Target Walleye/Ice email

Skinniest saugers ever, New swimbait trolling technique, Scattered crankin’ tip

Apologies for the late send…. Pretty sure today is the 3rd Monday in a row this week lol. Hope you have a great rest of your day and thx much for reading!

Today’s Top 5

Secret swimbait trolling technique…. 

We mentioned this hush-hush technique last year, and most folks are still trying to keep it under wraps…but NWT pro Drake Herd just haaaad to spill the beans!

Lots of different variations of swimbait trolling — can be as simple or as complicated as you wanna make it — here’s one unique program Drake uses to catch big ol’ basin-dwellers…

Drake likes using the big 4.75″ Rage Swimmer in lighter colors (purple backs, silver sides, etc) to match the hatch. Runs it on 10-lb mono with a 3/4-oz Squadron Swimbait Jig Head or Tour Grade Spin Head:


Get this: He uses custom-made 10-oz [!] Cannonball Weights that come with Off Shore Tackle Pro Snap Weight Clips so he can cover huge amounts of water looking for those basin roamers:


That massive weight means he doesn’t need to mess with downriggers, leadcore, etc to get his bait to depth, and stay there. Can also cover water at 2.2-2.5 mph while staying mostly vertical.

Yo Drake, how are you gonna use a 10-oz snap weight and NOT nickname this technique “bowling” or “Kingpinning” lol?


The full video (below) is sure to get your creative juices flowing:


Of course you don’t need 10-oz snap weights to troll swimbaits…can pull ’em on leadcore or use lighter weights with more line out, especially when fishing shallower water.

Skinniest saugers EVER?!

Far as I can tell these are NOT the same fish… #2for1s

TG Gabriel posted a pic of this toothpick last week. Rumor has it’s an epidemic caused by the catch-photo-release tourney folks trying to squeeze every inch outta their measurements:


My brain can’t even comprehend this insanely skinny 22-incher Randy Hummel caught and released on Lake Sakakawea:


Someone get that thing a bacon smelt burger before it turns to dust! Even the half-digested ones in a cormorant’s belly weigh more than that. #SkyCarp

Hidden Humminbird HELIX trick (screen change shortcut).

Tired of cycling through loads of screens to find a specific “view” on your Humminbird Helix? Beep, beep, beep — whoops, passed it! — beep, beep, beep….

It’s no secret you can press and hold on the bottom 3 shortcut keys to save your 3 most-used “views”… but if you’re trying to find a different screen on the fly, there’s a much faster way than getting so click-happy:

How Peter Schaefer won “The Soo” NWT.

Dude took a big risk for an even bigger reward….

Peter Schaefer was making an 86-mile run [!] south of Sault Ste. Marie — actually had to stop for gas on the way back each day! His day-2 round trip totaled 4.5 hours of drive time…had to plow through 3- and 4-footers on his way back, so could “only” manage top speeds of 36-37 mph.

But don’t feel bad for him (lol) ‘cuz his 2-day bag for 45.03 lbs paid off to the tune of $80,380! #ChaChing


Few of Peter’s winning deets in this NWT Insider Report:

> Peter: “Those walleyes are summering there…. This time of year, that’s just where they’re living. They live in the cracks and crevices of big Volkswagen-sized boulders.

> My main spot down there was like 38-48′ deep. I was trolling crankbaits [1-5′ off bottom at 1.7-2.0 mph] — mainly Bandits and Smithwick Top 20s with 2-oz snap weights. Chrome bases were key — purples and blues with orange bellies.”

The wind picked up on day 2 and blew the bait — eventually pushing some walleyes — to his secondary area = an adjacent shoreline piece of structure:

> “My 2nd area was…17-24′. [Day 2] it accounted for my biggest one and a 4-lber.”

On the shallower spot, he’d have his cranks ticking the tops of the rocks — trolling ’em 100-120′ from his Off Shore Tackle Planer Boards.

> “On my way back, I stopped at a jigging spot within sight of the ramp. At 3:48, I popped a 5-lber on a jighead and pork-tail minnow [fluke-style plastic]. That fish gave me a 3-lb upgrade.”

That ^ late cull sealed the deal on his first national win.

> “I’ve been tournament fishing for 13 years. I’ve won a few local tournaments, and I’ve done well on the Michigan Walleye Tour and the MWC. But to win on this level, it means a lot. I’ve dedicated a lot of time and effort to this sport — I’m addicted to it. This is the real deal, and I’m ecstatic that I won.

> “I have to thank my partner Jake Trombley. Without him, we wouldn’t have been able to put this together. There was a lot of pressure up north by the islands, and there was no pressure around me. I figured the risk versus the reward was worth it, and I was right.”

Huge props, man!

Can hit up Peter on his FB here where he also posted his own recap of how things went down.

Since when do snapping turtles eat hornets?

Guess they do when it’s a Salmo Hornet…. What’s your next move?

No thanks.


1. CAN border restrictions extended to Sep 21.

[crying-hysterically emoji]

2. No idea how MarCum fit…

…over 2 MILLION pixels into their just-announced-today Pursuit HD underwater camera, but I’m not complaining! Stuffed a full HD image sensor (1920X1080p) into a compact 5″ unit = me gusta:

Wait ’til you see how insanely clear this bad boy is underwater:

Will have more info on a whole bunch o’ NEW that MarCum’s got going on for the 2020/2021 hardwater season soon-ish. In the meantime, you can snoop around their new website if you just haaaave to know before everyone else lol.

3. MT: Mandatory walleye kill proposed?!

One of the new potential 2021 reg changes comin’ to #TheWildWest:

> “One larger-scale proposal is requiring mandatory catch, kill, and report of all walleye captured in the Western Fishing District. The intent of this regulation is to prevent additional illegal introductions of walleye in western MT and to potentially help the department detect illegal introductions and take action sooner….”

4. ND: Husband/wife team takes AIM state title.

On Lake Sakakawea. Big congrats to Daren and Heide Schneider [!] who caught their fish running Berkley Flicker Minnows in 9-11′ throughout Van Hook Arm. Said their top-producer was the size-7 “prime time” color:

The 2nd-place team, Matt Ristow and Kyle Hertz, were running custom-painted size-11 Flicker Minnows. Had everything so dialed-in that the fish “were eating them head first. There was no doubt about what they wanted.”

I know Matt reads these Target Walleye emails…so gotta ask ya to send me a pic of that custom paint job, dude! Nicely done, fellas!!

5. IA teacher recognized for outstanding fishing program.

> …has taught a fishing unit to her 7th and 8th graders each fall for the past 7 years. This past year she added her 5th and 6th graders. All four grades learn how to properly prepare for a fishing trip (clothes, gear, etc.), set up their own fishing pole, tie knots, cast and reel in a fish, and handle fish.

> “I teach my students how to fish because I personally love the outdoors. I want to expose them to as many different outdoor activities as possible that they can continue to enjoy well into adulthood.”

Love it.

6. IA: Serious boat crash happened on the Mississippi R.

At LeClaire around 7:00 pm Sun, Aug 16…and the DNR Law Enforcement Bureau needs your help if you know anything about it:

> …asking for anyone with information that may have witnessed the crash or know anything about the crash between a large black center-console boat and a blue and white 19′ Bayliner runabout boat to contact authorities immediately.

7. Did you know there’s an international rod building comp?

> “…to deliver to custom rod builders more opportunity to showcase their ingenuity, creativity, and craftsmanship.”

Gotta sign up by Aug 25 to enter. More info here.

8. IA: Milk kills fish in Fourmile Creek trib.

No idea how much milk was dumped down a storm drain (near Ankeny) for it to kill fish, but had to have been a ton…right?

> …apparently harmless materials, like milk, can be toxic to aquatic creatures. “It’s important to know that storm drains flow underground directly into a nearby stream — sanitary sewers connected to your house’s sinks, showers and toilets send wastewater to a treatment plant or septic system.

9. MeatEater has a new fishing podcast. Highlights

Tip of the Day

Use crankbaits for early-fall transition walleyes.

Little early to be talkin’ fall transition…but those temps will start dropping soon, and want you prepared to get your catch on!

The Rapala Scatter Rap Glass Shad has been (and still is) a killer leadcore bait this summer — especially in clear water — and Joel Nelson REALLY likes ’em for targeting walleyes during the early-fall transition.

Intercept those wandering fish by targeting the edges of weedlines — just off the first break in 10-14′ — while longlining Sufix 832 Braid 100-150′ behind the boat:


The “scatter lip” gives the Scatter Rap Glass Shad its crazy erratic action — here’s what it looks like underwater…right before it’s tackled by a walleye:

Speaking of which…I NEED fantasy football in my life asap. #addiction #soon

Quote of the Day

“I hope he’s got Farmers Insurance, they’ve seen it all.”

– Hilarious comment under this FB post by the TN Wildlife Resources Agency:


>  “Ed Lineberger was driving by Watts Bar Lake in Kingston when a Bald Eagle being chased [by] an Osprey dropped a white bass on his car that lodged in the bumper! Both raptors prey on fish so it appears the osprey was trying to steal a meal.”

You just never know, man….

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Giant alert!!! J Rod Angling’s mini-me whacked this 31.5-incher (estimated at 13+ lbs) running Mack’s Smile Blades on the Columbia River. Fish was released to get even more bigger-er:


His SECOND biggest walleye ever, so hopefully he can take me out fishing sometime lol. Congrats dude!

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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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