Target Walleye/Ice email

No live bait allowed, Al Lindner’s summertime tricks, Biggest auger ever

Today’s Top 5

NO LIVE BAIT allowed at new walleye tourney!

Yup, an artificial-only walleye tournament!! Know there’s gonna be 2 different reactions to this news…which one are you?

Reaction A):

Reaction B):

Happenin’ Sep 15 on Mille Lacs and put on by the folks over at Classic Bass. Will be a catch/weigh/release tourney where every walleye caught over 1-lb counts — biggest total poundage at the end of the day wins.

My opinion: ‘Bout dang time! Exactly what the walleye world needs to grow the sport.

Got nothing against draggin’ around live bait — it flat-out catches ’em — but this could open up a whole new world of lure tweaking and techniques for catchin’ white tips…gonna force people out their comfort zone.

Keep you posted as we hear more.

How Al Lindner targets summertime walleyes.

Doesn’t matter if you’re using live bait or artificials, walleyes can be downright tough to catch this time of year…but don’t take it from me:

> Al Lindner: “Talking to the guides and a lot of the people we know all over the Midwest, everybody has said this has been the strangest year any of us have ever seen for catching walleyes. On average, it’s been a tough bite, but we still have lots of fish to catch.

> “Not every walleye in the lake is always doing the same thing at the same depth. There’s a lot of fish that do a lot of different things. And that holds true all the time.”

According to Al there’s 3 types of bites — that are all happening at the same time — on walleye factories across the Upper Midwest: a shallow weed bite, structure bite and suspended bite…

1. Weed Bite

In most larger lakes known as go-to walleye destinations, there’s always an active population of weed walleyes:

> Al: “Day in, day out, you can catch ’em in the middle of any weeds sparse enough to be fishable and pull a bait through.

> “That population of fish is active earlier and late in the day. They get out of the denser weeds and they’ll come up near the surface, rise high in the weeds, and come out to the edges.”

Al’s favorite way to catch ’em: Rip jigging a VMC Neon Moon Eye Jig (typically 1/4-oz) with a boot-tail or split-tail — targeting weeds in 8-12′ during low-light periods.

2. Structure Bite

An entirely separate population of walleyes are Jigging Rap fish that spend the summer tight to deep structure:

> “On a lot of these lakes, those structure fish are around 25′, but I’ve heard of bites going as deep as 40′ already — that’s astounding.”

He talked about how the winners of the Lund Mania tourney on Ottertail last month caught their best fish in 35-40′:

> “I was amazed. The big fish all came deep…deeper than normal…deeper than most of us had expected. And we’re hearing that’s true for a number of our lakes here in the Brainerd area.”

When wall-dawgs are hugging bottom that deep, Al’s fav is snappin’ a Jigging Rap ‘cuz he says “nothing can trigger those fish faster and better.”

> Not every area of 25-40′ will hold a population of active walleyes. This bite requires a good sonar/GPS unit. Navigate to reefs or humps surrounded by deeper water that top out between 25-40′ and only fish where you see schools of fish or bait on the screen.

> “If you hunt for them with your electronics, you’ll find them — they stick out when they’re there.”

3. Suspended Bite

A third population of walleyes spend most of the summer suspended over deep basins chasing baitfish:

> “Forget what you know about structure and throw a #9 Shad Rap over the back of the boat, stick your rod in a rod holder, leave a lot of line out and just start trolling in the middle of nowhere.

> “You don’t go out there and catch too many ‘eaters’ doing this…it’s a big-fish bite. The big ones are generally eating tullibee, smelt or whitefish.”

If Al sees baitfish breaking on the surface in the evening, he’ll reel in his Shad Rap and troll a #11 Original Floater on a planer board at 10′ or shallower in basins as deep as 40-100′.

> “You would be amazed at what you catch doing this for a couple hours in the evening. In the last 5 years, a lot of anglers have been tuning into this.”

They finally made an ice auger…

…big enough for the fish in Manitoba:

Case you need a refresher on just how big they grow ’em, here’s a few of our favorite Manitoba ice behemoths from last season:

Fishin’ guide Matt Cornell said this jolly green giant scarfed up a Rapala Rippin’ Rap on MB’s Lake Winnipeg. Serious amounts of WHOA:

This blimped-out slush melon went 32″ x 19″ [!] and was caught outta Wekusko Falls Lodge in northern MB — fishin’ a steep break in 30′ with a 6″ white tube:

Nicole Stone caught her new PB greenback fishin’ MB’s Lake Winnipeg with a “glow redfish tiger” Northland Tackle Rippin’ Shad. Congrats!

Nic Dittbrenner leaned into the Lake Winnipeg greenbacks using the Bagley Rattlin’ B Plus — a rattlebait that’s designed for jigging. He swears by it and rightfully so seeing as they landed 7 fish over 27″ in one day! This slob came on the “sexy shad” color:

Sam Sobieck with a freak-nasty pike caught in northern MB. Still trying to figure out what that weird growth/lump is on its side…oh wait, it’s Alex Peric (lol kiddin’ man):

Live-bait rigging: Are you setting the hook wrong?

Best way to increase your hookup ratio — while rigging the live stuff — is to make sure you’re setting the hook correctly. Joel Nelson says that a vertical hookset could actually be “sling-shotting” the bait right out of the fish’s mouth:

“Witch” wore it better?

Hank Tremblay caught this wart-nosed wally somewhere in Ontario. Always thought witches melted in water…?


1. ND: Devils Lake Fall Walleye School comin’ up.

An electronics walk-through with Doc Sonar and Johnnie Candle. Happenin’ Sep 20-23 outta Woodland Resort. More info here.

2. MN: ‘Nother study happenin’ on Mille Lacs…

…to see if warmer water temps are affecting walleyes — thanks to a $200K grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I’m no biologist, but would guess the answer is, “yes.”

Maybe just drop a few of these in every couple days?

3. MN: DNR holding a bunch o’ public meetings…

…so we can “share [our] opinions on regulations in place or proposed for 15 lakes and 1 trout stream.” Some heavy hitters on the list: Lake of the Woods and Rainy River, Leech Lake, Lake Vermilion, Kabetogama, and more. Full list and dates here.

4. WI: Perch makin’ a comeback on Winnebago.

5. IA: Skarlis speakin’ at the Okoboji Blue Water Festival.

Had no comment on the phenomenal bullhead fishing opportunities down der (lol kiddin’ IA peeps).

6. WY: Harmful algae found in Boysen Reservoir.

7. MI: Lake Erie trawl survey underway.

Guess a “trawl” looks like a large, mesh sock and is drug across the lake bottom behind a boat. #NowYouKnow

8. MN: Great shore-lunch spot on Lake of the Woods.

9. Proof there’s only one Smooth Moves.

All I can say is WHOA when he jumps up and down on the two:

10. ‘Rude wins “Business Friend of the Environment” award.

11. Pure Fishing “well into the sales process.”

Tip of the Day

Little early to be talkin’ fall patterns, but sneaking this in for those of you planning a fall fishin’ trip. Have seen a few comments online saying that trolling crankbaits — instead of casting — is like “riding a bike with training wheels.”

Of course there’s a time and place for both techniques. Here’s what Fishing 411 TV’s Mark Romanack says:

> Casting is ideal when fishing specific targets like a weed edge, riprap, rocky shorelines, points, Great Lakes piers or other physical features that attract walleyes.

> The ability to make long casts is critical to success. Long casts reach out to spooky fish and also allow crankbaits to dive to greater depths. The best rods for casting crankbaits are 7′ to 8′ spinning combos loaded with 8-lb line.

> Trolling is the best way to target walleye in open water. Trolling can make short work of suspended fish, fish scattered on sprawling flats or meandering shorelines. Off Shore Tackle Planer Boards are essential for spreading out lines and covering the maximum amount of water.

> As with casting presentations, some excellent walleye trolling takes place after dark. Tape a cyalume stick to the flag of the in-line board for fishing after dark. This simple trick makes it easy to detect bites even in total darkness.

Said one of his favorites is Yo-Zuri’s Crystal Minnow series because they come in 3 progressively larger sizes up to 5.25″. Bigger is usually better in fall…Mark has a pile of info on that in the full write-up here.

Meme of the Day

Still can’t get zander off my mind:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Cap’n Lonney Goman’s been puttin’ his boat on a wad of 27-29″ gravel lizards. Awesome fish. Diggin’ that Blackfish Shade UPF Angler long sleeve too:

Second Dose of ‘Eye Candy

This walter cheesin’ or what?

Caught by Dean Taylor on a “silverside” Lunkerhunt Sushi 110 jerkbait:

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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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