Target Walleye/Ice email

Shallow snap jigging now, Donkey hunter of the week, Fall walleyes love sand

Today’s Top 5

Snap-jigging plastics for shallow fall walleyes.

Snap-jigging has taken off in the walleye world over the last 4-5 years (thx Al!). It’s a fun way to catch ’em and really good at pulling bigger bites — especially in fall.

Tracked down walleye nut Will Pappenfus to get the down-low on this bite ‘cuz it’s a big part of his fall rotation…and he’s clearly has been putting it to good use. Full write-up here on, few excerpts below:


> Will: It’s definitely more of a shallow-water deal…usually less than 10′. A lot of guys go deep in the fall but if you can find green weeds (cabbage or coontail) in 4-7′ there’s going to be fish/bait hanging around.

> Aside from weeds, I like to look for wind-blown points, stuff with rocks or gravel in 4-10′. Don’t necessarily need deep water nearby…. Fish roam around more in the fall than people think, so finding the bait is key.


> A 1/4-oz Northland Current Cutter Jig is my go-to. The longer shank and bait-keeper seems to keep the plastic pinned better than most jigs.

> Dress the jig with either an Impulse Core Swimbait or an AuthentX Pulse-R Paddle Tail. I usually stick with natural colors (shiner, smelt) unless the water is really stirred up, then I’ll switch to something brighter (chartreuse and pinks).


> Plastics ‘cuz they stay on the jig a lot better than live bait…allows me to fish faster and be more aggressive until I find a pod of fish.

> As far as rods go, I like a 6′ 8″ medium, extra-fast action stick…that quicker action allows you to get more snap out of the jig. 10-lb braid to a 10-lb fluorocarbon leader. The leader doesn’t have to be long, 2-3′ max….fluoro because it has less stretch and visibility than mono.


> Long casts…I want that jig as far away from the boat as possible. Once it hits the water, I’m letting it sink to the bottom before I do anything — bottom contact is key.

> Make a quick snap, then let it sit on the bottom for few seconds…a lot of times fish will be following the bait, so that 1- or 2-second pause is when they eat it.

> If they don’t eat it on the bottom, usually that quick snap will get a reaction bite out of fish and they’ll eat it on the fall.

> Position your boat so you can fish the edge of the structure. A lot of times fish won’t be up in the weeds or rocks, but hanging right outside of ’em waiting to ambush.

Keep reading here.

Donkey hunter of the week.

We get sent in a pile of pics from folks wantin’ to be featured — try to get to as many as possible! — but Layne “only catches bigguns” Maier (@laynemaier) had way too much GOOD going on to not have his own top spot.

How freakin’ tall is this SK donkey?!


Said he popped that paunchy cisco-eater fishing a Rapala Jigging Rap on the windy side of a point where bait was stacking up. Swears his Humminbird HELIX was NOT on demo mode lol. #GoTime


> Layne: “They were putting a serious fall chew on, coughing up 4-6″ ciscoes on the floor of the boat. Match the hatch — natural-colored Raps were the ticket!”

Guess just 5 minutes before sticking that super-tall giant ^ they landed this outrageous double — gave each fish a tube of Preparation H before sending ’em on their way :). #AllOfTheFood


Here’s actual footage from Layne’s GoPro after that massive 2-for-1 special:


Keep after ’em, dude!

Ever been to the annual emerald shiner parade?

The spring Rainy River run (MN/ON border) is no secret, but here’s a zillion reasons why the fall walleye bite can be just as gooder:


That’s a mega pile of emerald shiners right off Border View Lodge’s dock — at the mouth of the Rainy River where it dumps into Lake of the Woods.

As temps drop in the fall, more and more shiners will pile into the river, triggering a walleye feeding frenzy.

Bonus points: there’s way less boat traffic this time of year. Which means:

More proof bass are easier to catch than walleyes.

This dude caught a 4-lber in front of a Whataburger lol. Can’t make this stuff up:


Flooding is no joke — hope everyone’s makin’ out okay down there….

Hatch-matcher of the week.

We always hear people talking about it, but here’s the photo definition of the phrase “match the hatch” thanks to Jason Mitchell’s Salmo Rattlin’ Sting:


Shorter news section today. Guess everyone’s too busy huntin’ and fishin’….

1. ID: Still $50K in tagged walleyes swimming in Lake Pend Oreille.

ID Fish and Game dumped 50 tagged walleyes — worth $1,000 each — into Lake Pend Oreille. Why? ‘cuz they want ’em wiped out:

> Walleye were essentially non-existent in Lake Pend Oreille 10 years ago, but numbers have been rapidly increasing since 2014…likely from an illegal introduction into Noxon Reservoir in the early ’90s….

> Biologists fear walleye may cause a decline in kokanee and other high-demand sportfish, such as rainbow trout, native bull trout, cutthroat trout and bass.


> …anglers are encouraged to catch the fish, remove the heads, and deposit the heads in IDFG freezer locations in Kootenai and Bonner Counties.

> These tags…injected in the snout…are invisible to anglers, but turning in heads [!] from legally caught walleye offers anglers a chance at 2 types of cash rewards. Anglers will receive $1K for a head that’s turned in from a tagged walleye, [and] every walleye head turned in enters anglers in the monthly drawing for 10 cash prizes of $100 each.

Around 750 walleye have been removed from the lake so far, but none were tagged fish according to this unnamed IDFG employee:

2. Slight change to the 2020 NWT schedule.

First stop was originally Apr 30-May 1 on the Missouri River outta Wagner/Pickstown, SD…now outta Chamberlain/Oacoma.

Word is they made the change to avoid crazy-long runs on the water and more lodging options.

3. OH: 6 peeps caught “double-tripping” on Erie.

Folks were from WV, according to the article:

> …passed walleye from one boat to another on the water. …would catch their daily bag limits then return to the lake the same day to catch a second limit. …used different boat ramps every day to prevent officers from detecting them.

> …each was ordered to pay a fine and restitution for 99 walleye, totaling a combined $9,360 in court costs and restitution. The judge also revoked their OH fishing licenses for 3 years. All 6 were added to the Interstate Wildlife Violator’s Compact, which could cause them to lose their fishing rights in 46 other states.


4. MN: Thorne Bros annual ice fishin’ shindig…

…happenin’ tomorrow. Seminars from Dave Genz and Joel Nelson, free food, and their popular portable ice-shack modification contest (need pics guys!!!!).

5. ON: Dude catches accidental record mooneye…

…while fishing for walleyes and pike. Went 17″ and 2.019 lbs. Previous record was 16.5″ and 1.94 lbs. (No pic….)

Have a shot at winning this $200+ stack of Mission Tackle walleye-catchers! Whether you’re fishin’ with livebait or plastics…in rocks or weeds…Mission Tackle has got ya covered. Takes 10 seconds to enter and can share the link you get for bonus entries — good luck!

Tip of the Day

Where the heck did all the walleyes go?!

This can be frustrating time of year to track down a limit of tasties. Fish are on the move, but they’ll be migrating to predictable areas and eventually schooling up hard.

Ted Takasaki and Scott Richardson bring you some of their fall transition walleye secrets in this Lake State Fishing write-up. It’s an old-school post, but the info is pretty spot on for what’s happening now in a lot of areas:

> Baitfish will only stay in weeds as long as they’re very green. Once weeds start to die off…baitfish and walleyes start to leave those shallow-water weed areas.

> If you’re fishing summer spots and they aren’t there, start fishing the sand. As the transition is getting underway, it’s still common to find walleyes in 15′ and less.

> They start to move out to more open-water areas at first…sliding out around deep water: sand bars that come out from shore and drop to deeper water, sand flats, sand points, and sand humps.

> Walleyes begin to move deeper as water temps drop toward turnover (begins at 62 degrees F or so). Instead of looking for fish to be on top of structures, look deeper.

> They will be in spots like the sharper breaks or on mid-lake humps that top out at perhaps 20′, rather than 15′, or in holes in soft-bottom flats where depth drops from 15-20′.

> Walleyes become more selective about where they stage. They generally locate on a spot-on-a-spot. For example, if they’re on a mid-lake hump with scattered boulders, they will be on the boulders. If all rock, look for the patch of sand. If all sand, look for the rockpile.

> Because more and more walleyes show up on these few spots, more and more of the lake holds no fish. It’s easy to be skunked if you don’t pay attention to subtle differences on the structure.

Meme of the Day

Bunch of fall tourneys coming up the next couple weekends, so enjoy those awkward conversations at the ramp…. Slooooow, it’s always slow….


Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Yo-yoing is cool at any age…especially when you’re doing it with lipless cranks. That’s exactly how @kast_ky snatched his new PB out of a secret blurry-background spot using a “chrome/black” Cotton Cordell Super Spot:

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