Target Walleye/Ice email

17 lb walleyes exist, Leadcore starters, Don’t reel too quickly

Today’s Top 4

17-lb walleyes exist…in the States!

There’s one swimming around right now in Lake Sakakawea, ND. State fisheries biologists netted it during the spring spawning run, weighed it, stripped it of its eggs and returned it to the massive Missouri River reservoir. Lookit THIS fish:

The current ND state record is an alleged 15-lb 12-oz fish caught in 1959 by Blair Chapman Sr. on Wood Lake. The record has long been controversial because there are no photos of it and the fish wasn’t mounted….

Chapman’s son said in a book that his dad found the record fish floating dead in Wood Lake and that, “It had a big gash alongside its head and was white…I think it had been dead for at least a day.”

> The trio brought the fish to shore to show a family gathering and a Game and Fish warden happened to be nearby. The warden weighed it and later returned the fish to the Chapmans, who chopped it up for fox bait [!].

> The warden turned in the information to department HQ as a state record. Chapman Sr. has been listed as the angler who caught the largest walleye in ND ever since — the longest-standing record on the books.

> How could the game and fish department prove — after almost 60 years — that Chapman Sr.’s record shouldn’t stand? It would be every bit as difficult as proving the record is legitimate.

Actually we do have a never-before-seen pic of that record fish:

Okay not really. That’s some artsy, metal goodness by master welder Cody Allison.

Planer boards more versatile than you’d think.

Ryan Bambach puts his Off Shore Planer Boards to good use on and off the water:

> Little wiring tip…if you’re soldering and need an extra set of steady hands, try this!!! Expensive little holders but worked great!

Lol love it man! Must be neighbors (or at least Facebook friends) with Joe Bolsega:

Musky tries eating a 30″ walleye?!

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:

Word is the musky let go when it saw Matt’s beard (JK buddy!).

The fish was estimated to be in the upper-50s to low-60s. Bet we know where Matt will be fishing the rest of the season!

How to get started pulling leadcore.

Leadcore is exactly what it sounds like: fishing line with a lead core. The line itself sinks which helps to get crankbaits diving even deeper. Tough to beat right now when the water’s hot — here’s a few tips from Joel “hardcore, apple core, leadcore” Nelson:

> More than just a search tool, it can be an effective way to target spread-out fish…when pulling live-bait rigs and even spinners takes too long between pods.

> The cornerstone of every good leadcore program is a M to MH, moderate-action trolling rod, paired with a slightly oversized line-counter reel and 18-lb leadcore line.

> Standard leadcore dives on average 5′ per color, but Sufix 832 Advanced leadcore dives 7′ per color (more depth with less line out).

> Leadcore line is marked by a different color every 10 yards, so a full-core would be 10 colors or 100 yards. You probably won’t need to dive to this depth, but it’s a good starting place to get you acquainted with the method.

Joel uses a slick reverse-spooling hack so he knows exactly how much backing to put on under the leadcore to perfectly fill the spool. Works great for regular braid too.

> Unsheath the end of your leadcore, and pull out 6″ or so of the lead. Pull the sheath back down and use it to tie a braid-to-mono, or braid-to-braid knot.

> Areas where I’m trolling hard substrate with zebra mussels, I run a 3-5′ section of braided leader, then a snap, then my lure. On ultra-clear water I run a 30′ leader of 10-lb fluorocarbon so it’s less visible.

> Any crankbait runs well with this scenario, as do spinners and a variety of other lures designed to be pulled.

***Most crankbaits. Wouldn’t try that giant Rapala hanging in your man cave 😉

> Start by letting out a few colors of line while going 2.2-3.0 mph. Let out line evenly to prevent overruns and keep kinks and tangles to a minimum. When leadcore knots, the interior lead can break and poke out in places.

> Deep-diving crankbaits should be let out until you’re occasionally making contact with bottom. You don’t want to be digging in constantly…this causes baits to wander, then tangle.

> Pull along gradually similar depths, and as you get better…work your way towards pulling along breaks.

Those of you looking for more advanced leadcore tricks (with planer boards, segmented, shallow water, etc) can find ’em right here.


1. MN: Massive bag takes win on LOW.

Michael Olson and Ross Swenson of Fish Addictions TV smacked a (nearly) 9-lb average of Lake of the Woods giants to take home the “W,” plus big fish honors with this 29.5″ donk-opotamus, at the David A. Andersen Memorial Tourney:

Mike said “changes in speed made all the difference” and that the fish were spitting up crawdads, so they ran [unnamed crankbaits] in UV colors. They’ve got another tourney coming up, so that’s all the deets we could get.

If we had one guess: They’re pulling leadcore with Storm ThunderStick MadFlash Deeps in the “mossy orange fire UV” color:

We’ll apologize right now if we actually did guess that right lol. Congrats on another impressive win, guys!

2. ND: Ristow/Anderson win AIM state championship…

…on Devils Lake. Matt Ristow and John Anderson’s 2-day total of 53.30 lbs inched out 2nd place by…well…an inch. Literally. Love how happy Matt looks:

Had the spot all to themselves aside from a couple of local perch-jerkers. Sounds like they were running shoreline structure with chartreuse pearl Berkley Flicker Minnows. Here’s one that didn’t make their card:

Now that takes some serious skill. Way to get it done fellas!

3. MN: Mille Lacs set to reopen Aug 12.


Will be catch and release only through Labor Day weekend, then close again Sep 5 through Nov 30…if it does actually open back up….

4. ND: Devils Lake fish populations average.

But “average” for Devils Lake is waaaay above average most anywhere else.

5. FishUSA has Baitfeeders in stock.

If you’ve never seen a “baitfeeder” spinning reel, it’s sort of like the old bait-clicker baitcasters. The Okuma Avenger lets you disengage the spool so the fish can run — then just flip the switch and your normal drag is engaged. Perfect for set-lines or deadsticks — here’s the In-Depth Outdoors crew putting it to work:

The #20 size was sold out most of last ice season, so may wanna pick one up while guys are still focused on the open water….

6. Johnson Outdoors has record Q3 profits.

Johnson = Humminbird, Minn Kota and many other brands.


1. WI: AIM state championship, Green Bay, Aug 11-12.

Think it’ll be won casting or trolling?

2. WI: NWT championship, Marinette, Aug 16-18.

Welcome to the big show!

3. MT: Camp Walleye, Tiber Reservoir, Aug 18-20.

Still looking to fill spots for kids ages 11-15.

4. MN: AIM state championship, Lake Vermilion, Aug 25-26.

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

Great cause, plus there’s $22.5K paid out to the top 3 spots.

6. MN: Fishing Careers Workshop, Brainerd, Oct 28.

There’s more ways to break into the fishing biz than you’d think, and you can learn how at this Al and Troy Lindner co-hosted workshop.

Tip of the Day

When making a short cast/pitch with blade baits or hard-bodied jigging lures — like the Moonshine Shiver Minnow — make sure you give the bait 10-12 vertical rips under the boat before cranking up:

Meme of the Day

Any of your fishing buddies fit the description?

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Reegan’s pink princess rod scored a big-time ND gravel lizard. Little dude looks more pumped about the Pringles situation:

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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 quit sports in high school because they were interfering with his fishing time. Get him at

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