Today, tomorrow, everyday: How about thanking a veteran for your FREEDOM…to fish, among other things. God bless you and your fams!
If you’re getting this Target Walleye/Ice email for the first time, a friend probably signed you up!
Today’s Top 5
How/where Joel Nelson targets early-ice bluegills in the weeds.
Where you deer hunters at?! Maybe sitting in the stand right now…this one’s for you. Joel Nelson uses the same ideas for picking treestand locations as he does for finding early-ice ‘gill spots: funnels and pinch points:
> “[The spots] typically involve some sort of inside turn pushing up from deep water into the shallows…especially where the shallows lead into another neckdown, lake, or other expansive flat and shallow-water environment.
> “I’m a firm believer that these locations act as funnels, channeling fish movements through a pinch-down area and helping you to get more looks from more fish. Other spots would include major points, or mid-lake humps that have weeds as well.”
J-Nels talks more about the spots and shows his fav early-ice ‘gill bait here:
One thing that stood out to me was that Joel’s VMC Tungsten Tubby Jig lineup was full of the larger/heavier 1/16-oz size, when most everyone else is buyin’ the microscopic stuff.
> Says they let him fish much faster which is great for early ice when the fish are “tuned up” and oxygen levels haven’t dropped (like they do mid-winter) yet.
> Also let him punch those baits down to the base of the weedbeds where lighter jigs would lay on top.
Lots more info here on Joel’s interwebz page — clearly it’s workin’ for him:
> The biggest fish are often the dominant fish in that particular school. They often eat first and eat the most. The little fish don’t usually get to eat until the big fish are done. Guess who gets caught first?
> Community holes [can be] very difficult to catch the largest fish in unless you get to them first. You see it every winter — the first people on the ice catch some nice fish, and then the size of the fish drops off through the winter.
> If you want to catch the largest panfish beyond first ice, find fish that are not using the community spots. Might mean finding an unassuming lake that doesn’t have a reputation or is difficult to access…look for a secondary basin or figure out the small details like an inside turn or soft-bottom point.
> Don’t overthink fishing…success is often simply leaving the pack and drilling holes over fresh ice. Moving 50 yards away from the crowd can often produce a nicer class of fish. As a rule of thumb, some of the first fish you pull off a location will often be some of the nicest fish.
> Anglers who have a knack for catching bigger panfish through the ice typically have a lone-wolf mentality. They put in the work looking for fish and cycle through fish on fresh spots.
Quote of the Day
Despite being a great sport fish, they just aren’t really welcome here.
– That’s what Idaho Fish & Game’s Andy Dux said, salty ‘cuz the walleye population is doubling each year…and they’re worried how it’ll impact the kokanee (salmon, not beer).
Today’s ‘Eye Candy
Ashley Rae thwacked this finned-out razorback on Lake Ontario trolling a #11 Berkley Flicker Minnow (pink Lemonade) along a steep contour break:
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org