Target Walleye/Ice email

Planer board mistake, Walleyes can’t hide, Pike eats transducer

Today’s Top 5

Max Wilson wins NWT championship!

The next generation of walleye anglers is comin’ in hot. How hot?

First we saw 20-yr-old Dylan Nussbaum become the youngest NWT champ ever at the Devils Lake, ND event….

Now 21-yr-old Max Wilson took home the ‘dubyah’ at the NWT championship on Lake of the Woods with a 3-day barrel full o’ 45.83 lbs of walleye = mega bragging rights, $88,585 check and some serious hardware:

[Reminder: walleyes 19.5-28″ had to be released…allowed 1 over 28″ per day]

> Max: “I knew the wildcard in this tournament would be the ‘overs’. Each day I was kind of downtrodden and then, boom, it would happen right at the end.”

Ran to the Knights and Bridges area — near the CAN line, just south of the Garden Island complex — where BIG female walters were feeding on tullibees:

> “In the morning, they’d sit up closer to the [sharp, jagged rock structure] and then slide out into the abyss during the day. Were smaller fish on the bottom, but I was intentionally fishing above them.”

Fooled ’em running custom-painted #9 Rapala Deep Tail Dancers on leadcore at 2.4-2.6 mph. Baits were done up in the “Hail Mary” color by Viper Custom Tackle:

Ran 5-7 miles further north (near the islands) to catch his 4 biggest ‘unders’ each day pulling custom-painted #7 Berkley Flicker Shads (purple, chart and pink) on leadcore:

> “I could get a limit [of unders] within an hour every day up there. Bet we caught 75 fish [the last day] on a sand-mud flat in 15’…they’d position just off the bottom. Had a limit by 10:15 and only upgraded 1 time.

> “Knew I had a good day, but honestly didn’t think I had won. The anglers in front of me were just outstanding…Nick Schertz, Brett King and Robert Blosser…didn’t think I had enough to beat them.

> “It’s absolutely crazy to win this. Was great to see Dylan win the last one…so happy for him. It’s great to see the next generation showing up — really makes me happy.

> “For any young anglers out there that are looking up to me, I want this to be an example of why you never, ever give up. It’s been a rough journey leading up to this. I stuck with it…kept my head in the game and worked harder than I ever thought I could. This was an incredible experience…what every walleye angler dreams of.”

Keep doing your thing, dude!

Speaking of Lake of the Woods…

…NWT pros weren’t the only ones getting in on the action….

TW fan Bryan Mason managed to stick this 32.5″ [!] Lake of the Woods mud melon while the NWT derby was going on — congrats on the new PB!

Christ Peters and Scott Schultz landed this mega 32.25″ gravel lizard prefishing for the MTT championship happenin’ Sep 13-14 on Lake of the Woods. Fish like THIS will give ’em a solid crack at winning the $50K Skeeter boat package:

Good luck guys!

Where the heck do all the walleyes go?!

Always been a dream of mine to tag-n-release a bunch of fish to see where they disappear to (especially with burbot/eelpout since we just don’t know much about ’em yet, but any species would be amazing).

Came across a 2016/2017 acoustic-telemetry study that did just that on Lake Erie, tracking walleye movements for an entire year. Can watch the full 30-sec vid here, few screenshots below:

1. End of September-ish.

Check how scattered the fish are this time of year:

2. November-ish.

Start makin’ the push back towards the western basin:

3. January-ish.

Erie doesn’t always get fishable ice, but here’s how congregated the fish get when the rest of us are in the heart of the ice season:

4. End of February-ish.

Get absolutely STACKED up when the rest of us are hitting the late-ice bite:

Makes me think I need to focus waaaay more on hittin’ staging areas — closer to where they spawn — during the tail-end of the ice season.

How do you prepare for winter?

Some re-spool the short sticks…others charge their flashers…this guy:

That’s one way to stay focused on fall chores!

Ever had this happen while ice fishing?

I’ll admit it: Starting to get ice on the brain (#NeverTooEarly). Was cruising ’round the interwebz and came across Jon Smith’s secret big-fish bait for northern MN gators: A…ugh…MarCum transducer puck?

Love how the fish refuses to give it back too.


1. Brett King wins NWT AOY.

Well deserved dude! Video of him recapping his season here.

2. MN: No live bait allowed at new walleye tourney.

Yup, an artificial-only walleye tournament happenin’ this weekend on Mille Lacs. 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. ‘Bout dang time! Exactly what the walleye world needs to grow the sport.

Gonna sneak over to the weigh-in and see what I can sniff up…keep you posted.

3. Dude fished for 24 hrs straight…

…to raise funds for the Fishing for Life charity.

> …attempt[ed] to catch more fish than any other person in the world in a 24-hour period…Kolodzinski set the mark in Aug 2011 for most fish caught in a 24-hour period with an entry of 2,143 fish in the Guinness Book of World Records, which still stands today.

> Over his numerous attempts to break the record, Kolodzinski has continued to raise awareness and money for the cause and the sport of fishing.

Didn’t break the record this time, but believe he ended up catching over 1,500 fish [!] and has already hit $11,580 in donations.

4. Okuma army invadin’ Lake of the Woods.

Can’t tell if Pat McSharry’s playing with worms again, or if he just got done wrassling one in with that Okuma Cold Water Low-Profile Line Counter Reel:

Wish I could’ve made it, guys!

5. MI: Saginaw Bay trawl survey underway.

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

6. MN: 2,000 lbs of carp removed from Steiger Lake.

Says they’re being donated to the U of M Wildlife Center to feed wolves?

7. MN: Help design the new walleye stamp.

It’s the ultimate food stamp:

> “Walleye stamps help fund an account used only for walleye stocking. We use the money to buy walleye from certified private producers that we stock in lakes.”

8. In-Depth Media Productions hiring a videographer.

‘Nother chance to break into the biz!

9. Plano’s got a new zipperless fishin’ backpack.10. Jonny Lang misses MN lakes.

Guitar-jammin blues rocker who was just 15-yrs-old when his “Lie to Me” album went platinum. Remember seeing him in concert when I was just a kiddo too (thx mom!). Lives in Cali now but said this about MN:

> “I miss fishing. You just drive 10 min in any direction and hop in a boat and go fishing. When you live by the ocean, you never go there. Except when we take the kids to the beach.” #SaltLife

11. Ever tried pulling Water Puppets?

Probably should. Lot of guys vertical jig ’em for their crazy-darting action, but check the wobble when slow trolled or drifting:

Also gotta love that Someday Isle Tackle Water Puppets are made in the USA.

12. Coast Guard looking for ideas/inventions…

…to help them find folks in the water:

> This competition challenges companies, universities, students and citizen innovators to develop effective and affordable concepts for a new or updated lifejacket or PFD, an attachment to a lifejacket/PFD, or something recreational mariners and boater use in addition to wearing their lifejacket/PFD.

Headline of the Day

Custom lures strengthen couple’s bond.

Might remember Alex and Christine Gorske’s “walleye wedding” in Top Item #2 of this Target Walleye email — now they’re running Team Ultimatum Customs out of a spare bedroom, custom painting new and old crankbaits. Love it.

Glad she let Alex catch the big one this time…else she just let him hold it? (lol):

Tip of the Day

Something I see a lot of guys — even NWT pros — do wrong when running planer boards. Gotta leave enough slack between your front and back snaps so the tattle flag can go down, but also important so that the board tracks properly:

Quote of the Day

When you catch dinner before breakfast.

Josh McFaddin went grocery shopping, Manitoba style:

Ton of great options ’round Manitoba if yer lookin’ for a fall trip — maybe scratch one of these off your fishing bucket list:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Vanessa Toews said she almost fainted when her new PB rock melon hit the net:

Caught on a PK Panic, which isn’t just for ice fishing:

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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