Target Walleye/Ice email

Special Issue: Early-ice baits and gear! (part 1)

Another special Target Walleye/Ice issue, this time filled with early-ice baits and other stuff you absolutely “need” lol!

Part 2 coming next week. Have a great weekend, fish-heads!!

We can never have enough baits!!!

Can catch ’em lots of different ways early-ice while oxygen levels are high and the fish are active. Spoons, rattlebaits, jigs, plastics…we’ve got you covered!

Lots of brand new schtuff for the 2019 ice season below, plus a few other must-haves it’s about dang time you tried! [drool emoji]

Solid 1-2 punch in a single bait: Call ’em in with its horizontal rocking action on the fall — finish ’em off with the glow resin Octopus hook on the end of that dropper chain. VMC makes a glow resin Treble Dropper Chain too if you’ve got a buddy that misses more fish than he catches:

Made from the same type of ABS material used in crankbaits. Pop a glow stick inside the bait and the entire thing glows — not just the glow stick — since light radiates in the color of the lure. Has tungsten rattles to weight ’em down and cause a ruckus:

Sometimes you’ve gotta ring the dinner bell to bring fish to the table….

Did you know Yo-Zuri’s rattlebait game was this strong? Here’s a look at 4 different models — all having a unique sound and action — including the purtty new Real Series 3DR Vibe (bottom right) with an “internal 3D prism” that’s supposed to be killer in super-clear water:

Man there’s a whole pile of Berkley and Gulp! Ice treats I didn’t know were a thing. Tough to pick a favorite, so you can check ’em all out here. Few that stuck out to me in this pic:

Has a quick-change clevis on the rear to swap out hooks or bead colors. Side-to-side wobble on the drop. Definitely gonna have to try one this winter. #Flashy

If you still haven’t used Tingler Spoons…where ya been?! Works great on heavily-pressured fish when you’re stuck fishin’ the community holes — close to shore — early ice. I’m a sucker for the bigger 3/16-oz size. #SilentButDeadly

Know it’s designed for bigguns when it’s named “Peg,” after Lake Winnipeg…land of the greenbacks. The way it dances on the drop caught my attention — few seconds of that in this vid. Bright colors on a big profile flash ’em in from a distance:

Takes the PK Flutter Fish horizontal for increased action + vibration = tighter lines. I’m not showing the “red dot glow” color ‘cuz I don’t want anyone else using ’em (lol):

No-hook nose so it doesn’t get hung up on the bottom of the ice. Love the colors, internal rattle, and the reeeeally nice gliding action that covers a ton of real estate. Can also get the Tilly in a big 1-oz (3.5″) size if you wanna go donkey huntin’:

Big-nasty bait for bigger-nastier fish. Designed by Jarmo Rapala (grandson of Lauri “The Legend” Rapala) as a deeper-running lipless crank, can also be ripped for hardwater. Rattles are grab-your-ear-plugs loud to bring fish to you…then has a fluttering spiral action — like wounded/dying prey:

No more crankin’ up to re-glow your jigs, these puppies come with replaceable light sticks (red, green, chart) that’ll keep glowing for 8+hours.Throw a fathead minnow on there and you’ve got low-light walter candy — maybe a great deadstick option too?

Don’t think they were specifically designed for it, but willing to bet burbot’ll crush it….

Some tasty new colors in this compact killer. Weighs the same as lead jigs twice its size and is killer on fussy panfish feeding on bugzzzz:

Don’t know if ‘Traps are offered in the most colors of any bait, but there’s a PILE! Including colors made specifically for walleyes — for sure look good enough to eat:

Didja know Bagley’s been making spoons for DECADES? Things put off more flash than your auntie’s camera before Thanksgiving dinner. Get ’em in gold or silver, with hammered or mirrored finishes:

Still one of the more-unique designs I’ve seen, and bonus points for being made by a small business in PA. #Stout

Takes some practice but you can work it like a puppet: make it dart off and swing in a pendulum or figure-8 motion. Mix and match different plastic tails (or minnows) on the back to change the look/action:

Gear it up!!

Speaking of which….

Thing holds a dozen 3700 boxes and has 20 dang pockets!

Do make ’em in a “Small-Hoss” size if you’re looking for one that fits under the seat in your portable.

Converts from front to side doors [!] right quick — no more tripping over schtuff or stepping in holes. #MeGusta

Ice Force pro Steve Thompson said Otter also changed the way the crossbars are put together. No more screws — been replaced with an “EZ Lock Assembly” that reduces frame assembly time by 75%.

Attaches to a cordless drill so you can peel off a pile of line right quick. Work smarter, not harder…

Couple new pop-up shacks — called the Refuge Ice and Escape Ice — give you the option to add a Thermal Floor. Means no more cold feet…or having to steal those foam floor mats from your kid’s daycare (lol). Cool idea:

“Hydrophobic water-repellent protection” to reduce freezing for you hole-hoppers. I just spooled up 4 reels with the brand-new “ice camo” color yesterday ‘cuz the iceman cometh!

Pairs with a 1/2″ high-torque cordless drill. Thing is crazy light: the 6″ weighs 3.2 lbs — 8″ weighs 3.9 lbs. Brings a whole new meaning to “run and gun.” #PunIntended

> “This hub lighting system syncs to your phone or tablet through an app enabling color selection and change…including a ‘strobe’ option [you can sync] to the beat of the music playing through your phone.” #RockOn

Fell in love with these egg beaters a couple seasons ago — have since used ’em for panfish, lake trout and everything inbetween. That C-10 matches up nicely with most ice rods and is a budget-friendly $44.99. You won’t be disappointed:

Really digging the fresh new look of their Climate suits. More importantly: If you ever break through the ice, this suit will float you. Btw they have a mega $925 sweepstakes going on right now where you could maybe win yerself one plus a bunch o’ other goods:

If your a hands-on kind of guy (or gal!) check out Do-It Molds — they’ve got all the goods to pour your own baits, including panfish plastics! Awesome way to kill time while waiting for fishable ice:

Still one of my best purchases from last season. Rotator cuffs rejoice: she starts on the first pull every time lol. Cuts 100 holes through 16″ of ice on a single charge:

You hard-house guys have probably been “driveaway camping” for weeks now. Case you’re out there wrenchin’ — getting ready for things to thicken up — here’s a rod rack that’s actually made for ice rods. Can even store ’em up on the ceiling, outta the way:

This is Garmin LakeVü HD on paper maps. New electronics are great, but it’s tough to beat going over tomorrow’s gameplan with the crew, pointing out spots on a map. These maps aren’t really “paper” — you can do this without ruining ’em. Look killer:

Simms dropped an insulated version of their super-popular Challenger Jacket + Bib. I just got a set last week and WOW…so dang comfy, not bulky, and don’t feel restricted in it. Thing is crazy light [!] and of course waterproof.

Bonus look at the G3 Guide Pull-On Boot with 7mm neoprene insulation that’s rated to -40! Weigh just 2.69 lbs so you’re not clunking ’round on the ice:

Bass guys are shoving ’em inside their tubes, but some walleye-nuts like Mike Borovic are figuring out ways to attach ’em to their jigs using small rubber bands. Could see strapping one to a decoy minnow too…just make sure you’re ready with the spear. Here’s one of the first public looks at ’em thanks to Mike:

Part 2 of the early-ice baits and gear special issue next week!

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Target Walleye/Ice — 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/Ice. 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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