Target Walleye/Ice email

Tungsten vs lead jigs, Merp walleye spotting, Tip-up hacks

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Today’s Top 4

Fish blizzard of the week!

Brad Thorn scored a 14-lb 11-oz “Black Friday special” using a #9 Rapala Scatter Rap Tail Dancer (purpledescent) on the Bay of Quinte:

Talk about setting the bar high [shocked emoji]…9yo Gavin’s first-ever fish through the ice was a thhhhick Canadian goldendoodle he caught droppin’ a Northland Buck-Shot Spoon. The future is looking bright, kid!

This orange-breasted pie plate thumped Pat McSharry’s VMC Flash Champ Spoon (glow pink fire UV) while filming the next episode of In-Depth Outdoors. Seriously looking forward to this. #GillyGilly

Parker Fish earned his last name on this one…icing a paunchy tiger-striped jumbotron on a Northland Buck-Shot Flutter Spoon near Bemidji, MN:

GIANT “greenbacks” still can be caught outta Lake Winnipeg and the Red River in Manitoba. Here’s a few caught this season already by @burbotbros:

Tip-up “setting” hacks you’ve probably never tried.

Guide Pat Kalmerton has a few tricks up his sleeve to set tip-ups for panfish (yup), or when using BIG sucker minnows, or in gusty wind:

Those are the Frabill Classic Hardwood Tip-Up (left) and Pro-Thermal Tip-Up (right), which you probably already have in your garage…use ’em!

Of course there’s all sorts of tip-up accessories on the market now: phone apps, lights, pagers, beepers, buzzers and zingers…. Couple cheap alternatives I’ve been doing/adding to my tip-em-ups since before all those new gadgets were a thing:

> Clipping a bell onto the flag to instantly hear when it goes off. Cost hardly $1 a piece, just make sure the little dinger doesn’t freeze to the inside of the bell.

> Also, a little square of reflective tape goes a long way. Can pick up the shine with your headlamp from an easy 50+ yards away.

Simple, cheap, effective, and the batteries never die (lol).

Merp walleye spotting!

Our old friend “Merp” the walleye was caught again — this time somewheres in NoDak. Jon Heidorn tricked ’em using a Northland UV Buck-Shot Spoon…must’ve been in the “merple tiger” color? Lol:

See you next time little buddy!

Pros: tungsten vs. lead jigs.

Don’t throw away all that old lead stuff! Tungsten rocks, but sometimes the different shapes, movement and fall of lead jigs can be the deal. Some crazy-big names speak their mind in this AnglingBuzz vid:

How’d you like to be a fly on the wall in that room? Sheesh.


1. Spider-Man runs Eskimo.

Always wondered. Makes sense since he’s basically already wearing an Eskimo Buffalo Plaid Hoodie:

Never know what you’re gonna see at the St. Paul Ice Show….

2. Lake Erie: Walleyes eating all the steelhead?

Steelhead “smolts” that is. Some steelheaders are worried the good ol’ days are done thanks to the booming population of walters in Lake Erie. Can’t we all just get along? 😉

3. NH: “Let’s Go Fishing” needs volunteer…

…ice-fishing instructors.

4. Vexan ice rods just $15!

Updating their rods for the ’18-19 season, so their current short-sticks are up to 60% off. Haven’t personally tried ’em, but do know that you can barely buy an energy drink for that price now-a-days lol. Look pretty sweet:

5. New Vexus boat brand.

From the founders of Ranger Boats, Forrest and Nina Wood (sold the company in 1987). Word is they’ll have aluminum and fiberglass rigs coming out this spring, but no pics on their website yet.

Ice is starting to form on the main lake.

7. WI: Milwaukee Ice Show, Dec 8-10.This weekend…now!

8. MN: Arrowhead Ice Show, Duluth, Dec 8-10.

Also this weekend…now!!

9. NE: Omaha outdoor retailer closing after 71 years.

Canfield’s, not Cabela’s.

10. New Freedom Tackle Turn Back Shad.

> Full-metal body so no broken tails…free spinning so no line twists….

11. New Gruv jig/spoon boxes FINALLY available.

For sure spendy, but do really like that silicone “anchoring system” to keep your jigs put and chip-free.

Did YOU win the Garmin Panoptix Ice Fishing Bundle?!

And the winner is….drum roll…awkward pause…drummer continues to jam…okay put the drumsticks down dude: sicktriksta07 you win dude/dudette!! Email sent “sicktriksta07,” you’ve got 1 week to respond or our giveaway app gets to random draw a new weener.

Those of you that didn’t win: we’ve got another Garmin Panoptix Ice Fishing Bundle to giveaway soon-ish! While you wait in the meantime:

Get your Rapala on!

Have a shot at winning all this Rapala loot, including some hard-to-find colors in the Ultra Light Rippin’ Raps! That’s BIG panfish candy right there. Same as before: Just enter your email addy, then share the link you get for more chances to win. Good luck!

Tip of the Day

1. The most popular way to rig a spoon is with a minnow head hooked through the skull. It’s a tried-and-true method that catches fish.

2. When fish are dormant and extremely difficult to catch, I’ll pinch off just the tail of the minnow and put the rest of the body on the hook. Once again, hook the minnow through the skull. This keeps the swim bladder in the middle of the fish full, holding the bait in a horizontal state.

> I’ve had a ton of success with this setup when the bite gets tough. You still have the triggering qualities of the spoon, but you also have the ability to really slow down and let the minnow hang right in the face of the walleyes.

3. On days that you need to be ultra-aggressive…consider ditching minnows for plastic baits. They’re more durable and won’t fall off when you’re working the bait aggressively…you can catch several fish without re-baiting.

> A couple of my favorite plastics are the Maki Mino Head and Spiiki. Both have long tentacles that provide consistent, enticing movement. The Makis are great because they’re hand-poured, which makes ’em extremely soft and supple.

Meme of the Day

How’s that weekend honey-do list looking?

Works for us!

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Really diggin’ this shot from TW fan Craig Buck of an ornery Lake of the Woods walleye that took a crack at his Rapala Slab Rap. #CanvasWorthy

Thanks Craig!

Sign up another ice-head!

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Who is Target Walleye/Ice?
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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