Target Walleye/Ice email

Big fish in slower current, Green carp through ice, Spring pikefest

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Today’s Top 4

How Minnesotans celebrate spring.

When bass-head Andy Walls isn’t catching toilet seats and merp spotted bass on Table Rock Lake…

…he’s flagging ’round 4 Mile Bay on Lake of the Woods in search of freshwater gators, cuz:

> Combo of 50/50 dead bait and live suckers under tip-ups — doesn’t matter if it’s 6″ or 12″…they’re going to eat it if they’re swimming by hungry.

> Don’t be afraid of skinny water — fish shallow! Long as there’s swimmable water under the ice, you’re good….

> When it comes to line: “rope” is better…doesn’t dig into your hands and [typically] no break offs. Only downside is putting too much pressure on the fish can still break off 40-lb test.

Especially when fish of this caliber are yanking on the other end:

Have seen all-out brawls when flags pop, but this might be the definition of “Minnesota nice.”

Know you’re on the BIGS when you’ve gotta lick your wounds between fish:

#FishFlopFriday gets a lot scarier when the fish have meat to throw around — luckily this wasn’t a 20-lber or Chris(tian) Hoffman would need stitches instead of tape:

The crew had a baker’s dozen flags pop and the bite should only get better as more fish move up, staging for the spawn. Probably why they’re heading back up again this weekend — good luck!

Slush melons of the week!

Keeping the LOTW pike train goin’ here’s Lunkerhunter JB with an arm-spreader:

Nick Cox rockin’ a Lake Erie double caught suspended at 25′ over 30-40′ with a Phantom Lures [new crankbait name] being released at the ICAST fishing trade show. Running 90-110′ back — under Off Shore Tackle Planer Boards — at 1.1 to 1.3 mph. Yup, Phantom makes more than just muskie stuff…works dang good too:

Brennan Bordun made the road trip up to Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba and cracked his new PB greenback (29.5″) on the last day [!] of the season. Caught rippin’ an #oldschool Dardevle Spoon tipped with a live minnow in 8′. Now comes the quest for a 30″ — congrats dude!

Calm, cool and collected Max La Gaipa whacked this plump pre-spawner on the new-ish Yo-Zuri 3DR Shad:

Diggin’ that “real perch” color — here’s a closer look:

Ice fishing for bass…on purpose!!

With anything you do…ever…check local regs. That said — embrace the largies where/when the season’s still open! We like to poke fun at “green carp” in the summer, but they can put up one heck of a fight on light gear through a hole in the ice. Even better, you’ll probably have the spot to yourself.

One heck of a Jim Edlund write-up here at, few tiddly bits below including a bonus dogfish:

> Largemouth bass is America’s favorite freshwater fish…so why don’t more anglers target bass through the ice? Ice anglers typically chase whatever bite promises a fish fry, typically walleyes and panfish. Bass? Not so much.

> Find a lake with green vegetation and panfish, and chances are good you’ll find winter bass fishing. Cabbage and coontail top the list, but bulrushes, pencil reeds and other vegetation can hold bass too.

> Dave Genz: “When I started using my underwater camera — which has a temperature sensor — I started noticing water temperature differences. Bass move to the warmest water in a lake, which is typically around 39°F. A lot of times, that means shallow water.”

> Panfish jigs are standard fare for winter bass fishing, although there are exceptions like early- and late-ice when upsizing can produce fish…or the tried-and-true shiner or sucker dangled under a tip-up or deadstick.

> Mike Hehner: “Horizontal jigs have worked best for me, typically fished with 1 or 2 maggots, a single waxy, or Wedgee plastic. I stick with black, brown, and reds to emulate bloodworms. But the smallest Demon Spoon with a waxy can work well, too.”

Waaaay more info in the full write-up on specific tactics and baits.

And here I always thought this was how bass guys ice fished:

Shout-out to small fish everywhere.

Sure we share a lot of BIG fish pics, but they can’t all be giants…and usually aren’t.

Les Wolfe said he’s “caught plenty of bigguns on the Rainy River, but it’s good to see some youngsters in there waiting to grow up.” Takes a good setup to feel that guy hit with a 3-oz bottom-bouncer:

Why a shallow 2-4′ diver with a bottom-bouncer, instead of just running a deep diver?

> Bottom-bouncers or 3-way rigs will get your bait down and keep it there, even when working super slow or coming to a complete stop.

> Rapala Flat Raps are made of balsa (wood) and rise super slowly, basically hovering when paused — great for working over slow-moving fish in cold water.

> The flat sides give off a ton of flash, even when trolling at just 1.0-1.2 mph.

> The triangle lip gives it a quicker flicker [tongue twister lol] and also does a great job of deflecting off obstacles…which rivers have plenty of.

Spoiler alert: Doesn’t just catch little ones….


1. MN: Spring walleye regs staying the same…

…on Upper Red Lake. Can keep 4 walleyes with 1 over 17″.

2. Live auction to fish with legends.

Here’s your chance to hop in the boat with a fishing legend while supporting non-profit Fishing for Life. Stacked lineup including: Steve Pennaz, Al Lindner, Ron Lindner, Tony Roach, Perry Good, Mark Fisher, Terry Tuma and Steve Carney .

Auction ends at 6pm on Apr 7. More deets here.

3. WI: Ice shoves way through Green Bay cabin (video).

Try explaining that one to your insurance guy.

4. Mike Veserat new Muskie Expo owner.

5. OH: Fish free May 5-6.

Means residents don’t need a license to fish that weekend. Wish it meant Lake Erie guide Ross Robertson was giving out free trips.

6. AR: PRADCO brands will be handled by distributors.

PRADCO brands like Lindy, Cotton Cordell, Bandit, Smithwick, Thill and a bunch more.

7. DC: ASA gets new membership director.

Kirk Ross joins the American Sportfishing Association.

8. AnglingBuzz + Northland Tackle giving away a cooler.

Not just any cooler, but a way cooler cooler that keeps things cooler longer and looks cooler while doing it. Lol click here to enter.

Headline of the Day 1

Enjoying the ceremonial first casts of the year.

Got a chuckle ‘cuz this is the picture they ran with it. #BeenThere

Fry ’em up!

Another tasty gem from Field to Fork Minnesota Style. Thai sweet chilli dipping sauce recipe here — drooling factor below:

> Being a MN girl I used a mixture of jalapenos, cherry peppers, and Hungarian hot-wax peppers….

Tip of the Day

Right when river ice goes out, the fish will be relating to the deeper holes in the channel. As the season goes on, there’s too much current to fish anything mid-channel. Sure some fish will be there, but usually just the smaller males.

Instead IDO’s James Holst focuses on the backside of river turns where there’s less current — big females use these areas as a highway to conserve energy as they work their way upriver to spawn.

Here’s the IDO crew whacking ’em good on the Rainy River last spring:

They rigged up every Okuma Helios in the boat with 10-lb (4-lb diameter) Sufix 832 braid, a 3/8-oz VMC Neon Moon Eye Jig paired with a B-Fish-N Tackle AuthentX Moxi. #DeadlyCombo

Meme of the Day

From our friends at The Outdoor Report — don’t put away those augers just yet:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Northland Tackle marketing dude Kyle Waterman putting the UV Whistler Jig to work on the Rainy River last spring. My kind of picture-in-picture:

Yo Bro — weird seeing you on that side of the camera, but you done good kid!

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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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