Target Walleye/Ice email

Lake Oahe teener, NASTY boat accident, Best length-to-weight formulas

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Today’s Top 5

Lake Oahe teener caught!

Don Fibich thwacked this 13-lb 6-oz (31″) hambone on Lake Oahe — 1 day before the Mobridge Ice Fishing Tournament — jigging a Clam Leech Flutter Spoon (perch) tipped with a minnow head in 16′. G-g-g-giant:

Congrats on the absolute fish of a lifetime dude! In case you’re wondering, the fish is going on the wall…. Ultimately that’s the angler’s choice to make as long as it’s within the law, so please respect whichever decision they make.

My 2 cents: I personally prefer to let anything over about 18″ go and just get a mount done: Snap a few quality pics, take accurate measurements and return those bigguns back to the water to breed.

Just got one of my replicas (a 30-incher) back from a local dude in town (Fiber Tech Productions) and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Love knowing the fish is still swimming to get even more bigger-er:

“If you want to continue catching big fish, keep only the small ones.”

Quote from this must-read article ’bout keeping those big-fish genetics in the lake. Gord Pyzer and Jeff Matity (in charge of SK’s hatchery program) teamed up to tackle this always-controversial topic. Recommend taking a few minutes to read the full write-up here, but few excerpts below:

> Protecting large, mature fish is now seen as so vital to maintaining healthy fish populations that fisheries scientists are referring to the concept as the big, old, fat, female fish — or BOFFF — hypothesis.

> Fish are cold-blooded animals that reproduce their entire lives…a 10-lb female walleye will typically produce eggs equivalent to 1/3 of her body weight. They get better and better as they age and never reach their peak.

> Last spring Matity recovered 5-lbs of roe — approximately 300K eggs — from one 11-lb walleye…practically all of those eggs would have been viable. With a 2- to 3-lb walleye only 20-30% of the eggs would hatch.

> Big fish have the biggest, juiciest eggs with the best yolk sacs, so each one is a bigger target for a sperm to find. Big spawners are the critical part of the reproductive pyramid. Big fish know the best places to lay their eggs and (in the case of bass) how best to protect their nests.

> Matity is also critical of anglers who misguidedly play God…such as walleye anglers who kill bass…mistakenly thinking this helps the population of their favorite fish. Fish species interact in ways that benefit each other.

> ….big bass are critical in controlling the spread of invasive rusty crayfish, which predate heavily on walleye eggs. Who would’ve thought that big bass might hold the key to better walleye populations?

Thx much guys! Learning more and more each day ’bout things we can do to help protect the resource.

What’s the best walleye length-to-weight formula?

Quick search on the Google machinez and you’ll find a zillion different formulas out there to help guesstimate the weight of your walleye. Enough to make you have nightmares about that college algebra class you barely snuck through:

Have found a few of those formulas to be fairly close the couple times I’ve tested ’em…of course I’ve also found some to be WAY off. Seems like you need to use a different one based on how fat the fish is (or isn’t) — which is a problem because everyone thinks the fish they just caught is as fat as they come…lol don’t blame ya!

Nothing beats an accurate scale, but here’s a few formulas that worked for me:

1. SUPER-thick walleye.

Common example might be Lake Winnipeg greenbacks. Head looks awkwardly small compared to the body, the belly-fat rolls over your fingers, even the tail is thick/meaty/carries weight.

  • Formula: (length x girth x girth) / 750 = weight

Here’s an example from personal experience that was verified on a scale:

(28.75″ x 17″ x 17″) / 750 = 11.078 lbs

Caught this one using a #7 “pearl grey shiner” Rapala Rippin’ Rap on…you guessed it: Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba. Was outside hole-hoppin’ but rushed it inside the heated shack to take measurements before releasing her.

2. Average-looking walleye.

Fish is overall proportional and healthy. Has an average looking thickness compared to its length and head size. Gut isn’t belly floppin’ over your fingers, but it’s not skinny.

  • Formula: (length x girth x girth) / 800 = weight

Example from personal experience:

(30″ x 16.5″ x 16.5″) / 800 = 10.209 lbs

That one inhaled a #7 Rapala Jigging Rap (perch color) in 28′ on the bottom edge of a rockpile. Was idling around looking for a fresh school of mid-day fish and graphed this biggun on the bottom with another friend. Threw it in reverse, dropped on its head and bang. #TillerLife

3. Skinny-looking walleye.

Fish’s head looks awkwardly big for its body. Has no belly. Might be vegan.

  • Formula: Tell people how long it was instead…sounds more impressive (lol).

4. What if you didn’t measure it’s girth?

This should get you a close-ish weight guesstimate for an average-shaped walleye.

  • Formula: (length x length x length) / 2,700 = weight

Some examples:

When ice fishing is more than just a hobby….

Fish-nut Alex Shepard took a Sawzall, can of foam and a Catch Cover to his car to make one heck of an ice-scouting rig:

Our favorite comment/reply under the original post:

Q: What’s the wife say about you cutting a hole in her vehicle?

A: Why tell her? That’s what floor mats are for….

Lol! Although there’s plenty of ladies out there that’d probably do this themselves.

Nasty boating accident caught on film.

Can happen in a matter of seconds — even if you’re being safe, you can’t control what the other guy is doing or not doing. For sure the scariest vid I’ve ever seen…it’s an absolute blessing everyone made it out alive and with minimal injuries:

Please make a habit of always wearing a quality life jacket…no different than wearing a seatbelt in your car. You just never know….


1. IN: Body of fishing brother found.

> “A property owner noticed tracks leading out to a hole in the ice on his pond and a bunch of fishing gear sitting nearby but no person.”

Ugh so sad. RIP Gregory Davis.

2. MI: 5 fishermen rescued from an ice floe…

…in Lake Erie’s Brest Bay:

> “Coast Guard and Monroe County Sheriff were notified of people flashing lights on an ice floe at about 8 pm…a Coast Guard helicopter hoisted them to safety.”

Glad everyone was okay, that’s terrifying stuff.

3. MT: Husband/wife team win Hebgen Lake NAIFC.

Denise and Wayne Schlegel won the North American Ice Fishing Circuit’s (NAIFC) Hebgen Lake qualifier with 6 rainbows for 14.7 lbs. Took home the $3,800 payday and also qualified to fish the championship in Dec. Congrats!

4. WY: Walleye considered invasive species…

…in Buffallo Bill Rez. Was removed from the list of game fish…meaning there’s no regulation requiring they be eaten and a fisherman “could kill it and throw it in the garbage can.”

G&F wants to wipe ’em out in order to “sustain the health of the cutthroat trout fishery.” Know at least one guy that’s in favor:

5. OH: Over $240K awarded to boating-safety education.

Sounds like a lot of dough until you re-watch Top Item #5.

The south shore in 24-30′ during the day and a morning/evening bite in 15-17′.
Good ’nuff even Jamie Dietman can catch a biggun right now:

…ice-fishing tourney happenin’ Jan 28. #ChaChing

8. MN Governor’s Fishing Opener is on Green Lake.

Near Willmar on May 11-13. The fishing opener’s the biggest holiday in MN lol.

9. MN: Ladies only fishin’ event…

…comin’ to Otter Tail County Feb 10th. All skill levels welcome. More deets here or click on the pic below:

Headline of the Day

Doing my part to keep ice-fishing economy strong.

Know the feeling! When you realize how much you’ve spent on fishing tackle:

Tip of the Day

Use your tire tracks to map out where to drill.

Instead of picking a single waypoint to drill out, Tony Roach uses his GPS to drive along the contour and outline the depth he’s looking for. Then he punches holes along his tire tracks.

Here’s a quick snapshot from the Wired2Fish video where we highlighted Tony’s tracks/holes give you a better idea of exactly what that means:

You’ll for sure wanna check the full Wired2Fish vid below for a great breakdown of it in action, plus some bonus underwater footage. #Money

Quote of the Day

Anyone willing to sit on a bucket atop a frozen body of water, utterly exposed to the worst discomfort Mother Nature can conjure, while dangling a near-microscopic bait or lure or combination of both through an 8″ hole using naught but some string and a silly stub of a rod and reel is deserving, I believe, of respect. Also sympathy.

– LOL apparently Steve Moseley didn’t have a great first experience on the ice….

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Ice-nut Dylan Smith’s been stickin’ shallow-water jumbos on a Clam Half Ant Drop tipped with 3 spikes. Still one of my all-time fav panfish jigs — something special ’bout the rolling action it gets with only half the jig being tungsten:

Sign up another ice-head!

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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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