Target Walleye/Ice email

Record zander caught, Lake trout with two mouths, Trolling hack

Today’s Top 5

Record North American zander caught!!!

Get the full scoop (and more pics!) in this write-up, but here’s a look-see…

On Aug 17, Sam Wenner caught the new ND state-record zander to the tune of 35 5/8″ and 15.91 lbs [!] fishing an “outside weed edge for smallies with light fluorocarbon and a small jig.”

Not only is it the new ND state record, it’s also the biggest zander caught in the ENTIRE CONTINENT. Check it out:

Can’t get over its massive broomtail and those vampire-esque chompers:

Pumped for you man [!] but definitely a little jelly:

$1 mil man-made reef coming to Saginaw Bay.

One of the coolest walleye-related things I’ve read in a long time — 20 years in the making but finally kicked off this month. Full write-up here, few excerpts below:

> Nearly 23K tons of rocks are being used to create the offshore reef in waters northeast of Bay City. The $1 million project aims to revitalize walleye and other fish populations in Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay.

> When it’s finished, the reef will cover about 3 acres…be about 5′ tall in waters that are 18-21’…and provide a rocky habitat to promote fish reproduction.

> When walleye only spawn in rivers, a whole generation can be wiped out by river flooding or other environmental factors.

> Historically, Saginaw Bay had both reef spawners and river spawners. Today, we principally just have the river spawners left. What we’re trying to do is diversify the sources of reproduction and, in doing so, that generates more resiliency in the population.

> Workers are placing 10 barges of limestone and 2 barges of glacial rock at the site to replicate a reef and are using GPS to track location and rock height.

I can think of about 125 National Walleye Tour pros that would like to get their hands on those GPS coordinates…no doubt they’ll go out and get ’em themselves!

Trolling hack: How to get more action out of your crankbaits.

If you still aren’t using the VMC Crankbait Snap, you’re missing out! It’s a tiny, overlooked detail that can drastically increase your crankbait’s range of motion:

Sure you could tie a loop knot, but small snaps like the VMC Crankbait Snap let you quickly swap out crankbait colors and sizes without having to re-tie. #Money

I’d say the #00 and #0 sizes cover 99% of walleye applications. Same snap I use for Jigging Raps too….

Beards catch bigger walleyes.

Can’t find any hard statistics on it for some reason, but…well….

Here’s all the proof you really need:

Nope, that’s no backwoods moonshiner (lol) but it is more proof that the bigger the beard, the bigger the fish (sometimes)! Rese McGaughey has been plucking rock melons out of tiny PA streams/rivers by busting out the light spinning gear and downsizing to a Yo-Zuri 3DS Minnow to match the size of baitfish where he lives.

Few more details from the full Yo-Zuri blog post:

> “In the summer months I really spend more time in the kayak because I can cover a lot more water than when I am wading. I really enjoy targeting the big walleye when the water temperatures are in the high 70s and low 80s.

> “…the best time is post-frontal and a lot of sunshine in the sky…causes baitfish to swim around a lot more which will attract aggressive fish.

> “Small bait fish are very translucent, so you want that clearer color that looks like the water and matches the bottom colors as well.”

Diggin’ the “holographic peanut bunker” color that was stuck to that fish’s face. Has an “internal 3D prism” that’s supposed to be killer in super-clear water — here’s a closer look:

Keep doing your thing man! It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it:

Lake trout with 2 mouths??

Can’t make this stuff up. Debbie Geddes plucked — what looks like — a two-mouthed lake trout outta Lake Champlain a few days ago. Does that make it a Siamese laker?

She released the fish to get even more wierder-er.

Lots of speculation as to what caused it, but I’m thinking Michael Durkalec’s comment under the original post might be leaning in the right direction:

> “Speaking as a fish biologist, clearly the isthmus below the lower jaw just got torn earlier in life (likely from some sort of angler related injury) and it healed over.”

Most other guesses have to do with where it was caught:


2. MN: Charity walleye derby comin’ to Lake Bemidji.Called the Blue Line Walleye Tournament and happenin’ Sep 28. Has a 75-boat max (register here) which I feel like is gonna fill up pretty fast thx to the $10K 1st-place prize, but it’s more than just a walleye tourney…proceeds are going to benefit local law enforcement agencies. #Stout

3. Clam’s gotta 120V lithium ion auger coming.

Brushless motor that can cut 1,800″ of ice on a single charge:

4. MN: St. Louis River estuary being cleaned up.

Digging out sediment that built up near sawmills 100 years ago.

5. IN: 3K fish killed from factory cyanide leak…

…into Lake Michigan tributary, Little Calumet River.

6. WV. Some walleye reg changes coming Jan 1.

Bunch of different rivers are getting a 20-30″ protective slot to give “the slow-maturing fish a chance to spawn before they’re kept.” Nice.

7. KastKing’s expanding their fishin’ tool lineup…

…with their Speed Demon Pro Pliers. Looks like a Swiss Army Knife for fishin’:

8. MN: DNR stocking State Fair fish tank today.

3 dozen species including everything from sunfish to sturgeon.

9. WI Department of Tourism hiring…

…a director to lead their new-ish Office of Outdoor Recreation.

10. TN: Do Asian carp actually taste good?

Chef Tammi Cook sure thinks so:

> “This is one of the easiest fish I’ve ever cooked. It has a very neutral flavor, it takes on the flavor of whatever you put on it and you can also cook it in a variety of ways, were frying it today.

> “It tastes like no other fish I’ve ever had and I’ve been…developing recipes for fish for 10 years now. I’ve never tasted a fish that’s as clean-tasting as this one.”

Getting rid of ’em one ‘Friday Fish Special’ at a time lol.

Headline of the Day

Missing boater’s wife posts ‘miracles happen’ hours before tackle bag found.

Crews still searching for two that went missing out of Port Canaveral Friday, but that “breadcrumb” helps narrow the search.

They’re decorated combat veterans and firefighter paramedics, so they’ve got skills. Prayers the search party brings ’em home.

Tip of the Day

Chip Leer hunts scattered summer walleyes.

> Habitat and forage are at seasonal peaks this time of year, allowing hungry ‘eyes to be more scattered. That said, the 80/20 rule still applies — you’ll often find 80% of the fish in 20% of the water.

> By targeting classic fish-holding edges with proven presentations, you can consistently find and catch walleyes while other anglers scramble aimlessly around the lake.

> My summer gameplan starts at the deep weedline because food and cover often combine to create feeding scenarios. If that doesn’t pan out, I test the waters on other transitions such as changes in depth or bottom content.

> For example, areas where the bottom shifts from soft (clay or mud) to hard (sand, rock or gravel) are perennial producers. Dropoffs where a steep break settles into a lake’s main basin are worth checking, as are the edges of mid-lake structure.

> Sonar is a great tool for pinpointing potential hotspots. To confirm the presence of walleyes, I cover water with search tactics like a fixed-arm bottom-bouncer and spinner or Slow Death rig.

> Trolling crankbaits can be equally deadly. Long-lining works wonders in consistent depths. When fishing irregular contours, as well as water deeper than 15-20′, I add a pencil sinker on a 3-way rig to keep the lure close to bottom.

> Match your presentation’s color/profile to the forage base. In many systems, yellow perch are the main course, which makes perch-pattern spinner blades and LIVETARGET’s Yellow Perch crankbait family top choices.

> Don’t expect to stumble into massive schools of fish. You’re more likely to find a few scattered walleyes here and there.

> When you get bit, turn around and check for more fish, but don’t spend an hour hovering over an area that produced a bite. Your next strike is most likely waiting 100 yards further down whatever summertime transition you’re fishing….

Quote of the Day

“No matter how slowly you reel in fish from that depth, there’s still likely going to be some trauma.”

– That’s Brandon Eder, MN DNR assistant area fisheries supervisor, talking about how deep is too deep to be targeting walleye. Lots of interesting info in the full write-up here.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Fish-head Nate Altendorf’s been putting the Lindy Wally Demons to good use on some Lake of the Woods mud melons:

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