Target Walleye/Ice email

Lipless cranking crappies, Tip-up spooling hack, Pigs of the week

If you’re receiving this Target Walleye/Ice email — covering the best of walleye fishing during open water and the best of ice fishing during hard water — for the first time, a friend probably signed you up! Target Walleye/Ice is brought to you by Al and Ron Lindner, Jim Kalkofen and other walleye and ice fishing nuts like you.

Today’s Top 5

Rock melons of the week!


Tyler French pulled the ol’ switcharoo on this 13.25-lb WY wall-debeest: He was “covering ground with a Rapala Rippin’ Rap,” then grabbed his Glacial Lakes Outdoors King Perch rod rigged with a PK Predator Spoon “to finesse her into biting:”

Here’s why Tyler Berthold chooses to live where the air hurts his face (Lake Erie, OH):

Not a recent pic, but look at this gaw-jus brute that deserves some limelight. TW fan Trevor Davies stuck this 15.9-lb (35″) gravel lizard the last day — and last hour — of pre-fishing for the Vanity Cup on Tobin Lake. He was rigging a leech on a 12′ snell along a 14′ break when he hooked into what felt like a sturgeon:

> Trevor: “Just a steady, non-stopping pull. It was a very exciting fight because as you can see we were among a few boats — so it was very nerve racking!” Nicely done:

How to catch the biggest crappies in the school.


Most like to downsize when fishing in a crowd, but BASS pro and ice-fishing nut Dave Lefebre does the opposite — he targets the biggest slabs in the school using lipless cranks like the Rapala Slab Rap. For sure not going to catch as many, but the ones you do will be donkeys:

Works for open-water “donkeys” too:

Ice fishing with planer boards?


Sort of…. The walleye-obsessed Jeff Chisholm is still out dragging Off Shore Tackle planer boards on the Bay of Quinte:

You know the fishing’s good when this crew decides to throw out a spread of planer boards instead of decoys:

They’re not the only ones that gave up hunting to hit the lake — Geoff Barnes will be chasing white-tips instead of whitetails from here on out. #EatingTags:

Ice-heads don’t need a dang thermometer to check the temp!


Those spud bars get heavy with constant swings, but Cal Flander found a helping hand(s) while checking ice conditions on Mille Lacs Lake, MN:

Trevin Steger knows it’s brisk when he whips up his own homemade eye-cicles:

Skylar Livingston shows us how to make bowling balls in the bottom of a bucket:

How do you keep your bait fresh?


We haven’t gone this far, but the bathtub has been used for redtail emergencies:

That perch party must be somewhere in Wisconsin?

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1. MN/WI/IA: Ice fishin’ not advised on upper Mississippi.

> “Unpredic changes in water levels are occurring on the upper Mississippi River pools this week due to ice in the lock and dam gates at locks 7, 9 and 10…water levels could drop as much as 4 feet.


> “Access to ice fishing areas has become dangerous with ice ledges along the shorelines. The ice may look safe, but air pockets can form when water levels drop rapidly leaving open water.”

2. MN: Feds raid Ely bait shop, seize ciscoes.

Special agents were questioning whether the ciscoes came from the U.S. or Canada:

> U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents raided the Great Outdoors Bait Shop in Ely on Dec. 1, seizing more than 6,000 ciscoes along with the shop’s computer files, tax records and banking records….

Since it’s not April 1, we’re assuming this is legit? For selling fish??

3. MN: Nancy Koep gets the Melvin Jones Fellow award…

…for her involvement with youth and veteran fishing programs. It’s the highest award a person can receive in the Lions Organization. Much deserved, Nancy!

Forgot to mention that she can catch ’em too:

4. How to keep your hole from freezing over.

Worked great this fall keeping bait alive on road trips, but guys are also using the Rapala Floating Aerator for a pretty cool ice-fishing hack:

> Tom Neustrom: “We took that Floating Aerator and put it in the hole where we had a tip-up — it will actually keep the hole open. And don’t worry about aerator sound scaring away fish, even in shallow water. It’s just a little bubbling — not a big noise.”

Can’t wait to try it in the fish house this winter.

5. Is sonar the new flasher?

Used to be the delay was so long it was hardly worth using any sonar on the ice, but that’s not the case anymore. Plus how nice would it be to have built-in GPS on your ice unit?! Humminbird ICE Helix units got it all, and are worth checking out if you’re shopping ice units:

6. Brad Hawthorne talks walleyes on AnglingBuzz.

B-Rad hits fishing big water, day vs. night bites, and hardwater walleye movement:

7. New StrikeMaster Lithium augers.

Can pop 56 holes through 2 feet of ice on a single charge. Also comes in a 10″ version.

FishUSA has ’em on sale right now, click here to check ’em out.

8. MI: DNR battling grass carp in Lake Erie.

Not the ones that jump into the boat, those are silvers.

9. Evinrude announces 10-yr warranty?!

Wow! #Confidence

10. Talkin’ ice safety with a warden (Northland video).

Hope the boys from Northland Tackle weren’t causing trouble at the access to get him to come down in the first place…? lol These guys look trustworthy, right?

Seriously: NFT is really kicking out a ton of quality vids on their YouTube channel — for sure worth clicking that subscribe button.

Fishing Reports

1. MN: Lake of the Woods.

> Ice fishing has begun and there are openings with numerous resorts this weekend — it’s good to see fish houses on the lake again! Fishing reports are coming in very good.

And so it begins! Can’t wait to see the post-weekend flood of fish pics.

2. ND: Devils Lake.

Just announced: Lake Alice (National Wildlife Refuge) will be open for ice fishing this season, and it’s one of the first areas of Devils Lake to get safe ice. #RoadTrip:

Great places to catch ’em

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Tip of the Day

Tip-up spooling hack using a power drill.

Cool trick from hardwater-junkie Adam Walton, who uses a cordless drill to spool up his Beaver Dam tip-ups. Sure beats the old-school way…that give you Carpal Tunnel:

Quote of the Day

Not sure if no boats at the launch is a good sign….

– What Lund pro Roy Vivian said to his buddy on a brrrrrrrrrr-isk Dec morning:

Our man Clark Griswold knows the feeling:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

This big-headed water pig scarfed down a Rapala Jigging Rap in the color “bluegill.” Open water, ice, doesn’t matter — they catch ’em!

Check this stuff out!

About Target Walleye
Target Walleye/Ice brings you the BEST walleye and ice fishing news, pics, tips and events year-round, and is brought to you by Al & Ron Lindner, Jim Kalkofen and other walleye nuts like you!

Brett McComas is the main man for Target Walleye/Ice. He was plucked out of 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 quit sports in high school because they were interfering with his fishing time…. Get him at | |

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