Behemoth ice bluegill, Community holes are dead, Slabs of the week

Today’s Top 4

Behemoth bluegill iced!

Bull ‘gill junkie Zac Mickle outdid himself this time, to the tune of 11.5″ [!] with this WI hubcap — wowza:

> Zac: “I’ve spent many years looking for a ‘gill of this caliber. Words can’t describe how I felt at that moment…trembling hands and tears of joy in my eyes…knew I finally caught the WI giant I’ve been looking for!”

Know you’re on a truly special caliber of fish when the thing starts lookin’ like Sloth from The Goonies. #HeyYouGuys

Believe that’s a Northland Hexi Fly (discontinued?) pinned in its snoot. Always liked ’em ‘cuz they read so well on the flasher thx to their flat tops.

Congrats on the fish of a lifetime, dude!

Not all ice is created equal.

Definitely been a weird year for making (or not making) ice — don’t think I’ve ever heard of this many folks breaking. Of course a lot of that has to do with people venturing out on ice that’s simply not thick enough yet…but there’s another curveball that’s been added to that equation….

A quick measure might look like there’s 12+ inches of ice, but make sure you take a closer look at its quality…. Here’s a recovery mission that shows a few inches of solid, clear ice followed by several layers of rotten junk:

Nick LeTendre found some similar layering somewheres in MN. Said what folks were calling 8″ of ice was actually about 4″ of the good stuff, gift wrapped in 4″ of good-for-nothin’ hardpack:

Can you guess what ice, ogres, and onions all have in common?

Be safe out there!

Slabs of the week!

1) More than “just” greenbacks in Manitoba…. Matthew Gelley (@mgoutdoors) stuck this massive pie plate on an Acme Professional Grade Tungsten Jig. Said he’s gunning for that 16-incher next. #Shoulders

2) Eric Brandriet (@ericbrandriet) serving up a healthy slab of ‘pie on a “metallic chartreuse” Northland Glo-Shot Spoon. #PieTime #DessertFirst

3) Might look like Joel Nelson caught this slab from his living room — and might feel like it too — but he’s actually cozied up in his Yetti Fish House:

Speaking of Yettis…have you seen this awesome new feature on the 2020 models? Sliding countertops so you can get to the wheel-well storage without moving everything on top = freakin’ genius:

Here’s a different kind of “stuffed” walleye.

Anybody else stuff their face like THIS over the holidays? Awesome shot from @theitchtofish’s IG page:

Some peeps were saying it was staged ‘cuz the crappie isn’t going in head first…. Who knows? Maybe we aren’t the only ones that “eat wrong” when gorging:

News

1. OH: Now that’s how you ring in the New Year, man!

Forget the “ball” drop in Times Square…Port Clinton, OH does a walleye drop with a custom-built, 20-ft fiberglass walldawg:

Goin’ on 22 years now — gonna have to find myself there some NYE.

2. MN: Eelpout Festival canceled after 40 years.

Sounds like the main reason is ‘cuz people can’t pick up their dang trash:

> The economics no longer work. In the past years we committed tens of thousands of $$$ on lake clean up annually plus supplied services such as porta-potties, ice road maintenance and trash pickup.

> Unfortunately, the costs of all these items are rising and [with] the inability to enforce clean up and participation for all festival goers, attendees and vendors it’s no longer feasible to operate the festival under the County requirements that change and increase every year.

3. MN: Huge brown trout caught outta Gull Lake.

Sawyer Goerges iced the 30-incher while fishing walleyes in 25′ with a Big Ol’ Jerry Spoon:

Crazy ‘cuz Gull Lake’s not really known to have trouts. Fish swam in from Stony Brook, a designated trout stream that’s connected to the Gull Chain.

The current MN state-record brown trout is a 16-lb 12-oz pork chop caught on Lake Superior in 1989. Went 31-3/8″ long X 20-1/2″ girth.

4. MN: Some dirtbag(s) broke into nonprofit’s ice house.

On Little Detroit Lake last Jan…stole more than $1,200 in fishing equipment. The nonprofit’s (American Heroes Outdoors) Patriot Ice House is a place where veterans, first responders and their family members can ice fish for free.

Props to the AHO crew for keeping the program alive.

5. Limited edition high-viz Catch Covers.

Only making 1,000 of ’em for this season — me likey:

6. AIM increasing payouts, not fees.

Same $300 team entry fee, but upping all payouts by 10%.

7. Registration’s open for 2020 MWC events.

Check the full schedule here.

8. CO: Shout-out to these two volunteer dudes.

Jim Thomas and Dan Frankowski have been volunteering for CO Parks and Wildlife for decades — they’ve contributed a combined 35,000 hours [!!] at the department! Write-up said the two have “participated heavily in the annual walleye spawn harvest” the past several years as well. Props fellas!

9. UT: 7 ice tourneys to check out this winter.

10. TN: Asian carp fillets showing up in supermarkets.

That’s a hard pass for me….

11. If fishin’ podcasts and YouTube episodes are your thing…

…check out Angling Uploaded. Had the chance to hop on their podcast with Greg Underdahl and talk about all sorts of fishy goodness. Give it a listen below if you’re on the road and sick of hearing the same 12 songs on repeat:

TargetWalleye.com Highlights

Quote and Tip of the Day

“The days of fishing the community hole are over for me.”

– That’s Wired2Fish’s Kyle Peterson getting his basin crappie on with a Garmin Panoptix Ice Fishing Bundle. In this vid, he tracks down several 15″ class fish [!] using a 1-2 punch of Panoptix + Rapala Jigging Raps. #Dibs

Is Panoptix cheating? Don’t care, want one! (lol)

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Amber Serbin (@amberfishhh) with a cliche sunset pic done right:

And she had the fish pics to back those sunset snaps. #Razorback

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Target Walleye — 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 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 brett@targetwalleye.com
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