Target Walleye/Ice email

Big chub SZN, Trick your shuttle, Simple shore fishing rig

Today’s Top 4

Ever try tail-hooking your redtails or creek chubs???

It’s finally getting to be that time of year where fish strap on the fall feedbag and plump up for winter. No doubt there’s lots of different ways to catch ’em…but it’s tough to beat live-bait rigging with giant 4-7″ creek chubs or redtails when it comes to sticking a true trophy fall-eye.

Lots of variations to the technique — you can make it as simple or difficult as you want. One of the tweaks is tail-hooking your chubs to get more action out of ’em — seems to work especially well on calmer, sunshiny days:


Been around as long as folks have been soaking big minnows, but a lot of diehard tourney nuts are hesitant to talk about it…. Seems like the perfect reason to “out” it to the rest of us fish-heads. Full scoop from big-chubber Travis Sorokie in this write-up, few fishy details below:

> I like tail-hooking chubs with a longer 5-7′ leader when the fish are a little more aggressive and feeding. The minnows struggle so much more when you tail hook ’em — can actually feel that redtail get nervous and try to get away when a fish is near.

> That’s when I’ll sometimes open my bail up and let the minnow go for 10 seconds…stop the line with my finger to feel if a walleye picked it up…lot of times they’ll chase the minnow down and smoke it.

> Also find I have a better hook-up ratio when tail-hooking big minnows. Fish are gonna hit the chubs head first…so that hook is already in a good position to hook the fish in the top of the mouth…don’t need to let them take it as long when setting the hook.

> Tends to work best when sitting right on top of fish or barely crawling along…otherwise the chubs will die more quickly from being pulled backwards.

Works! Though There’s a few tails we don’t recommend pulling (lol):


> You can catch fish all year doing this, but I really get excited for the big-minnow bite once the water has cooled down to 62 degrees…ideally 58-60. It stays good until temps hit 45 or so…after that the fish have already fed heavy for a couple of weeks and are now transitioning to winter patterns. You can still catch ’em, just not nearly as many.

> Many weeds start to die off when the water temps drop below 68 degrees. That’s why you’ll notice piles of weeds floating around out there. A lot of the baitfish have pulled out of those dying weeds and are now schooled up in open water. The wind positions the baitfish on structure and the fish follow.

> Pay attention to which direction the wind has been blowing from in the days leading up to your trip. Even fishing in deep water such as 35-50′ the fish will still typically be stacked on the windblown sides of underwater points, bars and breaks.


Like I said before, there’s a lot more to riggin’ big minnows than we could possibly fit in this email…so we put together a complete guide on loaded with everything you want to know about rigging BIG chubs for fall walleye:

The ultimate MarCum Lithium Shuttle accessory.

Doesn’t matter what kind of ice unit you’re running (MarCum, Vexilar, Garmin, Lowrance) throwing it on a MarCum Lithium Shuttle can help bring it to the next level.

Has a 12Ah lithium-ion battery that can extend a unit’s run time by up to 40+ hours and trim about 3 lbs off!

Between the USB plugs and 1/4-20 ports, options are endless for mounting Go-Pros, Garmin Virbs, underwater cameras, you name it. Few decked-out units we spotted in the In-Depth Outdoors forums:


And it just got a lot easier to accessorize your shuttle — MarCum just dropped a 12″ Gooseneck Accessory Arm specifically designed to attach to the unit’s 1/4-20 ports. Flexible so can position schtuff however you want and get it out of your way:

Yup, that’s a cell phone bracket and gooseneck LED light too.

I just ordered 4 of those 12″ Gooseneck Accessory Arms to slap on my couple of shuttled-out units. FishUSA has ’em in stock…for now….

Look how FAT this walleye is.

NWT pro Dylan Nussbaum stuck him a Devils Lake, ND sumo wrassler with some ridonkulous girth. Caught fishing a heavvvvy [zipped-mouth emoji] VMC Neon Moon Eye Jig and Juice Baits HD Swimbait:


That’s a 23″ walleye that went 5.75 lbs!

Dylan said the fish got defensive when he asked what all it had been feeding on:

Fishing dogs > hunting dogs.

Get a dog that can do both!

To most fisherpeople, these walleyes would look too big to keep…but to Hayden Martin’s favorite fishin’ buddy, Marley, they’re just lookin’ like a snack:


If this dog can run a Humminbird HELIX, your old man sure can. Awesome @wilderness.bill shot:


Can’t tell if Megan Marie’s (@megangroth) fur baby is a bit jealous, or scheming how it can snatch that walleye outta her hands. #TalonDown


When Megan Alexander’s (@duckdogid) pupdawg isn’t chasin’ birds, it’s watching for ‘tattle flags’ to drop on those Off Shore Tackle Planer Boards:


Heck of a livewell supervisor, eh? Those future fish tacos came trolling Lindy Little Nippers along the weedline — soon we’ll be snatching ’em through the ice:


1. MN: Wilson/Lakich secure MWC TOY.

Big congrats to Max Wilson and Isaac Lakich on going back-to-back as Team of the Year in the Master’s Walleye Circuit. Went out in a big way after winning the final MWC event on Leech Lake:

Next up is the MWC World Walleye Championship Oct 3-5 on the Winnebago system — Max’s home waters — where they’ll be chasing a chunk of the $100K in cash and prizes. Good luck all!

2. The 2020 MWC schedule is out.

Mar 20-21: Illinois River – Spring Valley, IL
Apr 17-18: Detroit River – Trenton, MI
May 15-16: Bay of Green Bay – Marinette, WI
Jun 12-13: Lake Erie – Lorain, OH
Jun 26-27: Lake Oahe – Mobridge, SD
July 10-11: Lake Sakakawea – New Town, ND
Sep 18-19: Cass Lake – Cass Lake, MN

3. If you’re sick of missin’ fish…

…when pulling big creek chubs or redtail, might wanna check out the new Eagle Claw TK2VR Pro-V Octopus Hook in the #2 or #1 size. Heard a lot of peeps are really diggin’ ’em. Surgically sharpened and requires half the pressure on the hookset. Also:

> …the bend increases holding power after hookset by funneling the fish to the deepest point on the hook throat and keeping it there. …creates a pocket in the hook throat that holds live bait in place.

4. NY: The “good ol’ days” are right now on Lake Erie

Now what’s your excuse? 😉

5. MN: Blue Line Walleye Tournament happenin’ Sat.

On Lake Bemidji. Has a 75-boat max (register here) and I’d be surprised if it didn’t fill up thx to the $10K 1st-place prize. But it’s more than just a walleye tourney…proceeds are going to benefit local law enforcement agencies. #Stout

Man, I’d love to jump in on it if we didn’t have our end of the year Walleye Wackers tourney on Gull Lake this weekend.

6. MN: Speaking of Gull Lake…

The Fishing to End Hunger charity tourney is coming up Oct 5. Already has 99 boats registered ‘cuz 1) it’s a great cause, 2) has BIG-time payouts and 3) the fish usually start snapping on Gull this time of year.

I’m gonna wait to see how this Saturday on Gull goes for us before committing to another derby lol. #ThatGuy

7. Deepest-diving crank in the world.

If you haven’t heard of Salmo’s Freediver series before, they’re the deepest diving floating cranks in the world…some can be trolled down to dang near 50′ on their own! Without leadcore, snap weights, etc.

Came across this cool video with Salmo founder Piotr Piskorski and Jason “needs no introduction” Mitchell talkin’ about how the Freediver came about:

8. WI has a new AIS plan.

To prevent and manage invasives.

9. Suzuki hiring district sales managers.

For 2 regions: MI, IN and OH…and another for NJ, DE, MD, PA, VA and WV.

10. MN: Lake of the Woods bite getting better and more better-er.

More and more fish are staging along south shore now that water temps are in the low 60s and droppin’.

11. MN. Curious whatcha think…

Would you like to see the daily bag limit for walleyes dropped to 3 fish (instead of 6)? Hit up the Facebook poll here if you’re a member of the Ice Fishing Minnesota group.

12. DC: Outdoor industry was 2.2% of GDP in 2017.

And fishing/boating was the top dog at $20.9 billion in current-dollar value added:

Came across this info in the last BassBlaster email and seriously could not stop laughing at head-dude Jay Kumar’s comment on the graph:

> “Equestrian?? Ain’t those Grey Poupon people?


Did you win the ION G2 giveaway?

Wanna give this one last chance before we draw a new winner….

Sent an email to that they won our ION G2 giveaway. Haven’t heard back and wanna make sure it didn’t go to their junk box. You’ve got 24 hours to hit me up, or it’s on to the next…. #LastChance!

Mission Tackle Giveaway!

Have a shot at winning this $200+ stack of Mission Tackle walleye-catchers! Whether you’re fishin’ with livebait or plastics…in rocks or weeds…Mission Tackle has got ya covered. Takes 10 seconds to enter and can share the link you get for bonus entries — good luck!

Tip of the Day

Simple shore-fishing rig for fall walleyes.

You DON’T need a boat to catch fall walleyes. And even if you have one, the wind might keep you on shore this time of year.

TW fan Will Stolski tracked down Brainerd-area guide Hays Baldwin to get the scoop on his shore-fishing approach — guy’s spent countless hours dialing it in. Full scoop on, few excerpts below:

> Hays: “Some of the best areas have clean hard-bottom structure. Rocks are ideal, but fish will relate to sand and gravel as well.

> “If you can find a bank spot on the south end of the lake, that’s where you want to be. Heavy north winds push bait and fish into these areas.

> “I like to fish outflow spots, whether it’s a creek mouth, culvert, anything with moving water really. Seems like these push the bait around more and make it easier for the fish to ambush.

> “It doesn’t seem like a steep drop is necessary. I actually like fishing more flat-type areas because the fish are cruising at night looking for an easy meal.


>”Longer spinning rods generally work best — I’m bombing casts so some extra tip helps. A 7′ 6″ M fast-action is perfect.

> “I fish a variance of a basic bottom rig: 20-lb braid mainline to a 3-5′ 12-lb mono leader with a 1/0 octopus hook. For my sliding dropper, I use a 2′ piece of 12-lb mono to a 2-oz cannon ball weight…allows the weight to slide up and down the line — that way when a fish picks up a bait they can run with it freely.”


Keep reading the full write-up here.

Meme of the Day

Warning: You are now entering arguably the best fishing of the season:


Seriously — if you are storing your boat, check out the best way to do it using Sea Foam Motor Treatment (video).

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

My bud Mike Olson of Fish Addictions TV finally caught himself a dirty-30! Caught working deepwater rock areas on Devils Lake, ND — where those bigguns gravitate to as the water starts cooling off — with a “glow tiger” color Rapala Jigging Rap. Can’t tell who’s more excited? #Whammy


Mike has probably caught more high-20″ fish than anyone I know, so it was a long time comin’ — congrats man!

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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
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