Target Walleye/Ice email

Pound bottom for walleyes, Water temp under ice, Fish of the week

Heads up: Might only be one Target Walleye email next week. We’re on the road to Bakers Narrows Lodge, MB for the next 5-ish days, chasing MEGA lake trout and bonus burbot! #LightsCameraGiants

I’m wrappin’ up this email from the truck right now, so gonna be a quick-hitter. Back with the full goods on Friday. Thx so much for reading and hope you get to set the hook this weekend!!!

Today’s Top 5

Paunchy slush melons of the week!

Here comes some of THE fattest walleyes we’ve ever seen…no doubt they’ll be gettin’ their Super Bowl appetizers on hard this weekend!

Check the ridonkulous girth on Chad Glenham’s (@chadglenham) 12-lb Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba greenback that scarfed an RJ Lure spoon. He said, “it looked like someone took an air compressor to it.” Lol:

That fish ^ measured 28.5″ and went 12 lbs! Fish was like:

No doubt this Lake Erie belly dragger has been eatin’ good! Bloated or not, she wanted that Phantom Lures Dagger 11 for dessert:

Remember this portly feller that Trevor Davies stuck last fall? That’s a 24.4″ walldawg that went 10.4 lbs! Caught on a “hot perch” color Bagley Deep Diving Shad:

IG user @sunshineandsmallies switched it up for some @overcastandwalleyes and cracked this oddly-plump 22.5″ butterball weighing nearly 5.5 lbs!

Alright, now put those waldebeests down before you all hurt yer backs.

Water temp as structure?

Using water temps to find active bites is nothing new during the open-water season, though still not too many folks paying attention to it through the ice….

This super-interesting piece by Matt Straw at In-Fish is from a few years back, but still one of the most overlooked pieces to the ice fishin’ puzzle IMO. Full write-up here, few excerpts below:

> How many ice anglers bother to observe water temperature at depth? Most perceive conditions under the ice to be pretty homogeneous, not only month-to-month, but year-to-year. But it isn’t so.

> Temperature bands move up and down through the water column all winter, expanding and contracting….

Btw you might already have an underwater camera that displays temp and depth, so it’s just a point of paying attention to it.

Also some super easy to use units out there like the Fish Hawk TD, where you just gotta: 1) drop it down, 2) reel it back up, and it’ll registered the water temp for every 5′ of the water column. #Slick

> Heavy snow cover can improve the shallow bite, but extremely cold weather can push frigid 33°F water down to the bottom in 8-10′, driving walleyes out of there.

> When I find 36°F or warmer water on bottom in 10′, I know walleyes will push even shallower on those key spots.

> Walleyes in one lake kept biting at about 22′ for over a month, even when temperatures varied by about 4°F. But the bite wasn’t the same at 34°F as it was at 38°F. Not even close.

> In warmer water (always accompanied by warmer air temps and stable weather), walleyes tended to move higher off bottom and strike more aggressively. In colder water, they held closer to bottom and exhibited smaller strike zones.

WAY more info in the full Matt Straw write-up here.

Assault with a deadly weapon walleye.

Hope @shorelinefisher has a permit for that thing (lol):

Might have to plug that one into our “22 unique ways to hold a walleye” list.

Pounding bottom ain’t just for burbot….

Turns out, burbot aren’t the only fish that get fired up by big baits “pounding” the bottom…walleyes scarf ’em up too!

Gord Pyzer stumbled into this bite while chasing burbot on Lake of the Woods in NW Ontario. Full write-up here, few essentials below:

> Our plan of attack involved pounding lake bottom with heavy jigs tipped with cisco meat. And oh, did we catch fish…only problem was they were all walleye. Honestly, we didn’t catch a single burbot.

> In the end, I put more and bigger walleye on the ice while pounding the bottom for burbot than I did during any other time of the season.


> Use the same medium-heavy action ice rod and reel you would typically use for lake trout, pike, and big walleye. Spool it up with a good quality 14- to 20-lb braid, then tie a 2′ leader of 14- to 20-lb fluorocarbon.

> My lure of choice is a 3/4-oz red, chartreuse, or orange ReelBait Flasher Jig…need the weight for the bait to crash into the bottom.

> Just as important for this technique is the dressing for the jig…nothing works better than a butterfly fillet from a cisco [check local regs].

> Lay a foot-long cisco on its side, lop off the head and run your knife through the fish along the lateral line to slice it in half lengthwise…cut the resulting U-shaped belly portion into 1/4″ wide steaks. Run the hook point through the center of one of the steaks.

> Watch what happens when you jig it in the hole — the thick ends will flap up and down like butterfly wings. The action is astonishing.


> Pop the jig off the bottom so it flies up at least a foot or two. After ripping up the jig, it’s essential to quickly drop the rod tip to throw slack into the line, letting it pound into the bottom.

> Then, lift the jig up a foot or so, and shake it subtly so the cisco wings flap ever so enticingly.

> The combination of the jig exploding into the mud and sand and striking rocks and boulders is the attraction…if the sight and sound of the impact isn’t incentive enough to draw in any nearby walleye, the scent of the cisco steak should do the trick.

Ice-organization hack with retractable reels/lanyards.

Super quick (35 sec) ice-organization hack from Lake Erie guide Ross Robertson. For sure another why-didn’t-I-think-of-that type of deals. Can find ’em for as cheap as a couple bucks if you don’t have any in your junk drawer:


Back to the regular News section when we get home next week!

Tip of the Day

Great trick for spooling up the flags. Joel Nelson didn’t invent it, but he did do a good job of showing how it’s done. Sure beats the old-school way that gives you carpal tunnel:

Meme of the Day

Know anyone that “pre-fishes” like this?

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Gnarly release shot of a flutter-spoon eatin’ waldo caught by Dustin Mason:

Hope you get to do some of that this weekend too!

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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