Target Walleye/Ice email

Bug hatch tricks, Use deep cranks shallow, Fishing etiquette talk

Yo! Need your help: I’m heading up to Lake of the Woods this weekend with Brad Hawthorne, Jooooel Nelson and AnglingBuzzard Nick Lindner. Gonna shoot a bunch of walleye feeshin’ tips and wanna know what YOU want to see??? Reply to this email with ideas — don’t need to be LOW specific, ‘less you want ’em to be. Thx!

Today’s Top 4

How Tommy Kemos keeps his Shiver Minnows purtty.

Tommy “gunnnnzz” Kemos likes pitchin’ mondo #3 Moonshine Shiver Minnows for big-water (Great Lakes, etc) fish. They weigh 1-oz, which is a lot of meat to be bouncin’ around the tackle tray when the lake gets to rollin’.

Here’s a couple quick (and free) tricks he uses to keep his Shiver Minnows “shivering” without having to buy any special boxes:

If you haven’t Shiver’d yet (get on it!) it’s a super fun way to catch ’em. Here’s how Tommy works ’em vertically:

> Let it hit bottom then pick it up a foot or so. Snap the rod up about a foot and continue that with a nice steady cadence. Snapping the bait up causes it to dart off to the side. On the end of that snap not only does it glide out, but it also rolls on its side.

> One of the keys to using the Shiver Minnow vertically is to use high-vis line [braid]. Not only can I see when that bait touches bottom, but when I’m giving it the snap…I can pay attention to any sort of bites I get on the drop [the line gets slack]. Also lets me pay attention to what the cadence is and be able to duplicate that when I get a bite.

Learn ya s’more knowledge on pitching Shiver Minnows in this vid from The Next Bite crew. Tommy puts those #3s to work on some Great Lakes mammoths with Chase and Gary Parsons. They’re pinpointing big boulders and using the current to set those fish up so they know how to approach ’em:

Woulda thought it was a bachelor party out for a float if I had heard all that hootin’ and hollerin’ on the water…love it.

“It’s an unwritten rule, but it should be a written rule.”

– That’s a fired up Mark Romanack talkin’ fishing etiquette, and not crossing in front of a boat that has lines down…

I’m guessing Mark does NOT enjoy untangling these in his free time lol:

Asked my bud Fuzzles what he thought and he was all:

How to catch walleyes during a bug hatch.

Gettin’ close to that time of year where the bugs will show up at your secret fishin’ spot before you do…. Don’t let a hatch scare you off the lake — Brad Hawthorne uses ’em to his advantage to harass congregated fish:

Brad didn’t say so, but pretty sure bugs are another reason he runs a windshield boat…’cuz he ain’t about that #TillerLife

Guess that’s understandable when you’re dealing with the caliber of hatches he does on Mille Lacs:

Muskie-bait walleyes!

More proof you don’t always have to downsize to fool ’em….

Kickin’ it off with TW fan Micah McKinney who cracked himself a 29.25″ x 15″ slob outta the Monogahela River (PA/WV border). Funny enough he caught 2 muskies that day on 5″ cranks, but the ‘eye scarfed a 7.5″ Baker Baits crank custom-painted in a “walleye” pattern. #cannibal

> Micah: Went to the deepest part of the river…most water is 10-14′, but this stretch is dredged out to 34′. I was on the break in 28-32’…doing 3.4 mph with the current…bait was running about 5-6′ deep in the wash:

You think this one was hungry? Wasn’t the only one muskie-nut Dave Halverson trolled up and into their 60th anniversary (2008) Lund that night:

My man Theo Toliver (@k9guy82) switched things up to chase ‘skies but those NoDak walleyes just refuse to leave him alone:

Know he’s ^ a bit of a walleye snob (lol Theo!) but judging by his Instagram page he likes catching big anything…including German-strain dogfish:

Still one of my favorite greedy ‘eye pics from fish-head Forrest Leitch last spring. Thwacked this 28.5″ pelagic tullibee eater on a giant muskie bait and said, “Crazy to think of all the giant, untouched fish roaming open water….” No doubt man!


1. Father/son team wins Merc National tourney…

…outta nearly 300 boats on Lake Winnebago. How cool is that? #Bonding

2. MN: Took a 10+ average to win Mille Lacs AIM!

Team Slipy/Sobiech weighed 5 for 51.02 lbs [!] to take home the $8K payday. Heard they caught ’em shallow? Hope to have more deets soon.

A record 15 teams that broke the 40-lb mark, but rumor has it there’s still no fish in Mille Lacs…. 😉

3. IA: MN man catches 1 (of 10) tagged walleyes…

…in Big Spirit Lake. The $3,514.40 check probably made the catch that much cooler.

4. MN: GRAHA Walleye Shootout on Pokegama Lake.

Love their high-energy weigh-in…actually pull the boats through the stage like it’s the Bassmaster Classic.

Better get to gettin’ if you plan on fishin’ it.

Apparently it does for Meadow Lake where the DNR will be dropping her down by 3′ over the next couple weeks. Here’s what their fisheries mgmt biologist, Bryan Hayes, said about it:

> “Crowding the fish into a smaller area makes them more susceptible to predation by largemouth bass and reduces the number of small bluegills. The reduced number will improve growth in the coming year.”

Interesting stuff!

> “We see more spawning stress fish kills when we have a cool spring and then everything warms up quickly, like it did this year. Everything comes in to spawn at once, and any infection can spread quickly through the population.”

Pushing for major new funding:

> …endorsing an aggressive $778 million action plan led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which needs approval by the U.S. Congress.

Tip of the Day

Shortline deep-divers to clean cranks quicker.

The new-ish Salmo Freediver 9s can dive up to 25-30′, so why the heck is Jason Mitchell trolling ’em in 1/3 of that?

He says if there’s lots o’ junk in the water — and you’re constantly having the clean the baits — deep-divers fished short will get ya a lot more fishin’ time…. You’ve only gotta crank ’em in 15′ or 20′ at a time (instead of 150-200′!) to clean off debris and get back out fishin’:

Said he also likes how those bigger profiles run nose down and tail up…can catch a lot more fish than traditional shallow-running baits that run more horizontal.

Here’s a closer look at the “purple rain” color J-Mitch was running:

Quote of the Day

“Am I messed up in the head if I was disappointed when I saw it wasn’t a smallmouth???”

– That’s former MN Vikings D-end Brian Robison (@brianrobison96) stickin’ a hefty Mille Lacs gravel lizard while chasin’ bronzebacks:

We’ll forgive you this one time, man! Do feel bad for that fish though…B-Rob has some serious hookset power:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

This Phantom Lures snap might be the definition of a beautiful mess:

Let me know if you fellas need any help picking it up. 😉

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Who is Target Walleye
Target Walleye — 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 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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