Target Walleye/Ice email

Record Maine perch caught, Wheelhouse placement strategies, Deadsticking tricks

Today’s Top 5

New state-record perch caught in ME!

Martina Drugovich plucked this 2.12-lb (16″) jumbotron outta Mount Desert Island’s (off ME) Long Pond:

[Previous record was a 1.88 lber caught by Daniel Baty in 2017 on Damariscotta Lake.]

Even crazier: It was Martina’s first-ever day ice fishing! Didn’t know what they had:

> We pulled it up and I was like, “That’s a giant perch. That will be good eating….”

> Neither of us had a clue…. We’re both from OH and we’re used to seeing bigger perch come out of Lake Erie. I sent [photos] to a couple of buddies and they said, “You should get it weighed. It looks like it could be close to a state record.”

Gonna have a tough time topping that one — congrats!

“Parrendicular” wheelhouse placement? 

Seems like most folks either plop their “shack” down wherever they land, or maybe only pay attention to the wind direction thinking ’bout opening and closing the door….

You really should be setting up 1) parallel, 2) perpendicular or 3) how about even “parrendicular” to the break depending on what time of day you plan on fishing and the type of structure you’re on.

Here’s how Joel Nelson uses the contours to his advantage to catch more fish from his Yetti Traxx Edition (toy hauler) fish house:

Finally an ice auger big enough…

…for the fish in Manitoba:


Okay, not really…but here’s a few recent Manitoba ice behemoths where a 14″ auger bit (lol) wouldn’t have been a bad option:

1)  Does it get any more purtty than this greenback Jennifer Dolinski caught while Clam’d up on Lake Winnipeg?! #ThickRick


2)  Here’s why Darren Kush says he always has a “glow blue” color LiveTarget Golden Shiner Rattlebait tied on a rod. #Perky


3)  How ’bout Vanessa Toews catchin’ (anotha) one that’s as big around as it is long?! This time a 29-incher:


4)  Know you got a good one when it’s got human lips — @pilgrim_outdoors shot:


5)  Big-fish junkie Nate Altendorf squeezed this one up an 8″ hole using a Lindy Glow Streak, but said he sure would’ve appreciated a bit more breathing room lol:

How sick is this ice-fishing Valentine’s box?!

Your newsfeed is probably cluttered with more sappy-love posts than fish pics today (thx a lot Valentine’s Day!) so here’s a little something to switch it up…. Posted by Stephen Kolobakken:


So awesome. Great job, Akira!

Why walleyes should wear eye patches.

TW fan Andrew Whaylen sent in this pic of a one-eyed walligator he caught on Lake Winnipeg, MB:


Imagine the stories that one will tell its grandkids:


Might seem impressive it can track down baits with a missin’ peeper, but could it actually make it easier…? Check this random pirate fact of the day:

> Some assume pirates wore eye patches to cover a missing (or wounded) eye…but an eye patch was more likely to be used to condition the eye so the pirate could fight in the dark under the deck.

Btw I’ve never met a real-life pirate, so no way of knowing if that’s 100% legit or not…and really don’t care either way so (lol):


1. We lost Walter ‘Poppee’ Matan.

Passed away earlier this month at the age of 87. RIP fishing brother.

If you ice fish, you’ve probably used Ratfinkees, Shrimpos, the original Demon (just to name a few), and you’ve got ‘Poppee’ to thank for that. The Croatian immigrant ran Custom Jigs & Spins for more than a decade — hand-pouring the lead and soldering the hooks for perhaps a million of ’em over the years!

They sold CJ&S when it got too big for ’em to handle, but his son Walt Matan still designs and markets lures for the company. For sure recommend reading this awesome tribute for a little background info on how ‘Poppee’ got his start.

Love this quote from MWO’s Dennis Leppell:

> “Poppee was just like many of the lures he designed. Not too flashy, not too complicated, and they got the job done.”

Tie on a Demon jig or Ratfinkee this weekend in his honor.

2. MN DNR’s protecting more big bluegills.

Through the Quality Bluegill Initiative revealed last summer. The DNR’s in the process of finalizing plans and lakes that make the cut for special regz:

> The goal was to greatly increase the number of [special reg] lakes in the state with reduced limits for bluegills in hopes of growing bigger sunfish.

> The DNR spent the past several months identifying 200-250 lakes on which it can cut the current statewide 20-fish limit to 10 or 5 sunfish. Lakes on the list needed to meet certain criteria, including public support and the biological capability to grow big bluegills.

3. MB: 11th annual Lund AYA ice derby…

…happenin’ Mar 14 on Lake Winnipeg (Warner Road, Chalet Beach area). AYA = Angler Young Angler…a fun derby to “promote the involvement of youth in angling.”

Shuttle on site, food vendors, and tons of great prizes including a Lund 1650 Angler SS valued at $25.8K! The best prize? Lettin’ the kiddos enjoy a little ice fishing! More deets below — click the pic to make it readable:

Early-bird pricing ends Feb 23 so get on it and save some dough!

4. MN: One dude’s take on walleye limit changes.

Reminder: A bill was introduced to hopefully reduce the state walleye limit from 6 to 4. Not the first time, but this one has momentum.

I’m sorta digging Brad Laabs’ take on dropping the limit to 4 fish, but also upping the possession limit to help promote tourism:

> “A daily limit of 4 fish, and a possession limit of 8 would be more in line with our neighboring states. …this kind of change would help improve an already good walleye fishing tourism in MN. Visitors would like to take a couple more fish home after their vacation here….”

Don’t see myself ever having that many in the freezer, but can understand an out-of-stater wanting to bring some extra back home.

5. MI: House passes bills limiting commercial fishing.

> [The 3 bills] would introduce new regulations to the state’s fishing industry, such as banning perch, walleye, and lake trout fishing for profit and changes to the mesh nets used for catching fish.

> The bills…have been floating around the state Legislature for the past 3-4 years. They never got far, because when a new House of Reps is elected every 2 years, every bill they worked on that did not go to a vote has to start over again in committee.

Sounds super, ummmm…efficient?

6. VT: Dude ticketed for keeping a Lake Champlain muskie.

Game wardens were tipped off after he posted pics on social media. Write-up says he didn’t know what it was, and kept the fish with some other northerns he had caught. Thought it was interesting how quickly VT can grow ’em:

> This 34″ muskie…is likely 7 years old — one of 7,500 fish stocked into the Missisquoi River in 2013 as 5″ fingerlings.

7. New 2020 Lund catalogs are out.

One of the few things we still like getting a (free) print copy of, but you can also view the online version here:

8. The round goby can tolerate just about any water.

 > Its marked ability to adapt to new environments is apparently related to its immune system….

9. Meet the Super Bahr Bros.

Kyle and Tyler Bahr, a couple of hard workin’ kiddos that have their own fishin’ video series. They do a pretty darn good job of teaching/talking ’bout what they’re doing, instead of just doing it:

If you liked that ^ vid, they just dropped another chasing hardwater walleyes on MIlle Lacs.

I’ve been in the boat with both of ’em before — dudes can fish! Have a feeling you’ll be seeing a lot more of this duo in the future….

10. Mega $4,000 fishing trip giveaway goin’ on.

Man, wish I was allowed to enter this one! The Ontario Experience TV show is giving away a 3 day, 4 night trip to Eagle Lake Island Lodge in ON. Lodging, food and drinks are 100% covered.

Bonus: Co-host Ty Sjodin will be your guide for the 3 days and supply all the fishing gear, tackle and bait. More info here and in the vid below: Highlights

Tip of the Day

Are you setting the hook wrong with deadsticks?

Gotta completely change up the way you swing on ’em with rods specifically designed for deadsticking:


And if you wanna make that the ultimate deadstick setup…“baitfeeder” reels are THE DEAL. They let you disengage the spool so the fish can run — then just flip the switch and your normal drag is engaged again = never miss a beat on the hookset:


Joel’s go-to is the Okuma Avenger (ABF-1000) with the auto-trip bait-feeding system. Things are a hot commodity and sold out most everywhere — looks like FishUSA has 9 of ’em left in stock right now, though. #Dibs

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Connor Bowen with an urban monster he whacked on a “Table Rock shad” Salmo Rattlin’ Sting during the full moon:


Rumor has it the same fish had been caught before, and the dude left a Valentine’s card attached to it:


Lol now that’s my kinda love note.

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Target Walleye — 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 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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