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:
Crazy-amounts of height on this Manitoba basin-dweller Cody caught on a “glo pink” Impulse Scud Bug:
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….
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.
> 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.
> “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.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org