Target Walleye/Ice email

Kavajecz catches everything, Set lines save the day, Match that hatch

Everybody welcome Humminbird, Minn Kota and Salmo to Target Walleye/Ice! No doubt they make quality stuff us fish-heads need (lol) — pumped to have them on board this season.

Today’s Top 5

What can’t Kavajecz catch?

Short answer: Nothing…there’s nothing he can’t catch.

1. How ’bout this (his) iPhone XS Keith Kavajecz (pron. Ka-vai-ez) plucked outta Upper Red Lake using a Clam Leech Flutter Spoon with some oversized trebles, and a little help from an underwater camera. Said the best color was “red gold” lol:

2. Check the size of the Montan-yaaaa saugers [!] Keith caught trolling #11 Berkley Flicker Minnows (blue smelt) and jigging 3″ PowerBait Ripple Shads (firetiger)!

3. When you spend as much time on the water as Keith, things are bound to go in the drink…. Guess his rod was sick of all that bending and tried to escape in 20′, but an underwater camera + a few passes later, he got it:

4. Now he’s busy catching saltwater walleyes (lol) on a Moonshine Shiver Minnow outside of Hernando Beach, FL:

5. And what looks like the equivalent of a saltwater smallmouth:

[If you can’t tell, I know zilch about saltwater fishes…I spend my “vacations” driving even farther north lol!]

My go-to set lines for hardwater walleyes.

Set lines (deadsticks, rattle reels, tip-ups) can easily double the amount of fish you catch, or even save the day on a tough bite. First: Here’s a quick look at my go-tos — any of ’em already in your tackle box?

I break down each of those baits — plus throw in a handful of tips that’ll help you ice more walleyes this winter — in the full video below. It’s about 14 mins long, so I’ll drop a “Table of Contents” here lol:

0:55 – Don’t actually try this one (lol).
1:51 – Favorite deadstick setup.
3:52 – Use a spit-shot to adjust the minnow’s action. #AnchorPoint
5:23 – Why I use mono instead of braid.
6:36 – My go-to rattle reel jigs.
7:07 – Best way to hook minnows.
8:03 – Set every rattle reel at a different depth, w/ a different bait.
9:00 – Panfish jig on steroids.
9:56 – Tiny ice flies for tough bites.
11:22 – Rattle reel line that doesn’t get tangled.
12:15 – Why I use a beefier 10- or 12-lb leader.

Appreciate you watching [!] and reeeeally hope it helps you catch more fish:

As always, drop a comment and let me know what you wanna see next.

If jigging spoons are more your thing — here’s the link for last week’s vid:

Look at the size of this ‘GillZilla!

Fish-head Kee Kong stuck this massive 11.25-incher [!] on a 1/32-oz “glow” VMC Tungsten Tubby Jig paired with a “purple” Dave’s Wedgee. Freakin’ giant:

That right there is why we reached out to Kee and got his take on early-season hardwater panfish locations…clearly workin’ for him. Keep after ’em, dude!

Match the hatch defined.

We always hear people talking about it, but here’s the photographic definition of the phrase “match the hatch” thanks to Jason Mitchell’s Salmo Rattlin’ Sting:

Now let’s see if you can guess which Salmo colors you should be throwing at these fishin’ spots?

Unlike your local newspaper, we won’t wait until next week to give you the answers:

Now I’ve seen it all….

Those Off Shore Tackle Planer Boards have a lot of uses, but the F.IN Outdoors Media crew may have just found a new one (lol):


1. SD: We lost another fishing brother.

Two broke through on Lake Whitewood near Lake Preston and unfortunately one wasn’t able to get out in time. RIP fishing brother.

2. WI: Pair rescued off Green Bay.

The ice they were on broke off and carried them into open water:

> “Brown County sheriff’s deputies were notified about 1:25 am that the men were about 300 yards off Volk’s Landing and were drifting farther from shore. When deputies arrived…the men were more than 1.5 miles from land….”

3. UT: Park Rangers save man from East Canyon Reservoir.

> “One of the men who was fishing with [him] attempted to help but fell through the ice as well, multiple times.”

There’s literally been dozens of these type of rescues over the last couple weeks, and they don’t all have happy endings.

Please be safe/patient! Just because you see someone else out on a lake, does NOT mean it’s safe…gotta take the extra time to check the ice conditions for yourself.

4. #WalleyeWars: Lake of the Woods vs Devils Lake.

Kicks off tomorrow at 9am! Joe Henry (Lake of the Woods, MN) and Tanner Cherney (Devils Lake, ND) will be going head to head live on Facebook — from 250 miles apart — to see who’s favorite lake can kick out the most/biggest fish thru the ice:

> “The two will air continuous Facebook reports with Lake of the Woods at the top of the hour and Devils Lake at the bottom of each hour, from 9am to 4pm.

> “In addition to fish-catching, Facebook fans will learn significantly more about each lake’s fishing tactics, where to go, what to do, how to schedule a trip, guide services, lodging, history, and much more.”

Don’t worry, your boss will be watching too…. #ProductivityLevelZero

5. Abu Garcia and Berkley newest NWT sponsors.

For sure a good fit. There’s barely any Berkley Flicker Shads left for the rest of us after the NWT pros come through town. #Dibs

6. MB: Is Lake Manitoba the next Lake Winnipeg?

Some think so. Lake Manitoba (2-ish hours west of Lake Winnipeg) has been kicking out quality fish and is starting to show up on people’s ice-fishin’ radars.

Local stick Jim Price has landed 8 “Master Angler” walleyes (over 28″) in the first couple weeks of the season. Says he hasn’t fished deeper than 10′ in 2 years!

More Lake Manitoba info in this Hooked Magazine write-up, including: access points, presentations, quality of fish, and a bonus fish-taco recipe (thx Don!).

IMO Lake Winnipeg isn’t going anywhere…reminds me of Mille Lacs where even when numbers are down, you still have a crack at the biggest fish of your life.

That said, I’ll definitely be making a pit stop at Lake Manitoba — for at least one day — when I’m up snoopin’ around Manitoba Jan 11-17.

7. MN: 21′ Ice Castle stolen in Little Falls.

Straight off the lot at Monahan’s Marine. Whoever done it has big stones and an even smaller brain because…

“A video of the incident shows a Ford F-150, made between 09-14, hooked up to the fish house before driving off the lot…at about 5am Dec 28.

> “The stolen fish house is a 2019 Ice Castle Outlaw Edition, 8′ x 21′, tandem axle, gray with black diamond plating along the bottom…has a Berkon frame with the number 1824580 stamped on it.”

8. ID: Lake Cascade jumbo perch numbers dropping?

You know the name ‘cuz it routinley kicks out GIANTS…talking jumbotrons up to 17″ [shocked emoji]. Game and Fish says the main food source for perch is smaller perch, which makes the population and size structure cyclical by nature:

> “Because there are fewer 7-10″ perch to replace the big perch being harvested and dying of old age, the number of perch larger than 10” will decline over the next few years.

> “But as the number of big perch declines from old age and angler harvest, predation on small perch is also reduced, which allows more smaller perch to become the next generation of jumbos.”


9. UT: Burbot Bash, Flaming Gorge Reservoir, Jan 25-27.

An annual tourney (and non-profit event) to help rid the fishery of the “invasive species and voracious predator that eats sport fish that would otherwise be available for anglers to catch.” They gave away nearly $31K in cash and prizes last year, so getcha ‘pout on!

Wait — did someone intentionally stock burbot??

10. MB: ’12 months of Master Angler’ contest happenin’ again.The HuntFishMB crew is giving away a $1,000 [!] Cabela’s gift card once a month, every month, to someone who registers a “Master Angler” fish. Not species-specific this year, can be any Master Angler catch. More info here.

11. NE: Two ice-fishing workshops coming up in Jan.

Tip of the Day

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

> His go-to bait summer and winter…but (typically) 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 vid where Tony’s putting ’em to work on “The Big Pond” aka Mille Lacs. #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.

Quote of the Day

There’s no excuse for leaving anything but an impression when you leave the lake.

– That’s the MN DNR talkin’ about people who have zero respect for our waters and leave their trash on the ice.

Can’t believe I have to say this but…if you bring it out, bring it back with you! One lazy person can make all of us look bad:

C’mon man! So wrong. BIG shout-out to those that not only pick up after themselves but also others.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Awesome shot from Jeremy Logan Newman (@jeremyfishcowboyz) of a Sault Sainte Marie, ON walldawg that was sniffin’ that Freedom Tackle Minnow Spoon too closely:

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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
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

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