Target Walleye/Ice email

Warm fall walleye tips, Attack of the muskies, Leadcore line trick

The best walleye and ice fishing pics, tips, gear hacks, and news year round

I was hoping to have the winning deets from the Devils Lake NWT championship in here, but ran out of time getting them all together (sorry!) so keep an eye out for that next week.


Or maaaaybe I just wanted to keep some of John Hoyer’s secrets to myself for our local walleye leagues’ EOY championship…. 👀 Lol kiddin’ fellas!

Reminder: If your email program cuts off the bottom of this email, click “View this email in your browser” up top to see the whole thing. Sorry about that – email programs keep changing stuff.
Today’s Top 5

 I know that I said muskies weren’t eating all of your walleye…

 …but this one caught by Gord Pyzer’s grandson, Liam Whetter, must’ve been trying to make up for the rest of its buddies lol:

> Gord Pyzer: “We think throwing 8-, 10- and 12-inch baits are big when it comes to targeting big toothy critters. But a muskie (or giant pike) tried to eat this 29-inch walleye! You could clearly see the teeth marks on both sides of the fish. When was the last time you threw a 29-inch lure?”

The last time I saw something of THAT magnitude was from this post in 2017 when Temple Bay guide Matt Ciccone hooked into a 30” walleye while trolling for muskies, but the ‘eye became bait itself when a mammoth water wolf locked onto it! Mother Nature, you crazy:

Anytime I see a gnawed-up fish where one side is more mangled than the other, I always imagine the culprit looking something like this one sent in by TW fan Josh Reischer. 😅

Not their first rodeo with that snub nose either. #FrequentFlyer

Does anyone know if that “snub nose” thing is caused by some sorta birth defect, or what? Or maybe it just took its dentures out?? 🤭

Why you should run different leadcore for warm vs cold water.

To be completely honest, this is something I have never once considered. I’ve never even heard anybody talk about using different leadcore for different scenarios – everyone I know spools up with leadcore and that’s just what they use….


But Lake Erie capt Ross Robertson isn’t just anybody 😅 that’s for sure lol.


Ross runs a mixture of FishUSA Stealthcore and Sufix 832 Advanced Lead Core for a few very different reasons, in very different situations. Cold water vs warm water…shallower vs deeper…stuff I’d say 9/10 walleye-chasers would never even consider. But that’s also probably a reason that 1/10 people consistently catch so many more and bigger fish.


Anywho, I’ll stop blabbing and just let you dive into Ross’s quick 1:35-long video if you’re looking to step-up your leadcore game:

How’d you like to find this with your Side Imaging?

It’s no secret that walleyes love hanging around bottleneck areas such a channels and bridges, but imagine strolling over THIS with your Humminbird MEGA Side Imaging! 😳Know where I’d be for the next few days straight forever lol:

I feel like that’s the type of thing they see at Devils Lake, ND every day. 😂

Btw did you see the fish chasing around baitballs in the bottom right?

Proof catch and release works.

Another cool catch and catch again story from Saskatchewan Sportfish Research Group – this time a very unique walleye:


> “Check out this ol’ rascal! A walleye with a crooked spine came to us on Day 1 of the Last Mountain Fall Walleye Classic. It was sporting a yellow tag with the number 0058 on it, and contact info for my colleague, Dr. Richard Manzon.”

> “This fish was tagged as part of studies we were conducting on barotrauma that pre-date the main tagging program!


> “Yellow 0058 was tagged Sept 9, 2016 at the Last Mountain Fall Walleye Classic. We held it overnight in a recovery tank, and released it late on Sept 10, 2016 in the marina in Rowan’s Ravine. It was 55-cm long and weighed 2080 grams (4.6 lbs). Nice and heavy for that length due to the curved spine.


> “This same fish was caught and released by an angler almost 5 years later in June 2021 near Mohr’s Beach.


> “On Sept 8, 2023 this amazing walleye had a homecoming of sorts. It was weighed in at the 2023 Last Mountain Fall Walleye Classic again 7 years later!


> “It has grown some…now 65-cm long and 2800 grams (6.2 lbs). Just mind-blowing to see this fish again at the same tournament after all that time!”


Btw here’s a brief snippet they said in the comments about what causes the curved spines:


> “..usually it happens while the embryo is developing in the egg. A variety of environmental stressor can cause it. A common one is high temperatures.”


So dang cool to see hard proof that catch and release works. I saw in another one of Saskatchewan Sportfish Research Group’s FB posts that they have 4 different tagged walleyes (from 3 separate lakes) that have all been caught and reported 5 times each over the last few years. So either those fish are big dummies or they must frequent community holes lol.

These country sangers are getting their fishy on!

Thx to TW reader Tommy Howell for the heads-up on this one.


Apparently country music star Morgan Wallen is rocking a new guitar that’s sporting Keewatin, MN taxidermist Chris Kunze’s handiwork:

Looks like Hardy got in on the fun, too:

Pretty cool!


1. More details on the alleged NWT rules violations….


I briefly touched on this (all the rumors flying ‘round) in the last Target Walleye email, but now here’s the NWT’s information-packed 🙄 press release regarding the fines and penalties.


Obviously I’m kidding when I say “information packed” because it’s as vague as vague can be and left everyone wondering, speculating, rumor-ing what all went down.


As of last night, Max Wilson posted his side of the story.


Now you all know as much as I do on the topic.


Regardless of who’s in the right or wrong, social media is an absolute magnet for negativity…and I don’t need any more drama in my life lol. So this is the last time I’ll be talking on this unless an official press release comes out with facts, rule changes, etc.


2. Berkley Deep Hit Sticks are here!


You already know and love the original Hit Stick, so now Berkley is going deep:

> The Berkley Deep Hit Stick is an aggressive lure with a deeper rattle, bulkier profile, and a wider wobble than other stick baits. …has a true balsa-like action that is perfect for bigger, deeper, or more aggressive fish that may not respond to finesse minnow baits. Berkley integrated its FlashDisc technology for tracking stability and accuracy and outfitted the walleye trolling lure with sharp Fusion19 hooks.


Here’s some specs:

  • #9 size (3.75″ long and 1/3 oz) runs 18-24′
  • #10.5 size (4.25″ long and 1/2 oz) runs 22-29’
  • #12 size (4.75″ long and 3/4 oz) runs 26-33’


Those poor Lake Erie walleye!


3. ND: Father/son team wins AIM TOY.


That’s Ross Grothe and his son Roger getting it done!

> Ross: “I attribute it to doing our own thing and not worrying about what others are doing. Us being relatively new to ND (this is their third season there), just going with the thought of we’re going to have fun and do our best. I included my son Roger, who’s now 13, on our strategizing, and it’s been super rewarding as well.”


Get this:


> “Reid is my older son. He’s 16 now, and when we won a tournament on Father’s Day and ended up winning [MN] Team Of The Year, it was super. It really meant a lot to me. Now we step into 2023, and Roger and I won a tournament on Father’s Day and ended up winning Team Of The Year. It’s super rewarding, and my sons now both have a title that no one can take away from them at their young age.”


> “Fishing with my boys is beyond a passion, and I’m so grateful for these opportunities. If you’re not fishing with your kids, you may be missing out on some of the greatest joy a father can have.”


Just amazing 🙌 congrats fellas!


4. IA: Father/son team wins Mississippi River AIM.


Anotha one! 🔥 David Lester and son Anders won the AIM Rivers Division event on the Mississippi River out of Clinton, IA with 5 for 34.01 lbs:

> David: “We were fishing 2 specific wing dams and we fished a total of 4 during the tournament. We were using ‘bass-style’ Rapala DT10s. The ones that did the best were custom-painted by Hawkeye Custom Tackle. …also casting Bink’s spoons….”


Love to see it!


5. Cabela’s set to rebrand as Bass Pro Shops?


I don’t think the Green Bay Packers prez Mark Murphy was supposed to spill the beans on this. 🫣


6. Heads up: FishUSA has WNC Death Jigs in stock!


They’ve been sold out all over the dang place. I just happened to check FishUSA’s site again this morning and noticed they reloaded a pile of sizes and colors.

7. Former Rapala International CEO now heading up Grundens.


Side note: I’ve ordered a few things from Grundens this summer and have fallen in love. Will definitely be picking up some more schtuff.


8. Dick’s Q2 was down due to theft.


Guess those who speak corporate-ese call it “elevated inventory shrink.”


> [CEO Lauren] Hobart maintained the issue is “increasingly serious,” and Dick’s CFO Navdeep Gupta told TheStreet that “the number of incidents and the organized retail crime impact came in significantly higher than we anticipated, and that impacted our Q2 results as well.”


9. MN: Interesting read on fall electrofishing…


…and how biologists can use the information predict how good walleye fishing on some lakes will be 4 years in advance.


> Data collected from electrofishing assessments allows DNR biologists to develop an index of abundance for each year’s walleye fry survival that can be compared to previous years. The index is the catch rate of young-of-the-year (age-0) walleyes that have survived since that spring.


10. Two Brothers Innovations dropped new ice rods. 🥶


They have 3 new Elliott Rods and 4 new 2B models for the 23-24 ice fishing season.

11. MN: “Minnesota Made Ice Fishing Circuit” schedule out.


They have a few openings for the 2024 szn – here’s the schedule:

  • Jan 14: Big Birch Lake (Grey Eagle)
  • Jan 28: Lake Washington (Kasota)
  • Feb 18: East Rush Lake (Rush City)
  • Mar 3: Cross Lake (Pine City)


Btw I saw on their site that 100% of all profits are donated to Future Anglers of Minnesota.


12. SD: Dakota Angler Ice Institute happening Nov 10-12.


At the Sioux Falls Arena & Convention Center. One of the biggest and baddest ice shows in the nation with over 100 vendors and they always have a killer lineup of free ice-fishing seminars. More info here on their site, or hit up their FB page for new vendor/speaker announcements, etc.


13. MN: St. Paul Ice Show is happening Dec 1-3.


At the St. Paul RiverCentre.


14. Yamaha names Jason Berry Customer Experience Division Manager.


15. MN: Starry Stonewort confirmed in Dora Lake.


Itasca County.


16. MN: Zeebz confirmed in Scandinavian Lake.


Pope County.


17. AK suing fed gov’t over who has authority over AK resources


> …the state was forced to defend itself because the federal government is suing the state. The federal government has been growing more and more aggressive in its efforts to take over state management of AK resources.

Few Highlights

> Hoyer wins it all, High speed Side Imaging, Big minnow SZN

> Hoyer’s dropping bombs, Gary Parsons is a baller, Don’t fish memories

> Casting vs trolling debate, Triple dropshot rig, Match the hatch

Note: The FishUSA links in this email are affiliate links, meaning if you go through them to make a purchase we might earn a commission…at no cost to you. Click here if you want to learn a little more about links in TW.

Tip of the Day

How to target WARM fall walleyes.


Seems like most years just as water temps are starting to dip, Mother Nature shows up and kicks a stretch of summery-feeling days back into the forecast. Here’s some quality info to consider from Jason Mitchell on how he targets scattered, transitioning walleyes:

> 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….


> Cover water over big locations. For specifically targeting big 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…2 would be considered good in some cases.


> 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.

Meme of the Day

Okay, this right here is hilarious. 😅 Posted by KTFishing on FB:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Killer pic of a “glass voodoo haze” color Rapala Glass Shad Rap – love those translucent properties:

Little more about the Rapala Glass Shad Rap in case you haven’t seen it yet:


> …molded high-impact plastic with holographic foil insert that allows the chameleon-like Glass Shad Rap to pick up the color of its surroundings and bounce the same color back in an iridescent glow.


> Glass Shad Raps suspend on pause and swims with a slightly different action than the legendary balsa model. Add internal rattle, VMC black nickel hooks and hand-tuned and tank-tested features, this lure truly has it all.


I’ve had some awesome luck with these baits, especially in clear water. Of course they have some great natural looking colors, too. Pics don’t do ’em justice:

Parting Shot

Awesome gunmetal-y colors on this one Okuma’d by Roxane Dupuis in Quebec:

Thanks SO much for reading! I hope you have a great + safe weekend and that the walleyes cooperate. 👊🤞

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Target Walleye – walleye during open water and all species during hardwater – is brought to you by Al Lindner, Jim Kalkofen, Jay Kumar, Brett McComas and other diehard fish-heads like you!
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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