Target Walleye/Ice email

Night-bite crappies, Razorbacks of the week, Boat winterization tips

Everybody welcome AMSOIL to Target Walleye/Ice! They’ve got all the goods to keep your ice auger, snowmobile, boat (you name it) smooth running and easy starting! Have a great weekend ice-heads!!

Today’s Top 4

Ice fishing: You’re doing it wrong.

Still a few diehards hitting the open-water, and it looks…enjoyable?

This has to be the coldest Rapala Shadow Rap ever. Via Andre Smith in the Lund Boat Owners FB group:

When your net stands up on its own…like Lake Erie guide Ross Robertson’s socks and underwear do (lol):

Fishing 411 TV’s Jake Romanack found another use for the durable-as-snot Off Shore Tackle Planer Boards — looks like it works better than the real thing:

Razorbacks of the week!

Will Pappenfus snatched himself this Manitoba razorback on a “pink tiger” Northland UV Buck-Shot Spoon tipped with a small cisco head. Said it was just 10′ below the ice in 32′. #SuspendedSlaunch

Martin Berube hoisting up a slimy pair o’ bookends he thwacked on his last open-water trip of the season. Said he was testing out the new Okuma Dead Eye Custom 6′ MH extra-fast action — clearly workin’ well for him!

I’d wish NWT pro JR Sivek a happy birthday, but it looks like Leech Lake, MN already did (lol). Cracked this fanned-out broomtail (and a bunch others) on “super-glo redfish” color Northland Buck-Shot Spoons with dorsal-hooked golden shiners, and set-lines with 5″ creek chubs:

JR ^ said they actually slept in that Eskimo FatFish 949i insulated pop-up — 2 miles out — all weekend and didn’t come back to shore. Aggressive!

Ice fishing for after-dark crappies (shallow weeds!)

Nothing’s more frustrating than hearing about a good day-time bite while you’re stuck on the clock…. Let’s face it: Work seeeeriously cuts into fishin’ time [crying emoji] but without it you couldn’t buy that basket-full of new baits…or pay the mortgage lol.

What you might not know is some of the best hardwater crappie fishing takes place about 45 minutes after everyone else has already packed up.

TW’s Will Stolski tracked down MN metro native Matt Waldron to get the scoop on after-dark crappies. Dude spends a pile of time on the ice — especially during workin’-man’s hours — and has a soft spot for some salt ‘n pepper. Full write-up on, few excerpts below:


> “When picking a lake, look for clear, clean water that supports solid weed growth…those clearer-water fish seem to bite better after dark anyways.

> “During early-ice I’m looking for larger weed flats in 6-10′, specifically areas that have coontail and milfoil mixed together. Mid-winter I’ll fish the same areas, but a little deeper (10-14′). Seems like the mid-winter fish like having access to deeper water, so steeper breaks are better…or depressions in the weed flats.”

> “Regardless of the time of season, finding the living green vegetation is key. Don’t waste your time on the dying or dead stuff. Living weeds give off oxygen which equals bait and fish.

> “I drill out a grid pattern over flats about 5′ apart from each other, sometimes can visually see weeds otherwise I check ’em quick with my Vexilar.

> “Start by fishing the sparser weeds first (easier to read your unit), then move to the thicker clumps if you don’t get bit.”


> “Beefed-up…big crappies will dog you into the weeds and break off if you get too light on your gear.

> “M or ML rods…like ’em a little longer (32-36”) with a more moderate action (think parabolic bend).

> “4-6 lb mono spooled on a 1,000-size spinning reel…don’t like using inline reels for this because I feel like the drag systems aren’t quite there yet to pull big ones (14- to 16-inchers!) out of thick cover.

> “I use a 1/8-oz Clam Blade Jig or something similar like an original Demon — any color as long as it glows, and has white or chartreuse in it.

> “These weed crappies are usually eating baitfish — not bugs like basin dwellers. I tip my jig with a full crappie minnow hooked through the back.”

More info on Matt’s jigging cadence, favorite weather and moon phases for catching the biggest slabs in the full write-up here.

Walleye with “pinpoint pupils” caught?

TW fan Gabriel Haugland’s been harassing the IA river walleyes on BFish’N Tackle AuthentX plastics, including this one that hasn’t seen the sun in years:


1. MN: Man + ATV breaks through ice…

…on Big Kandiyohi Lake. Firefighters saved him outta the water…a helicopter later flew him to the St. Cloud Hospital. Prayers fishing brother.

Here’s your weekly reminder to BE SAFE this weekend. No fish is worth it….

2. MN: “Super bowl of ice shows” happenin’ NOW.

The St. Paul Ice Show kicks off today (through the weekend). Try not to drool on all the new ice-fishing schtuff in the 190-ish booths.

They’ll be upping the security (metal detectors) this year so might wanna get there early. Probably ‘cuz they heard Aaron Wiebe was gonna be there lol….

He’s there to help launch a new company called Frostbite Co. Not much info out on ’em yet — looks like ice jigs and merch? Keep you posted when we learn more. As always, A-A-ron made a grand entrance:

Aaron said you might find him snoopin’ ’round the Otter and Garmin booths too….

3. WI anglers caught cheating in salmon tourney.

> The tournament director scanned the [30.27-lb] fish with a metal detector, which alerted him to the presence of metal inside of the salmon. [Guy] was instructed to cut the fish open but he became evasive and told the tourney director he planned on mounting the fish.

> Eventually, he obliged and a 1-lb weight was found in the salmon’s throat. The 30-yr captain claimed the fish must’ve sucked the weight off the bottom of Lake Michigan.


4. ND: New ice show closer to home….

Might wanna check out the Fargo Ice Show happenin’ next weekend if you’re from the top-half of the ice belt. Good deals and good-er peeps (vendor list here).

I’m working on lining up a baby sitter, but they’re all going to the show themselves lol. Makes it easier to pick out my outfit:

5. MT: 44-hour straight ice tourney.

For walleyes, pike and lakers (oh my) on Fort Peck. #Bigguns

6. Awesome book for the kiddos.

Came across a children’s book called “Walter the Wily Walleye” by Bob Allen and HAD to have it. For sure Maisie and mine’s new favorite:

> A story of a fish that invites and challenges a child to try and catch him. Walter provides a whimsical look at a fun sport…encourages the reader and child to seek adventure with family and friends.


7. NJ: Ladies-only ice workshop Jan 19.

8. If fishin’ podcasts are your thing…

…add the WeFishASA Podcast to your list. They drop a new 1-hr earful every Wednesday that’s stacked with an impressive lineup of fish-heads. Can be heard at, Stitcher radio, Spotify or iTunes.

Last week’s podcast had Mullet Mafia leader Seth Feider, Dan Johnston from St. Croix, and some fish-nerd named Brett McComas (thx guys!).

Find myself listening to more and more podcasts — especially on long drives. Have satellite radio but get sick of hearing the same 12 songs on repeat:

Few others fishing podcasts: Broken Line Podcast, The Casting Deck Podcast, Another Fishing Show, Gone Outdoors, ShackTalk, All Eyes on Fishing.

Let me know here if there’s any others I NEED to check out.

9. Swanson Russell hires 7.

NE-based marketing agency who works with a handful of “outdoor recreation” companies like Humminbird, Gerber, Sig Sauer, Leupold, etc.

10. Earl Bentz back in boat-building biz.

Founder of Triton and other boat companies. Launching Caymas Boats with a $30.3-million investment in Ashland City, TN.

11. Nominations open for…

…Boating Industry’s next “40 Under 40” list. Looking for the best young leaders in the marine industry:

> Can be from any company or organization that does business in the boating industry and must be under the age of 40 as of Jan. 1, 2019.

Also accepting nominees for Women Making Waves:

> …Effort to recognize the numerous women in the boating industry who have made large contributions to its success, propelled its growth and led their organizations into the future.

Deadline for both is Mon, Jan 7 and will publish in the Mar/Apr print and online issues of Boating Industry.

Yup, this is real life…we’re giving away another $1,900 Garmin Panoptix Ice Fishing Bundle! Drill a single hole and scan for fish 100′ away in ANY direction!! Are you freakin’ kiddin’ me?! [shocked emoji]

Only takes 10 seconds to enter here. Share the link you get for more chances to win — good luck!!!

Tip of the Day

‘Cuz sooner or later, she’s gotta sleep. Some great DIY tech tips from the AMSOIL crew that’ll save you a ton of $$$ — plus don’t have to wait 3 weeks to get your rig in the shop….

Vid walks you step-by-step through:

  1. Changing lower-unit lube
  2. DIY 4-stroke oil change
  3. Fogging the engine
  4. “Topping off” grease Zerks
  5. Blowing out standing water
  6. Treating the fuel

Check it here:

Meme of the Day

Worth the wait:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Filthy shot of a Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk eater caught by Tom McMurray:

Sign up another fish-head!

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Who is Target Walleye/Ice
Target Walleye/Ice — 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/Ice. 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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