Target Walleye/Ice email

Snell knot tungsten jigs, First auger ever, Upsize for early-ice walleyes

Today’s Target Walleye is out!

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Today’s Top 4

Ice fishing: You’re doing it wrong.

Still a few diehards hitting the open-water, and it looks…enjoyable? Lol! Here’s a few of our favorite frosty shots from the last couple years:

1) Tom Boley’s gonna have to start packing a shovel in his tiller if he keeps this up. Posted on the Simms Instagram page:

Must’ve been a bumpy ride out judging by his graphs….

2) Remember that time Fishing 411 TV’s Jake Romanack found another use for the durable-as-snot Off Shore Tackle Planer Boards — looks like it works better than the real thing:

3) Or how ’bout when your net stands up on its own…like Lake Erie guide Ross Robertson’s socks and underwear do (lol):

4) This had to have been the coldest Rapala Shadow Rap ever. Posted by Andre Smith in the Lund Boat Owners FB group:

5) Bryan Bogdan (owner of Wekusko Falls Lodge in MB) loves to “flirt with the line” — and occasionally cross it. Pretty sure his ‘Bird is regretting NOT flying south for the winter:

How to tie a snell knot with ice jigs.

We shared some of Lawrence Luoma’s tungsten ice jig modifications in the last Target Walleye email and got a bunch of great feedback. One thing that was asked (over and over again!) was how the heck Lawrence ties a snell knot with those tiny, goofy-shaped tungsten jigs…?!

First: Why the snell knot?

He says it helps keep the bait perfectly horizontal, and that horizontal ALWAYS gets more bites from fussy bluegills. Like how Dave Genz always shows to straighten your knot by sliding it back on the eyelet…. When you snell, even the fish can’t move the knot — the jig bounces right back how it’s supposed to hang:

Full video from NAIFC tourney pro Lawrence Luoma here — straight from deer camp:

And if you’re having trouble seeing the specifics in the vid, this diagram might help:

“A lot has changed in 40 years…”

Love the red/white bobber. One thing that hasn’t changed…Genz smacking ‘gills!

In case you missed it, Clam kicked out 3 killer limited-edition throwback shacks this season. Retro look, but with all the technology and features of the modern Clam fish houses:

Still have some Kenai Pro Thermals in stock on their website but looks like the Scout XL and Yukon XL are already sold-out.

If you ice fish, you need to thank Jake Kluge….

Ever heard of Kluge Manufacturing? One of the 2020 MN Fishing Hall of Fame inductees…. Most old timers know the name, but thought plenty could use a reminder on the role Kluges played in the hardwater world.

Basically if you use some type of an ice auger to drill a hole — instead of chiseling by hand — you need to thank Jake Kluge aka the “father of the portable gas-powered ice auger.” He created the first working unit in 1959, a 40-ish-pound monster that can still cut holes today:

Pretty freakin’ cool [!] and wild just how far ice-fishing technology has come.

Even crazier to me is that Jake designed a battery-powered auger 10-ish years before that! But the idea ended when he drained the 6-volt car battery before finishing the second hole….

Something else you might not know is that the K-Drill ice auger bit (designed for cordless drills) is actually named after the Kluge family. There’s a super-interesting story on its background here, and how the Kluge fam is still active in all phases of the K-Drill’s current and future designs.


According to OH DNR biologist Travis Hartman, the higher the water = the better the walleye hatch…among other factors of course (ice coverage, plankton levels, etc).

The young-of-year walleye hatch was “down” in 2020, but still considered super productive when looking at the long-term average:

Which of course leads to more adults, and biologists are predicting Lake Erie’s walleye population to reach a record-setting 151 mil in 2021:

> “For a long time, we looked at the ’80s as something we might never achieve again from a fishery perspective, but it is this good right now — these are the good old days….”

After a recent fish-population survey on Ririe Reservoir showed walleye making up <1% of its gamefish population. They’re excited ‘cuz they don’t want ’em scarfing up all their kokanee (type of salmon — not beer — for our CAN friends lol).

…from outdoor recreation:

> …makes up 2.1% of US GDP, generating $788 bil in gross output and supporting 5.2 mil jobs.

> In terms of economic output, boating/fishing, RVing, hunting/shooting/trapping, motorcycling/ATVing, and equestrian sports are the 5 largest conventional outdoor recreation activities. [Um, horses? Okay….]

> The top states where outdoor recreation accounts for the largest percentage of each states’ total GDP are FL, HI, ME, MT, VT and WY.

> The top 5 states where outdoor recreation accounts for the largest percentage of total US GDP are CA, FL, IL, NY and TX.

…Al Lindner caught a 13 lb 2 oz walleye on Gull Lake, MN. Freakin’ giant! I randomly saw it mentioned in Brainerd Dispatch’s “This Was Brainerd” write-up. Said it was his PB (personal best) at the time — not sure if it still is. Next time I bump into Al in the office I’ll have to pick his brain on that…and report back of course….

> The H2Ohio Water Quality Incentive Program will offer a 1x payment of $2K per acre for new Lake Erie CREP wetlands and forested riparian buffers (buffer strip with trees) to help improve water quality in the Lake Erie watershed.

Says it gives it “added strength and superior grip, even in wet conditions” — looks good while doing it!

If you get to go fishing with Clam’s Matt Johnson, I’m down! Or maybe the position is supposed to give Matt more time to fish…. 😉

…in a virtual meeting on Nov 18.

When’s the last time you greased and lubricated your wheel assembly pivot points? Something you should actually be doing after every use…so now’s as good a time to start as any lol:

> …improved the gravel boat ramp on the north side of the lake by placing articulated concrete mats over crushed rock to form a firm concrete bottom for boat access. While still a relatively shallow slope, the 60′ long x 16′ wide ramp now will accommodate larger boats without the fear of getting stuck. A floating dock will be placed on the west side of the boat ramp following the spring 2021 ice-out.

Tip of the Day

Sometimes bigger is better, especially during early-ice when oxygen levels are still high and fish are hot to trot. Soak up a pile of great info from Brad Hawthorne in this Wired2Fish vid:

Thumbnail game ^ STRONG. 😍

Meme of the Day

Gonna be seeing more and more ice-fishin’ schtuff in these emails going forward — buckle up, boys and girls!

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Love this frosty snap of a perked-up walter that Hays Baldwin hit in the face with Northland’s new Rattlin’ Puppet Minnow:

Soooo can’t wait for that first hardwater hookset!

Sign up another fish-head!

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Friends of Target Walleye

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

To send us walleye pics, ice shots or whatever, just respond to this email or click here to email us. Or post it on the Target Walleye Facebook page.

P.O. BOX 2782
Baxter, MN 56425
(218) 824 5026


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