Target Walleye/Ice email

New swimbait trolling technique, Fall transition tips, Bigguns of the week

Have a great + safe Labor Day weekend! Catch some fish too!!

Today’s Top 5

Ever heard of trolling swimbaits for walleyes?     

A new-ish technique most have been trying to keep to themselves the last few seasons, but NWT pro Drake Herd just haaaad to spill the beans! Lots of different variations of the technique — here’s one unique program Drake uses to catch big ol’ basin-dwellers…

Drake likes using the big 4.75″ Rage Swimmer in lighter colors (purple backs, silver sides, etc) to match the hatch. Runs it on 10-lb mono with a 3/4-oz Squadron Swimbait Jig Head or Tour Grade Spin Head:


Get this: He uses custom-made 10-oz [!] Cannonball Weights on Off Shore Tackle Pro Snap Weight Clips so he can cover huge amounts of water looking for those basin roamers:


That massive weight means he doesn’t need to mess with downriggers, leadcore, etc to get his bait to depth, and stay there. Can also cover water at 2.2-2.5 mph while staying mostly vertical.

Yo Drake, how are you gonna use a 10-oz snap weight and NOT nickname this technique “bowling” or “Kingpinning” lol?


The full video (below) is sure to get your creative juices flowing:


Of course you don’t need 10-oz snap weights to troll swimbaits…can pull ’em on leadcore or use lighter weights with more line out, especially when fishing shallower water.

Use crankbaits for early-fall transition walleyes.   

The Rapala Scatter Rap Glass Shad has been (and still is) a killer leadcore bait this summer — especially in clear water — and Joel Nelson is REALLY liking ’em for targeting walleyes during the early-fall transition.

Intercept those wandering fish by targeting the edges of weedlines — just off the first break in 10-14′ — while longlining with Sufix 832 Braid 100-150′ behind the boat:


The “scatter lip” gives the Scatter Rap Glass Shad its crazy erratic action — here’s what it looks like underwater…right before it’s tackled by a walleye:

Our favorite kind of muskie fishing. 

Sorta. More proof you don’t always have to downsize to fool ’em….

Not only did Matt Benrud of Outfitter Advisors get it done with a muskie bait…fish smashed it on top!


Wanna catch big walleye? Troll a 10″ muskie lure at 3 mph between snow squalls:


Now guide Josh Teigen (@josh.teigen) is just showing off lol. Said he’s “trying to catch muskies but these dang walleyes won’t leave me alone.” Heck of a problem to have!

Case you felt bad for Josh…don’t…his target species has been cooperating too:

Speaking of catching ’em on outrageously big baits… 

Still never seen anything like this INSANE figure-8 walleyes vid before [shocked emoji]. Got forwarded the video last year from Fishing Hall of Famer Perry Good of guys catching walleyes figure-8ing big #18 Rapala Original Floaters (7″, 11/16-oz). Gotta see it to believe it.

Spoiler alert: They don’t just catch one….


I’m speechless…which doesn’t happen often. #Wowza

Gravel lizards of the week!   

This mega 32-incher Marley Ziegler caught outta Fort Peck on a #11 Berkley Flicker Minnow is legit what dreams are made of. Fuzzy-ish pic ‘cuz the camera dude was shakin’ with buck walleye fever:


Ashley Thomas (@ashleythomas11) doin’ what she does best = catchin’ bigguns! This one came pitching jigs and plastics at wingdams:

> Ashley: “Fish were up on the crowns when it was cloudy…at the base of the wingdam when the sun was out.”


1. Skarlis got back in the boat!

And fished an all-day derby:

Case you didn’t know, Tommy had a large brain tumor removed…doctors discovered it after he suffered a seizure Apr 17. He posted an update that he just walked the farthest he’s walked in physical therapy. Continued prayers, fishing brother!

2. MN: WAM donates $10K [!] to…

… the MN Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum:

> Women Anglers of MN: “Yesterday was a day we will never forget. We presented a $10,000 check to the MN Fishing Museum, our largest donation in 42 years of club history! Preserving the sport of fishing in the state of MN is of utmost importance as we remember those who came before us and pass along our fishing traditions to the next generation.

> “The museum is struggling financially, due to road construction making it very difficult to access.”

> “Please consider supporting them in any way possible by either making a personal donation, by spreading the word, or by visiting the museum in Little Falls, MN.”

Big thx to these ladies for doing their part to help keep the Little Falls landmark open.

3. WI: UW researchers studying decrease in walleye.

They think panfish and bass could be eating freshly-hatched walleye:

> “It’s a whodunit, who murdered the baby walleyes….

> “As the winters get shorter and the lakes get warmer, more of these warm-water fish are appearing in lakes, potentially threatening the walleye.”

4. Garmin Panoptix LiveScope coming to ice units.

Folks went nutzo making their own LiveScope ice bundles last season — now Garmin is dropping a ready to rip unit that can:

> “See fish and structure in real-time — up to 200′ in any direction — below the ice.”


5. MN: Lake of the Woods waldos sliding up.

The spring Rainy River run is no secret, but there’s a similar fall run too as emerald shiners pile into the river from Lake of the Woods.

Still lots of pods scattered across the main basin, but have heard reports of large schools already stackin’ up in 30′ out front of Lighthouse Gap. Setting up to be an incredible fall run.

6. MI: Commercial fishing bills a hot debate…

7. KastKing’s got a new line-counter reel comin’.

Called the ReKon Line Counter Trolling Reel:

Lot more info on features here.

8. Stay away from Regular 88 gas!

> …may contain up to 15% ethanol (E15) — enough to harm the boat motor and void the engine manufacturer’s warranty.

9. Outdoor Life mag lookin’ for an editor.

Break into the biz!

10. Have you entered our ION G2 giveaway yet?!Be the FIRST person to get your mitts on the all-new 8″ ION G2 lithium ice auger! It’s lighter, faster, smoother and runs longer. Takes 10 seconds to enter here and can share the link you get for bonus entries — good luck!

11. The DeerBlaster is here!!!

Think of it as a whitetail-huntin’ version of these Target Walleye emails:

> Do you hunt the wily whitetail? Do you get your deer fix enough? If your answers are “dang straight!” and “ain’t no way” then click on the logo and sign up!

They shoot ’em out once a week — can get a feel for what to expect at….

Headline of the Day

Grand Forks angler credits fishing in recovery from alcoholism.

Great stuff. Plucked a few quotes from Bryan Mason’s journey below:

> “I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get into a boat…or ice house and not drink…but I found out how many more fish I caught when I was actually fishing…not mixing drinks and pouring shots.

> I was like, ‘Man, this is a lot of fun. I should’ve been more serious about this a long time ago.’

> “A guy can buy a graph for his boat for $400 or a lot of jigs or Rapalas. It’s really mind-numbing.”

Keep doing you, fishing brotha!

Labor Day Sale!

Gitcha 30% off all Target Walleye/Ice gear until 9/5 with the code LABORDAY at checkout! Click here or on the pic below:

Tip of the Day

We’re not quite to full fall fishing yet, but summer is for sure slipping away. Brian “Bro” Brosdahl talks about the fall walleye migration in this full MidWest Outdoors writeup, droppin’ a few fishy excerpts below:

> Water temps determine most of the long-term patterns in lakes…summer patterns will hold as long as the surface temps remain above 70 degrees.

> When the real fall cool-down begins, summer patterns fall apart pretty quickly and the fish start their fall migrations and put on the feedbag to get ready for winter.

> Minnows and small fish gather in larger schools and make their way into deeper water. Their main defense…when they move deep…is to travel in large schools, so they can ‘hope’ somebody else gets eaten instead of them.

> Where walleyes go and what they do depends largely on the type of lake they live in, and what options they have for habitat. Access to deep water is a critical aspect of fall and winter locations for most species of fish.

> …walleyes in large shallow lakes that don’t experience thermocline during the summer will often move towards the shallows in the fall.

> Walleyes in deep lakes usually move into deeper water in the fall, using complex structures that can provide all of their needs when the lakes eventually ice over for the winter.

> …I like to concentrate on the big shallow lakes early in the fall, and then move to the deep lakes later in the fall, when the water temps cool into the 50s.

Bro keeps talkin’ more about the specific rigs he uses here.

Quote of the Day

“They say money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a Lund and i-Pilot.”

Can’t recommend trying this at home, but sure looks like these fellas had some relaxing-kinda fun on a “closed course” lol:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

This week’s edition of ‘fish flop Friday’ is brought to you by fish-recycler Teeg Stouffer (@teegstouffer) and his son:


Congrats on your first-ever walleye, bud!

Sign up another fish-head!

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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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