Target Walleye/Ice email

Spring power-fishing tip, Bro’s jig setups, Walleye get how big?!

Everybody welcome Hooked Magazine to Target Walleye/Ice — central Canada’s “favourite” (lol) fishing magazine! They’ve got a HUUUUGE sweepstakes going on right now with a chance to win a fly-in fishing trip (for 4) and some other fishin’ goodies worth over $10K! More info here.

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Today’s Top 4

Slaunchbacks of the week!

Zach Klabo cracked his new PB walter slinging a #11 Rapala Original Floater (silver fluorescent chartreuse) around midnight on the Missouri River. Weighed 13 lbs 14 oz and had a 20″ girth — congrats dude! #HeadlampsAndHawgs

How gnarly-lookin’ is this burb?! Caught fishin’ a Big Nasty Tackle Trout-N-Pout Spoon on Reed Lake, Manitoba. Old one-eye has a few miles under his belt:

Craig Hoffbeck took a break from fishin’ to eat some Cheetos — setting his rod down in the rod holder — and ended up landing a 31.75″ Rainy River slaunchback!

Said he was working the edge of deeper holes in 12.5′ — dragging an AuthentX Pulse-R (Stewarts pro blue) on the new 1/4-oz Kalin’s Rattlin’ Google Eye Jig (gold).

First time I’d heard of that jig…the glass eyes are supposed to help reflect light and I’m assuming that’s where the rattles are:

> Craig: “Best part of the trip was being able to have my son Hunter share this moment and net the fish — great net man! Hunter and I have been on this annual [Rainydaze River Run] since 2012…hopefully we can continue to make this a tradition as he goes of to college this fall.”
Big fish are great, but THAT is what it’s all about….

You seen the Snap Jig yet?

Keeping the new-bait trend going…. The Berkley Snap Jig was released last fall but sold-out right quick. It’s a winged jighead — with a gliding/darting action — that lets you swap out the body with your favorite plastics to change up the color/action/profile:

Does NOT have a treble hook, so can be fished super shallow and right up in the weeds. Walleye pro Korey Sprengel likes matching it with a 3″ Pro Twitchtail Minnow (top) or 3″ Pro Jig Worm (bottom):

Diggin’ how it “walks the dog” in the underwater clip of this video:

FishUSA has ’em in stock here…for now….

Bro’s early-season jig setups.

Full write-up here, few excerpts below from the Bromeister (Brian Brosdahl) and his better-catchin’ half:

> Spottail shiners and perch are usually the key forage species for walleyes in most lakes in northern MN. Find the right forage and you find walleyes.

> Walleyes eventually work their way out of the shallows to deeper structures towards the end of May. As long as the spottail shiners are spawning in the shallows, a good portion of the walleye population will be in the skinny water targeting them.

> Cover is at a premium early in the season, so I usually fish rocks or emergent weeds. Adjust presentations and type of jigs based on the conditions….

> Early in the season, I mostly use lightweight jigs…but if the wind blows up — or the fish move into deeper water — I need heavier jigs to stay in the zone.

> I usually have 2 types of rods rigged in the spring: My light rig is a 6′ 3″ L St. Croix Elite rigged with clear 6-lb Sunline fluoro. I use my lighter rod with 1/16- to 3/16-oz jigs…either short-shank Northland Fire-Ball Jigs or the long-shank RZ Jigs.
> My 2nd rod is a slightly heavier 6′ 3″ ML St. Croix Elite, rigged with 10-lb Sunline braid and a 7- or 8-lb fluoro leader. Since jig fishing means the occasional snag, I like a fluoro leader that’s lighter than my braided line — the leader is the weakest link and breaks first.
> I can pull almost any jig through the emerging weeds, but I really like the Stand-Up Fire-Ball Jigs when fishing in rocks. The other option for shallow rocks is to use super-light jigs and avoid making contact with the bottom.
I keep hearing about guys using those Stand-Up Fire-Ball Jigs around the hard stuff, so probably gonna have to (finally) give ’em a go….

“Walleye fish are typically 2.5- to 3-ft long and can weigh up to 20 lbs.”

Hilarious (and serious) quote from a Fox News write-up about that massive “walleye fish” the IA DNR nabbed while collecting broodstock. Glad they clarified on the fish part…so no one confused it for a walleye mammal or walleye bird (lol).

Would love to find Lake X where walleye fish typically grow 36″ and 20 lbs…. Can it happen? Sure. But definitely not “typical.”

Believe Fox pulled their info from this National Wildlife Federation post, who I’m pretty sure is using a pic of a zander (?) on their walleye-description page:

Can’t believe everything you read on the interwebz….


1. Flood warning moves NWT opener.

Was supposed to be on Pool 4 of the Mississippi River — now at Lake Winnebago, WI:

> Rapid melting of snow…with rain in the forecast…created a perfect storm. After significant research and deliberation with state and local authorities, NWT tournament director Anthony Wright made the decision to relocate the event to Oshkosh.

> The river will crest in Red Wing May 2 [per a hydrologist from the National Weather Service] at a flood level of 17. The harbor master in Red Wing confirmed ramps in the area will close starting at level 12…NWS expects the river to still be at level 12 or above as the event was scheduled to kick off.

> Anthony Wright: “Ultimately we wanted to do everything possible to keep this event in Red Wing. At the end of the day, the safety concerns associated with the flooding are simply too great to ignore.”

Good call.

Isn’t the first time they’ve been to Winnebago — know these guys are excited:

2. MN: $3K Sea Foam scholarships up for grabs…

…to the top 3 teams in the High School Division at the charity MN Fishing Challenge — go and get ’em kiddos:

Good people at Sea Foam.

3. MN: Vermilion walleye population up.

Average size is too.

Same for WI’s Minocqua Chain of Lakes.

4. MN: Fishing Classic happenin’ Jun 16 on Gull Lake.

All proceeds benefit the campers and programs at Confidence Learning Center. Plus where else can you get: a full-day guide trip + three meals + a chance at a bunch of prizes = for just $200??? Crazy good deal — more deets here.

Tony Roach, Gary and Garett Griffin won the walleye division at last year’s Fishing Classic with a 3-fish bag of 14 lbs 2 oz:

Who’s going to take home the “W” this year on Jun 16?

5. MN: Pike regs same for Lake of the Woods…

…as a “border water.” Rest of the state has new pike zones and limits.

6. Zippel Bay ice-out pike tourney bumped back.

Now May 5-6 thanks to all the ice.

7. MN: Will Leech Lake still have ice on opener?

Still covered up per this David Shefland shot from earlier today looking out of Walker City Park.

8. New smaller Humminbird SOLIX.

Crazy how now-a-days a 10.1″ unit is on the smaller-end.

9. New NPAA members-only FB group.

NPAA = National Professional Anglers Association…composed of professional guides, tourney anglers, fishin’ educators and industry folk who are passionate about the sport. More info here.

10. Rapala Shad Raps are 20% off…

…until Sunday. #ColdWaterKillers

11. Brunswick (Lund, Crestliner, etc) had a better Q1.

> Brunswick’s marine businesses had revenue growth of 8% in the quarter, with a very strong increase in operating earnings versus first quarter 2017.

12. TX: Nitros now sold at Cabela’s.

Ranger had been the flagship boat in Cabela’s.

> Winnipeg-based Probe Research is doing the study that covers everything from spending on tackle, beer and boats to views on how good — or not-so-good — the fishing has been lately on the Red and Lake Winnipeg.

Survey takes 15-ish minutes and you’ll be entered to win 1 of 3 prizes worth a total of $800 — more importantly you’ll be doing a good thing for the sustainability of the fishing up there.

Click here to take the survey — use the password: Manitoba

Tip of the Day

Here’s one of Tony Roach’s favorite ways to catch ’em fast in the spring. Full write-up here, few excerpts below:

> Pitching and ripping Rapala Rippin’ Raps around shallow rockpiles, sand flats and breaklines is ideal when water temps are 50-55 degrees. The keys are covering a lot of water and letting the bait fall on a slack line.

> While working it back to the boat: repeatedly rip it up off the bottom and then quickly drop your rod tip to allow the bait to free fall on a slack line.

> Watch your line because most of the time, those fish are going to hit it on the fall. That pause is their signal to hit it….

> Because early-season walleyes are usually found pretty shallow, pitching to them — rather than trolling for them — prevents spooking them with the boat. They’re up shallow feeding, looking for bait.

> When walleyes move out deeper (later in the spring) where the boat won’t spook the fish, you can troll or slip-drift Rippin’ Raps in 10-14′ on expansive flats. Then it’s more of a vertical-jigging technique, but you’re still ripping it up and letting it free-fall back to the bottom.

> Because water in the spring is generally pretty clear, I like to use more natural colors. Use a lake’s forage to determine which natural-looking patterns to start with. If I’m not getting bit, I will start experimenting with brighter colors.

Tony likes #5 and #6 Rippin’ Raps, and fishes ’em on 8-10 lb Sufix Braid with a 1-2′ leader of 10-12 lb fluoro. #Works.

Memes of the Day

What would you tie on first?


Today’s ‘Eye Candy

NWT pro Keith Kavajecz gettin’ his Blackfish Gear on at the Rainy River. Believe he’s rockin’ the new Zenith Softshell Jacket. #LookGoodCatchGood

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