Target Walleye/Ice email

Hardwater Jigging Raps, Don’t be a lazy troll, Gravel lizards of the week

Today’s Target Walleye is out!

If you’re getting this Target Walleye email for the first time, a friend probably signed you up!

Today’s Top 4

Jigging Raps fish differently through the ice.

Had to snipe this shot from Simms Instagram and “memify” it to kick this off:

With all the hype about using Rapala Jigging Raps for open-water walleyes, you might’ve forgotten it’s a killer bait for ice fishing — BUT you’ve gotta do things differently….

Basically take everything you know about fishing the J-Rap in open-water and throw it out on ice. Downsize = sure. Minnow head = maybe. But the biggest difference comes with how you work the bait. #Cadence

Lots of great info from Joel Nelson on the ins and outs of hardwater J-Rappin’ in this AnglingBuzz video — including #money underwater footage showing how Joel works the bait depending on the fish’s mood:

Gravel lizards of the week!

Open-water style… 🥶

‘Tis the season of headlamps and hawgbellies! Eric Wright (@lake2stream) said he was slowly bouncing an RBM Jig with a plastic minnow and this paunchy Michigander ate it right up:

Jordan Peterson (@anglingtough) whacked himself a dirty-30! I’ll still count it even tho he was chucking a “white” Posseidon 10 from Chaos Tackle for big pike when he caught it lol. Gotta love those big bycatches!

I see 3 different things in this pic that look like they’re made of pure gold: 1) First is @gaffin12’s shore bruiser, 2) that jointed Rapala dangling in the background and 3) the current-filled gold mine he’s chucking it in. Awesome fish, man!

Matt Waldron thwacked this 20.5″ Mississippi River sauger [!] vertical jigging 3/8- and 1/2-oz Northland Fire-Ball Jigs on current seams off the main channel. LOVE the snowy shot:

Oh, and said he found the bite himself and that @andrew_spok couldn’t catch a sauger of that caliber if it was shot out of a t-shirt cannon at him….

Okay Matt actually wanted me to give all the credit to his bud Andrew since it was Andrew’s spot, but I just couldn’t let his head get that (much) big(ger) LOL. Keep after ’em, fellas!

Best BIG-walleye tourney of the year?

For real though…MT’s Fort Peck Reservoir might just be the most underrated walleye fishery out there when it comes to pure #s of big fish. Actually seems like anything out west-ish flies under the radar. Heard those cowboys and cowgirls are still trying to learn how to dial-up their internets, kick start an interwebz browser and shift into the Facebooks 1st gear (lol).

You might remember reading here that it took 97.03 lbs for 10 fish to win the Crooked Creek (pronounced “crick” in MT) tourney on Fort Peck not too long ago. After messaging with TW reader Ron Boggs I found out there were several other teams in the 80+ lb range and he heard there were 57 walleyes over 30″ weighed! Let that soak in a minute….

Ron said that MT tourneys do a length-to-weight conversion to get what to him are “estimated” weights, but wanted to note that “lengths are not self-reported. Official measure boats are stationed around the tournament zone doing official measurements with calibrated tube-shaped measure boards. Lengths are legit.”

He said there’s a fellow in his office that was fishing beside the winners and “they were using the Jigging Rap/Shiver Minnow technique.” But that us Midwesterners might be surprised how most-rest of the field was catching ’em:

> “…fishing crankbaits and stickbaits deep behind leadcore and ticking the tops of submerged trees in 30’+. I know that pattern extended into adjacent flats as well, but working the trees — similar to what’s done in upper Oahe Reservoir in SD — was the ticket for many of the top teams at the 2020 Crooked Creek tournament.”

I love catching big walleyes but not sure I’d be willing to donate enough cranks to trees to make that bite happen lol. Pretty dang cool though. Thx for the info, Ron!!!

Ron also sent me a chart breaking down all the bags — said it was published in last week’s issue of Fish Tales magazine, a quarterly put out by Walleyes Unlimited of Montana but that they don’t have an online presence. Here you go:

“You never know what will come off the bottom of Devils Lake.”

– That’s Johnnie Candle on snagging this “orange fire UV” color VMC Bucktail Jig with a perfectly intact minner skeleton:

Only time I’ve seen cleaner-lookin’ bones attached to a bait was this Rapala Insta post — youch!


…at no cost to them because they paid the price already — thx to the Walleyes for Wounded Heroes program. Powerful stuff:

Today, tomorrow, everyday: How about thanking a veteran for your FREEDOM…to fish, among other things. God bless you and your fams and thx all for your service!

The Dakota Angler Ice Institute is on and happening right NOW in Sioux Falls.

If you’ve been reading these Target Walleye emails a while, you’ve seen me share a handful of Gruv Fishing’s stuff on here. I still think their Micro Jig Box is overall the best-dang tungsten ice jig box out there. And their Launch Pads are super handy — I slapped 2 of ’em on my boat.

Gruv just launched a Kickstarter campaign for what they’re calling the ONE Series: a waterproof + breathable box that’s the standard 3700 size. Haven’t seen these ones in person yet, but digging the rest of their stuff so I’m gonna have to.


Case you’re curious (I was) how it compares to using an airplane:

> “Since the helicopters can hover 5′ above the water and drop fish into the water, the survival rate of stocked fish is about 100%. When they’re stocked from an airplane, which drops fish from 100′ above the surface while traveling 100 mph, the survival rate is about 85%.”

Now you’ll know the answer to that Jeopardy question!

In addition to known mercury pollution in fish. Don’t know where the chromium is coming from, but they’re studying the issue. In the meantime they recommend not eating more than 1 meal of walleyes per month….

And pls give an extra gold star to whoever added the fish-ruler:

The EPA recently approved year-round sales of fuel containing 15% ethanol (E15).

If you didn’t know (I didn’t either) — from here:

> “E15 (fuel containing 15% ethanol) is prohibited by federal law for use in recreational boat engines and voids many marine engine warranties….

> “…54%…in a recent Harris Poll believed that the small orange E15 fuel warning label on a gas station pump isn’t good enough to protect consumers. Poll respondents believe the label — about the size of a pack of gum — needs to be larger, clearer and mandatory on all gas station fuel-dispensing pumps.”

8. 2021 NPAA annual conference dialed-in.

No link, but it’s set for Oct 20-22 at Kalahari Resort & Conference Center in Sandusky, OH. That’s the National Professional Anglers Association. Great chance to network with pros who’ve had success on and off the water, and learn about the business side of the sport.

Both are conservation minded so win-win.

The day I find a clam in a walleye’s stomach, I’m hitting @yuniquebaits up lol:

…don’t forget to use Sea Foam! Their Marine PRO product is designed just for marine engines — cleans and lubricates your motor, helps prevent corrosion caused by ethanol and water, and stabilizes tank fuel up to 2 years!!

If you can’t find Marine PRO near you, original Sea Foam still works great in ’em to dissolve fuel residues AND for fuel stabilization. May be the #1 automotive additive in the US, but it was originally invented for outboard motors.

Tip of the Day

It’s easy to just throw your rod in the holder and take off, but NWT pro Bill Shimota says there’s a few different things you can do to turn those bait-followers into biters:

He’s specifically talking about the Berkley Hit Stick in this video, but the same tricks work for any bait. But make sure you remember Bill’s golden rule: “Any color works as long as it’s firetiger” lol.

Quote of the Day

“I see a lot of people fishing fish that are too small.”

– That’s Bruce “Doc Sonar” Samson talking on the Bigwater Podcast about the biggest mistake he says folks make with fish finders:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Cold temps have John Seelye daydreaming of running with the bulls — hardwater style! Bonus points for rocking the Target Walleye Ugly Fishmas Sweater 👊:

Sign up another fish-head!

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Friends of Target Walleye

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

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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