Target Walleye/Ice email

Lithium battery rant, Kemos LiveScoped the Soo, Hidden HELIX feature

Today’s Top 4

Dirty-30s of the week!

1)  Check the crazy shoulders on this 32.5-incher [!!] @ckahle13 plucked outta the Kinzua Reservoir — believe that’s a fishy section of the Allegheny River near the NY/PA border — pulling leadcore with a #5 Berkley Flicker Shad. Congrats on the wall-hanger, Courtney!


2)  Marc Tremblay (@wallyfishing_marc) whacked 31″ of gold on the new “blue chrome” color Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow Walleye Deep Diver. Absolutely flawless fish, and wild how little it makes a 4-5″ bait look:


3)  Kyle joined the dirty-30 club fishing with Brian DesLauriers (@feastyoureyesguideservice) on Lake of the Woods — running the “viking” color Salmo Hornet 5:


And if you haven’t run the Okuma Dead Eye Classic Trolling Rod yet (just barely cropped out of that ^ pic) they are absolute rockstars for the price. I bought 1 to try, and let’s just say I now have 4…! FishUSA has that 7′ 10″ M moderate-action in stock for just $39.99 right now = great rod for longlining cranks, pulling bottom-bouncers or running leadcore.

I pair all 4 of my setups with the Okuma Cold Water Line Counter Reel (CW-303D) and they never leave my boat…well, unless I’m slipping ’em in that Millennium Marine SpyderLok Rod Pod for a rip:

Rant of the day = SOLVED!

Okay, so occasionally I just gotta vent a few thoughts in here…sorta like my kind of fish-therapy when I can’t get on the water (lol).

You might remember my trolling motor rant wondering when will transom trolling motors have an anchor mode? Still waiting….

Or last winter when I was wondering: Why don’t all high-end fishing electronics come with a lithium battery off the shelf??


Lol not hate, just a few observations….

Well, gotta shout-out one company that stepped up big-time for the 2020/2021 hardwater season = MarCum!

Announced earlier this week on their FB page that they have a whole bunch of new going on this season, including their own line of lithium batteries…which will be coming standard in all of their sonar units (besides their entry-level M1):

> MarCum: “We’re lucky as anglers to exist in the golden age of ice fishing, with advancements over the last 20 years…. Our clothes are warmer, shelters stronger, and our ice augers drill more holes with less effort. So too have come advances in ice electronics — if you’re buying the most technologically advanced sonar in the world, shouldn’t it have the proper fuel to power it?

> “The MarCum line of batteries aren’t mere accessories, but platforms of energy that deserve to be in every unit. Specifically, the 12V10AH Lithium LiFePO4 MarCum Brute will be put in the bulk of the MarCum lineup, shaving lbs and adding life….”


So why’s that such a big deal?

> Lithium batteries are roughly half the weight but twice the power of standard 12v batteries. Means you can run some flashers 40+ hours without charging! How nice is that for a weekend fishing trip?

> And say you have a big-screen graph or underwater camera that maybe lasts around 5-6 hours before it dies…. Throw a lithium battery in there and you’d be looking at more like 9-10 hours — means you can use it the entire day!

> These new lithium batteries are designed for cold weather and last roughly 10x as many “charge cycles” so don’t need to replace ’em nearly as often…or ever.

I already know what your main question is — I had the same one: How much more is this gonna cost me?

MarCum (somehow) isn’t increasing the price of their units. “The $100 Lithium LiFePO4 battery exists as a value-add….”


How sick is that! Sounds like these new already-lithium-powered units will be available this Sept — keep you posted here.

How Kemos got 2nd at “The Soo” NWT.

In his last 3 NWT events, Tommy Kemos has finished 2nd, 7th and 2nd — how’s that for consistency? Has him sitting pretty in the AOY race.

Tommy just finished 2nd at the Sault Ste. Marie NWT, sacking up 10 for 42.72 lbs and cashing in a $16,571 payday! Well-deserved when you’re consistently catching fish of this caliber on game day:


Dude made a 110-mile run south [!] near Alpena. He described the journey as the second toughest of his long career — the other led to him missing his check-in time.

> Tommy: “I’m going to be sore for a couple days, but this run was absolutely worth it.

> “We would stop for fuel at Presque Isle on the way down. On the way back up, we would get gas at DeTour Pass.”

Making that long of a jaunt left him with just 2.5 to 3 hours to fish. Knowing that the wind was increasing on day 2, he gave himself 3 hours to return…checked in with 7 min to spare!

> “I promised myself I would leave by noon today. When it was time to go, I was graphing a small pod of fish. I started turning on them, and then realized I was making a mistake. It was super tempting, but if I would’ve stayed and fished those fish, I wouldn’t have made it [back in on time].”

Caught his fish tourney day(s) pulling crankbaits with snap weights:

> “I was basically following the smelt migration. The walleyes move to follow the smelt. In my area, the water was crazy clear. What I found is that they wanted the more natural colors — blue or blue chrome, and silver with white and chartreuse bellies.”

Was fishing in 45-50′. Said the fish were positioned near the bottom, but in the crazy-clear water they’d come up 15′ to hit the crankbait:

> It’s weird. You actually want to make them work for it in the clear water. If it’s too close, they get too good of a look at it.”

Said his Garmin LiveScope was crucial for spotting fish…was actually able look out ahead of the boat in the clear water:

> “The fish were definitely spooking off the boat. …would come across a small pod of 2, 3, or 4 fish. When I saw them, I would adjust my speed. If they were real low, I would slow down because I was using snap weights. But I would also get a lot of bites speeding up so the baits would rise. My normal speed was 2 mph, but if I was trying to crank them up I would go 2.2.

> “2nd stings a little, but overall, I’m pretty happy with it. It was a super tough week of practice. All things considered — as tough as the bite was — I’m happy with it…it worked out. The difference for me lately is that I’m figuring out how to use that LiveScope. Now that I have that understanding and confidence, I’ve been on a roll.”

No doubt. Keep it rolling, man!

Rare blue pickerel caught.

Jim Marino caught himself a needle outta one of PA’s 2,500+ haystacks — a blue pickerel! — throwing a Rebel Wee Crawfish for bass off his Saddle Lake dock:


So rare that PA fisheries biologist Aaron Frey has only heard of 2 other blue pickerel catches — one in ’97 and another in ’07:

> Aaron: “We think it is a genetic mutation specific to the chain pickerel. It would be considered along the same lines as albinism, solely affecting the coloring. They are otherwise the same fish.”

The original write-up said the fish was released. Can only assume it’s ‘cuz Jim was worried about the side effects:


1. Heads up!

Make sure to charge the batteries on all of your ice electronics throughout the off season — monthly if possible — to get the most out of ’em. Yup, I forgot too!

Same goes for your electric ice augers like the StrikeMaster Lithium 40v. And you know how hard it can be to find ’em in stock when we get closer to the ice season…so might wanna consider picking one up early if you’re in the market.

2. MN: Interesting exchange between MLFAC and the DNR…

…on the Mille Lacs walleye situation. MLFAC = Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee.

3. ND: Sakakawea NWT happenin’ Sept 10-11.

Some solid insight here on how the pros think it’ll go down.  Dylan Nussbaum, who’s sitting in 2nd in the AOY race, believes trolling breaklines with leadcore will be his primary search strategy…but also hopes to dial ’em in with a jigging bite:

> D-Bomb: “If I catch a few fish trolling in an area, then it’s probably time to stop and cast, especially on the smaller humps and smaller pieces of structure. I really think I can get something dialed with the Jigging Rap or Flat Jig.”

It’s no surprise that Jigging Raps have the stronger reputation…so it’s pretty interesting that Dylan’s confidence bait is actually the Rapala Flat Jig:

> “The Flat Jig is the first thing I’ll throw after trolling. The body glides 2X to 3X farther than the Jigging Rap, so it’s a great search bait. …makes walleyes freak out. I let it fall, then rip it up, catch it for 1 second, then let it fall without slowing it. You can just feel them smack it on the way down. It’s such a fun bite. But at 1 3/16 oz, it’s an arm-burner to use all day.”

4. WI: State AIM championship happenin’ right now.

On Lake Winnebago the next 2 days. Battling for that 1st-place payday of $8K plus some heavy bragging rights, of course. Good luck to all and stay safe!

6. AR: Not many folks fish walleye on Greers Ferry Lake…

…so the ones that do get to keep bigger ones?

> “Replacing the 20-28″ protective slot limit for walleye at Greers Ferry Lake with a a 14″ minimum-length limit. …few anglers pursue walleyes at Greers Ferry, and enabling anglers to keep bigger walleyes will not damage the walleye population.”

7. Diggin’ this shot…

..of some fresh PK Wobblers and Dakota Discs being done-up. #WalleyeArtsAndCrafts

8. MI: Most bald eagle deaths from cars, not bullets/sinkers.

Interesting quote from the last BassBlaster email:

> “BUT this post and others focus on the bullets, even though the study itself said that the number of vehicle kills (532) was 300% higher than lead poisoning (176). Also bear in mind that those numbers are over 32 YEARS, which equals 5.5 eagles per year died from lead. Doesn’t sound like much of a reason to get rid of sinkers or bullets….”

9. Great Lakes seeing more FERTILE grass carp.

> “We’ve been seeing more and more fertile grass carp. It’s worrying because there should be zero [fertile ones].

> “The problem is that the scaled up industrial methods used to sterilize the introduced fish are “really effective, but still have a failure rate.

> “To my knowledge, there has never been an example of an invasive species in a large system that’s been eradicated.”

10. TN: Walleye are biting on famed bass lake.

Dale Hollow. I know TN isn’t the first place that comes to mind when people talk about walleye fishing…but don’t forget that’s where the record came from….

Mabry Harper’s 1960 world record walleye was a 41″ [!] behemoth that weighed 25 lbs!!!! Plucked outta Old Hickory Lake, TN (reservoir formed by the Old Hickory Lock and Dam, located on the Cumberland River) while fishing for catfish with 75-lb test:

11. DC: Fed agencies finally defining critical habitat.

For endangered species. Important because if adopted, it should mean that the government is less able to take over private land and water. Sorry can’t link it, but posted at

> …would mandate that “critical habitat” for a species…the areas “essential” to the species’ conservation…must actually be habitat for that species…. Until now, lacking a clear definition of habitat, the federal government could declare private lands “critical habitat” for an endangered species even if the species didn’t or couldn’t live on those lands. And once landowners’ property was so designated, they could be saddled with burdensome red tape and land-use restrictions.

12. Microplastics found in human tissue for the 1st time.

Yikes. Those tiny plastic bits in water. You might’ve first heard about them the last couple years as being the Great Lakes’ latest pollution threat.

NEW Northland Tackle Giveaway

Here we go! Enter to have a shot at winning this $150-ish stack of walleye candy from Northland Tackle and Bagley! PLUS a signed Bill Lindner print!!

Chance to be the FIRST to get your hands on the not-yet-released Rattlin’ Puppet Minnow, Glo-Shot Fire-Belly Spoon, Rippin’ Minnow, plus some balsa goodies from Bagley.

Takes just 10 seconds to enter below — can share the link you get for bonus entries. Good luck! Highlights

Electronics Tip of the Day

Another “hidden” feature on Humminbird HELIX units you maybe haven’t seen yet that comes in super handy on windy days — especially when doing a controlled drift for walleyes:


And in case you missed the last Target Walleye email, we shared a quick screen-change shortcut you probably hadn’t seen before either….

Quote of the Day

“If you call 5-6 million hooks every day a lot…then we do a lot of hooks [chuckles].”

– That’s Cyrille Mathieu talking in this video about how many fish-catchers VMC kicks out. The video is from the first-ever US camera crew allowed in the European VMC factory, and it’s pretty dang cool seeing how huge spools of wire are turned into hooks. No doubt things have come a long way:

Meme of the Day

Got a chuckle out of this one posted by Someday Isle Tackle. #CanRelate

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Twins, Basil. Twins.

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Friends of Target Walleye
Who is Target Walleye
Target Walleye — 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 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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