Today’s Top 4
How to catch Lake Ontario giants right now.
The fall bite is snappin’ on Lake Ontario! Big-fish junkie Rob Henry has the winning recipe for giant slob-eyes:
> “It absolutely crushed the bait, pulling my Off Shore Tackle Planer Board back out of line…danced on the surface. It took a good line-peeling run at the boat when it saw my ugly face, but I got the upper hand and she made it in the net!”
Looks like it’s working out just fine for you Rob…ugly face and all (lol), but how come your girlfriend Mel is always catching bigger ones? Like this 10.4-lb rock melon:
Thing’s so big it might be half pollock:
Lake of the Woods winning pattern.
Eric Nesius and Mike Christensen won the MTT Championship on Lake of the Woods this past weekend with their 2-day bag of 33.42 lbs. They earned a lot of shiny hardware including a new boat:
They caught ’em pulling deep-diving crankbaits on leadcore across the basin in 33-35′. Eric said his Merc-powered Nitro Zv21 was key in allowing them to high-speed graph in the heavy winds:
> “We trolled anywhere from 2.0-2.6 mph. Speed changes that drastic would change the amount of line we had to put out from 140′ to as much as 230′.
> “We varied leader lengths through the week…. A 10′ leader with 12-lb mono will give a lure a different action than a 30′ leader with 10-lb FireLine. It’s impossible to pick one length/line to roll with all week, which I think is a mistake a lot of people make.
> “Light visibility may change slightly throughout the day or the fish might just want to see something a little different. It’s hard to put your finger on it until you figure out the recipe by switching it up.
> “As visibility changed throughout the week so did [crankbait] color. A lot of people want to know what’s the magic crankbait or magic color — it changes so much from week to week and day to day that it would be impossible to find just one that always works.”
Say it ain’t so!
> “Forage is growing and changing, crawfish patterns are changing, and so are the walleyes.
> “Lake of the Woods is well known for having darker water clarity than many MN lakes and for that reason bright colors are typically best. Different combinations of white, purple, pink, blue and orange are hard to beat.
Six fish over 10 lbs were weighed, with the biggest going 11.48! Eric cracked a 10.81-lb deal-sealer — makes it tough to believe the fish will get even fatter this fall
Congrats on the big win guys!!
Fly walleye beauty shots.
Don’t usually see a lot of walleyes caught on fly gear, but for sure always look forward to the pics — those fly guys seem to have a different eye for the shot:
Glad Kevin Feenstra didn’t drop his phone in on this one:
How to know when the fall bite is on.
TW contributor Joel Nelson has a surefire way to tell that fall is here:
Steve Weickert and Joe Balcer’s 2-day bag of 25-02 took the top spot at the final MWC event of the season:
> “We’ve been fishing this lake for 20 years — put ourselves in contention a couple of times but had never been on top.
> “We had to go inside the cabbage with [Lindy] rigs to catch all our fish in the sand. Zebra mussels made the lake extremely clear, so a lot of times you couldn’t get up in the sand [without spooking the fish]. But with the wind and the overcast in the morning we were able to.”
Gull Lake, Oct 1. Great cause plus there’s $22.5k paid out to the top 3 spots!!
Last years winners were Bob Schlieman and Shawn Nygaard who weighed 6 for 24.92 lbs. Keep in mind that bag can only include 2 over 20″ in MN…here’s one of ’em:
Target Walleye’s main man Brett McComas will either be at or in the weigh-in again this year. May also be a Lindner sighting….
The ultimate food stamp. Can only submit your pieces from Oct 10-21, after that hang ’em on your fridge.
Illegally dumped into Echo Reservoir and wildlife o-fish-ials are not too pleased about it:
> “It’s an action that could eventually either ruin the Echo fishery or force the expenditure of thousands of dollars to eliminate all fish at the reservoir and start over.”
Those leaky old waders can be used for more than just pond jumping watery-fowels.
Bassmaster tournament at the not-so dead sea of Mille Lacs. And they’ll be back by the sounds of it. The pros caught quite a few walleyes…without even trying….
…called the “Rod With Heating Element.” Catchy lol!
> “Incorporates a battery-powered heating element into the handle or grip a well as into the line-guides.”
Would probably invest in an ice-fishing version before the saltwater ones?
Big-boy tiller with room fer dayz!!
Even has a pair-uh Smooth Moves Ultra seats to keep your back and hiney smiling!
Has boated more fish than you can shake a stick at. Wait, why is anyone ever repeatedly shaking a stick at anything?
Here’s another shot at winning all this stuff from Rapala — including a giant Original Floater! Same thing: enter your email addy, then share the link you get for more chances to win. Good luck!
Starting to get ice on the brain…how about you….
Tip of the Day
We all know fall is one of the best times to catch walleyes in rivers. A ton of ways to target them, but here’s a few of Eric’s favorites (make sure the Stacker rig is legal in your state!). Read the full WalleyeFIRST article here, few excerpts below:
> “I slowly drag a light-weight 1/16-oz jig/crawler downstream. This dragging approach catches both negative and actively-feeding fish. Use a weedguard…helps to keep snags to a minimum.”
> “Fish vary their depths frequently during the fall migration, making them difficult to find at times. This is when the stacker rig shines.
> “This rig is essentially a three-way swivel, a 10” dropper line attached to a bell sinker, then a leader with a lure tied to it. The weight of the sinker varies on conditions, but I generally use a weight ranging from 2- up to 5-oz.
> “Most of us have limited time on the water, so trolling crankbaits is an effective method to cover water and find fish.
> “I’ll use leadcore or Sufix 832 braid to troll. You need to adjust to what the fish want, but trolling upstream at 3 mph isn’t necessarily too fast…faster speeds are often the ticket.
Quote of the Day
Everyone says that there’s no walleye in the lake — there’s plenty of them there ‘cuz I think that’s all I caught today.
– Country music artist and 2015 Bassmaster Classic champion Casey Ashley on stage talking about his experience fishing Mille Lacs the final day of last weekend’s Bassmaster AOY Championship. The guys couldn’t keep the gravel lizards off their lures. Love it.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
To send us walleye pics, ice shots and whatever, just respond to this email or click here to email us. Or post it on the Target Walleye Facebook page.