Target Walleye/Ice email

Water temp under ice, Crazy chrome walleye, Split ring spoon mod

If you’re getting this Target Walleye/Ice email for the first time, a friend probably signed you up!

Today’s Top 4

How the top ice fishermen in the world find new spots.

Not just new spots…more specifically how they find differences in water temps under the ice to key in on where the panfish are holding.

Brandon Newby and Ryan Wilson won 3 consecutive NAIFC Team of the Year titles beginning in 2013. This ain’t your local softball team on ice…they’ve done it against some of the best ice fishermen in the world:

Ted Pilgrim tracked them down to find out what it is they do differently than others on the circuit. You can read Ted’s full write up here, but there’s a few excerpts below:

> “When we arrive at a new lake, our #1 priority is to find fish that haven’t seen lures in a while. It’s not unusual for us to drill 600-800 holes [!!!] during pre-fishing.

> “Lots of years, we don’t wet lines before the tournament. It’s a stealth thing. Our Milwaukee M28 hand-drills let us travel light, as do our Aqua-Vu Micro cameras, which fit into our coat pockets.

> “We also designed a new Pro Viewing Case, which allows us to actually wear our camera around our neck. It’s a huge time saver.”

> “We like to record what we find on the Micro Plus with DVR…go back to our hotel rooms and study the footage on our laptops. [That way we can] determine if the fish we find are the right ones.

> “The other advantage to our mini cameras is the built-in depth and water temp functions. You can’t believe how often finding slightly warmer water — say 37 or 38 degrees surrounded by 36 — can be the difference that holds fish.

> “Sometimes, we even fish warm water pockets in specific depth ranges. Those are just some of the details that lead us to bigger panfish.”

Love the water temp info…not too many people paying attention to that through the ice. Keep on grinding gentlemen!

Walleye (wo)man-cave material.

We all know that walleyes are made of delicious meat, but there’s a few other things they can be made of that are still wall-worthy….

Steve Nielsen has got serious skills — his latest project is a chromed-out lookin’ wally. Still working on the body, but here’s a look at its dome:

Not sure if there’s any walleye to be caught in South Africa where Gavin Erwin is located, but he’s got this razorback sketch dialed-in:

Here in the states we’d call this a walleye dee-cal…while our Canadian friends pronounce it a deck-le. Either way I’m diggin’ this Derek DeYoung sticker:

Add more split-rings for mid-winter walleye.

From Brian “Bro” Brosdahl:

> Mid-winter is a great time to be fishing spoons, but sometimes even a treble hook can bounce off the jawbone of a walleye. What’s needed is a little more push to the inside of the mouth — add a 2nd, 3rd or 4th split-ring between the hook and spoon, which can swing the hook into flesh on the inside of the jaw bone.

> I’ve customized some baits with chains of split-rings, although two is typically about right. I’ll use more for jumbo perch fishing, or when I need something heavier and more rugged than a dropper chain.

> You can experiment with color, mixing gold and red split-rings, maybe add a little spinner if you really want to get nasty.

> And if you’re targeting perch, take off the treble and use a single barbed hook with a wide enough eyelet that doesn’t impede the action of the split-rings.

> Then there’s the retail-ready Northland Buck-Shot Flutter Spoon, which comes with two split-rings, upping your hookset percentages. The extra split-ring also introduces a little extra noise, which is never a bad thing.

> You don’t need any color other than UV electric perch. It’s the bait I give those guys who can’t catch a thing. When you sit and jig it, the Buck-Shot Flutter Spoon karate-kicks like crazy and that color is magic. Has made my whole guiding year.

New Rapala weigh bags.

Guess the little potato-sack style bags weren’t cutting it for the Rapala crew lol:

But seriously Rapala has the world record, for most world records.


1. MB: Fly-in à la carte?

Never heard of anything like this — Jackson’s Lodge & Outposts have 20 different lakes to choose from and a self-imposed slot limits:

> …instituted our own policy for slot sizes at all of our locations. All walleye over 18″ and all northern pike over 27.5″ must be released. Just be sure to have your camera ready to record your memories.

Personally have never been on a fly-in trip, but seriously think that needs to change this season:

2. OH: Maumee R. walleye run comin’ in hot

> Every spring up to a half million walleye make their way up the Maumee River in Toledo from Lake Erie for their world-famous spring run. Depending on water temps and river levels the walleye can begin their legendary run as early as the first week of March.

3. New holographic Shiver Minnows.

Word is there’s a bunch of new Shiver Minnow colors coming out in the next couple months. Moonshine Lures leaked 3 new holographic colors on their Facebook page. Left to right: casper, crazy JJ and no freeze:

Shipping to retailers early April-ish. We’ll keep you posted.

4. WI: NAIFC national qualifier on Lake Menomin, Feb 25.

Have a $14K payout for this event and the top 10 teams qualify to fish the NAIFC championship. #ChaChing

5. New performance fishing gear coming.

Called Blackfish Gear and launching Mar 1st, but we’ve got a sneak peek for you:

Know big things are happening when they’ve already got guys on their team like: Jason Mitchell, Chad Grigsby, Jimmy Bell, John Gillespie, Eric Haataja, Pete Maina and Mark Schutz. #Stacked

6. MN has a festival celebrating…burbot.

Yup, for real! Called the International Eelpout Festival and happenin’ on Walker’s Leech Lake this weekend. Been running 38 years strong, so you know it’s a good time. Else we all just have nothing better to do?

Speaking of burbs, TW’s Brett McComas was on the “ShackTalk” fishing podcast chattin’ burbot tricks and tips. Worth a listen if you’re into those slime balls (the fish, not Scott Brewer and Kyle Agre lol).

7. Heads up MN folk.

Fishing licenses expire Feb 28.

8. Merc partners with wireless company.

> …partnership with FELL Marine, a leader in marine wireless technology, to co-develop Mercury-exclusive wireless and IOT connected products that will seamlessly integrate with Mercury’s SmartCraft suite of digital technology….

Not sure if that’s Spot-Lock-related or what?

And, Merc’s coming back to Lake X.

9. Big Rock has a new mobile ordering app.

For retailers only.

10. The Garmin giveaway winner was drawn…

…but hasn’t replied to our email yet to claim the prize. You’ve got 1 week!

Did you take our survey yet???

Please take just a couple minutes to fill out this survey and have a shot at winning $200-ish worth of Lunkerhunt ice-fishing lures! Click here to take the survey. Your answers will be super helpful for us here at Target Walleye/Ice. Thanks for doing it and thanks for reading!

Tip of the Day

Walter season closes after 2/25 here in MN. Few tips from this Tundra Tackle Co post — guys who make the LED FireFly Spoon:

> This point in the season walleye begin to transition to their spring spawning areas. Rocky, hard-bottom flats and runoff or inlet/outlet areas with current are great places to find walleyes this week.

> Look for areas to intersect their daily movements on and off shallow structure or breaks. Keep in mind the typical shallow movement during low-light periods and off the edge during the middle of the day.

> Now is the time you can find walleyes extremely shallow on some lakes (4-6′ is not out of the question) but these late-season white tips only slide shallow for a short period of time with one thing on their mind: food.

> The best way to attack this is to have some set lines in various depths and work the deeper edge until the fish tell you to go shallow — follow the flags in. Have plenty of holes drilled in shallow before prime time, as it can spook fish and you do not want to miss out on the bite window punching holes.

> Can still catch fish on deep humps or off the breakline in low-light windows — fish move in and stage at different times…but these shallow-water haunts are some areas we focus on this time of year.

> Smaller spoons with a full minnow work great in shallower water. If fish are still hesitant, deadstick with a full minnow. Often times fish will rush in off the graph and crush your bait catching you off guard ,so be prepared for a big head-shaker at all times in the shallows.

Meme of the Day

Gotta smell better than “royal pine” lol:

Usually those are the ones you get for a friend. #UpYoursGustafson

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

New PB alert! Peyton stuck this gorgeous 28″ gravel lizard while soaking a rainbow chub on a red hook. There’s something special about the #DingDingDing of a Catch Cover Rattlesnake Reel. Congrats dude!

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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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