Target Walleye/Ice email

Insane bug hatch, Summertime jigging a thing, New jighead design

Today’s Top 4

Another good reason to wear a mask… 

Spoiler alert — this isn’t snow:


It’s a massive bug hatch Bryan-Beef Sathre captured on video near Lake of the Woods, MN. After seeing the aftermath, maybe snowplows wouldn’t be a bad idea:


Friendly reminder: You folks claiming to be about that #TillerLife can’t throw up that hashtag if you lay low during the bug hatch (lol):


Lol! Bug hatch or not, Lake of the Woods is still kicking out fish of this caliber:

Current LOW fishing report here.

Closer look at the new VMC Moon Tail Jig. 

You might remember me mentioning the coming-this-winter VMC Moon Tail Jig in our new walleye and ice fishing stuff from ICAST (part 1) a few weeks back:


Looking at those pics ^ I assumed it had the same head design as the VMC Neon Moon Eye Jig, but with the TechSet Technical Locking Hook that comes on the VMC Sleek Jigs…but I was way off….

Snuck out chasing ‘eyes with Al on a local lake the other day, and he had a box of those VMC Moon Tail Jigs with. Politely asked if I could dive face first into that box and get my creep on lol. Was totally one of those [mind-blown emoji] moments when I picked one up — the head shape is completely different than I expected.

Snapped a few side-by-side pics (both are 1/4-oz jigs) of some different angles so you can see what I’m talking about:


Now everything Al was saying makes way more sense in my tiny little brain:

> “If you can imagine taking a jig and putting it in a vice and flattening it out, that’s what they did.

> “…have the same weight, but it’s thinner so it cuts water much faster. You get a better, faster drop speed.

> “You make the profile much bigger. And the eye becomes gigantic. And the bigger the eyeball, the more the walleyes like it.

> “They cast like a bullet. You can throw them right into the wind with no problems.

> “I’m throwing up on some shallow-water stuff with it, you can back-troll with it, it works phenomenally well on deep-water structures. You could rip through the weeds with these jigs. You can do things with them that you couldn’t do before. And that’s the idea of the Moon Tail.

> “You’d be amazed at how deep of water I can fish with the 3/8-oz. It gets down there quicker than most people realize. You think, 25′, 30′, 35′, that’ll take forever for that jig to get down [to the bottom]. But it doesn’t. It goes fast.”

I threw one a little bit the other night in shallow weeds — am absolutely loving the way it fishes so far! — but had to cut it off after catching a snake pike…’cuz I only have 4 of ’em right now and I wasn’t about to lose 25% of that to a slimer LOL. Can’t wait to get out and fish it on a non-pike-infested lake soon-ish. Keep you posted.

Most rod holders EVER?!

First — your defending champion, Tom Boley:


I spy 10 on the back half of his boat, and can only assume his front deck looks something like this too? #SpiderRigging


And now, I finally found someone with more rod holders than Tom…. Pic posted by Corey A. Shaffer in the Lund Boat Owner’s FB group:


Wow! Whoever said fishermen/women aren’t athletes has obviously never tried getting leadcore setups out of those top rod tubes:

Don’t see that every day…!

First one’s from Evan Rosemore (@northkoastangling) who caught a 22″ walleye that had a run-in with a toothy critter:


How gnarly is this finned-out zander caught by Oriol Castelló?! #DoWant


Gotta love those big spinnerbait-eaters! Especially when they’re caught on purpose. Shot from @heartland_walleyes on Lake “Big Mac” McConaughy, NE:


If you’re wondering what else (besides bugs!) walleyes are eating at Lake of the Woods, here’s a hint from Bret Amundson:


Now you know what color to tie on….


1. ON: Bay of Quinte walleye making a comeback.

Some absolute giants in there [!] but folks were worried about the upcoming stock. Worry not:

> “Latest data collected through a 2019 bottom trawl survey of the bay for ‘young-of-the-year walleye’ by the MNRF identified healthy numbers, suggesting fish recruitment will be strong into the early part of the decade….”

2. SK: Vanity Cup expected to run in Oct.

Originally cancelled 3 months ago, but now they’re shooting for the “2020 Vanity Cup – COVID-19 Edition” to happen Oct 3-4 in Nipawin.

3. WI: MWC’s heading to Green Bay Aug 7-8.

Out of Marinette.

4. MN: Fishing to End Hunger charity tourney…

…on Gull Lake is happening Oct 3. Already has 83 boats registered ‘cuz 1) it’s a great cause, 2) has BIG-time payouts, and 3) the fish are usually snapping on Gull that time of year.

Last day for the early-bird registration (save $100) is TODAY. More info here.

5. DC: President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act.

Few highlights:

> First, it fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund…program for conserving and maximizing outdoor recreation access. Second, the bill tackles the maintenance backlog on our public lands and waters by investing in boating infrastructure like docks, ramps and parking facilities.

6. ON has a fall cormorant hunt coming.

> …the hunting season will run annually from Sep 15 to Dec 31…. The maximum number of cormorants a hunter can take also has been set at 15 per day, down from 50 initially….

> The bird can eat up to a lb of fish a day and nests on the ground and in trees on islands and in peninsulas. …known to damage vegetation with its droppings…due to its acidity…can affect nesting habitats for other [birds]. The cormorant also has been cited as a possible cause behind declining fish stocks in Lake Nipissing.

When they say “possible cause” what they really mean is something like this:


Or maybe this:

7. IL has 60 fish types in Chicago rivers…

…vs less than 10 in the ’80s.

8. Lindner’s Fishing Edge now on WFN Tues at 7:30 pm CST.

9. OH: Outdoor Life/Field & Stream Expo canceled.

Next year’s expo will be Mar 19-21 at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus.

10. Yamaha has re-power deals right now.

11. BUFF is making masks with disposable filters.

12. IN: Dan Bortner named new director of DNR.

> Bortner has served as DNR’s director of IN State Parks since 2005 and is currently the 3rd longest serving state parks director in the nation.

13. MN: Little Rock Lake ‘drawdown’ a success.

Did it to “improve water clarity, stabilize shorelines and improve fish/wildlife habitat,” but the area fisheries manager was also super-impressed with the lake survey:

> “We actually found over 17 walleyes per net…anywhere between basically 9″ on up to 27″ or so….”

Only about an hour south of me, so I’m calling “dibs” on that 27-incher! Lol.

14. Chesapeake Bay and tribs opening 300 more access sites…

…by 2025. Highlights

Tip of the Day

Live-bait jigging isn’t just a spring/fall thing.

Not sure about you, but I’m 100% guilty of basically forgetting about the good ol’ jig + minnow combo once summer heats up. Really not sure why? But it’s something Brian “Bro” Brosdahl says he does all year long, just makes a few minor tweaks to his approach:


Dude’s been jigging ’em up for years!

Quote of the Day

“Nobody’s ever seen [a muskie] T-bone someone’s calves.”

– Dude’s talking about a lady being bitten by a muskie along the Winnipeg River near Minaki, ON (about 45-min north of Kenora). Guess she was standing in the water up to her chest when she felt a sharp pain in her leg…looked down and saw “what looked like an alligator heard.”

> “Once it bit me it started flailing me through the water and then took me under.

> “I started kicking, and I guess obviously punching it, because I have cuts on my hands, and then it let go and I came back up screaming that I needed help — something had bit me.”

This post said “she requires plastic surgery to repair her calf — a process that will take more than 6 weeks.” Ouch! Not good, but glad it wasn’t worse.

And I came across this write-up that said she plans on heading back up, and “might throw a couple of muskie lures in that particular area and see if I can get a little bit of payback….”

Better make sure to cast at least 10,000 times….

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

New PB alert! @huntpierresd stuck this 30″ blimp — that went 13 lbs! — throwing a Johnson Johnny Darter on Lake Oahe, SD. Congrats dude!! Have never tried the Johnny Darter, but have heard good things:

Sign up another fish-head!

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