Target Walleye/Ice email

Small garage probz, DIY line storage hacks, Best leadcore knot

And now, back to our regularly-scheduled Target Walleyes…sorta…. Still a bunch of new ICAST-related schtuff we want to hit — will be sprinkling them in the News section going forward.

If you missed our “new walleye and ice fishing products from ICAST” special issues, check out part 1 and part 2 here. Thx much for reading!

Today’s Top 5

How about 6′ of fish on a single hook?!

Once in a lifetime battle — from MN fishing guide Jason Durham:

> This 48″ muskie t-boned the 24″ northern pike [Julie] had hooked and it never let go! An unforgettable 2-for-1 AND her second muskie in 2 days!

How cool is that? And they got the moment they landed it on video. Congrats on the catch(es)!

Awesome line organization hacks.

Man, I absolutely love these DIY hacks! NWT pro Joe Okada nailed this homemade line-dispensing system built right into his Off Shore Tackle Planer Board caddies. Bonus points for the homemade “spool tamers” using buttons and elastic cord:

Dude is straight-up dialed. Makes me feel exactly like this never-gets-old AT&T commercial — click the pic below to watch it:

We want more, Joe!

Small (low) garage door problems…. 

If you’ve ever had to park your boat outside (not in a garage) you know the STRUGGLE IS REAL. I’m not just talking about the obvious things like having to lock everything down and remove anything valuable, or cover and uncover the boat every…single…time…you take it out or work on something…. I’m talking about little, random, everyday battles you wouldn’t normally even think about.

Like making it to the weekend when you finally have the chance to get those new electronics all rigged-up, only to find out the hard wet way that when the weather dude says 10% chance of rain…they actually mean 110% chance:


And no parent should ever be forced to choose which child they love more…. That being said, I got that V8 Merc Pro XS tucked in real nice-like before the hail storm:


Let’s just say it was hard to focus on anything else ’round the house when that storm was a-brewin’:


Luckily I didn’t have any damage to the boat — or my poor, uncovered Traeger grill — that evening. Ran into some similar weather on the water the other day, but the only thing it damaged was the shallow-water bite we were on:


Oh, and don’t ever walk-and-text when your garage door is only half open…. [face-palm emoji]:

***volume up for the BONK


Guess it could’ve been worse…I could’ve Bill Dance’d my shin off the trailer hitch…again…. Lol! The things we do just while preparing to catch a fish.

Lure speed is different from boat speed?

Did you know baits could be trolling at a different speed than your boat’s running? One reason you might only catch fish trolling in one direction (say into the wind or with it) then turn back around and can’t get bit….


That’s why some guys measure lure speed at trolling depth, instead of watching the boat speed. Makes my brain hurt too (lol) so gonna bust out a quick example:

Ever noticed when you’re pulling a tuber/skier/wakeboarder/etc behind the boat, how when you make a turn you can whip ’em super fast outside the wake? Or how they’ll slow waaaay down when you turn the other way and they stay inside the wake??

Same thing happens to your baits underwater. Can also happen from currents, thermoclines, wind, etc.

Company called Fish Hawk actually makes speed and temp probes just for that. Here’s Lake Erie guide Ross Robertson breaking down their portable X2 Trolling System, and how knowing what your lure is actually doing down there means you can duplicate it to keep on catching:

Merp alert!

First one’s comin’ in hot from Mark Harder on Calling Lake, AB:

> Mark: “This walleye looked like it ran into a bus. Not sure what happened but it still had a healthy appetite, as evidenced by the 1/8-oz Fin-tech jig just showing.”

What’s a fishing guide do on his day off? Fish, of course! Red River cat-master Brad Durick zipped over to Devils Lake, ND and joined the merp club:

Talk about goals! #DoWant


1. We lost Len Borgstrom, long-time Abu Garcia president…

…and the grandson of Abu’s founder:

> Borgstom joined ABU Fishing Tackle (as it was originally known) as an international marketer in 1954. He served the company as VP beginning in 1960 until he became president in 1970. In 1978, Borgstrom oversaw the merger between ABU Fishing Tackle and its U.S.-based importer, The Garcia Corp, when the company became formally known as Abu Garcia.

RIP fishing brother.

2. WI: NWT’s hitting Green Bay TOMORROW.

Their first tourney for the 2020 season! Out of Oconto. Here’s what dude’s like Hoyer, Okada and Sprengel were saying prior to prefishing:

> John Hoyer: “By the third week of July, it’s summer peak…they’ve returned to their summer homes. Last year, I won in 8-12’…this year a lot of the fish will be deeper…anywhere from 20-40′. I’m expecting a lot of trolling spinners and a lot of Shiver Minnows.”

> Joe Okada: “It would be fun to find a casting bite again. It’s a stressful, all-consuming way to fish, but it’s so much fun. With more and more people becoming casters, I think the balance might shift back to the trollers. At some point, this all has to come full circle. There are only so many of those certain small areas, and there’s more pressure on those now than ever before. The fish don’t just peg themselves to the rock all the time either. That’s why you can’t take the trolling rods out of the boat. There is still roaming bait that they like to eat.”

> Korey Sprengel: “I typically like to fish north, but I’ve been scared of those southern fish…. There’s a pile of 25″+ fish down south. It’s one incredible year class, and they’re so heathy. The other wildcard is that the water is really high. With a west wind, the east shoreline can be dirty, and that’s now. I’m interested to see come the middle of summer how dark that water gets with algae blooms. That could change everything in terms of where the fish will be and what techniques excel.”

Do you think it’ll be won casting or trolling? Can’t wait to see how it goes down — keep you posted.

3. MT: Record weight shattered at Gov Cup.

Props to Jason Eggebrecht and Ross Lien for tossing up 80.97 lbs over 2 days!

The previous record (70.04 lbs) was set last year by Adam Morehouse and Matt Poole.

4. ID: Another $1K-tagged walleye plucked outta Pend Oreille.

Traveled 27+ miles across the lake since it was tagged-and-released in Feb.

5. ND G&F sets walleye stocking record.

On track to stock a record 180 lakes across the state with nearly 12 mil walleye fingerlings:

> “Just in the first 7 days of this year’s walleye production, haulers traveled more than 8,200 miles and stocked over 150 lakes with 7.6 mil fish.”

728K of those went into Devils Lake, and 553K in Stump Lake.

6. Abu just dropped the lightest spinning reel EVER…

…in part by eliminating “empty spaces commonly found in spinning reels.” Called the Zenon and will be available Mar 2021. Size 20 weighs 4.9 oz — size 30 weighs 5.4 oz:

> “The Zenon sets the bar for future spinning reels in terms of weight, comfort and overall performance in finesse fishing applications. With the smoothness of the drag, you can fish light line with confidence and do so comfortably because the reel is so light and easy to hold. Our reel designers minimized the weight of the reel to a point few thought possible while making sure the reel retains its Abu Garcia durability.

> “…body design is noticeably smaller than the spool and rotor — it features a 1-piece gear box with no sideplate while the frame is integrated with the stem. …shrink the overall footprint and weight of the reel while providing a rigid system for the gears. The magnesium body is contoured to fit comfortably in hands and provides greater weight savings and durability than the advanced plastics commonly used in other spinning reels touted as ‘lightweight.'”

Believe the MSRP is $499.99 so better start pinching those pennies $20 bills now!

7. ON: Greenstone area “fish kill” mostly big walleyes.

Pretty rare to see any walleye in a fish kill:

> Desrochers said all the dead fish he could see were walleye, mostly larger ones. He estimated…at least 50 different dead walleye, mostly stuck in the reeds. “I’ve lived in Longlac for 30 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this….”

> OMNRF’s (regional outreach specialist) Michelle Nowak: “Poor water quality is suspected to have contributed to the fish die-offs. Water temps have been consistently warmer than normal [86°F] and warm water contains low dissolved oxygen which is a stressor to a variety of fish species.”

8. IL: Walleye fingerlings introduced to the Great Lakes Quarry.

9. May new boat sales were highest in a decade.

> “…up 59% [in May] compared to April, and up 9% from pre-pandemic levels on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

> “The last time we saw such strong sales in a single month was back in 2007….”

10. IA: Zeebz found in Lake Manawa.

11. MN fishing-license-sale surge has slowed but…

> …individual angling license sales have stayed at their highest level in more than 20 years and total license sales are up 11% over 2019.

12. DC: Some Senators want fed $ to go to outdoor businesses.

> “The outdoor tourism and recreation industry, which employs 5.2 mil American workers (3.4% of total U.S. employment), accounts for 2.2% of GDP, and generates $778 bil in economic output, has gone from one of the fastest growing sectors of our economy (3.9% annual growth) to experiencing record unemployment.” Highlights

> Special ICAST new-product issues: Part 1 and part 2.

> Walleyes that impress Al Lindner, Pike eats stringer, Leadcore starters

> Best sonar frequencies, DIY trailer fail, Prop wash walleye bite

Note: The FishUSA links in this email are affiliate links, meaning if you go through them to make a purchase we might earn a commission…at no cost to you. Click here if you want to learn a little more about links in TW.

Tip of the Day

Best way to connect leadcore to your leader.

A pile of different ways to do it, each has its own pros/cons. Gotta figure out which works best for you….

Know a bunch of guys/gals that’ll run a small #10 or #12 swivel to connect the leadcore to their leader. Works great most of the time, but too big of swivel can get hung up on the rod tip when fighting a HUGE fish…then you’re left with a biggun flopping off 10′ or so behind the boat. Doesn’t happen often, but nothing worse than when it does.

Brings us to what’s called the Willis Knot, aka “the leadcore knot,” where you slide the leader material inside of the Dacron sheath, then tie an overhand knot (or 2). Whole thing is super tiny and slides right through the rod’s eyelets:

Have heard of folks using a sewing needle to help fish the leader into the sheath — great idea if you’re not a surgeon with 20/20 vision! Will either run the needle through backwards or dull the end so it doesn’t poke through.

Meme of the Day

Take a deep breath:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

I don’t know what kind of trickery is going on in this Dan Amundson shot, but I do know I wouldn’t wanna meet this walter in a dark alley — unless I was packing a #9 Rapala Jigging Rap or my GLOCK 19 lol:


Woman and son climb into gator pit to retrieve wallet.

Seriously can’t make this stuff up. Super glad no one got gotten! Happened just down the road from my house in central MN.

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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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