Target Walleye/Ice email

MN’s everlasting record, Wear a dang PFD, Fish pic gameface

We all love a good BBQ, but don’t forget what Memorial Day is really about: Remembering and honoring those that made the ultimate sacrifice for YOU. Hope everyone has a great + safe weekend and thx for reading!

Today’s Top 5

Will the MN state-record walleye ever be beat?

All this state-record talk got me realizing I didn’t know much about the current MN state record — one that’s stood strong for 40 years! — so had to do some digging.

LeRoy Chiovitte caught the 17-lb 8-oz (35.75″ long with a 21.25″ girth) egg cannon back on May 13, 1979. He was specifically targeting monster walleyes with a #4 hook + shiner minnow on 8-lb line…fishing the mouth of the Seagull River — above the rapids — where it enters Saganaga Lake. Check this out:

Lots of info on his catch in this Northland Outdoors write-up, who btw kicks out a ton of content and is for sure worth checking out. Few excerpts below:

> The weather was cold that year, and many walleyes spawned late. Chiovitte had caught a 12.5-lber on Sat (the season opener) that was spawned out…hooked his 17.5-lber at about 8am on Sun when it was still full of eggs.

> Catch-and-release fishing was just catching on in those days but Chiovitte and his friends weren’t releasing many walleyes at that point. That weekend he and his 2 friends (Lorin and Todd Palmer of Cloquet) took home 10 walleyes that weighed a collective 86 lbs. [!!!]

> That area of the Seagull River is now off-limits to anglers in the spring…to protect spawning walleyes. Chiovitte has said he thinks his walleye record is safe now that spawning fish are mostly off-limits.

> “Almost every record fish is full of spawn, and now you can’t fish up there this time of year, so it’s going to be pretty hard to top it.”

> Chiovitte, now 82, is in great spirits but is in his third battle against cancer…this time lung cancer. But he still gets out fishing, now more for trout than walleye.

> “I just caught a nice 3-lb rainbow yesterday, up by Finland in a little lake. It’s going to be supper tomorrow night.”

Sounds like the closest anyone has come to catching (and keeping) a walleye as big was Bob Bruininks’ 17-lb 6-oz fish from Loon Lake (along the Gunflint Trail) on July 4, 1989. Got weighed more than 2 hours after it was caught…and they typically lose a bit of weight…so would’ve been close!

Now you know….

Proof we’re not throwing big-enough walleye baits.

Don’t always have to downsize for walleyes…especially those fat-‘n-sassy ones! Check this madness out, sent in from TW fan Mike Howard:

> “My buddy’s kid Braden found this washed up on shore when we were fishing the night bite from Graham’s Island State Park on Devils Lake, ND. It was pretty fresh…just couldn’t choke down the big white bass!”

Guess it’s time to bust out the muskie (or saltwater) baits and break that new PB lol!

Could try matchin’ the hatch with this “white bass” Phantom Lures Reaper:

Or how ’bout the massive 6-1/3″, 2.75-oz Rapala Super Shadow Rap…which I’m actually half tempted to try on Mille Lacs one of these evenings:

Think that greedy walleye could’ve chased down the 5.25″, 2-7/8 oz Yo-Zuri High Speed Vibe…a saltwater special that can be trolled up to 17+ mph?!

Okay all of those would be pretty aggressive…but maybe possible? #GoBigOrGoHome

The most important piece of fishing equipment you can have….

Don’t mean to get all preachy, but in light of several recent boating mishaps and drownings we can’t stress this enough: Wear your dang life jacket and kill switch while running! We’ve all been guilty of gettin’ lazy, but that’s gotta change.

Get this: Over 80% of drowning victims were NOT wearing a life jacket. No doubt many of those outcomes coulda been waaaay different for the better.

Life jackets aren’t the massive-orange boxes they used to be (thanks to companies like Onyx, Mustang, etc). You ever wonder what it looks like when an Onyx Inflatable Life Jacket goes off?

Same PFDs that guys like Al Lindner and Jason Mitchell wear. Love that life-savers are becoming cool (and comfortable):

Speaking of the Onyx Outdoor Gear crew, they celebrated “wear your life jacket to work day” in style…which is a real thing and kicked off National Safe Boating Week (May 18-24)…just in time for one of the busiest boatin’ weekends of the year:

Yes they’re spendy, but a few budget-friendlier options are out there — like the Onyx A/M-24 inflatable life jacket…FishUSA has 3 colors of it in stock for $109.99. Not cheap by any means, but life jackets are useless unless they’re being worn, and this is one you’ll forget is even on:

Not to give you any hints, but *cough* Father’s Day *cough*….

“She said that she didn’t want to smile. Gotta maintain that image. I respect that.”

– That’s Winnipegonian (which is a real, made-up word) Josh McFaddin talkin’ about his daughter’s Manitoba #greenback gameface — LOVE it:

Gotta say, I get a kick outta some folks mean muggin’ in fish pics nowadays…like they’re not having any fun at all lol. I’m here to tell you it’s okay to smile in fish pics [!] just maybe don’t kick it up this many notches:

Found the ultimate Sunday brunch…

…cooked up by WI-based Hefty Fish Customs. A few sizzlin’ slabs of gold washed down with a “Bloody Mary” color #5 Berkley Flicker Shad. #Dibs


1. MN: Walleye/perch growing rapidly in Cass Lake Chain…

…thanks to invasives?

> “The rusty crayfish has been in Cass Lake since 1997, but in the last 5 years, that population has expanded lakewide. I think — and I’m just speculating — the introduction of the zebra mussels could’ve triggered the explosion of the rusty crayfish. And, until the crayfish grow too large, they provide great forage for the perch and the walleye.”

2. ND changing its state-record fish policy.

After the controversial catch you’re probably sick of hearing about. Now:

> Game and Fish is instituting a new process when it comes to declaring state-record fish. The department will not recognize a record for a minimum of 2 weeks after a fish is caught…will allow anybody with questions about a catch to come forward and give G&F time to look into concerns.

3. MT: FWP collected 68 mil walleye eggs…

…during the Fort Peck spawn. Had 2,000 walleye captured in trap nets, with 611 females. Thought it was interesting that the total spawn only lasted 16 days.

4. MN: Mille Lacs AIM event hapenin’ Jun 9.

Thx to AIM’s catch-record-release format — otherwise Mille Lacs switches back to a catch-and-release only walleye season starting Jun 1.

Btw you can check the current and always-changing Mille Lacs regs here.

5. ND: Lake Sakakawea walleye pop still goin’ up.

Said annual spring walleye spawning operations were “maybe the best ever in the history of the lake.” #roadtrip

6. WI: Marinette AIM event cancelled.

‘Cuz Mother Nature was throwing 5’ waves — timed 5 seconds apart — into the “safest” access. Good call!

7. SK: Marcotte/Soke win Rafferty Rez Walleye Cup.

Gettin’ paid $10K to catch a few walldawgs sounds pretty okay.

8. MN: Lake of the Woods bite still on fire.

For numbers and size, but what’s new?! Lol. When I say size, I mean fish like this 31.25-incher (video) that left the boat speechless.

9. IA: Thrasher/Albright win Clear Lake Walleye Classic.

10. OH: MWC heading to Lake Erie, Jun 21-22.

11. CO: Dan Prenzlow named new P&W director.

A lifelong CO resident and a career wildlife officer.

12. MD has a snakehead derby?

> “The snakehead fishery is relatively new and we want to raise its awareness, not only as a fun fish to catch but also to eat.”

Catch? Sure. Eat?? I’ll take a hard pass…

Fish-sexy SIMMS giveaway!

Have a shot at winning this $285-ish SIMMS fishin’ getup! Hit the water comfortable and lookin’ dang good from head to toe!! Includes the Katafront Hoody, Riverbank Chukka Boot, and USA Walleye Trucker Hat — of course all in your size. Check the entire SIMMS Lakes Collection here.

Takes 10 seconds to enter here. Can share the link you get for bonus entries. Good luck!!

Tip of the Day

Brian “Bro” Brosdahl:

> On the natural lakes of the upper Midwest, walleyes typically spawn in depths of 1-4′ over gravel bars, mixed gravel and sand flats, then when they’re done, they drop off to the edges.

> Male walleyes will linger near the spawning sites, and females will slip out into 4-12′. Some will slide farther down the break, but they’ll still move up mornings and evening to feed.

> By far, the best spots will be those with new-growth cabbage, coontail, sand grass, etc.

> May through July I’m watching my Side Imaging for scattered areas of emerging cabbage weeds, which may be nothing more than foot-wide isolated clumps of inch-tall stuff, but hold food.

Way more info in the full write-up here. When we going, Bro?

Meme of the Day

Been there, done continue to do that:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Jarod Peterson (@bigboybassin) cracked his new PB gravel lizard — all 11.5 lbs and 31″ of it! — on a VMC Bucktail Jig tipped with a rainbow chub…somewhere in northern MN. Would ya just look at it!

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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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