Target Walleye/Ice email

Hoyer’s dropping bombs, Gary Parsons is a baller, Don’t fish memories


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The best walleye and ice fishing pics, tips, gear hacks, and news year round
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Today’s Top 5

John Hoyer dropped a 💣 at the NWT championship!

Buckle up! John Hoyer’s day-2 limit at Devils Lake, ND was the largest bag weighed-in all year on the NWT – talkin’ 5 for 39.12 lbs [!!!] which included an 11-07 kicker. 🤯


This isn’t a length-to-weight conversion…his 7.824-lb avg is the true weight of his fish.

Might be the heaviest (actual weight) bag ever weighed-in on Devils?! Even crazier is it’s a no-cull tournament, so once fish are in the box you can’t upgrade.


That gave him a 2-day total of 70.02 lbs (about a 4-lb cushion over 2nd place) and he now has a chance to back up his 2022 NWT championship victory AND also win the AOY race.


> Hoyer: “As crazy as it sounds, I am super calm and feel very comfortable about going out tomorrow on Devils Lake and accomplishing a lot of goals that I had going into this year”, said Hoyer. “I am catching them the way I have the most confidence in, I’ve had great success the last couple of days, these are the opportunities that you dream for in the NWT. I am just very fortunate to be in the situation.


> “Tomorrow I’m going out relaxed and I feel very confident with how things are shaping up. I don’t think I’d beat up on my fish too much today, and I believe the stars have aligned to have a great day on the water.”


Only the top-10 pros after 2 days got to head out this morning (final day) to swing for the fences. Here’s a look at the field:

The live weigh-in just started at 3pm CST (but it wasn’t working for some reason, and still showing yesterday’s weigh-in as I’m sending this out) or you can hit the live leaderboard here which is updating correctly so far.

Gary Parsons is a baller. 🔥

Always has been, always will be.


I recently came across this awesome throwback pic of Gary “GP” Parsons that John Gall posted in the PRO WALLEYE Facebook Group. He said it was taken around 1997 at a PWT event at Fairport Harbor, OH. John had the pleasure of fishing with GP and sacking up a 40-lb bag that day:

That jersey makes me so happy – can we please bring ‘em back?!

Btw while I was canoodling around YouTube, I stumbled into this awesome short video on Gary Parsons posted on Whitewater Fishing’s YouTube channel:


> “Hall of Fame Angler, Gary Parsons, discusses his incredible career of walleye fishing. Gary has done so much for the fishing community and has helped grow the sport of fishing in amazing ways. We are honored to have him on our team [Whitewater Fishing] and we’re excited to share his story with you all.


> “From designing lures with Bass Pro Shops, to running The Next Bite TV Show for 19 years and winning multiple Angler of The Year titles on the professional level, Gary has done it all. Enjoy!”

Amazing fella! 🙌 Thanks Gary for all that you’ve done (and continue to do!) for this sport we all love so much.

This HAS to be the coolest walleye tourney trophy ever?! 🏆

Believe it went to the team who caught the biggest fish at the Sunset Bay Walleye Shoot Out on NY waters of Lake Erie.

Glorious! The type of thing an entire man cave could be built around 🔥 but if it’s a traveling trophy then ya better hope to win it the next year, too. LOL

One real important thing we might not know we need for our boats….

Do you know what The Leash is? Spotted in a recent BassBlaster from Jay Kumar – he’s always on top of his game – here she be:

> Jay: “Can’t remember how I stumbled across it – maybe it was one of the 100 things Randy Howell mentioned in a conversation 😁 – but anyhow I got to learnin’ ’bout it from Ryan Kirkpatrick. Ryan is with Precision Sonar, which didn’t invent The Leash but has the exclusive distribution rights for it.


> “In a nutshell The Leash does/should keep your outboard from possibly becoming disconnected and jumping up into the boat if you’re running fast and hit something you didn’t know was there. And you’re probably in 1 of 2 camps on that deal: Never heard of such a thing, or definitely heard of it.


> “Here’s 5 with Ryan, but first I gotta say – apologies to the relatives and friends of folks who have passed from this happening and are mentioned here. Hopefully other fishermen will learn from what happened. Bless you.”


1. How did the idea for The Leash come about?


> Ryan: “There was an accident at Kentucky Lake several years ago where a guy went underneath the old Eggner’s Ferry Bridge when the water was high [so he apparently could not see obstructions like crossmembers that would have been visible]. He hit [something] and the motor flipped up into the boat, hit the co-angler and killed him.


> “The guy who invented it felt something had to be done about that [because] no matter how safe you are, no matter how well you know a lake….something can happen.”


2. How does it work?


> “When you purchase a Leash you get 2 brackets to mount the leash to the jackplate or the motor [and] a main tether and a piggyback tether. …the brackets mount to where the motor bolts come out of the jackplate or the transom…the main tether will attach to that bracket…and the piggyback tether has loops that go around that main tether…. Each tether is extremely strong in itself but we’re actually doubling up those tethers so we’re doubling the strength….


[Here’s Ryan in a YT vid showing The Leash and how it’s installed – way easier than explaining it in words! Asked him if you needed a lift for the motor and he said no, you’re only removing 2 of the 4 bolts, but they recommend trimming the motor down onto a block of wood to take a little pressure off. Then you need to torque the bolts back on per manufacturer specs.]


3. Are there any cases you’re aware of where something happened and The Leash helped?


> “Obviously if anything happens like this there’s no way to tell 100% if the motor glanced off something or The Leash saved it. But I have talked to several people that have Leashes on their boats that are 100% convinced that The Leash [prevented] the motor from coming up into the boat.


> “[One guy said] ‘Your product saved my life and I’m 100% convinced of it.’ He was on Table Rock, hit standing timber at 60 mph, felt the motor come up, then felt it go back down and when it did [the force] threw him into the steering wheel. When he put it back on the trailer, he saw that the heat shrink [tubing] on the leash was stretched on both sides – so he knew 100% that The Leash came into play.


> “Another example…sheared the lower unit off [and the fishermen] believe the motor did not come into the boat because they had The Leash on there.


> “The biggest hurdle with The Leash has been getting people to understand that this is a real problem. This does happen. If you do a quick Google search – ‘outboard motor flips into boat’ – you will see countless accidents. A few weeks ago it happened in TX on the Sabine River.


> “Old Hickory…fishing tournament…[the angler] went through an area he knows like the back of his hand, hit a floating log, the motor flew up in the boat and landed on him in the driver’s seat. [I think he’s referring to this – luckily our bassin’ brother survived.]


> “We go fishing to have fun. We don’t think about danger. But [things can happen] even if you know the lake like the back of your hand.”


In Feb this happened to NPFL and Toyota Series angler Doug Chapin:

He posted:


> “It’s one of those things you think will never happen to you. I was doing about 40 trimmed down in a creek channel and hit a cypress stump. The engine broke free of the boat in the middle of the jackplate, flew up and landed on the back deck. When it did, the steering cables tightened up and spun the engine toward me. I felt water splashing me in the face, looked to my right and saw my prop about a foot from my head, spinning.


> “I’m very fortunate to be here. If any number of circumstances were different, my lower unit might have gotten me. I’m not partnered with Precision Sonar but I can tell you I will have a Leash on my next boat.”


4. Can you keep it on 100% of the time?


> “When properly installed, it’s no hindrance on trimming up and down, it won’t fall into the prop, it won’t hinder you when you’re putting the boat on the trailer, putting your transom saver on or anything like that.”


5. What does it cost?


> “Retail is $299.95. When you’re talking about something that can potentially save your life and it’s not something you need to buy every year…. People pay about that much on a lifejacket…this has no expiration.


> “It’s a one-time insurance policy. I tell everyone who buys one, ‘I hope this was the biggest waste of money in your entire life. I hope you never have to use one, but it’s good to know that it’s there.'”


That’s the end of the Q&A.


Props to Jay on tracking this bad boy down and getting us all the scoop. Obviously the walleye crowd doesn’t fish around as many stumps as logs as bassers do – but there’s still plenty of debris – and we are probably running around even more shallow rock than ‘em. Just something to think about.

“If you were spotting and stalking whitetails, and glassed every inch of a field or valley without seeing anything, would you still sneak out there on your hands and knees just because it looks so good?”

– Still one of my favorite-ever quotes from Scott Glorvigan, who’s talking about trusting your electronics and not fishing memories (spots you’ve done well on in the past) if you go through ’em without graphing any fish.

I need to bring this quote back once in a while because I definitely need the reminder, and maybe you do too?


And no, you don’t need forward-facing sonar or fancy electronics to look for signs of life before making a cast…. We’ve done it for years with traditional 2D sonar, Down Imaging, and probably the best tool if shallower = Side Imaging, which has been out since 2005 👀 18 years now!


1. MN passes boater education law.


Just came across this info about new mandatory boater education programs that will be phased in over the next 5 yrs:


> Gov Tim Walz signed the Environment Budget bill (MN H.F. 2310) into law on May 24. The legislation contains a boater safety education provision that promotes responsible and safe boating practices.


> The Commissioner of the MN DNR is responsible for establishing a water safety course and testing program for personal watercraft and watercraft operators. This course must include a written test and be approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). A working group of interested parties will collaborate under the commissioner’s guidance to develop course content.


> A permit is granted upon successfully completing a water safety course and written test, or by providing proof of completing a program recognized under a reciprocity agreement. The law exempts operators born on or before July 1, 1987, and allows for an accompanying operator to be present on the motorboat.


When you’ll be required to complete it depends on how old you are:


> effective July 1, 2024 for those born on or after July 1, 2003

> effective July 1, 2025 for those born on or after July 1, 1999

> effective July 1, 2026 for those born on or after July 1, 1995

> effective July 1, 2027 for those born on or after July 1, 1987


So if you’re about 36-yrs-old or older right now, then apparently you won’t need any education on the dos and don’ts of the water….


2. WI: Latest version of the Walleye Management Plan.


Coupled with the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative. One of the many highlights include:


> “A statewide daily bag limit of 3 walleye is expected to go into effect Apr 1, 2024.”


3. I love seeing pontoons getting fishy-er!


Have a look-see at Premier Marine’s 2024 Sunsation Angler – awesome layout! But their plus-size model is a little sketchy. 😎

4. Couple things if you’ll be fishing big water this fall (or anytime).


Great Lakes folks take note….

Safer Boating with Handheld VHF Radios

Six Affordable Satellite Communications Devices


5. Walleye vs sauger: Can you tell the difference?


Not always as simple as you’d think. This HuntFishMB blog post is loaded with info and lots of quality pics for you visual learners.


6. MN: State-record coho salmon caught outta Lake Superior.


First time David Cichosz has fished Lake Superior (was with Fish North MN charter)

and he ended up catching a 10.92-lber (29″ long x 19″ girth) that broke a 53-yr-old record:

> Capt. Kent Paulsen: “We already had a bunch of lake trout in the boat [by 7am] so I set up trolling for cohos with dodgers and flies. I got the lures down about 50’, just above the thermocline in 80’ of 50-degree water. At 7:30am, a hot fish hit and pulled about 100 feet of line off the reel drag before my angler, David Cichosz, could get the rod and start fighting the fish.”


Capt. Kent Paulsen posted on his FB page with more details on the specific setup it was caught on.


7. The saltwater crowd now has 360° Live sonar?


But also sounds like it’s about 6 figures to get one lol. 😳


8. New VMC Rattling Roach Spoon is coming in hot!


> …VMC connected with Tony Roach to work on the Rattling Roach Spoon. VMC leaned on Roach’s experience as a heavily booked, multi-species, all-season guide on MN’s Mille Lacs Lake to develop its new killer bait.


> The Rattling Roach Spoon features an intense fluttering action combined with an exposed rattle chamber to deliver maximum sound vibrations. …a marabou teaser tail and a holographic eye…16 eye-popping colors….


> To give hardwater anglers an additional edge, 14 of the 16 Rattling Roach Spoon finishes feature an Ultra Glow finish and 3 feature a UV Bright finish. Ultra Glow colors give off a glowing effect that lasts for 15 min in dark water – all to make sure this lure is seen by fish.

9. JB Lures is running a 20% sale…


…on their #2 Tungsten Dub’L D Jigs:

If you’re fishing on pressured waters or stuck in a brutal negative bite…these are basically like oversized panfish jigs (1/8 oz with a #2 hook) that you tip with with a minnow head or finesse plastic. Sounds goofy, but it’s a little trick a handful of #dialed guides have been using the last few years on crowded lakes or in clear water.

JB Lures is also running 20% their #2 Tungsten Spin Drops:

> Made of tru tungsten, this jig offers a faster fall and more sensitivity than other lure materials. It features a small propeller blade for extra flash and vibration on the rise and fall of the jig in stained water and low light conditions. The blade can be tuned to spin faster or slower depending on presentation. It features a #2 Mustad hook and comes in 6 colors.


10. Sportsman’s Warehouse says inflation is happening.


At least I think that’s what they’re saying…I don’t speak corporate-ese:


> Net sales were $309.5 mil, compared to $351.0 mil in the 2nd quarter of fiscal year 2022, a decrease of 11.8%. …primarily due to lower demand across all product categories and a decline in store traffic resulting from the continued impact of consumer inflationary pressures on discretionary spending….


11. BRP had a record Q2.


12. NE: Missouri River Outdoor Expo, Sept 16-17.


13. AB: Lethbridge area’s been dealing with a koi/goldfish problem.


They removed 87,000 of ’em from Firefly pond last year (up to 15″ and 5 lbs). Now Chinook Lake is getting a rotenone treatment this week where they expect 50K-80K to be killed. Elma Groves pond will be treated after that.

Few Highlights


> Casting vs trolling debate, Triple dropshot rig, Match the hatch

> Fantasy football fishing, Walleye eats snake, Lake Erie tsunami derby

> Oldest school sonar, Filter feeding perch, Desert walleyes


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 🎥


Dropshot walleyes when you NEED to get bit

LiveScopers don’t want you to know this….

Testing a NEW walleye bait (Rapala Jigging Rap MAGNUM)

Exploring a new lake with NO walleyes?! (crushed them)


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

Tip of the Day

Brosdahl: The summer-to-fall walleye migration.


We’re not quite to fall fishing yet, but summer is just starting to slip away. Brian “Bro” Brosdahl talks about the fall walleye migration in this full MidWest Outdoors write-up, droppin’ a few fishy excerpts below:


> Water temps determine most of the long-term patterns in lakes…summer patterns will hold as long as the surface temps remain above 70 degrees.


> When the real fall cool-down begins, summer patterns fall apart pretty quickly and the fish start their fall migrations and put on the feedbag to get ready for winter.


> Minnows and small fish gather in larger schools and make their way into deeper water. Their main defense…when they move deep…is to travel in large schools, so they can ‘hope’ somebody else gets eaten instead of them.


> Where walleyes go and what they do depends largely on the type of lake they live in, and what options they have for habitat. Access to deep water is a critical aspect of fall and winter locations for most species of fish.


> …walleyes in large shallow lakes that don’t experience thermocline during the summer will often move towards the shallows in the fall.


> Walleyes in deep lakes usually move into deeper water in the fall, using complex structures that can provide all of their needs when the lakes eventually ice over for the winter.


> …I like to concentrate on the big shallow lakes early in the fall, and then move to the deep lakes later in the fall, when the water temps cool into the 50s.


Bro keeps talkin’ more about the specific rigs he uses here.

Meme of the Day

Leave it to Ice Team to bring the heat cold. 😅 Oooof.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

I dare you to find me a sicker walleye shot than this one of Cody (aka @backroadangler) hoisting up a massive, shoulder-bearing “greenback” caught out of Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba. 😍 Spotted this gem on Clam’s IG page:

Now imagine pulling that greenie thru an 8” hole…. 🕳️🧊😰 🎉

Parting Shot

Sending ‘er off with this gorgeous blue specimen posted on NFT’s FB. 😍 ¡Me gusta!

Have a great + safe weekend, all!

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