Target Walleye/Ice email

Planer board loop-knot trick, How to “fizz” fish, Dog day walleyes

Today’s Top 5

‘Tis the season for hard-bodied jigging baits.

Call ’em glide baits, Jigging Raps, whatever…. Coming into the dreaded “dog days of summer” where walleyes can get extra fussy. Snapping a hard-bodied jigging bait and letting it crash back down to the bottom is the ultimate reaction bite and can make ’em eat even if they don’t necessarily want to.

Here’s a few that straight up choked it! Waterfowler Bill Saunders (@goosepimp101) has a soft spot for white-tips…when he’s not blasting sky carp, he’s whackin’ waldos. This one absolutely lunch-boxed his “perch” color Rapala Jigging Rap. #Whammy

This one wasn’t going anywhere! Scarfed a Northland Puppet Minnow, which IMO fishes a bit lighter and more “glidey” than similar baits — sometimes a slightly different look is all it takes to fool ’em:

Ty Wilson’s first time EVER walleye fishing and he has a 30.25-incher inhale his Johnson Johnny Darter! Caught on the Columbia River near Tri-Cities, WA — congrats man! Have never tried the Johnny Darter, but have heard good things:

Here’s the mono “loop trick” for planer boards!

The Fishing 411 TV crew is dialed-in on trolling with Off Shore Tackle Planer Boards. Their “loop trick” makes it easier to trip the line for switching out lures or fighting a small fish. Full write-up here, few excerpts below:

> Most anglers are going to bury the line all the way to the back of the rubber pads on the OR19 release and also behind the pin on the OR16 Snap Weight Clip. …requires an aggressive snap of the rod to trip this heavy-tension release.

> A better method is to grab the line near the rod tip with your thumb and forefinger and twist the line around your finger to create a small loop with a few twists. Place the twisted line into the OR19 release leaving about 1/2″ to 3/4″ of the loop extending outside the release. Then place the line behind the pin on the OR16.

> …allows the board to remain firmly on the line while trolling even at high speeds and in rough water. The instant a fish is hooked, the line can be smoothly released by giving the rod tip a little snap. Larger fish [typically] trip the release at the strike.

> …allows the board to plane when necessary and makes it easier to trip or release the board to switch out lures, fight fish, etc.

> Once the line is tripped from the tow-arm release, the board spins around in the water and is now connected to the line via the OR16 Snap Weight Clip. Because the board is no longer planing, it quickly drops back out of the board formation allowing that line to be retrieved without having to clear other inside board lines!

More details here.

How Ted Takasaki “fizzes” fish.

“Fizzing” is a process used to deflate the air bladder of fish caught outta deep water. Controversial topic, but Ted Takasaki brings up a great point:

> “…fizzing gives fish the best chance of living vs lying on the surface for the seagulls or getting filleted for supper.”

As always: check your local regs — it’s not legal in all (most?) states. Here’s a short but great video of exactly how/why he fizzes:

Speaking of which, there’s a few other occasions when you DON’T wanna hear that same bubbling/fizzing sound:


Ross Robertson’s alternative to fizzing.

From Mr. Bigwater Fishing himself:

> Ross: “I use ice fishing depth weights to help keep big fish I’m going to release upright in the livewell. Problem is, even the biggest depth-checkers can be not enough weight for bigguns like this dirty-30.

> “A guide client poured lead into a catfish bell to make the perfect weight clip. This is a much faster and safer way to help walleyes right themselves instead of attempting to fizz fish.”

Is this the definition of “match the hatch?”

Doesn’t get much better than this Rat-L-Trap attack:

Though I’m pretty sure ‘Trap could match almost any hatch — here’s just one tiny section of their color display at ICAST:

Still surprised these few didn’t find their way home on my carry-on (lol):


1. Fishing brother needs our help.

Brainerd Lakes Area guide Dan “Walleyedan” Eigen has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma…a cancer of the plasma cells. Sounds like he’s undergoing his first round of chemotherapy today. After 2-3 months of that, he’ll go to Mayo Clinic for a stem cell transplant.

If you can help Dan and his family financially, hit their GoFundMe page here. If you’re the praying type, please send a few his way. Stay strong, brother.

2. Guy who invented the bottom-bouncer…

…Bob Meter, will be inducted into the ND Fishing Hall of Fame. Well deserved!

3. ND: 11 million walleye stocked across the state.

Fingerlings from the Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery went into 140 lakes across NoDak.

4. MN: Green Lake walleyes in a decline?

Enough that it has the DNR considering a bag-limit drop to 3 fish. S’more info on what they think is causing the decline in a Northland Outdoors write-up.

Had the chance to fish Green for the first time last weekend. Graphed a bunch of walleyes and popped a few on Jigging Raps over deep main-lake humps…before chasing smallies (sorry, had to lol).

Woulda tried to fish some of the shoreline breaks for walleyes, but hot dang is there ever a lot of recreating happenin’ on that lake! Felt like I needed to wear blaze orange to not get ran over….

5. ND: Devils Lake is kickin’ out 50-100 fish a day?!

During what’s supposed to be the toughest fishing of the season?!? That’s outrageous. Bunch of info on how the guides are finding/catching ’em here.

6. SD: World record channel cat arrowed.

By Cody Sechser and Isaac Kipp while bowfishing on the West Branch of Skunk Creek north of Hartford. Went 24 lbs 12 oz and measured 38.5″ x 20.5″:

Honestly had never heard of anyone slinging arrows at cats? Guess if Aaron Wiebe can catch ’em by hand, then anything’s possible.

7. MN: Building a stronger voice for anglers.

A new nonprofit fishing organization is launching this month called the MN-FISH Sportfishing Foundation & Coalition:

> …formed to bring a strong, unified voice to St. Paul to represent the interests of MN anglers and other stakeholders…increase state investment into fisheries and fishing-related programs…improve fishing opportunities in MN and shorten the time between bites.

8. Ranger has a new multi-species boat.

Big-water rigs called the FS PRO line.

9. Looking for Midwest fishing reports?

The crew from AMSOIL is kicking out a bunch of current videos — all in one spot. The newest Midwest Fishing Reports are out now:

10. NY: Can Asian carp move through saltwater?

Hope not. Sounds like it’s just a theory so far:

> “The carp seem to have gotten in by swimming in from the ocean and up Mecox Bay, to then pass under the Montauk Highway bridge just to the west of town.”

11. Costa partners with a brewery.

> “…to raise awareness around the growing issue of plastic pollution in waterways and oceans.”

12. DC: New US Fish and Wildlife director.

Headline of the Day

Is live bait dead?

It’s usually pretty easy to tell…

Lol okay, that headline is actually an interesting write-up from The Next Bite crew talkin’ about the improvements in soft-plastics over the past few years, and how the ‘fake stuff’ can actually get you “extra time with your lure in the water, longer casts, and walleyes that eat the plastic instead of nip at the bait.”

Tip of the Day

Bill Leonard: Dog-day walleyes up shallow.

Check out the full Bill Leonard write-up here, few excerpts below:

> It’s the dog days of August, and catching walleyes seems to get harder and harder. [Most] anglers run cranks and work deep water…however they’ll go where the food is and that can definitely be the shallows.

> Shallow is a relative term based on the lake. On a lake that’s 10-15′ deep, shallow might be 1-2′ whereas a lake that has depths over 30′, shallow might be 8-10′ or 3-4′.

> In the heat of the summer on shallow lakes of 10-15′, the water can become incredibly warm, so warm…that the walleyes search for cooler territory. …equally important is the additional oxygen given off by the vegetation.

> I find the best shorelines to be the ones that have a sharp 1-2′ drop to a small shelf before dropping off to deeper water.

> You may not be able to trigger these fish during the heat of the day. It might be an early morning, late evening or night bite…[but] they’re there for the taking.

> Four approaches work when fishing for walleyes in the shallows: using a slip-bobber, casting crankbaits, casting jigs and using the dropshot method. Of the 4, the 2 presentations I use most are casting jigs and using the dropshot….

> The other presentation I prefer is to dropshot on the deep side of the weeds with a weedless hook and dropshot a PowerBait Minnow or Nightcrawler.

Meme of the Day

Man, these summers fill up SO fast with schtuff! Weddings, baby showers, grad parties, b-days…you name it!! Hope you get out fishing soon-ish:

Shot of the Day

Are you THIS Canadian?

Still trying to figure out how walleye nut Steven Gottfried took that pic without a single moose, bottle of maple syrup or plate of poutine in the loving it dude!

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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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