Target Walleye/Ice email

Water temp crankbait selection, Weed fish more stable, Jigging Rap color tip

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Today’s Top 3

Base your fall walleye crankbaits on water temp.

Brad Hawthorne has logged a zillion hours pulling cranks in the fall, so of course it was the first thing we nagged him about when we had the chance to hop in his boat. He uses water temps to tell him which exact crankbaits to tie on. #DialedIn

Few things:

> He always starts early fall with #5 Rapala Shad Raps ‘cuz they’ve caught more fish than any other bait in his boat…especially while water temps are

60-65. Bump up to a #6 or #7 as temps reach the lower end of that scale.

> Once the water hits 57-62 — and the weather is cooperating — he’ll put on BIG ol’ bent-lip #9 Shallow Shad Raps. Everything is going shallow and putting the feedbag on, including perch this size….

> Original Jointed Minnows are one of his favorite overlooked fall trolling bait when temps are in the 50-57 range and fish are on the chew. They run 5-7′ out the package, but Brad will pinch on a small splitshot up above the bait to get ’em down to the 8-10′ range.

> Frigid temps: Original Floaters are tough to beat. Brad’s caught fish on ’em in water as cold as 42 degrees. #PolarPlungeStatus

S’more details straight from Mr. Fall Cranky himself in this vid. Didn’t notice at the time he was wearing a play button mask….

Shout-out to TW fans rockin’ our gear!

Been seeing lots of pics ’round the Interwebz of y’all wearing Target Walleye gear — glad you dig it! Hope to have more options soonish and maybe a giveaway or three…. In the meantime, here’s a few of our faves:

Dustin Garthus thwacked this 10-14 with a Rapala Rippin’ Rap on the South Saskatchewan River:

Brainerd Warrior fishlete Hailey Mollner is busy stickin’ more (and bigger) walleyes than her dad…like usual…right Jeremy? 😉

Awesome color-poppin’ shot from SK’s Dean Schenk:

Insta user @emjohns12 has a new lucky hat, and maybe a few gawkers:

Got pics sporting Target Walleye gear? Send ’em to us here. Make sure to include your name and a few deets on what specific bait/technique you used to catch ’em.

Which Jigging Rap colors work best when.

It’s (finally) no secret that Jigging Raps flat-out catch walleyes, but you could be catching EVEN MORE with the right color/pattern for the situation. Here’s how Joel Nelson chooses which to tie on:

And if you wanna drop down a color they haven’t seen before, maybe gitcha some custom-painted treats from FishUSA:

Random thought: Who’s going to be the first to fashion together up an Alabama/umbrella rig jammed full of Jigging Raps? Just make sure to check your local regs and have a first-aid kit handy….


1. MN: Just how healthy is Mille Lacs?

Guess we’ll find out. The DNR is gearing up for its fall assessment where they’ll determine the health of the lake’s fish population and use it to set next year’s harvest levels.

> Researchers will be using gill nets to sample small fish such as yellow perch and tullibee that walleye like to eat. They also will use electrofishing and gill netting to find out how the lake’s walleye and northern pike are faring.

> “…will give us the idea of the relative number of adult fish out there and the health of the population, and the recruitment of year classes coming up behind that strong 2013 year class that’s really been driving the fishery.”

2. ND: Stocked a record 12 mil ‘eyes…

…this year in 130 lakes. Check out this potato gun AKA fry cannon:

Looks like a killer shore spot in a few years!

3. MI: Taylor/McDonald win Sault Ste. Marie MWC.

Don’t know the winning deets yet, but do know that Tom Taylor and Keith McDonald won — by nearly 10 lbs — with a 2-day bag of 49-03:

Smile guys, you won! Check the 2018 MWC schedule here.

4. MN: TWF Open on Leech Lake, Sep 10.

Could also win your way into the National Team Championships to fish for hundreds of thousands of $$$$$$.

5. MN: Fishing to End Hunger charity tourney, Gull Lake, Oct 7.

Great cause, big walleyes and a $15K payday for 1st. Also a great chance to outfish the snot outta TW’s Brett McComas (not hard lol). More deets here.

6. Underwater cameras not just for ice fishing.

Have you seen the new Aqua-Vu Live Strike system yet?

Real life video games lol. Way more info and video of it in action here.

7. Mercury donating to Hurricane Harvey efforts…

…with parts/equipment including engines, inflatable boats, life jackets, etc. #Stout

8. NY: Antidepressants found in fish.

No bueno:

> …scientists tested the water and examined fish from the river, and found traces of 22 different drugs and their by-products in their bodies. Many of the drugs were antidepressants.

> The drugs undermine fish development and reproduction, and hurt their ability to catch prey.

9. ON: Ministry cracks down on fishing violations.

During a special 1-day sting. Shouldn’t every day be a sting? Said the charges were for:

  • Fishing without a license
  • Fishing with an artificial light to attract fish
  • Over-limits of crappie and largemouth bass
  • Using a spear for the purpose of fishing

WTHeck is wrong with people? #RespectTheResource

Have a shot at winning this massive pile of goodies from Lund Boats worth $500-ish! They make dream rigs for walleye-nuts and have the gear to match. Same thing as before: just click here to enter. Good luck!!

Tip of the Day

How Jason Mitchell picks apart fall weed walleyes.

> Weeds hold walleyes all summer but can become even more appealing in the fall when water temps drop. …what can be so appealing about weed fish is they just don’t move nearly as much as fish on other patterns….

> Typically, in the fall, weeds begin to break down. Green weeds will be random strands and clumps mixed in with dying weeds. If there’s good water circulation and a little bit of green left, walleyes will remain in the breaking-down weeds — and as they break down, they become easier to fish.

> Weed fish sometimes have to be approached methodically where you must grind out a location and wait for the windows where these fish open up.

> A 3.8″ Kalin’s Sizmic Shad on a Spot Stalker Jig…slowly reeled over the tops of weeds or along the break…has accounted for many big walleyes for me over the past couple of years. The Spot Stalker has a thin wire weed guard [that] can crawl through vegetation but is thin enough that it isn’t “walleye proof.”

> …Many anglers are hung up on the notion of keeping the boat out deeper off the break, insisting on casting up into shallower water. This deep-to-shallow angle can be very productive, but this is just one angle to try.

> We often catch many more walleyes by nosing the bow of the boat up further into the weedline where we can cast along the break or parallel to the flat/contour. There’s also times where fish stack up on the inside edge of the weedline, and make long casts along the edge keep the swimbait in front of them so much longer.

> If you’re just picking off a few fish, note exactly where the strikes came and experiment with your angle so you can keep the lure in front of fish longer.

Read Jason’s full article here.

Quote #1 of the Day

I think I’ll go back in the water next summer, but I won’t be wearing any jewelry and I won’t have painted toenails.

– What Paige Dougherty said after being bitten by a 36-40″ musky while sitting on her Island Lake (Duluth, MN) dock. Forget Barbie rods…it’s time to start making Barbie lures.

Quote #2 of the Day

Walleye, which are toothy and also called walleye pike, are actually members of the perch family.

– That’s an article explaining what walleyes are to trout/salmon guys over in New Yawk. Said walleye were thriving in Skaneateles Lake, which makes ’em worried how it’ll impact the trout/salmon fishing.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Lookit THOSE markings [heart-eyes emoji]:

Caught by Marc Tremblay on a “midnight” colored Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow Walleye Deep Diver.

Sign up another fish-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

To send us walleye pics, ice shots or whatever, just respond to this email or click here to email us. Or post it on the Target Walleye Facebook page.

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