Target Walleye/Ice email

How Roach ice Jig Raps, Fireside walleyes, Night bite tricks

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Today’s Top 4

Chestnuts Walleyes roasting on an open fire….

There’s something special about listening to the crackle of a wood stove while catching chunky walleyes — out of 5′ [!] — during the daytime. Something I’ll probably never experience back home in MN, but was a reality while fishing outta Riverside Lodge on Dauphin Lake, Manitoba.

Did our best to video it all (in the -20 temps!) to help share the experience with you fish-heads. If you’ve got about 10 minutes to burn, I promise to get a chuckle — or four — out of you:

Best baits for us were: 1/8-oz Northland UV Buck-Shot Spoon (purple tiger) and Glo-Shot Spoons for jigging, and Eye-Droppers for the deadsticks.

Gonna try to start doing more “fishing vlogs” like this going forward. Let us know if you love or hate ’em! If you missed the first vid from our Manitoba trip — where we stuck big greenbacks on Winnipeg — you can check it here.

How Tony Roach ice-fishes with Jigging Raps.

We’ve talked a lot about using Rapala Jigging Raps for open-water ‘eyes, but they also make killer hardwater baits. Of course there’s more than one way to fish ’em, but here’s Tony Roach’s take:

> His go-to bait summer and winter…but downsizes to a #5 on ice.

> Fishes it really aggressive (as fast as he can!) to get fish interested. Darts off to the sides of the hole and covers a much larger area.

> Slows the bait down as soon as soon as he graphs a fish, but still keeps the bait aggressive and moving.

> Doesn’t tip it with a minnow head…says it screws up the action.

> Likes 6-lb mono since it doesn’t hold moisture and freeze up like braid.

More deets in this Wired2Fish vid where Tony is putting ’em to work on “The Big Pond.” #Money

Clear-water or high-sun days Tony likes using colors like yellow perch or blue chrome. In stained water or low-light conditions he uses brighter colors.

“If we were permanently destroying walleye populations, fishermen in this state would be showing up with torches and pitchforks.”

– That’s a fired-up Brad Hawthorne talkin’ ’bout the over-harvest of big bluegills in MN. A topic/species that’s near and dear to his heart…’cept for when he holds ’em way out for the camera. 😉

The AnglingBuzz crew reached out to a handful of ice-fishing pros and asked them what they thought MN’s panfish regs should really be. For sure worth a read.

Anytime you talk about tweaking regs, folks get a little “passionate” (lol). My 2 cents: Something needs to be done to protect those big pannies. Fishing’s about more than just filling your bucket. If you’re only in it for the meat, it’d be way cheaper to hit the grocery store.

Current MN limits are 20 sunfish, 10 crappies and 20 perch. Das alotta fishhh! We made fish tacos again the other night with just 4 schmedium-sized crappies and it was enough to feed a half dozen people.

Overall, I’d be in favor of a reducing the limit to say 5 or 10 sunfish, and 5 crappies.

Some lakes have a stunted population of fish that may need some of ’em taken out. On those lakes it wouldn’t really make sense to drop the daily bag limit. That’s one reason I think it’s even more important to get some sort of a special slot in place to protect those bigger fish.

Something along the lines of say 1 sunfish over 9″ per day — and 1 crappie over 13″ — would still allow a trophy to be kept for guys that don’t believe in replicas.

Let us know what you think here on the AnglingBuzz FB page. Keep it friendly!

IONS aren’t just for ice fishin’.

Imagine if a buddy borrowed your ION X to do this:

Think outside the box beaver lodge.


1. NWT registration now open.

Diggin’ the lineup this year. Which are you most excited for?

  • May 10-11 – Mississippi River (Red Wing, MN)
  • June 14-15 – Saginaw Bay (Bay City, MI)
  • July 26-27 – Devils Lake (Devils Lake, ND)
  • Championship – Sep 5-7 – Lake of the Woods (Baudette, MN)

2. MB: KidFish derby happenin’ Jan 7.

Lake Winnipeg. Last year they raised over $40K for the Children’s Hospital of Manitoba Foundation and Cancer Care Manitoba Foundation. #Stout

3. ND: Sakakawea walleye population is up.Said the number of young walleye is the highest it’s been in decades.

4. WI: Ice bridges installed on Winnebago.

Couple weeks ahead of schedule compared to most years:

How crazy do southerners think we all are? They might be right….

5. Western PA Hardwater Tournament series dates.

  • 1/6 – Lake Arthur
  • 1/20 – Edinboro Lake
  • 2/3 – Kahle Lake
  • 2/24-2/25 – Presque Isle (2018 championship)

6. Catch Cover has glowing hole sleeves.

No more wet foot during that midnight bathroom break. Plus it keeps your house less drafty and looks super cool:

7. How to record video with Aqua-Vu HDs (video).

8. MI: DNR hosts hardwater fishing classes.

Holding ’em Jan 27 and Feb 24 for just $30 a person.

9. MO: Recycle your Christmas tree…

…as fish habitat. Definitely can’t do that in MN.

10. Need color input from lake trout guys/gals.

Someday Isle Tackle wants to make sure they have the colors you want in a laker jig. Of course they’ll be making an all-white Water Puppet, but is there anything else you think is a must-have? Let them know here.

11. New Acme Hammered Kastmaster Spoon.

Dimples are supposed to help reflect light and add vibration:

12. Maybe win ya some Bagley Rumble Bs.

FishUSA is having a giveaway. More info here.

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

Tip of the Day

There’s a 20- or 30-minute window we call the “flash bite” on lots of local lakes we’ve been hitting, where the fish are snappin’ at sunrise and sunset. After that, the flasher goes blank. Now what…go home? Nope:

Jason Mitchell:

Often we figure out one window/movement of fish and when we quit marking fish…we assume that the bite is over. The bite might indeed be over if we don’t make any adjustments, but the reality is that we can prolong the bite and keep catching fish if we move with the fish.

The toughest aspect of catching walleye well after dark is forgetting some of the lessons we tend to learn during the day. So often, finding and catching walleyes is all about reading structure and focusing on edges. After dark however, you can throw that edge mentality out the window.

My favorite after dark locations and patterns are not necessarily classic walleye structure or breaklines that are close to deeper water. Typically, large flats or even basins and large shelves shine after dark…walleyes will often push up and roam much shallower water than you’d think.

I use the whitetail deer analogy a lot when describing walleye patterns and movements. During the day, deer might follow an edge…but come middle of the night, they might be standing out in the middle of a soybean field that is several hundred acres. Walleyes can also be just as random after dark.

Because the exact location of fish can be so random on large flats and shelves, fishing these areas takes a certain kind of mentality. You can spread out tip-ups to increase the chances of contacting these roaming fish or you can fish out of a shelter but in this situation, you have to realize that the fish are going to find you.

This isn’t a situation where you can necessarily move around to find these random fish, set up so that at some point during the night these fish find you. What makes after-dark patterns for walleye so much fun is that these fish are typically much more aggressive and these fish are looking for a meal.

On some fisheries, walleye will also be more apt to eat much higher in the water column well after dark. We have seen many scenarios where we caught more walleye after dark by fishing half way down in the water column, especially for big fish. This is particularly true for set rods and tip-ups with big bait.

Don’t expect activity all night long, wait out the windows because ninety percent of the activity will happen during ten percent of the time.

Read Jason’s full write-up here.

Meme of the Day

Happy New Year! Hope you have the chance to get out soon-ish!!

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Sam P. iced this mondo 11-lb (31″) walter fishing out of Adrian’s Resort on Lake of the Woods last weekend. Fish of a lifetime, dude!

Could be you…what ya waiting for??!! More info on fishing/lodging options here.

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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

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