Target Walleye/Ice email

Bottom bouncer tips, Holst can dance, Lightning scare

Today’s Top 4

You know it’s time to get off the lake when….

Steve Nelson was fishing a tourney on Devils Lake, ND over the weekend when a nasty weather system moved through:

> While casting out a jig and got an electrical shock when the rod butt touched my torso. I had left the bail open when I put the rod down, and my line was being pulled straight up into the sky — almost all of it was peeled off the spool and went well over 100′ into the air.

> Pretty scary feeling when you’re miles from anywhere…. I was picking up the boat this morning and all of the screws on my transom were rusty…which they weren’t the day before….

Yikes, pretty scary is right.

Why James Holst Shad Dances when it’s windy.

If you haven’t seen it yet, the Rapala Shad Dancer is a balsa bait you can heave about twice as far as a Shad Rap and digs a bit deeper. Here’s what James “dances-with-walleyes” Holst has to say about ’em, plus a few favorite colors:

> Many walleye bites are wind-generated — if it’s not windy, the fish probably aren’t biting. You’re going to be casting into the wind, that’s just the way it is. …that Shad Dancer you can really rifle out there…and get that balsa action.
> It’s got a really subtle side-to-side movement, kind of like a #5 or #6 Shad Rap, but it dives so much deeper. Shad Dancers will easily ping bottom in 8-9′ on a cast. We fish them any time the fish are a little bit deeper.

We were still bumping bottom in 10-12′ while flat-line trolling ’em too.

> It seems like when you’ve got good wave action rolling into those rocks, the fish just aren’t going to be up in 1.5-2′ of water — they’re kind of getting thrown around as well by the waves crashing.

James uses natural patterns like perch and yellow perch, or the HD live patterns when the water is clear to lightly-stained (top). In stained/muddy water he prefers brighter patterns like firetiger, hot steel and red crawdad (bottom):

Also said he fishes Shad Dancers on 10-lb (4-lb diameter) Sufix 832 Advanced Superline braid tipped with a 10- to 12-lb leader of Sufix Invisiline fluorocarbon, which is a super-versatile setup.

Haven’t seen James’ dance moves off the water yet, but anyone else picturing that Napoleon Dynamite style?


Would you try this with your boat?

You probably shouldn’t, but this guy did:

> Wallace Michelin: “My crazy brother never stops, at least he’s got the right tools to keep pushing forward!!”

That “tool” is a Lund 1875 Impact — those things are straight-up tough! Guess if they can support the weight of Al Lindner’s fish, they oughta be able to handle a wheeler?

Flies for walleyes?

Winds were gusting 30 mph, but that didn’t stop Kyle Kosovich and buds from casting streamers [?!] to sunken roadbeds on Devils Lake, ND. Thought it was crazy luck, but considering Kyle owns Longboat Outfitters — and does it for a living — it’s no joke:

Nicely done fellas! #LiveStreamingWalleyes


1. SD: GFP re-opens access to non-meandered waters.

Roughly 30 accesses will open back up (for now) thanks to a zillion hours of research, calls and letters from guys like Ice Force pros Steve Thompson and Andy Fiolka. But that’s not the end of this SoDak civil war:

> Going forward, the department will work closely with the GFP Commission to engage the public in setting rules to implement sections of the bill: including the ability for landowners to mark water above private land closed.

Wonder how much this bottled water is going to cost?

More info here on what exactly “meandered” and “non-meandered” waters are.

2. MN: Angler ties his own state record.

Not a walleye but…Jake Robinson’s flathead catfish measured 49″ x 33.5″, identical to his previous record from last June. Had different markings and appeared to be two different fish, but this one came with a free sticker:

3. CO: Catch/kill derby at Elkhead…

…for non-native pike and smallmouth bass. Must not have any walleyes, else there’d be a bounty on them too.

4. HSF hires new sales manager.

Hard and Soft Fishing — best known for Beaver Dam, Kalins, ACME — added Alec Beigle to the team. Congrats man!

5. New Aqua-Vu app.

Wirelessly transfer video from some cameras straight to your phone through its own local wi-fi network. Then you can post vids straight to social media or send teasers to your buddy who’s stuck at work lol:

6. Garmin squashes Navico patent dispute…

…avoiding a $37-mil fine. Probably sleep better after that….

7. Mercury HQ employs 3,200 peeps.

Total economic impact in Fond du Lac, WI is close to $4 BILLION. #Stout

8. Near-final list of Gander stores remaining open.

Headline of the Day

6 DOC officials cited for poaching Lake Erie walleye.DOC = Department of Corrections. #irony

Tip of the Day

Northland Tackle’s Eric Naig gives away all of his bottom-bouncer secrets while on Lake of the Woods, his “favorite place in the world to fish.”

> A 1.5-oz Northland Rock Runner is the most universal weight size. My rule of thumb is 1-oz in less than 10′, 1.5-oz in 11-25′, 2-oz from 26-35′, and 3-oz for anything over 35.

> Want to have enough weight so that your bottom-bouncer is at a 45-degree angle, which will keep you out of snags. The shorter the leader, the less snags you’ll get.

> My all-time favorite color on Lake of the Woods is the “golden shiner” Northland Baitfish Image Blades. I like to make a perch pattern in my beads when I tie my own rigs: some greens, reds and oranges. That rig has caught me a lot of fish.

> Nightcrawlers, minnows and leeches all work well, but one of my favorite things to use is the Impulse Rig’N Leech.

> Lay your blade in the water and make sure it’s spinning, but ideally I like to stay between 0.8 and 1.2 mph. I put my trolling motor on continuous so it’s always moving.

He didn’t say it, but no need to feed ’em line when you get bit or they might feel the weight of that extra hardware. Instead lower your rod tip and sweep into ’em.

More from Eric in this video:

Quote of the Day

Walleyes aren’t acrobats, so don’t try to pull it away from ’em all the time.

– What Eric Naig’s buddy told him about overworking walleye baits. BUT walleyes can sometimes unintentionally be acrobats…just ask French River fishing guide Tyler Perry lol:

*** No 27″ walleyes were harmed in the making of this photo lol.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Looks like someone slapped a couple of eyeballs on a venus fly trap:

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