Target Walleye/Ice email

Rust-free cranks, Walleyes that impress Al Lindner, Shiver Minnows roll

Today’s Top 5

Walleye big enough to impress Al Lindner.

What’s big to some, isn’t always big to others. What do YOU consider a big walleye in the lakes you fish?? It really depends on where you’re fishing — here’s Al’s take on it:

> You go to and see all these pictures of big walleye up to 34″, but pay attention to the big-water systems they’re coming from. If you fish the Great Lakes, western reservoirs or a handful of lakes up in Canada…8-lbers are common.

> You would say, “Well a big fish to me is a 10- or 12-lber.” Well in these smaller, natural walleye lakes — that are peppered all over the heart of the walleye world — a big fish is simply a 6-lber. A giant fish (which you see rarely out of these lakes) is a true 8-lber. So everything is relative.

> In these smaller natural mesotrophic, slightly eutrophic lakes, we have a lot of 1.5- to 3-lbers, but when you get a 4, 5 or 6 that’s really good fishing. Now and again if you’re fishing a tournament or in the fall, you may see an 8-lber, but it’s rare.

> You’ve got big lakes like Lake of the Woods, Red Lake, Mille Lacs, Leech Lake, Winnebago — well-known walleye lakes, but even in smaller lakes 8-lbers are really-really, big-big fish. The reality check for most of us is that a bunch of walleyes from 16-20″ is a great day on the water.

“Some of these fish look like they just came from a pie-eating contest!”

– What Dave Shmyr said in this Hooked Magazine write-up talking the fall walleye migration on the Bay of Quinte. Here’s one of those pie-eaters:

> Dave: In late fall huge numbers of giant walleye migrate from Lake Ontario into the Bay of Quinte, where they stage for the spring spawn. This process starts in early Sep and carries through all winter. Some of these schools of fish can be in the hundreds! Imagine knowing you’re lure is about to intercept a bunch of pigs with fins!!

> A huge factor in this migration is the abundance of gizzard shad that can be in schools of thousands….why these fish look like sumo wrestlers…they’re lined up at the smorg all day and all night!

> Often these walleye and gizzard shad can be within a few feet of surface — the boat itself can spook them out to the sides — making planer boards an essential part of the set up…allows you to get your lines as far away from the boat as possible.

> At times we had planer boards 150′ away from the boat [!] when we were alone on a spot…if you’re around other fishermen…respect their space as well.

> Our key lures were the Bagley Rumble B, Deep Diving Minnow B, Rapala Deep Tail Dancer, and Down Deep Husky Jerks. The ability to stagger multiple lines gives you opportunity to try different models and colors at the same time.

> Don’t be scared to use some wild-looking stuff (start with a good variety)…most of our big fish came from crazy-colored lures.

> Some days they want it slow — others they want it fast…experiment from 1.2-2.2 mph. My belief is the later in the year it gets the more you want to slow down.

Know these two had a new “secret fishing handshake” after a weekend like that:

What makes the Shiver Minnow different.

The Moonshine Shiver Minnow darts and glides like other jigging baits, but what makes it different is how it rolls over on the drop — like baitfish do — with a bit of slack. Here’s how NWT pro Tommy Kemos works ’em vertically:

> Let it hit bottom then pick it up a foot or so. Snap the rod up about a foot and continue that with a nice steady cadence. Snapping the bait up causes it to dart off to the side. On the end of that snap not only does it glide out, but it also rolls on its side.

> One of the keys to using the Shiver Minnow vertically is to use high-vis line. Not only can I see when that bait touches bottom, but when I’m giving it the snap…I can pay attention to any sort of bites I get on the drop [the line gets slack]. Also lets me pay attention to what the cadence is and be able to duplicate that when I get a bite.

Better to be Shiver-rolled, than #RickRolled

Tom Kemos and Keith Kavajecz actually do give up some of their secrets to “Shivering” walleyes in this Oct episode of The Next Bite on Lake Sakakawea, ND:

How to keep your crankbaits rust-free.

We all spend a ton of $$$ on tackle, so the last thing we want to do is have to buy ’em again. Here’s a free way Lund pro Jason Vogelsang keeps his hooks from rusting:

Plus it’s a good excuse to buy new boat shoes:

Why you’ve gotta run tattle flags.

Simple answer: you’ll catch more fish! Plus if Fishing 411 TV host Mark Romanack uses ’em, you’ll for sure want to add ’em to your arsenal. Read the full write-up here, few excerpts below:

> “Setting up your planer boards with spring-loaded flag systems not only makes it easier to see when you’re getting a bite, it makes it obvious when your lure has hooked onto a piece of floating weed or other debris.”

Think of it as the opposite of a tip-up…there’s a fish on when the flag folds down.

> “It’s amazing how often when trolling with Tattle Flag kits I see the flag fold down, then pop back up quickly before the board even moves. When a walleye or other fish strikes at your lure — but doesn’t get initially hooked — the Tattle Flag will telegraph that missed strike.

> “If you react quickly, it’s even more amazing how often you can tease that fish into biting again and with more enthusiasm. Simply open the reel bail and let that board stall in the water while continuing to troll forward. After a few seconds flip the reel back into gear and watch what happens as the line pulls tight.

> “Most of the time when that board begins to plane out, the flag will snap down and the board immediately starts rocketing backwards. Teasing fish into biting like this is highly effective and without the Tattle Flag kit you would’ve never know a bite occurred in the 1st place.”

Mark’s got a lot more info on Tattle Flags here.


1. A message from Al Lindner.

> Al: “There’s plenty of opportunities to make your living in the fishing industry, but you’re not going to find them in your local newspaper. That’s why we created the Fishing Careers Workshop, to help you understand how the industry works and where you might fit in.”

They say it’s all about “who you know,” but there are certain steps YOU can take to make those connections happen. Here’s the man himself, Al Lindner, talking ’bout an awesome opportunity:

2. MN: Lake of the Woods shows out!

The Minnesota Tournament Trail (MTT) hit Lake of the Woods last weekend and had 49 fish over 28″ brought to the scales — serious amounts of WHOA!

Bob Nitti and Bryan Dunaiski took home the ‘dubyah’ with a 2-day bag (12 fish) for 40.19 lbs, taking home a $50K Skeeter boat package. How’s that for a couple days of fishing?! Congrats guys!

3. MN: Hernesman/Colter win Cass Lake MWC.

Dave Hernesman and Sean Colter’s 2-day total of 34-07 (10 fish) brought ’em home $16,858 in cash + prizes. Classic fall pattern: Caught ’em live-bait rigging large redtails and creek chubs on steep main-lake breaklines in 32-40′. Get this:

> Colter: “The way the big fish were biting, when we got a bite, we had to open the bail, turn the boat around and drive toward the fish while reeling to keep from losing them.”

Sounds sketchy, but clearly paid off. Congrats guys!

4. MN: “Walleye overage” can be paid back on Mille Lacs.

> Mille Lacs Lake angler survey results show state anglers have taken walleye at levels far enough under the state’s safe harvest allocation to pay back a harvest overage accumulated in 2016 and 2017.

Soooo basically: We put 16,050 walleyes on a credit card between 2016-2017…but should have enough walleyes left in our bank account after this year to pay off those walleyes we borrowed….

5. MI: MWC world walleye championship…

…happening on Bays De Noc, Oct 4-6.

6. MN: DNR’s building an electric “wall”…

…to keep bighead, grass and silver carp outta Janesville area lakes:

> Electric currents running through concrete aprons immobilize the fish, causing the current to push them back where they swam from.

7. MN: Possible reg changes comin’ to…

…Kabetogama, Namakan, Sand Point, Crane and Little Vermilion.

8. MN: $25K paid out to the top 6 spots…

…at the Fishing to End Hunger charity tourney on Gull Lake, Oct 6. Great cause!

9. ND: Woodland Resort gets Community Partner Award.

For sure worth the trip if you’ve never been. Of course the fishing on Devils Lake is great, but the Woodland Resort crew also work their tails off to make sure the rest of your trip is just as great-er-er. Well deserved guys!

Btw they have ice-fishing packages starting at just $99.

10. WY: Watercraft registration closed during Oct.

Better burn up a lunch break to get it taken care of before then…

11. How Perry Good catches ’em during a bug hatch.

Would normally be a little late in the year to be talkin’ bugs…but saw one heck of a hatch going on a few days ago here in central MN. Plus these are great early-fall techniques regardless:

Tip of the Day

Timely stuff. Make sure you understand it! Full write-up here, few excerpts below:

> “Water temps reach a seasonal high during the summer, causing a layering process to occur. The end result is an upper warmer layer and a cooler lower layer — separated by a quickly changing narrow band known as the thermocline.

> “You’ll actually be able to see the thermocline as a consistent narrow band on a quality graph. If it’s still there you could still expect to find quite a few fish clinging to deeper summer patterns. If not, it’s time to make some adjustments.

> “The turnover is a thorough mixing of the upper and lower layers of water in a system that had been separated by a thermocline — usually coinciding with the first hard frost of fall. Some years the change is so gradual that it becomes difficult to pin down. When the surface temp drops into the lower 60s and upper 50s, you can figure you’re in the turnover zone.

> “The quick cool-off of the turnover will shut fish down until they’ve had time to adjust. Even lakes that don’t experience a thermocline still go through a period of cooling off with tough conditions.

> “Lakes that experience the turnover first are more shallow and windswept compared to the deeper and more protected.

> “In the middle of a turnover you can avoid the negative effects by spending your time on a deeper lake. The shallower lakes may be a good choice after the cooling process has taken place everywhere because fish will have had more time to adjust.

> “The move to shallow water will depend on how much good shallow-water cover is available (shallow weed-choked bays, rocky bars/reefs, as well as larger weed flats). The food [baitfish] that has been hiding out in shallow cover is now getting pushed out into the open where it becomes extremely vulnerable.”

Headline of the Day

Apparently there’s a proposal to have walleye (also smallmouth, largemouth and other non-native gamefish) reclassified as invasive in Washington.The orca task force (lol real thing) thinks walleye are eating all the salmon before orcas (aka killer whales) can get to ’em in the Pacific Ocean. Not sure where the killer-whale-lovers group got their numbers, but they said:

> “Walleye in the Columbia River are reported to consume more than 2 juvenile salmon daily while bass are reported to consume more than one juvenile salmon per day. There are likely millions of these non-native predatory fish in WA waters containing salmon. 24 MILLION salmon smolts are consumed by these non-native species between McNary Dam and Priest Rapids dam.”

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Eli Mathias camera stuffin’ a 31″ (10.5-lb) Lake of the Woods slaunch he caught pulling ‘crawlers behind bottom-bouncers in 32’. Sick fish!

Of course it’s a generous hold, but that’d still be a 31-incher if he was holding it behind his back! Crazy how worked up some people can get over a lack of elbow-bending…. #FocusOnTheFish

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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
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