Target Walleye/Ice email

Line spooling hacks, Pout cleaning don’t, Swingers fish better

Only one TWI email next week — a special early-season walleye issue you won’t wanna miss! I’ll be on Lake of the Woods chasing lake trout, jumbo perch and crappies…trying to remember to hit the “record” button (lol). Thanks for reading!!

If you’re getting this Target Walleye/Ice email for the first time, a friend probably signed you up!

Today’s Top 4

Egg-cannons of the week!

Sam Sobieck with a freak-nasty pike caught in northern Manitoba. Still trying to figure out what that weird growth/lump is on its side…oh wait, it’s Alex Peric (lol):

Mitch Klatt got into the Simcoe egg-cannons fishing soft-to-hard bottom transition in 13-32′. Said most of the bigguns fell for a Rapala Jigging Rap, but switched throughout the day to keep ’em biting. Hey doggy!

Benjamin Knutson wrangled in this Mississippi River toad slow rolling a BFishN Tackle Moxi on a 3/16-oz jig over sandy flats. #SecretSpot

This 2.1-lb (15″) tugboat took down a 1/2-oz Bagley Brite Spoon (silver mirror). They love the flash and walloping it on the flutter down:

Another SUMO jumbo…this time from (you guessed it) Lake Cascade, ID. Chowed Brian Clum’s Clam Small Pea Slab Spoon:

Crazy-amounts of height on this Manitoba basin-dweller Cody caught on a “glo pink” Impulse Scud Bug:

Line-spooling hacks!!

Line twist? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Here’s a few tricks I’ve learned to help keep line WAY more manageable, including:

1) Spooling in a bowl of warm water [seriously!]
2) Using line conditioners

3) Stretching the memory out of your line

Check it all in this short vid:

Side note: FishUSA just got those ^^^ Okuma Ceymar C-10s back in stock, and they usually don’t last long. Absolutely LOVE them on ice — especially for less than $45! Anyone ever tried the bigger sizes for open-water? Let me know.

Burbot cleaning done right.

The burbot bite is (finally) kicking into full gear…and yes, they taste muy delicioso! Gotta clean ’em a little differently though — almost like cutting the backstraps out of a deer. Here’s how it’s done from ‘pout connoisseur Jeff Matity:

Was some grumbling in the comments section of the vid about wasting the belly meat…but there’s something you should know:

> Jeff: While I was a contract biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, I poured over their burbot data from all over North America and was stopped in my tracks to find out that burbot are a real canary-in-a-coal-mine when it comes to pollution and toxic contamination of their flesh.

> For whatever reason (diet, habitat, biochemistry of the fish) burbot are specifically sensitivity to pollution and their bodies “successful” ability to mop it up from the environment.

“Mop it up” is right!

> Where I live (on the Qu’Appelle River system) we have two cities and hundreds of miles of farmland upstream. The amount of domestic, industrial and agricultural pollution that drains down the river through our lakes is significant.

> Mercury and other contamination accumulates in organs and fatty tissue of living things. That’s what makes burbot liver and their fatty belly meat a potential health concern

> I eliminate the belly meat and any internal organs in my field-dressing method and NEVER recommend anyone eat the belly or gigantic liver of a burbot.

Great info, Jeff!

Btw – don’t let all that nasty talk scare you away from cookin’ up burb…just make sure you’re not eating a bunch of their weird parts….

“Why swingers catch more fish.”

That’s Gord Pyzer NOT talking about these:

Actually talking about a trick he wishes was still a secret…using a Fastach Clip to separate the hook from the lure:

> Remove the treble hook from your favourite winter lures and place a Fastach Clip on the hook hanger instead. Run the treble’s shank through the pinched-off head of a shiner, then attach the baited treble to the clip.

> Separates the hook from the lure by a (critical) fraction of an inch, making it impossible for a fish to steal the shiner head without getting hooked.

> When a fish swims up to your bait, flares its gills and creates a vacuum, the hook and minnow head will swing into its open mouth.

Looks like it’s workin’ well for Gord:

Few companies have trebles pre-rigged with ’em so you don’t run out of Band-Aids. One that comes to mind is the Northland Tackle Minnow Head Hook. #Works


1. MB: Maybe win $1,000 for catching a whitefish.

> Submit an action photo with your qualifying Master Angler whitefish that showcases the species and demonstrates the “wow” factor of fishing in Manitoba. Every qualifying entry has a chance to win a Cabela’s gift card valued at $1,000.

More info on how to enter here. #roadtrip.

2. Gotta shout out…

Woodland Resort on Devils Lake, ND. They hosted the Wounded Warriors Guide Service Ice Tourney last weekend. All $$$ raised goes to help provide hunting and fishing expeditions for veterans. #Stout

3. Gander Outdoors locations opening in 2018.

4. MT: $400K in outdoor funding approved.

Sorry walleye guys, it’s all goin’ to the trouts….

5. MN: Charity MN Fishing Challenge.

Happening Jun 2 on Gull Lake. They raise ’bout $300K each year [!] and all proceeds benefit a great charity: the MN Adult & Teen Challenge. Plus you get to try and out-fish Al (good luck):

6. VT needs “Let’s Go Fishing” instructors.

7. Canada tackle market stabilizing?

Were also hit with brick/mortar store closings.

8. Zebra mussels are egg machines?

Says a single zeeb produces about 1 million eggs a year. #Aggressive

9. Dale Ernhardt Jr. named honorary chair…

…of “National Hunting and Fishing Day.” Honestly didn’t know that he fished…?

10. Ultimate wheelchair for outdoorsmen?

Saw this in the BassBlaster. Don’t know anything about ’em, but they look killer:

Tip of the Day

> “Matching the hatch” is a cliché phrase that gets thrown around a lot…some of the most effective presentations for winter crappie follow a different mantra.

> Crappies’ winter diets largely consist of microscopic invertebrates and zooplankton less than 1/4-inch long…but some of the greatest jig and plastic combos ever developed might measure an inch or more….

> Larger easier to find/see profiles catch more crappie simply because more fish come over to investigate. Once the fish get close enough to scrutinize the bait, the lure simply has to look similar to something the fish has eaten before.

> The classic Maki doesn’t look like anything specific…could be a young-of-the-year fish, insect larvae or water beetle. The profile, action and water displacement give it an overall look that mimics several living organisms fish eat.

> Replicating minnow movements: More abrupt slashes and snaps on the upstroke to raise fish. Smaller movements as the fish gets closer might resemble upward hops with stops and shakes mixed in.

> Replicating bug movements: Simply quivering the tentacles and vibrating the rod tip. You can still raise the jig and pull fish up but the actions are more methodical while pulsating the soft plastic tail the entire time.

Keep reading Mitchell’s full write-up here on

Quote of the Day

Rapala owns a series of balsa forests in Ecuador where we replant and rotate plots to maintain stable production.

That’s Rapala lure designer Mark Fisher talking about making balsa crankbaits. Also found it interesting that:

> “For lures with most delicate action — such as Shad Raps and Original Floaters — we use only wood from the core of the tree, where texture and density are most consistent.”

Now we know what Mark actually does on his lunch breaks:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Chase Bohning’s creativity level = [fire emoji] [fire emoji] [fire emoji]:

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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