Target Walleye/Ice email

Which panfish line is best, Genz has an ice fishing bike, PBs of the week

Heads up: only one Target Walleye/Ice email next week, but it’s gonna be a special early-ice issue you won’t wanna miss! Hope you fish-heads have a great, safe weekend!!
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Today’s Top 4

Which ice-fishing line is best for panfish?

Mono, fluoro or braid? Each has its own time and place depending on how/where you’re fishing. Full Brett McComas tip here, few excepts below to consider the next time you’re spooling up for hardwater panfish like THIS slabradoodle:

The versatility of mono

> If I was heading to a lake I had never fished before – and could only bring one rod – I’d grab one that’s spooled up with 3-lb 3-lb Sufix Ice Magic monofilament. Mono is lo-vis, has less memory than fluorocarbon (less coiling) and offers just the right amount of stretch to help keep fish pinned.

> That slight stretch is going to act as a shock absorber to the fish’s thrashing head. At the end of the day you’ll have less torn-out hooks and put more fish topside. Even better…mono is the cheapest option out there.

> For most situations you’re going to want to run a clear line. One exception to that rule is for a technique called ‘tightlining.’ The key component to this technique is running a high-vis line (neon orange or hi-vis gold) and detecting the bites by watching the coils in your line as you pound the jig.

Finesse ’em in with fluoro

> If fish are finicky or just straight up smart, I’ll reach for my rod rigged up with 100% fluorocarbon. Fluoro is going to be more ‘invisible’ than mono, making it one heck of a weapon in ultra-clear water, or when targeting heavily-pressured fish.

> Sufix InvisiLine Ice Fluorocarbon also sinks 4 times faster than mono, which allows you to get those tiny ice jigs back down the hole more quickly when there’s a hot school waiting below.

> The downfall to fluoro is that it needs to be replaced more often. The added memory means it’s going to get ‘the coils’ more quickly on the tiny spools of micro ice reels. You can make it more affordable by filling the spool with cheap ‘backing’ or old line, then put on just enough fluoro (say 50′ or 60′) to be able to fish for the day.

Braided line in ridiculously deep water

> Personally, I think braided line is overrated in the panfish world. Don’t get me wrong: I love it for a ton of different applications, but hardwater panfish just isn’t one of them. The obvious disadvantage is that it’s much more visible to the fish.

> Also, braid is not your friend if you’re someone that likes to hole-hop outside the shack – it’s going to freeze up far more often since it absorbs moisture.

> Sure you have a little better feel thanks to the no-stretch qualities, but that also means you’re more likely to set the hook too early and/or rip the bait from the fish’s mouth. Unless you’re fishing ridiculously deep water, say 30′, 40′, or 50′, leave the super lines at home.

New PBs (personal bests) of the week!

Surprise, surprise…another slob-eye in Ashley Rae’s boat! This time it was Eric’s turn to stick his new PB with this 13-lb chunk o’ gold that lunch-boxed a “purpledescent” Rapala Jointed Deep Husky Jerk:

Julia Grace Ketner potentially set the new ‘IGFA female junior world record’ with this 11-lb 5-oz wally mammoth she caught trolling a Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk on the Bay of Quinte:

Noah Humfeld cracked his new PB Madison Chain walleye at just over 8 lbs using a Vexan Crystal Reaper. Congrats dude!

Bury the rod butt against you for total control.

Crazy how “smart” big bluegills can be though they’ve got a brain the size of a peanut — one wrong twitch can completely blow your chance at that 10+ incher you’ve been working on the graph for 3 minutes….

Here’s a detailed 3-step jigging process that can help seal the deal on those big smart ones, including locking the rod butt into your side so you have complete control over the bait:

Same technique I use, but for some reason never thought to share/talk about…. I mean, we’ve gotta keep some secrets to ourselves, right? Lol

Dave Genz BIKES to early-ice spots.

To clarify: Dave doesn’t bike TO the lake…he bikes ON the lake:

It’s a motorized Rambo bike — with studded tires — that he sneaks out to feeshin’ spots when: A) the ice isn’t thick enough for an ATV or truck, and B) there’s not enough snow for a snowmobile. He’s already been putting it to use in northern MN:

Don’t know about you, but here’s the first thing that came to mind when we heard “motorized Rambo bike” was:

Dave just keep reinventing the limits of being mobile on the ice. There’s a reason they call him “The Godfather of Ice Fishing.”


1. MN: Still searching for missing Red Lake fishermen.

> The two disappeared Nov 6th when their Red Lake Fisheries boat capsized on Lower Red Lake. The third man on the boat was able to swim to shore and survived.

Can’t even imagine. Prayers to the families.

2. WI: NPAA Annual Conference.

Jan 5-7 in Wisconsin Dells. That’s the National Professional Anglers Association. There’s no better way to learn about the business side of the sport than to network with pros who’ve had success on and off the water.

3. ON: New “Canadian Ice Fishing Expo.”

Happenin’ near Lake Simcoe Dec 16-17.

4. MN: Women Ice Angler Project coming to…

…Otter Tail County. Their goal is to:

> “…encourage women to try ice fishing as well as mentor those who already enjoy it and want to improve their skills.” #womenonice

5. New Favorite MLB rods.

Heard the Detroit Tigers rod loses a lot…of fish…. (lol)

6. ND: Darkhouse spearing opens Dec 1.

7. Vexan Crystal Reapers on sale.

Switching over to single packs, so 3-packs are chopped down to just $9.99. Guess Black Friday came a week early:


Newest giveaway winner

Evan Wong – check your email dude, you’re the winner of the Custom Jigs & Spins giveaway! Big thanks to everyone supporting Target Walleye/Ice and for sharing it with your buds! You won’t wanna miss next week’s giveaway….

Tip of the Day

> I use the ‘Palomar knot‘ about 90% of the time and have never had any issues. It’s simple and cold-finger friendly! More importantly: It’s crazy strong and doesn’t slip. For sure a must-have knot in your arsenal.

> That being said, there are certain tungsten ice jigs that seem to work better with a ‘loop knot.’

> One of my favorites is called (I believe?) the ‘double surgeon knot.’ This gives the jig a little more range of motion for swinging, and can help it to sit a bit more horizontally.

> I like the loop to be shorter than the diagram [below] shows — short enough that the hook CAN’T swing up to get caught in the loop and foul itself. Sounds easier than it really is, but practice makes perfect.

Quote of the Day

The colder it is, the happier I am.

– That’s what award-winning outdoor photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson said about shooting the Women Ice Angler Project. Love the dedication, Hannah!

Shooting photos with gloves on is like trying to fish with gloves on…they usually end up on the ground, sacrificing your comfort to get things done lol.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Insta user @antes_moments caught this toothy critter somewheres in Manitoba. Still trying to figure out which Land Before Time character it reminds me of?

Sign up another ice-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

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