jenson then noted that over the last several years the walleye condition (plumpness) has gone down below the median that has been recorded since 1986. He said, “Our fish aren’t getting as plump as they used to get….”

 

Again, I’m no expert, and I’m not trying to knock anybody…but we were just out there fishing again the other day and every single fish we caught was super healthy. And that included multiple “doubles.”

If you put a net out there right now in 10-12’ the thing would be chock full of walleyes in no time. Despite water temps being 40(ish)°F some folks still sneaking out there are having legit 100 fish days…and the days aren’t that long right now lol.

 

Maybe we need to start sampling fish #s with LiveScope? 🤷‍♂️ Seeing the forecast, I might have to sneak out there and do some sampling of my own next week….

New ice rig for Midwesterners. 😅

Came across this post from Caleb Holmen in the Ice Fishing Minnesota FB group. Not a bad investment considering how fast the season changes up here lol:

I don’t personally know the guy, but I saw that Caleb owns a lawncare, landscaping, snow-removal company in the New London-Spicer, MN area…so I think by me mentioning that, he can probably use that ice rig as a tax write-off for advertising/marketing purposes hahaha! 😜

News

1. Purple Heart recipients treated to world-class outdoor experiences.

 

2. Jiffy has officially become a part of Ardisam.

 

WI-based outdoor equip company Ardisam = Eskimo, Ion, and many more brands.

Little insight from Jiffy’s FB post:

 

> “Jiffy is still Jiffy. We will remain a standalone brand, with our products and values enhanced by Ardisam.

 

> “Jiffy products are still the same. You’ll be able to purchase the same products you know and love.

 

> “Warranties from past seasons are grandfathered in and observed. If you have any issues, Jiffy is here to keep you on the ice with our robust support system.

 

> “We’re excited to continue strengthening Jiffy’s legacy with the Ardisam team. We look forward to being there with you on the ice, supporting the next generation of ice anglers, and helping you snag those big ones.”

 

3. Rapala’s new CrushCity soft-plastics are now available.

 

Lot more info on Rapala’s CrushCity lineup here, but FishUSA just got them all in stock. Little look-see:

I had the chance to reeeeally give the new CrushCity Ned BLT a workout a couple weeks back, and thing is legit. Rigged ‘er with one drop of super glue on a 3/16-oz VMC Ned Rig Jig and literally caught 39 fish on it (12 walleyes, 26 bass and 1 pike) and the thing still looked and fished like it was brand new thx to its TPE material.

 

Also stuck my biggest largemouth of the season on it with a 5.84-lb giant that inhaled the Ned BLT in 9-10’ off of a clump of green weeds:

Can’t wait to play around with all of ‘em way more.

 

4. IGFA sold its HQ to Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s

 

5. SD: Dakota Angler Ice Institute is THIS WEEKEND!

 

At the Sioux Falls Arena & Convention Center Nov 10-12. One of the biggest and baddest ice shows in the nation with over 100 vendors and they always have a killer lineup of free ice-fishing seminars.

 

6. Lund Boats launches all-new Alaskan series.

 

Love this pic – it makes me want to wrestle a dang moose then build something with my hands and fall asleep under the stars afterwards:

7. Okuma makes a spinning reel that changes colors?!

 

> Inspired by graffiti, [the limited-edition] Wave Off features a trademarked Paint Off paint that gradually wears away over time, revealing the reel’s underlying colors.

> Designed by Okuma’s Urban Design Team, Wave Off is a one-of-a-kind spinning reel that pushes the boundaries between fishing and street culture. Its mission is to seamlessly merge these two worlds and create a groundbreaking fishing experience.

 

8. IA: Kabele’s “Shop with the Pros” event THIS SATURDAY.

 

In Spirit Lake.

 

9. FishUSA is running a Veteran’s Day sale.

 

They have 15% off all baits and lures today. 👍

 

10. Yamaha names Nicholas Genesi Government Relations Manager.

 

11. DC: Lead tackle protections added to Appropriations Bill.

Few TargetWalleye.com Highlights

 

> Fish slower late fall, Giant Lake Winnipeg greenbacks, Troll by feel not speed

> Massive Metro crappie, Wild ice fishing videos, The river giveth

> SD record walleye caught, People are ice fishing, Top hardwater pet peeves

 

Note: The FishUSA links in this email are affiliate links, meaning if you go through them to make a purchase we might earn a commission…at no cost to you. Click here if you want to learn a little more about links in TW.

What’s 🔥 on Target Walleye’s YouTube 🎥

 

> Late-fall walleyes stacked EVERYWHERE

> We crushed Lake Winnipeg walleyes in a Yetti Fish House!

 

Drop a comment on our YouTube channel to let us know what you wanna see next!

Tip of the Day

Ice fishing: How much moving is too much?

Wish I was tech-savvy enough to plop Jason Mitchell’s face on that GIF but you’ll just have to use your imagination. Bunch of great info in this J-Mitch write-up over on Virtual Angling talking making moves…or not…. 👀

 

> “Should I stay or should I go? That is the biggest question we probably ask ourselves each day on the water. Should I sit in a spot or should I keep moving, keep looking? There are plenty of adages like never leave fish to find fish. Over the past few decades, mobility has been a mantra preached in ice fishing. People brag about drilling a hundred holes per day. People talk about the importance of moving to find fish. If you’re not catching fish, it must be because you are not moving enough to find the active fish.

 

> “Here is what I can also tell you. The worst days I have ever had fishing were indeed days where I drilled well over a few hundred holes. The toughest days on the ice are often the days where all you do is drill holes and move. Some of the very best or most memorable days were days where I drilled a few holes and sat in those same holes all day catching fish.”

 

There’s a ton of arguments for laying low, including:

 

> “One of the most difficult situations for catching fish regardless of species is shallow clear water with thin, clear ice. Every time you move, every time you drill a hole, you just push these fish further away.”

 

And of course just as many for running and gunning:

 

> “What are factors when sitting doesn’t work so well? Realistically when you are not on fish. When the fish are not moving and if you have a lot of people around you.

 

> “…big moves find fish whereas small moves catch fish. Catching fish is often about sampling water…create bites by simply working hard and dropping a line down as many different holes as we can. Drill grids of holes and move until you contact fish.”

 

Of course there’s a ton of variables…and in typical Jason Mitchell fashion, he does a great job of breaking down his approach for different scenarios here.

Quote of the Day

“Who’s says you can’t walleye and perch fish at the same time. Might need to upsize to some bigger Rapalas….”

 

– That’s Bigwater Fishing’s Ross Robertson talking about this Lake Erie walleye coughing up quite the hors d’oeuvre – wonder if he added it to the skillet?

And if you’re wondering how Ross is able to find, catch, and stay on top of so many stinkin’ walleyes 👀 it helps that dude is so dialed he can graph fish at 27 mph!!!

 

> Ross: “This pic is from traveling at 27 mph. Remember at that speed you won’t see arches, but mini bbs for walleye….”

Talk about covering some water!

Parting Shot

Lund owners are built differently – helps when you have a “Sport Top” to hide behind! Posted by Roger’s Performance Marine on FB:

Thanks SO much for reading! Have a great + safe weekend!!

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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 Lindner, Jim Kalkofen, Jay Kumar, Brett McComas and other diehard fish-heads like you!
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 brett@targetwalleye.com
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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