Target Walleye/Ice email

Walleyes that impress Al Lindner, Pike eats stringer, Leadcore starters

Today’s Top 5

Walleye big enough to impress Al. 

Big to some isn’t always big to others. What do YOU consider a big walleye in the lakes you fish? It really depends on where you’re fishing — here’s Al’s take on it:

> You go to and see all these pictures of big walleye up to 34″, but pay attention to the big-water systems they’re coming from. If you fish the Great Lakes, western reservoirs or a handful of lakes up in Canada…8-lbers are common.

> You would say, “Well a big fish to me is a 10- or 12-lber.” Well in these smaller natural walleye lakes — that are peppered all over the heart of the walleye world — a big fish is simply a 6-lber. A giant fish (which you see rarely out of these lakes) is a true 8-lber. So everything is relative.

> In these smaller natural mesotrophic/slightly-eutrophic lakes we have a lot of 1.5- to 3-lbers, but when you get a 4, 5 or 6 that’s really good…. Now and again if you’re fishing a tournament or in the fall, you may see an 8-lber, but it’s rare.

> You’ve got big lakes like Lake of the Woods, Red Lake, Mille Lacs, Leech Lake, Winnebago — well-known walleye lakes, but even in smaller lakes 8-lbers are really, really, big, big fish. The reality check for most of us is that a bunch of walleyes from 16-20″ is a great day on the water.

Pike eats walleye on a stringer!

Heard of snapping turtles and otters pulling this off…but ever had a northern pike steal your shore lunch? #Greedy #ManitobaProblems

Only way that could’ve been more unusual is if it was a derp pike like the one Scott Ford caught on Mississippi River Pool 10…but pretty sure they only eat bullheads:

If you know what’s going on in this pic…

…then you know it’s like winning a key battle in the war of DIY boat rigging. Victory!

Soooo glad veteran DIYer Brad Hawthorne had that “Flat Steel Fish Tape” laying around (thx dude!) to help fish my 3 transducer cables from back-to-front on my new Lund 2025 Impact XS. Still have some rigging to do — and plan to shoot/share videos on that — but won’t be long before you’re seeing that thing in action right here.

Also wanna give a HUGE shout-out [!!!] to NWT pro Bill Shimota who straight-up saved me….

I was in desperate need of some electronics mounts and could not find anything in stock anywhere in MN. Remembered that Bill bought Stabil-Mount beginning of this year, so thought I’d reach out to see if he had anything on hand. Long story short: He did (still does) and was able to get these blacked-out beauties on my doorstep in < 24 hours = seriously amazing:

Big thx dude!

Bruisers of the week!

1)  Love getting messages to the Target Walleye inbox like this one from Jaime Rodriguez of J ROD ANGLING:

> “A few weeks back you featured this Phantom Boogey 13 custom painted by [Matthew Fairbank of @verticalcustomlures] — well here it is in action. As the sun was setting on the Columbia River we decided to long-line Phantoms and rang the dinner bell for this giant to eat.

> “Fishing off a 23′ contour next to a flat, we were 5 minutes into our first drift and bam she hit…peeling drag as I was just over 200′ on my line-counter we decided to turn around and chase down this giant. We eventually got her close to the boat when she decided to take 3 last-stake lunges to shake the hooks.

> “My son was on net duty as he was full-extension on the handle…after a few missed attempts he successfully nets the beast with the help of my daughter…. Coming in at 31.5″ and approx 11-12 lbs, she was released to fight another day but not before I dedicated her to my late-friend Calvin Burkhardsmeier.”

Love it. Congrats on the fish of a lifetime!


2)  Long-time TW reader Len Talarico (@lentaloutdoors) cracked this 31.5″ bruiser running a homemade ‘crawler harness using #4 Colorado blades, and said:

> “They wanted it a little faster on this night…1.3 mph was key. Targeting mid-lake humps and saddles in the 18-23′ range. Hit right before dark in the twilight period — pays to stay out and make that last pass in the dark.”

No doubt, man! Awesome fish!!


3)  @katetizzard has been getting in on the Lake of the Woods BIG-fish party. Said she’s been hitting ’em with 3/8- or 1/4-oz Tom’s Tackle Jigs paired with a shiner in 18-20′. Keep it up!

As seen at Lindner Media.

How’d you like to snoop around the Lindner Media office for a bit? For sure a bunch of cool projects going on, and some memorabilia you won’t see anywhere else….

Exhibit A: Do Al and Ron Lindner practice karate in the garage?


Lol. Love those throwbacks.


1. Former Shimano chairman Yoshizo Shimano passed on.

2. WI: Some could-be record talk going on….

This Milwaukee Journal Sentinel write-up said Eric Van Dyn Hoven caught a 31.75″ walleye outta Lac Vieux Desert (source of the Wisconsin River on the WI/MI border) that “reportedly weighed 16.87 lbs” the next morning on his digital scale:

Guess the fish was post-spawn and some folks are guessing a belly full of eggs woulda made it close the current 18-lb record caught in 1933 on High Lake in Vilas County.

3. ND: Devils Lake AIM happenin’ Sunday.

Folks are guessing it’ll take somewhere in the low 30-lb range to win, but that “it could easily be 10 lbs higher if the right pod of fish is found.” Can’t wait to see how it’s won — will do my best to track down the details — ‘cuz you can catch ’em any way you want to on Devils Lake.

4. Al Lindner’s Lund is for sale.

Said he’s selling all his open-water stuff and focusing 100% of his efforts towards ice fishing this season…. Okay, not really…but check this thing out! [heart-eyes emoji]:

More details here.

5. WI: Minocqua Chain walleye regs extended a year.

‘Cuz it’s current zero bag limit (been in place 5 years!) has been helping the walleye population make a rebound, but they’re still working to “restore a self-sustaining level of natural reproduction” too.

See…Mille Lacs isn’t the only lake being picked on! 😉

Btw there was a public meeting last Oct to discuss the project and:

> …results of the public input assessment at the meeting and online indicated more than 90% of respondents supported extending the current catch-and-release regulation.

Pretty cool.

6. MT: AIS inspections have stopped 19 “mussel-fouled” rigs.

As of Jun 30 they’ve inspected over 44K watercrafts this year. Here’s where the dirty ones were coming from and headed to:

7. American Baitworks names Doug Minor prez.

Doug’s coming over after 37 years with Strike King.

8. MN: Leech Lake AIM double-header this weekend.

Two single-day events running back-to-back, each paying $9K to 1st place. Would be a good ($$$) couple days to be on ’em! Sounds like way the bite’s been it’ll take 30-ish lbs to cash a check and pushing 40 lbs to take home the hardware.

9. IA: DNR’s nuking “trash fish” at Hickory Grove Lake.

Aka hitting the lake with rotenone to wipe out common carp, grass carp and black bullhead.

10. PRADCO has distributed over 350K [!] masks…

…to local hospitals and healthcare facilities = great.

11. MN DNR wants you to report fish kills 24/7.

Tip of the Day

Gettin’ to be that time of year — you ready to add it to your arsenal?

Leadcore is exactly what it sounds like: fishing line with a lead core. The line sinks to help crankbaits dive deeper, tough to beat when the water’s hot and fish start roaming the basin. Full Joel Nelson write-up here, few excerpts below:

> More than just a search tool, it can be an effective way to target spread-out fish…when pulling live-bait rigs and even spinners takes too long between pods.

> The cornerstone of every good leadcore program is a M to MH, moderate-action trolling rod, paired with a slightly oversized line-counter reel and 18-lb leadcore line.

> Leadcore line is marked by a different color every 10 yards, so a full-core would be 10 colors or 100 yards. You probably won’t need to dive to this depth, but it’s a good starting place to get you acquainted with the method.

> Standard leadcore dives on average 5′ per color, but Sufix 832 Advanced Lead Core dives 7′ per color (more depth with less line out).

Joel uses a slick reverse-spooling hack so he knows exactly how much backing to put under the leadcore = perfectly fill the spool. Works for regular braid too:

> Unsheath the end of your leadcore, and pull out 6″ or so of the lead. Pull the sheath back down and use it to tie a braid-to-mono, or braid-to-braid knot.

> Areas where I’m trolling with zebra mussels, I run a 3-5′ section of braided leader, then a snap, then my lure. On ultra-clear water I run a 30′ leader of 10-lb fluorocarbon so it’s less visible.

> Any crankbait runs well with this scenario, as do spinners and a variety of other lures designed to be pulled.

> Start by letting out a few colors of line while going 2.2-3.0 mph. Let out line evenly to prevent overruns and keep kinks and tangles to a minimum. When leadcore knots, the interior lead can break and poke out in places.

> Deep-diving crankbaits should be let out until you’re occasionally making contact with bottom. You don’t want to be digging in constantly…this causes baits to wander, then tangle.

> Pull along gradually similar depths, and as you get better…work your way towards pulling along breaks.

If you’re looking for more advanced leadcore tricks — with planer boards, segmented, shallow water, etc — find ’em here.

Meme of the Day

If you SOMEHOW still don’t own any Berkley Flicker Shads, check ’em out before your buddies make fun of you lol. Catches ’em year-round, plus leadcore SZN is coming in hot….

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Behind every “hero shot” is a fish trying to do the dang Macarena in your hands, and sometimes they nail the tooshie shake. Hilarious @jerkbaitjake shot from Stockton Lake, MO. #FishFlopFriday

Shot of the Day

This walter cheesin’ or what?

Caught by Dean Taylor on a “silverside” Lunkerhunt Sushi 110 jerkbait:

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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 
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