Target Walleye/Ice email

Best walleye shore spots, Orange crappie caught, Rainy river zander

Everybody welcome Do-It Molds to Target Walleye/Ice! They’ve got all the goods to pour your own jigheads, soft-plastics and create your own baits. For sure worth checking out…I’m always looking for a good excuse for a little more “garage time” lol.

Also give a warm fish-head welcome back Smooth Moves! They make suspension seat bases that’ll have your back thanking you in rough conditions! Never thought it was a big deal until I saw ’em in action…SO slick.

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

Today’s Top 5

Best spring shore-fishing spots for walleyes.

Fish-head Dan Johnson kicks out a lot of great content for a pile of fishing biz folks and companies. He recently dropped an awesome cold-water walleye piece for In-Fisherman. Check the full write-up here, few excerpts below:

> Springtime is arguably the best time of year for catching walleyes from shore. Fish move shallow to spawn, and can be caught throwing crankbaits during the pre-spawn through early post-spawn periods.

> …walleye feeding doesn’t shut down during the spawn and for weeks thereafter — the desire to eat may dim during the peak of the spawn, but the fish still need to replenish energy reserves.

> Walleyes typically start spawning when water temps reach 40-45ºF, after which usually lasts around 2 weeks. Male walleyes often move into shallow spawning areas [first] and linger long after…feasting on baitfish and other sources of sustenance.

> Gravel and rocky bottoms (in 1-4′) attract the most fish…especially an hour or so before and after sunset.

Hotspots include current areas such as:

A) Mouths of feeder streams, outlets and necked down areas between lakes
B) Prominent shallow points
C) Bars outside the mouth of shallow bays…even those connected to the main lake by only a culvert
D) Flooded low-lying areas that are dry the rest of the year

> Shallow-running shad- and minnow-imitating crankbaits that produce maximum vibration on a slow retrieve are deadly now. Glow finishes and a touch of luminescent tape help fish home in on the lure once darkness falls.

> Vary casts at all angles, from perpendicular to parallel to the bank. Steady retrieves are the rule, and strikes feel like hooking a sock in 40°F water…above 45°F, strikes are savage.

Way more info on cold-water cranking from the boat in the full Dan Johnson write-up here. Breaks down specific baits and casting angles (w/ illustrations) for river structure. #LearnUp

Rare “golden crappie” caught.

Caught by Tom Smith (great alias). Looks more like an “orange crappie” to me, but:

How? Why?

> “The consensus [from several fisheries biologists] is this is a genetic color mutation which may be a response to the dark color stain (naturally occurring organic acids) present in the water system.”

Willy Wonka was rumored to be interested in the fish….

Rainy River has zander?

Still lots of hardwater left across the ice belt, but If you haven’t heard….

Ton of fish pics floating around social media from the open-water stretch of the Rainy River. For whatever reason the fish remind me of zander, walleyes’ close European cousin that grows to stupid-dumb-big size).

Maybe because the fish are usually super perky and finned-out in the photos? Like zander typically are. Don’t know if it has to do with the cold water, air, or that they come out of shallow water and are still fired up? Either way sure makes for a photogenic fish.

Exhibit 1a: This pair of razorbacks that were put in Kyle Hildreth’s boat using B-Fish-N Tackle AuthentX plastics:

New Bloodvein River Vlog.

Was finally able to find a few hours to put together a Vlog of our late-fall trip to Bloodvein River Lodge in Manitoba (east side of Lake Winnipeg). A brand-new dirt road was put in a couple years ago which is cool because before that you could only get to it by plane, boat or trucking across a frozen Lake Winnipeg.

I gave my Favorite Jack Hammer rod/reel combo a workout while pitching around jigs + salties and 1/4-oz VMC Neon Moon Eye Jigs with a “fire ice white” B-Fish-N Tackle Moxi. BTW — Don’t know exactly how that rod got it’s name, but it weighs just 4 oz so when they’re on it, it feels like a freakin’ jack hammer hit the bait lol.

Heads up: First 3 minutes of the vid includes some bonus catfish footage (fish up to 35″!) from a few hours of fishing on the Red River near Selkirk. That’s for sure worth the trip up alone — thanks much for watching!

Bass thumb? [crying-laughing emoji] That’s cute.

By the way dude’s holding that walleye, he won’t be using a pliers to get his Someday Isle Tackle Water Puppet back:

The Someday Isle Tackle crew has been playing around with different plastics on the tail-end of those Water Puppets and said they’re really liking the action of Bobby Garland’s baits. First I had ever seen ’em, but they look tasty:

What’s your favorite butt-end on the Water Puppet?


1. Preachin’ ice-fishing stewardship.

Snow melting off our lakes will reveal an entire season’s worth of garbage that’s been left behind by disrespectful anglers. Can’t believe I have to say this but…if you bring it out, bring it back with you!

One lazy person can make all of us look bad…like this on Lake Simcoe:

C’mon man! So wrong. BIG shout-out to those that not only pick up after themselves, but also after others.

2. WI walleye population in steady decline.

Not just WI. And no…muskies aren’t to blame lol. #GlobalWarming

3. MI: 3K Saginaw Bay walleyes tagged/released.

About 600 of those have $100 reward tags. #DinnerIsOnTheMIDNR

4. MI: Flint River fish-consumption advisory.

Recommending no more than 1 serving of walleye (6-8 oz) per month because of “elevated levels of PFOS [long words].” Sounds…delicious?

5. MN governor wants $130mil in improvements…

…to state-owned DNR-managed facilities including ramps and such. #ChaChing

6. Evinrude XD outboard oil re-branded…

…as XPS Marine. Same Evinrude and Johnson oil, different look. Only putting this in here to save you the headache of trying to find the same bottle of you’ve been buying for years lol.

7. New glass screen protector for your graphs.

Don’t know much about it but similar things have been saving my cell phone for years. Also have a few buddies that go postal ’bout water spots so:

> Graph Glass will protect your fishfinder or chart plotter from the harshest elements in the world. No more annoying water spots, scratches, slime stains, salt damage, fingerprints and most importantly — cracks from impact. Cracks from impact are not covered by standard warranties offered by marine electronic manufacturers.

8. Digital marketing important for boat companies.

Considering it’s 2018, it’s important for everyone…but:

> …more than a third of companies surveyed (34%) reported they plan to do more mobile advertising this year.

Big shout-out to Lund Boats for being a part of the Target Walleye/Ice fam!

Show ’em some love here if you’re bored at work or want to play around building your own boat online.

9. Outboard sales up in ’17.

> …increased for the 6th consecutive year, up 6% from the previous year.

10. DC: New Outdoor Recreation Committee.

> …is intended to serve as an advisory board to the Secretary of the Interior on public-private partnerships across all public lands, with the goal of expanding access to and improving infrastructure on public lands and waterways.

How ’bout this $500 stack of goodness! [heart-eyes emoji] Have a shot at winning all this Rapala loot, including the must-have giant Original Floater!! Just enter your email addy, then share the link you get for more chances to win. Good luck!

Headline of the Day

Bullhead fishing can be fun.

And maybe even easier to catch than bass?


I ruffled some feathers in the last TWI email by including a walleye photo from last spring….guess that feather was ruffled ‘cuz the pic wasn’t from this season?

The point of the post wasn’t the picture…it was the details of how one serious fish-head targets walleyes when the bite gets tough — stuff we can all try out on our home waters RIGHT NOW to hopefully get a few more bites.

Here’s a new shot of river rat Ryan King and his better-er half to make up for it 😉

Tip of the Day

> Female walleyes are getting close to spawning and staging in the river…looking for a suitable spawning site. The open dam gates and locks have allowed fresh water (baitfish, bugs, etc) into the river system which has been stagnant for months.

> Walleyes will move into shallow water (under 5′) with flooded timber and brush to get out of the river’s strong current and flow. Any type of obstruction (rocks, bottom depressions, islands, river bends, wood, timber, bridge pilings) that breaks the current…allows the fish to hide and wait for food to float by.

> River walleyes and saugers are constantly fighting the current and must eat regularly just to maintain their body’s weight. The key for them is to find a location where they may wait to ambush food while conserving their precious energy by staying out of the strong current.

> Instead of thinking like a typical spring walleye angler who uses light jigs, live bait, light line, 3-ways and live-bait rigs…try thinking like a bass angler and use some of their techniques and tactics.

> Switch to a heavier 1/4- or 3/8-oz jig…try to swim it a little faster back to the boat…occasionally “tic” the bottom. If you drag a jig, you would have constant snags, break-offs, and a fishing nightmare.

> Heavier 10-lb mono [instead of 6-lb] allows you to pull out of most of the snags instead of losing more jigs.

> Scented plastics like Berkley PowerBait, Gulp! and other plastics stay on the hook longer than live bait…and the flash, vibration and profile of plastics work wonders in shallow water.

Keep reading Gary’s full write-up here.

Quote of the Day

It’s like the fish and the anglers are simultaneously waiting for the switch toward spring to flip.

– MN guide Jason Durham talking ’bout how panfish are fashionably late for the shallow-weed bite. Also said:

> Panfish are transitioning from deep basins to shallower weeds, but it’s a slow gravitation, because what’s the rush?

> There’s no sun melting anything, no runoff, we keep getting more snow, constant changes for travel conditions both on the lakes and highways and unseasonably cold temps.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

I’m genuinely happy for this guy, but also have some serious fish envy going on. Another Lake Winnipeg slaunch-back:

> John Hoyer: “Longest walleye I’ve ever seen measured at 31.5” on Steve Nelson’s first drop of the morning…literally didn’t have his reel handle tight yet!

> “Thing showed up and inhaled his #6 Rapala Rippin’ Rap (red crawdad) after one small perfect twitch of his rod.”

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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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