Target Walleye/Ice email

Pelicans devour walleyes, Don’t spook shallow fish, Shiner spawn tip

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Today’s Top 5

Cast Rippin’ Raps to avoid spooking early-spring ‘eyes.

Walleyes can be — and usually are — downright stubborn…especially in shallow, clear water. While some guys bust out the slip-bobber, Tony Roach does things a bit differently. Full write-up here, few excerpts below.

Was going to post a pic of Tony here, but Steve Ryan catches ’em bigger (lol kiddin’ Tony…kind of):

> Tony Roach: “When early-season walleyes are up shallow feeding, they can get spooked if your boat’s right on top of them — this is when casting a Rapala Rippin’ Rap can be so effective.”
> …works best when water temps are 50-55°. Make long casts to structure…. Repeatedly rip the lure up off the bottom and then quickly drop your rod tip to allow the bait to free fall on a slack line. Tony says, “9 times out of 10, those fish are going to hit the bait on the fall.”

Bait has a nice fluttery-drop on a slack line and vibrates hard on the rip. Two of my fav colors are “chartreuse shad” (stained water) and “gold chrome” (clear water on sunny days):

> Tony: “A lot of things make a Rippin’ Rap absolutely deadly: It’s got a really loud thump unlike any other bait. Also falls at just the right rate and has a really tight wobble as you rip it. This thing has the right action to catch a lot of fish and you can fish ’em a lot of different ways.”

Don’t be afraid to chuck ’em in-and-around weeds:

> Swim them over and through the tops of new vegetation. With your boat in deeper water, fancast across spawning flats making contact with [weeds]. If the grass that comes back on your treble hooks is brown and dead, keep covering water.

> When green grass comes back on your hooks, slow down and pick apart the area. More often than not, that’s where you’ll find the fish. When your Rippin’ Rap hits grass on the retrieve, pop it free to trigger bites.

Awesome bait this time of year. As with anything, you’ve gotta get a confidence-building day under your belt to stick with it, but then you won’t wanna put it down.

When dinner’s on the DNR….

Not the biggest walleye boated with Jack’s Charter Service [based out of Milwaukee, WI] but a pretty special one…. Caught on a B-Fish-N Tackle H20 Precision Jig with an AuthentX Moxi:

Had a $100 reward tag for “turning in the transmitter in the belly.” A comment under the post said:

> These fish are being tagged all throughout Green Bay and associated tributaries as part of a movement study.

Can tell you just how much moving I’d be doing after getting belly stitches like that:

How to “summerize” your power auger…

…because betcha haven’t done it yet…right? Lol. Here’s how Jeremy ‘burbot-sniffer” Smith from Lindner’s Angling Edge preps his StrikeMaster for its 7-month nap:

  1. Add Sea Foam to the tank to stabilize the fuel, then run the engine long enough for the Sea Foam work through the carburetor (3 min).

  2. With air cleaner removed and engine running, spray a series of 4 or 5 bursts of Sea Foam Spray into the carburetor throat, then a final fogging burst to drown out the intake.

  3. Remove the spark plug and spray a burst to coat the cylinder cavity.

> With Sea Foam in the tank and carburetor, and Sea Foam Spray in the chamber area, the entire fuel system is protected and lubricated for long-term storage:

That’s how you summerize…here’s how we summarize: Without Sea Foam, your motor could get:


Pelicans love them some walleyes?!

Always had a hunch pelicans were gorging-till-they-couldn’t-fly on fish, but never thought ’bout how many walleyes that could be during the spring spawning run:

From Paul Frick’s post on Facebook:

> “Canoed Third River today from Dixon to Winnie. Have always seen a few pelicans around but wow…I’d guess at least 1,000. What you see me holding is fish they puked up so they could fly away from canoe (eat so much they can’t even fly)…hundreds and hundreds of beautiful walleye. I doubt many make it up the river.

> “I saw this in Squaw Lake this week and also on Popple River. If you want to see firsthand destruction of fish populations, canoe one of these northern Itasca rivers around Winnie, Dixon, Bowstring, Round Lakes in the next week.”

Now you know what to throw if they ever open a “pelican fishing season” — this #7 Rapala Shad Rap:

And if you want a BIG one for the wall, I’d probably run a “walleye” color Phantom Lures Standard:

Lol! But in all seriousness, Phantom Lures is more than just muskie baits…they’ve got a killer lineup of walleye cranks designed in MN — check ’em out.

Couple more guys mastering the “Lion King hold.”

Case you need a refresher, we put together a list with 22 of the most unique walleye holds we’ve had sent in from our readers — all of which were in need of official names. This was #1 on that list:

For you visual learners:

Been seeing a few more “Lion King holds” floating around the interwebz, like this walter that got Lunkerhunt’ed — hold ’em if you got ’em:

Gord Pyzer’s grandson Liam getting his lake trout on:

Disclaimer: Learning how to handle fish for safe release is an important skill we all need to master. While this “walleye holds” post is all kinds of fun to read, we do not support intentionally harming fish (duh).

If you come across an interesting fish hold or snap, forward us the link here.


1. WI: NWT on Winnebago could be won any way.

If you didn’t hear: The first NWT stop (May 10-11) was moved from the Mississippi River near Red Wing, MN to Lake Winnebago, WI due to flood-level waters and lots o’ floating debris.

Cool thing about Winnebago — especially this time of year — is it could be won any way a guy/gal wants to fish it. Here’s what reigning NWT champ Dean Arnoldussen had to say about it:

> “Winnebago is the most unpredictable body of water on earth. They just move so much because of the baitfish — they’re constantly moving.

> “Anything you want to do, you’ll be able to do. There will be guys jigging in the river, handlining, pulling streamer flies [!] and trolling shallow rock on the main lake. The only pattern that won’t be in play is trolling the mud [how the lake’s usually won in summer].”

Us rookies are like:

> “Some are in the rivers right now spawning. If the river remains high, they’ll stay right in the river. But if it drops, they’ll dump out of there and go to the lake. Not all of the walleyes spawn in the rivers. If you found pre-spawn lake fish, you could very possibly win the tournament.

> “I think somewhere around 30 lbs will win, just because it’s so hard to duplicate a successful day on Winnebago. The winner might have 20 lbs one day, and then 10 the next.”

Looking forward to this one! I’ll be jumping in as a co-angler — hope to bring you some cool behind-the-scenes stuff and some techy tips from the best walleye anglers in the world…maybe even catch a fish???

Heading there tomorrow to begin the pre-fishing binge. Will still be sending out Target Walleye emails (crossing fingers for good Wi-Fi), but might not be sent on the usual times and days. Stay tuned….

2. IL: 3 spots opened up…

…for the Cabela’s National Team Championship May 16-19 at Quad Cities.

3. MN: Not the latest ice-out on Lake of the Woods.

Outdoor writer Brad Dokken spent the 1996 walleye opener ice fishing on Lake of the Woods and had a 100-fish day [!] — check this throwback:

Hey youngsters – that black-and-white thing is what us old-folk like to call a newspaper….

4. WY [still] declaring war on walleye…

…on Buffalo Bill Rez:

> By law, all walleye caught in the reservoir must be immediately killed, but catches of males aren’t nearly as important as females…you’re not going to limit a population by removing the males.

Ouch! Said it’s cuz they wanna “rid the important trout habitat of the voracious, toothy predator.”

Hey WY — we’ll take ’em off your hands….

ID is also trying to eradicate ’em from Lake Pend Oreille [sad-face emoji].

5. New deep-divin’ Bagleys out!

Called the Balsa Deep Diving Sticks and dive 18-25′ fast:

> “Its tapered body, unique lip design and lightweight balsa wood construction allows the bait to dive deeper quicker than other deep-running baits on the market today.”

Only place you can get ’em right now is here at FishUSA — few colors that caught my eye (clockwise): sea sick, solar, sneeze and candy corn:

6. MN: Cool DNR ice-out map.

Of course not updated in 100% real-time, but seems to be pretty current:

7. Yamaha running spring sale.

Says some Yamaha 2.5hp to 150hp 4-stroke outboards can gitcha dealer credit up to $750.

8. USA anglers: Manitoba needs your help.

Last chance to get in on this survey running through May 5:

> Winnipeg-based Probe Research is doing the study that covers everything from spending on tackle, beer and boats to views on how good — or not-so-good — the fishing has been lately on the Red and Lake Winnipeg.

Survey takes 15-ish minutes and you’ll be entered to win 1 of 3 prizes worth a total of $800 — more importantly you’ll be doing a good thing for the sustainability of the fishing up there.

Click here to take the survey and use the password: Manitoba

Tip of the Day

MN fishing guide Scott Seibert talks shallow, early-season walleyes in this Jason Mitchell write-up. GREAT info, here’s a few excerpts:

> Early season walleye patterns on northern MN fisheries often occur in less than 12′. While classic deep-structure patterns will emerge as the summer progresses, many anglers miss opportunities by looking too deep, too early.

> Fisheries such as Lake Winnibigoshish and Leech Lake hold tremendous walleye populations. Both share a common popularity, and have a shallow-weedline bites that often occur in less than 10′.

> The shiner spawn — which often coincides with blooming lilacs — is a major trigger that creates shallow-walleye bites. Sand or fine gravel is usually preferred, but there’s also usually weed growth (pencil reeds, cabbage, etc) in these areas on natural lakes.

> Many of these fisheries offer extremely good water visibility. Wind can trigger aggressive fish to move up into shallow water and feed aggressively, where a lack of wind can shut down some of these shallow bites.

> If the wind lays down, be prepared to slide out over the next break. Cold fronts and major weather systems can also push fish slightly deeper, but as a rule of thumb: you can expect some very aggressive fish up in less than 10′ during s weather when there’s wind.

> Sharp breaks adjacent to shallow flats and weedlines will often concentrate fish when they do slide out into 12′ to 20′. Use your electronics to look for fish and anticipate shadows by where the angle of the sun is. Sharp breaklines that cast deep dark shadows will often hold fish.

Meme of the Day

Been there, done continue to do that:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Remington slammed this 9-lb 5-oz WI rock-crawler slinging a Storm ThunderStick from the bank:

Not even his biggest this season — he’s been on ’em good.

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