Target Walleye/Ice email

Walleyes eat burbot, How to rig big chubs, Scattered fall fish tip

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Today’s Top 4

Walleyes eat burbot?!

Well, this one would anyway…. Craig Hoffbeck proved it while casting the massive Savage Gear 3D Burbot for musky near a 7′ Leech Lake, MN rock reef:

And we’re over here using tiny 1/16-oz hair jigs, slip-bobbers and live-bait rigs with 12′ snells trying to trick ’em:

Everything you want to know about rigging BIG chubs for fall walleye.

Since live-bait rigging with giant creek chubs and redtails is one of the best ways to snag a trophy fall-eye, we’re bringing back this write-up — we put together with fish-head Travis Sorokie — on the ins and outs of soaking big minnows:

> “When I say giant, I mean dragging around minnows up to 10″ long, but most commonly in the 4-7” range.

> “Creek chubs and redtails work best because they’re hardy minnows that will often swim right along with the boat. Sometimes you’ll even feel them ‘getting excited’ the moment before a walleye smacks ’em.

> “You can catch fish all year doing this, but I really get excited for the big-minnow bite once the water has cooled down to 62 degrees…ideally 58-60.

> “This time of year…especially in clear-water lakes…you’ll have your best shot at sticking a big fish during low-light periods. Later in the fall you can sleep in [or get yard work done in the morning lol]. The bite will pick up later in the day after the water has a chance to warm up and they’ll bite all day.

> “My rigging set-ups are 7′ medium-action rods spooled them with #6 smoke FireLine for my main line and a 36-42″ mono leader. The shorter leader allows the minnows to swim freely, while still keeping them in the strike zone.

> “I run a 1/2- to 1-oz egg sinker depending on minnow size, wind and depth. The 3/4-oz seems to be good all around…bump up to 1-oz anytime fishing 30′ or deeper. I’m trying to fish the sinker like a jig. Keep it 6-18″ off bottom and vertical.”
> “Trolling between 0.3-0.8 mph covers most scenarios. When it’s calmer…slow down and stay right over the tops of fish. I pick up the speed if the wind is blowing.

> “I start out giving them a 25-30 second count before I set the hook. I’ll even wait 35-40 seconds on days that they’re sluggish…gives ’em more time to turn that minnow around in their mouth.

> “…weeds start to die off when water temps drop below 68. That’s why you’ll notice piles of ’em floating around. A lot of the baitfish pull out of those dying weeds and school up in open water.

> “Wind positions those baitfish on structure and fish follow. Even fishing in deep water (35-50′) the fish will still typically be stacked on the windblown sides of underwater points, bars and breaks.”

So you want to be a fishing guide?

More to it than just starting a Facebook page and deciding you’re a guide one day…. Make sure you know what you’re getting into, have a business plan and listen to what guys like widely-respected guide Brad Hawthorne have to say:

Highly recommend hopping in the boat with Brad if you ever get the chance to. Or if you’re an ice-head, his other ride might be more your style:

Fargo predicted the Mille Lacs walleye closure.

If you’re from the upper Midwest, you’ve probably seen the movie Fargo. But do you remember this clip where they talk about the walleye closure on Mille Lacs…roughly 20-ish years before it actually happened?!

Lol!! What you can’t tell from the vid is it’s 112 degrees in that permanent fish house, yet TW’s Brett McComas is hanging out in a flannel + Stormy Kromer, straight jonesin’ to bust out that Okuma Ceymar on actual ice. Soon man!


1. Prayers needed for fishing sister.

Peyton was involved in a boating accident: “[Her] spinal cord was damaged beyond repair and [she] will be permanently paralyzed from the waist down.”

Dangit. If you can, please help Peyton and her family with medical expenses at their GoFundMe page here. Stay strong lady, #PeytonStrong

2. World Walleye Championship on Cass Lake.

Kicks off tomorrow. The top 41 teams from this season’s MWC are fishing for over $100K in cash/prizes, including the team of the year Troy Morris and Corey Heiser of Artifishalleyes.

The kicker: Morris/Heiser took the pledge to fish without ANY livebait and have been cleaning up the tourney scene with artificials. #Hammers

3. 2018 NWT schedule finalized.

Won’t be so Great Lakes heavy next year, which should level the playing field a bit. Pumped the championship will be at the “Walleye Capital of the World,” AKA Lake of the Woods. Full schedule below:

May 10-11 – Mississippi River, MN
Jun 14-15 – Saginaw Bay, MI
Jul 26-27 – Devils Lake, ND

Sep 5-7 – Lake of the Woods, MN

4. New Garmin Panoptix ice bundle.

Can scan both down AND out, so you can see fish that are up to 100′ out to the sides [!] of the hole.

Here’s Tommy Kemos playing with a prototype last season and pinpointing a school of crappies off in the distance:

5. MN: Record flathead caught and released.

Not these kind of flatheads:

This kind:

Was estimated at 70-80 lbs and measured 52.5″ x 32″. Thing wears the same size jeans as many adult men lol. Congrats Mark Mosby!

6. Favorite Rods school fishing program.

> As a high school or college angler, FAVORITE wants to be in your hand and support you and your team! If you have a letter from your coach, high school, team leader in college, or the FLW as a registered angler, FAVORITE will provide equipment for you at discount.

> We’ll also provide free decals, and promotional stuff for all anglers…[and] put all of your team members on our website, social media, and help promote you as anglers in your hunt to be on the big stage! #Stout

How cool is that? Check their stuff here.

7. Tony Roach gets FishUSA.

> “I am a person who spends 200+ days on the water, so I don’t have time to shop around. I teamed up with FishUSA because they understand the needs of anglers and their website is a one-stop shop.”

8. Onyx makes “green pumpkin” PFDs!

Really diggin’ this new color in the A/M 24 inflatable life jacket. Hopefully it’ll be available soonish, but you can still get the blue/black and pink/black here at FishUSA. Same model PFD that guys like Al Lindner and Jason Mitchell run.

9. Yamama gettin’ viddy with it.

Created a new “marine video communications dep.”

10. Sonar wars: Navico beats Garmin.

11. Last chance to enter our Lund giveaway.

Mega pile of Lund goodies worth $500-ish. Click here to enter.

Tip of the Day

> When the water is cooling, you can focus on a spot or location. When the water warms during the fall, you need to cover as much water as possible. Many fish will be transitioning and trolling crankbaits can be a great way to target them.

> As fish transition and travel between point A, and point B, they typically take the shortest and easiest route. What this means is that primary main lake contours and the old river channel on reservoirs essentially become underwater highways for traveling fish.

> Cover water over big locations. For specifically targeting big fish, bigger profiles typically catch bigger fish. Don’t be afraid to double the length and profile from what you would typically use the rest of the year.

> Don’t get hung up on an icon or waypoint…or troll until you find the fish and then assume that you will catch more from the same location. Instead focus on your fish-per-hour. On a tough bite, I ‘m happy with a bite an hour…two would be considered good in some cases.

> Anticipate a grind where you simply put in the time over a general location and pick fish off one at a time.

> Scattered fish often have a more difficult temperament…they’re not competing with other fish and in some cases, are stressed from the distances traveled.

> This is exactly why I love to troll crankbaits in the fall when dealing with tough conditions. Not only do I cover water and contact more fish, I can also do a better job of getting a reaction strike by using speed to trigger fish.

Keep reading here.

Quote of the Day

Can you guess how many lures, crankbaits or naughty words this stump has caught?

– Great question from radio personality Boomer Stelmach after he caught this Devils Lake, ND stump-knocker:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Feels like fall looking at this frosty David Shmyr Jr. snap of a paunchy walligator that lunch-boxed a Bagley Rumble B:

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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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