Target Walleye/Ice email

Silver bluegill caught, Tip-up panfish, Gourmet burbot on ice

Today’s Top 5

Paunchy slush melons of the week!

1)  Jessica Duffy (@jessicadduffy) thwacked her new PB greenback to the tune of 32″ [!!] on Lake Winnipeg, MB. Said she was using a pink-and-white flasher jig tipped with a minnow. Absolutely insane fish — big congrats, Jessica!

Oh, and as if sticking a fish of that caliber isn’t rewarding enough…Jessica also won a $1,000 gift card to Cabela’s for the catch as the December winner of the “12 months of Master Angler” contest put on by the HuntFishMB crew.

They’re giving away a $1,000 Cabela’s gift card once a month — every month — to someone who registers a “Master Angler” fish. Not species-specific this year, can be any Master Angler catch. Love it.

2)  My man @christian_hoffman landed this massive 41.5″ x YUGE” freshwater gator on Mille Lacs yesterday. Was soaking a 4″ sucker under a tip-up when it all went down. Said he forgot his 10- and 12-lb fluoro at home, so had to make due with 6-lb test…and make due he did. Selfie level: Pro!

3)  Jason Toso snuck out for the AM bite on a west-metro (MN) lake and was rewarded with this plump finned-out razorback. Caught in 15′ on a Northland Buck-Shot Spoon tipped with a minnow head. Said they packed light, so had to squeeze ‘er up through a 6″ hole:

4)  Diehard fish junkie Justin Soffa (@justinsoffaidoteam) had a big-time flag pop while working over a large mud flat on Little Bay de Noc — during a snowstorm if you can’t tell from the pic. Fish measured 27″ yet weighed over 9 lbs! #Thiiiick

Don’t see that everyday…!   

On this week’s installment of fishy things that make you go “Huh?!”…

1)  Have seen plenty of silver pike, but how about a silver ‘gill?

Sent in from Jason Jones:

> “Caught in 18’…tiny lake in the middle of state land in northern MN. The lake appears very clean but have only fished in winter. The deepest water is 50’. My buddy works for fisheries and told me to email you because he can’t recall seeing one like that. Pretty cool fish and I threw it back.”

Thx much for sharing! You’ve got me stumped, man. Never seen anything like it. If anyone reading this has a better idea why/how that fish got to pretty-fied, reply to this email and hit me up.

2)  TW fan Jason Guest caught this crawdad-stuffed wally from Leech Lake this summer on an orang-ish Northland Butterfly Blade Rig and leech. Said he thought it was another 23- or 24-incher…but was “just” a super fat 19″:

Just one of the reasons orange works soooo well on lakes with rusty crayfish.

Yup, you can cook gourmet meals in a wheel-house. 

Chef boyardee-licious Jeremy Smith has a killer eelpout pasta recipe that he does up in just 1 pan. Says the burb nuggets look/taste/smell just like scallops when done this way. Dude seriously pulls out all the stops. #Cheers

Almost feel bad for the next burbot I catch ‘cuz I know RIGHT where it’s going:

Betcha never seen a barbless hook like this…   

Spotted in the last BassBlaster email. Called the Pallatrax Gripz. Believe they’re designed for Euro carp fishing:

> Made from high-grade Japanese wire…series of minute horizontal grooves on the inside of the specially designed arrow-shaped hook point, where…the barb would have been. These grooves allow the hook to hold securely in the fish’s mouth when pressure is applied, as the flesh presses into the grooves resulting in a firm hook hold with no slippage.

Wouldn’t mind seeing a treble-hook version cross over into the walleye world, especially before my next trip up to Manitoba where barbless = required.

I honestly don’t think ya really lose many more fish with barbless hooks [shoulder-shrug emoji]. Only time I’ve really noticed a difference is when you’ve already got the fish to the top of the hole, and let ’em flop around a second longer than you should…. Something you probably only do with dinks, and not those big-headed greenbacks when they first “breach” lol.

And I’d probably buy some schweeeeet barbless hooks like that just so I didn’t have to spend so much time — and fingertips! — pinching barbs on baits.

Btw – Pallatrax also makes a dealio called Stonze, au naturel lookin’ weights in case you think the fish are seriously that smart…but hey, maybe:

The history of Rapala’s stickbaits.  

Pretty cool look at some of the “minnow baits” that started it all — straight from Al [goat emoji] Lindner himself. How many do you have in your box?


1. MN: High school bass fishing team goes spearing.

Hear a lot of talk about all the high-school bassin’ teams (huge props to them, love it!) but they do things a little bit differently up in da nort’ country….

Since we can’t really hit the open-water during the off season, high-school fishin’ teams find other ways to get fish slime on their hands. Check out the Spartan Angling team from Nashwauk-Keewatin High School (MN) getting their gator on!

> “I teach kids the art and science of angling, and create stewards of MN waters.”

> “I’m hoping that they realize there’s a lot more to life than video games and staying inside….”

No doubt, fellas! Keep up the awesome work.

If you’re in the fishing biz and would like to help Spartan Angling with fishin’ gear and/or funding, drop Luke Adam a DM here on Facebook.

2. MN: DNR has 200 paid summer internships to fill.

For college students.

> “…from accounting to wildlife management. Interns work 20-40 hrs/wk, and receive a competitive salary of $15/hr. As part of their internships, students must also fulfill an academic requirement or receive academic credit from their educational institution.”

3. MI: $20 mil “fish-sorter” coming to the Boardman River.

> “The idea is to find a way to block undesirable species without a physical barrier like a dam. While dams block harmful invasives, they also restrict movement of native species…limits their reproduction potential.”

I’ll be fishing below whichever tube/channel is spitting out the walleyes lol.

4. Gander Outdoors closing 27-32 stores by end of month.

Focusing on their stores that can do RV sales, service and parts too.

5. St. Croix expands its marketing team.

Created a new digital marketing manager position for Stephen Kornacki:

> “We created this position, largely, to make sure we’re giving our anglers the best possible online experience — whether that means a fully optimized website or giving anglers fast and helpful information on social media.”

6. Lunkerhunt’s got a new ice lineup.

Haven’t personally fished ’em, but some super cool lookin’ stuff:

Really wanna see what that Icy Glide (bottom right)  is gonna look like underwater — both gliding around and pounding bottom.

And that 1/32-oz Full Effect tungsten jig (bottom left) might look like something you’d throw for spring open-water pannies…but I’m learning more and more that tiny feather or hair jigs are far too overlooked through the ice…. [zipped-mouth emoji]

7. Sea Foam Marine PRO now available at NAPA.

Was tough to get ahold of last year ‘less you had a Fleet Farm close by. It’s specifically designed to help outboards run better, last longer and stabilizes fuel.

8. Brunswick’s working on voice recognition boat control.

9. OR: Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show, Portland, Feb 5-9.

Believe it’s the largest sportshow west of the Mississippi. Usually brings 60K-80K attendees.

10. OSG looking for an ad sales marketing director.

Marketing monster Outdoor Sportsman Group.

11. Slaughterhouses kick out the most pollutants?

> …”contributed the highest nutrient loads across the nutrient discharge rankings analyses for both total nitrogen and total phosphorus” of any other industries.

Yet for some reason, all I can think about now is a big ol’ ribeye.

12. DC: Senate committee passes lead-okay-in-fishing-tackle bill.

> America’s Conservation Enhancement Act (ACE), which is supported by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the country’s representative body for the industry, and many other outdoor and fisheries conservation organizations, was passed unanimously and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

13. NY wants to keep Asian carp in Erie?

> The Reimagine the Canals Task Force also called for further study of a bioacoustic fish fence…near Tonawanda to scare Asian carp back to Lake Erie. Highlights

Tip of the Day

Tip-up “setting” tricks for panfish.

Guide Pat Kalmerton has a few tricks up his sleeve to set tip-ups for panfish. One of those (look closely below) is to slide up and angle the tip-up’s shaft…makes for a lot less tension on the flag = it’ll pop with lighter panfishy bites. Click the pic below to watch Pat’s video for more tricks — not just panfish stuff either:

Meme of the Day

Hate fishing in the wind…luckily it’s not supposed to be too Brees-y (lol) the rest of the season:

Good luck this weekend if you get out! And for those of you that don’t have a wheelhouse with a TV, this might help ya plan your fishin’ schedule:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

I’m all for catch and release — and selective harvest — but I’m also ALL for a winner winner fish dinner! Marc Tremblay (@wallyfishing_marc) ordered his family’s dinner to-go with a 3/8-oz Yo-Zuri Rattl’N Vibe in the “holographic bluegill” color:

Here’s a better look at that fish-sexy color — love it in clear water:

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Who is Target Walleye
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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