Target Walleye/Ice email

Boat recovery fail, Pike eats off stringer, Blade bait tricks

Today’s Top 5

Boat recovery fail.

Word from the Coast Guard is everyone was okay, but the boat…not so much. Cody Bradford nabbed this cringe-worthy video of the recovery. #RIPTuffy

Few highlights:

Things we find sorta crazy:

  • Towing it in upside-down? [Guess the boat was already totaled?]
  • Lifting it out with a single strap??
  • Graphs are somehow still on!
  • Rods stayed in the rod holders!
  • They caught a freakin’ fish [!!] while dragging those Off Shore Planer Boards:

Hope the owner had his boat insured through Worldwide Marine….

Hybrid crankbait for shallow, cold-water walleyes.

Don’t overlook the stickbait-casting bite when water temps are in the low- to mid-50s. Super-effective the first few weeks of the season when the walleyes have transitioned out of spawning areas and into shallow feeding areas:

> James Holst: The Rapala BX Minnow [Balsa Extreme] is a balsa bait, so it’s got that subtle roll you want in cold water, but is encased in epoxy so it’s tough as nails.

Less damage from slimers, or when bouncing the it off rocks/stumps/your motor.

James uses a twitch-twitch-pause technique, but on the pause he keeps slowly pulling his rod forward. Doesn’t want the bait to float up, just wants it to slow down:

Pike eats walleye on stringer.

Heard of snapping turtles and otters pulling this off…but ever had a northern pike steal your shore lunch? #Greedy

Only way that could’ve been more unusual is if it was a derp pike like the one Scott Ford caught on Mississippi River Pool 10…but they only eat bullheads:

New dance called “the walleye chop.”

TW’s Brett and Amanda McComas took their new-to-them Lund 1825 Pro Guide to Mille Lacs for a breezy big-water test ride. Don’t worry Brett’s mom: they were wearing Onyx inflatable life jackets…which they almost got to see inflate:

They caught a walleye every 2 minutes while trolling crankbaits along gravel-to-sand transitions at 2-3 mph in 9-13′. Every fish came on #7 Rapala Shad Raps in the colors delta (left) and custom HD live river shad (right):

As seen at Lindner Media.

How’d you like to snoop around the Lindner Media office for a bit? For sure a bunch of cool projects going on, and some memorabilia you won’t see anywhere else….

Exhibit A: Do Al and Ron Lindner practice karate in the garage?




1. WI: Bartsch/Le Sage win MWC Green Bay.

Chris Bartsch and Larry Le Sage weighed a 2-day bag for 41-13 to put $12,880 in their pockets:

> They fished 1/4- to 3/8-oz jigs tipped with soft-plastics both days. Bartsch used a ringworm, while Le Sage stuck with a bass-style beavertail design [!]. Both sweetened the pot with a minnow or nightcrawler for added attraction.

> They focused on depths of 7′ or less in the river [day 1], and targeted a small-but-complex piece of structure not far offshore in the bay on most of day 2.

2. CO: Get $20/pike caught in Green Mountain Rez.

> Anglers are encouraged to catch and keep as many smallmouth bass and northern pike in the reservoir as they desire.

Don’t want them to scarf up all the “endangered native fish” like: the CO pikeminnow, humpback chub, razorback sucker and bonytail.


3. SD: Fishing pressure impacts walleye movements?

About 4,000 Lake Sharpe walleye will be tagged over the next 4 years so GFP can track their movements in comparison to fishing pressure. Maybe some soon-to-come hard evidence to support fishing away from crowds?

4. ND: $61K prizes at Devils Lake chamber tourney.

Plus a whoooole pile o’ walleye waiting for ya on Jun 23-24. #Whammy

5. Whatcha think about this TW gear?

One of our faves that costs just $15…or two crankbaits lol:

6. Camping World selling shares to fund Gander acquisition.

7. US: Boat sales continue to rise.

> The $36 bil boating industry is seeing some of its highest sales in nearly a decade…nationwide up 6% last year and expected the same in 2017.
> Boating is predominantly “middle-class” with 72% of boat owners having a household income less than $100K.

Father’s Day is coming up….

Headline of the Day

Gov’t defends move to leave lakes unstocked with walleye.

> Thirteen MB lakes weren’t stocked with walleye this season, a move the government credits to science. But others are questioning if a staff shortage is really to blame.

Word is the hatchery needs six staff to function properly, but currently has two?

Then again, maybe they don’t all need to be stocked right now — where else can you catch walleyes using a snap-swivel that’s bigger than your BARE jig?

Tip of the Day

> Thin metal wobblers like BFishN Tackle B3 Blade Baits [left] and Wolf’s Big Dudes [right] cast like a rocket and sink like a rock. You’d think this would spook a shallow walleye, but it attracts them.

> Blades are “reaction” baits and fish have a split second to react to something resembling fleeing baitfish, so they attack.

> Never tie directly to a blade bait — some makes will have several attach points or holes at the top (which give wider or tighter wobbles). It’s best to use a snap or split-ring on top to prevent line cutting.

> Prevent snags in stumps, fallen timber or rock bottoms by cutting off the front barb of the front hook.

> Shallow-water trick: A sidearm cast low with a snap of your wrist will sometimes get the lure to skip along the surface, resembling fleeing bait.

> A slow, steady retrieve of a blade is popular, but you should try it with a stop-and-go and high-speed retrieve. I also like to rip-jig the blade up with a fast rip of the rod followed by a slow reel to pull up the slack.

Click here for more cold water tips on crankbaits, plastics and bucktail jigs.

Quote/Meme of the Day

This is my 26th year as a fishing guide, and they still confuse me some days!

– What MN guide Jason Durham texted his client the Monday after fishing opener. They say a pic’s worth 1,000 words:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Think the shots from Jeff Chisholm and crew could make this section about every week. This one’s a Scatter Rap Tail Dancer fish:

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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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