Target Walleye/Ice email

Lakich LiveScoped Green Bay, Dirty 30 of the week, Big bluegills disappearing

Today’s Top 4

How Isaac Lakich got 2nd at the Green Bay NWT.

I wanted to circle back and hit this because Korey Sprengel’s blowout win sort of had the other top bags hidden in the shadows…. But getting 2nd-place outta more than 120 boats [!] during a tough bite deserves some:


That lime is WI rookie Isaac Lakich, who made a seriously-impressive NWT debut = sacking up a 2-day bag (10 fish) for 60.31 lbs and landing a $21K payday:


Word is Isaac fished the same general area as Sprengel = a warm-water pocket where fish weren’t as affected by the cold, clear water a north wind had brought down from Lake Michigan. But Isaac wasn’t trolling…he chose to cast to specific fish using his Garmin Panoptix LiveScope.

Day 1: He was mainly snap-jigging with Rapala Jigging Raps and Moonshine Shiver Minnows.

Day 2: Was flat calm, so he was casting a crawler harness-type of dealio that’s basically a hybrid of a rig + jig. Was a 3/4-oz Walleye Nation Creations Death Jig — not sure what color he was throwing, but here’s what that rig looks like naked:


Said the easiest way to do this casting technique is to sorta lob the bait out there (so the rig doesn’t get fouled on itself) and then count how long it takes for that bait to hit the bottom…lets you know how long to let it sink before reeling.

When they were fishing in 12-14′ over boulders, they’d let it sink for 6-8 seconds then work it in with a slow-n-steady retrieve so the bait stayed 2-3′ off bottom.

Or instead of counting it down, you can just watch exactly where your bait  — and the fish! — are on the Garmin LiveScope lol! #Dialed

> “With my Garmin LiveScope, I was able to put that presentation in a fish’s face every single cast. I LiveScope’d almost every fish I caught.

> “It’s pretty crazy. I’m feeling really good, really confident, yet really humbled. I feel so blessed to finish where I did against this competition, the Gary Parsons and Keith Kavajeczs of the world. I can’t even begin to describe what that means.”

Big congrats, dude! I’d say to “keep it rolling” but you already have….

Now, Isaac and his partner Max Wilson just won the Green Bay MWC on Aug 7-9:


No word how they caught ’em, but I’d guess it was pretty similar to what was talked about above…especially when Max drops a comment in an IG post like this:

> “Have I ever mentioned that LiveScoping walleye is cooler than the other side of the pillow.”

These are FOR SURE my kind of pillows:


Congrats fellas!

Dirty-30 of the week! 

My bud Mike Olson of Fish Addictions TV has probably caught more high-20″ fish outta Lake of the Woods than anyone I know — and racked up a pile of tourney winnings $$$ along the way — but had never broken that magical 30″ mark until now…. So this 30.25-incher was a long time comin’ — BIG congrats man!


Loved his co-angler’s comment under the FB post:

> Taylor Mellenthin: “Heart still hasn’t been ticking right since netting this creature.”

No doubt!

Mike caught that LOW freakazoid on another one of his blurry baits ^^^ (lol). If I had to guess, it was a custom-painted crank by Renegade Outdoor Innovations.

Couple seasons back, Mike and the Renegade crew finally leaked the custom “Craw” pattern Rapala Deep Tail Dancers and Bandit Walleye Deep Divers that helped ’em finish in the top 10 at the NWT Championship, among other tourney paydays:


Things look downright tasty! Same company kickin’ out those custom-painted soft plastics [!] we mentioned before:


Love it. Keep doing your thing, guys! But no more secrets next time….

Are the “good ol’ days” happening

right now on Lake Erie?

You’ve seen all the big-fish pics…but there’s a huuuuge crop of youngsters coming up right now too, and things are getting down-right hectic….

Jim Hanley’s (@gofishjim) gonna have a fun time sorting out this TRIPLE…but it sure is a good problem to have!


He wasn’t the only one getting in on Lake Erie’s current 3-for-1 special…. @captain_copa said they had 4 walleyes on at the same time and first-mate Elliot Madison was able to get 3 of ’em in the net at once:


Just wild….

Folks are eating big bluegills GONE. 


Might have something to do with these spot-on quotes from an AWESOME write-up Cory Schmidt did for In-Fisherman:

> “The term panfish, to some, seems to imply that God put bluegills, crappies and perch here for one reason: To be filleted and consumed in assembly-line numbers.

> “Too often, anglers view the harvest limit not as a management tool but as a daily fishing goal and a measuring stick for success.”

And the answer is “yes,” science is out there proving that folks who keep too many big bluegills can ruin the size structure of an entire fishery.

From Dave Weitzel, MN DNR fisheries supervisor in Grand Rapids:

> “Bluegill populations can be radically altered by the targeted harvest of top-end size breeding males. As the size of remaining male bluegills decreases, bluegills respond by maturing and spawning earlier. This means much of their energy goes toward reproductive success rather than growth during the early stages of their lives.

> “Eventually, because of increased competition for limited food sources, small, stunted fish overtake the population…can take decades to reverse.”

If this info even slightly tickles your fancy…I strongly recommend reading Cory Schmidt’s full In-Fisherman write-up here.


1. ID: Record black crappie caught!

Jon Urban caught and released the 17″ record-breaker from the bank [!] after finding out their trolling-motor batteries were dead:

Solid read here with details on the catch.

2. The 2021 MWC schedule is out.

  • Mar 19-20: Illinois River — Spring Valley, IL
  • Apr 16-17: Lake Erie — Port Clinton, OH
  • May 21-22: Big Stone Lake — Ortonville, MN
  • Jun 25-26: Lake Oahe — Mobridge, SD
  • Aug 13-14: St. Mary’s River — Sault Ste. Marie, MI
  • Sep 17-18: Cass Lake — Cass Lake, MN

3. WI: Green Bay MWC brought roughly $775K to local economy.

4. ON: Janzen/Hebert won the Kenora Walleye Open.

Side note — they had a cool rule change this year:

> …used a catch, record, release (CRR) format for fish over 23″…goal was to keep the excitement of catching big walleyes but reduce or completely remove big-fish mortality due to high-water temps….

I’m all for that, especially since the weigh-in probably took a bit longer than normal with folks having to “social distance.”

5. WI: Fox River dredging project is donezo.After 16 years and $1 bil:

> …the project has removed 6.5 mil cubic yards of pollutants called PCBs from a 39-mile stretch of the lower Fox River. PCBs are chemicals that were once used in the papermaking process.

> …PCB concentrations in water upstream of the De Pere dam have been reduced by 90% since 2006. Over the same time frame, PCB concentrations in walleye have declined by 65%. …those numbers should continue to decline for the next 10-30 years.

6. New “custom color” Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerks…

…aren’t on Rap’s site yet, but just saw FishUSA has most of ’em in stock already. Here’s a look at the 12 new “custom colors” Rapala’s bringing to the table in the #12 (4.75″) and #14 (5.5″) Down Deep Husky Jerks:

7. Next NWT stop starts tomorrow.

Outta Sault Ste Marie, MI.

8. MN: Glenwood DNR fisheries supervisor Dean Beck retires.

After 31+ years:

> At 67 years old, Dean Beck can still remember well how a letter he wrote as a 6th-grader to a district fisheries biologist in KS [asking, “How can I get a job like that?”] impacted his eventual career choice.

> Dean: “He was kind enough to reply to me, and I’ve had a laser focus from then on through college and work experiences. I feel like I’m walking away from a dream. I’m supposed to be excited, but I’m honestly kind of sad.

> “I think the kid and my biological interest were directed at the resource, but the reality is that fish management is largely people management…. It hasn’t been easy, but I think I’ve adapted and it has been a very interesting, challenging and satisfying career.”

Seems like a cool dude with some super-interesting insights. Hope you’ve got more time to fish now, man!

9. Northland Tackle’s gettin’ riggy with it.

If you haven’t tried the Northland Butterfly Blade Float’n Harness yet…things are LEGIT. Had the chance to test it out last year and the fish absolutely smoked it. Worked especially well on bigger fish in clear water.

They nailed the colors — my top-producer (so far) has been “golden perch”:

Haven’t had a chance to try their new Wingnut design yet, but it’s supposed to have nearly double the action of the original Butterfly Blade design — for when you want a wider wobble and more aggressive action, but can still be slowed waaaay down if need be.

Comes in a single hook, ‘crawler harness and Super Death rig (left to right):

10. WI: EPA delists the Lower Menominee River…

…as “area of concern:”

> …was deemed clean enough to be removed from the list after a remediation process that began in the late ’80s.

> The Menominee River is the 1st area of concern to be delisted in WI, and only the 5th nationwide. Still on the list…are St. Louis River, the Milwaukee Estuary, the lower Green Bay and Fox River, and the Sheboygan River.

11. If you’re sick of missin’ fish…

…when pulling big creek chubs or redtails, might wanna check out the new-ish Eagle Claw TK2VR Pro-V Octopus Hook in the #2 or #1 size. Heard a lot of folks are really diggin’ ’em. Surgically sharpened and requires half the pressure on the hookset. Also:

> …the bend increases holding power after hookset by funneling the fish to the deepest point on the hook throat and keeping it there. …creates a pocket in the hook throat that holds live bait in place.

12. AB: Cold Lake fish hatchery getting $10.3-mil upgrade.13. FishUSA has Smithwick Top 20 Rogues on sale.

Have ’em buy 1 get 1 FREE right now. Not sure how long that deal’s going….

14. Yetti’s got “smart” wheelhouses comin’.

Check this techy new feature available on Yetti’s 2021 fish house models:

> Control and monitor your Yetti Fish House on your phone from anywhere that has cell service with our new option, iN∙Command with Global Connect.

> Remotely turn your heat on so the house is warm when you get there, control interior/exterior lighting with dimming functionality, monitor battery voltage (low-voltage push notifications), water tank levels, and more!


Got to play with it this ice season and loved it. Being able to turn the heat up and lights on the “shack” before driving out after dark was super slick.

15. ON: Detroit River fisherpeople to be surveyed on fish consumption.

> …will gather data not only on the types of fish people are eating but also how much they eat and who they share fish with. …to help us determine whether or not fish consumption remains impaired for the Detroit River.

16. Deepest-diving crank in the world.

If you haven’t heard of Salmo’s Freediver series, they’re the deepest-diving floating cranks in the world…some can be trolled down to dang near 50′ on their own! Without leadcore, snap weights, etc.

Came across this cool video with Salmo founder Piotr Piskorski and Jason “needs no introduction” Mitchell talkin’ about how the Freediver came about:

Did you win our MotorGuide giveaway?

Wanna give this one last chance before we finally draw a new winner….

Sent several emails to jamesdickey**@*****.com that they won our MotorGuide Xi5 giveaway. Haven’t heard back and wanna make sure they aren’t going to the junk box. You’ve got 24 hours to hit me up, or it’s on to the next…. #LastChance! Highlights

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.

Tip of the Day

Throwback write-up here, few excerpts below:

> Most of the time the fish are relating to weeds, particularly cabbage and coontail. I prefer to fish cabbage as it is much easier to move your presentation just outside of the weedline….

> I abandon the typical “Lindy” sinker when fishing weeds and instead use a cone-shaped [bassin’] sinker…slides through the weeds without fouling on them and can save you a lot of aggravation.

> During the heat of August, I tend to use nightcrawlers much more than leeches — walleyes seem to prefer ’em. Crawlers beat leeches most days once the insect hatches start going off. If panfish are driving me crazy stealing crawlers, I’ll switch to leeches which are a lot tougher….

> Before snelling the hook, I slide on a 6mm bead…could be fluorescent orange, chartreuse, green or white. Some days one works better than the other — I’ve fished a lot of live-bait situations where the bead made a tremendous difference….

> I also carry fluorescent orange and chartreuse yarn, the same stuff steelhead anglers use. I usually divide it in half (because it’s pretty thick) and cut off a piece about 3″ long.

> Next I attach it to the snell right at the eye of the hook with a simple overhand knot…trim the ends down to about 1/4″ long. It provides a bigger target than a bead — acting almost like a spinner — but you can go a lot slower.

> Pinch off the tail of your crawler, removing about 1/3 of its length. Not sure why — some think it puts more scent in the water — but it’ll definitely make a difference most days.

> If your hook is picking up moss or other gunk, go to a floating rig so the hook doesn’t drag over the bottom. Floating jig heads work well and add a dash of color ahead of the worm.

Quote of the Day

“People sometimes actually raise sharks in their basements or garages, and maybe it got too big and they thought it was more humane to just toss it in the river instead of killing it.”

– That’s a sort-of-random (but hey, it’s shark week lol) quote talking about this set of chompers Joey Piskel snagged on the Mississippi River west of Grand Rapids, MN a few years back:

> Joey: “No way was it a decoration on a boat or anything because there was a lot of flesh still on it and the cartilage was still very flexible.

> “We put the jaw in some hydrogen peroxide and water to clean it up. Some of the flesh has come off and it no longer smells terrible.”

He brought it to the local DNR office where they later concluded it to be a sand shark. Lots of rumors flooding social media about how it got there, but clearly:


Today’s ‘Eye Candy

I’ve heard of blue-green algae…but Marie-Pier Michaud caught the walleye-version of that in central QC:

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