Target Walleye/Ice email

Casting better than trolling, Bass cranks for walleye, Broomtails of the week

Today’s Top 5

Will the Green Bay NWT be won casting?

And NOT trolling?? It’s shapin’ up that way…I think…. Of course no one’s saying too much after day 1 of a 2-day tourney, but judging by 1) the little they did say, 2) some prefishing pics, and 3) the history of casting vs trolling on ‘The Bay” it seems like hand-to-hand combat is the deal.

Fish-head John Hoyer is leading after day 1 with a 5-fish sack of 41.37 lbs. That included a measly 5.5-lber (lol), which puts these other 4 fish at about 9 lbs a piece:

Said he made a long run (up north?) and fished all day for 6 bites:

> Hoyer: “We knew if we could get 5, they would be in the mid-30s [lbs] or higher. That’s the kind of bite we’re on, and to be honest, that’s all we really had going.”

Difference between most NWT pros and us is they can keep their composure while fishing for a single bite every 1-2 hours. Rest of us are having anxiety attacks in our local 7-boat league fishing for an $84 check lol.

> Hoyer: “There’s a lot of boats around, but I’m fishing something really specific. Today I hit 20 different spots and it’s not like only 3 or 4 of them are good…I literally give them all the same exact rating.

> “If the wind is going to blow tomorrow — and I think it is — then I think we can get 10 or 12 bites. The fish are just starting to warm up. They just barely bite at all when it’s calm. When you put wind on them, it fires them up a bit.”

Lookin’ forward to finding out what that very-specific something is. Good luck dude! Not sure he needs it anymore ‘cuz rumor is he’s already weighed in early with 38-some lbs….

Sprengel’s comin’ in hot.

Surprise, surprise! Okay, not really:

Hot stick Korey Sprengel is nippin’ at Hoyer’s heels with 39.68 lbs of Green Bay gold:

Didn’t say what he was using, but did admit he was casting.

> Sprengel: “They were biting today, but it’s a complicated bite. With this cold water, they don’t feed all day. You can be on the right spot, but it might not be the right time.

> “The weird thing is that I never touched anything I fished in practice. Everything was new today. I just got into the zone…it was cast and keep moving.”

Started in a “community area” and had 5 in the box by 8:45 am. Then went hawg hunting and — after tossing back a few 27-inchers in a no-cull tournament! — stuck a 29″ mega melon at 1:30 pm and headed in.

Said he never saw another boat near his big-fish spot, but still plans to start at the community hole ‘cuz:

> “Maybe I’ll pluck a fish or two from someone else and then leave. I don’t know at what point I will leave, but I want to use up other fish first.”


> “John is a great fisherman, one of the best out there, but he’s going to have to earn it tomorrow.”

Sprengel’s definitely not someone we’d want fishing behind us for the win. Have you ever seen how cluttered the inside of his truck is?

“…it’s especially fickle, unless you’re Korey Sprengel and you can wave your magic wand and the fish jump in the boat.”

Hilarious Joe Okada quote about grinding out his 38.19-lb (3rd place) bag on Green Bay. Said it was the first limit he’s caught since he got there pre-fishing. Gotta love the #GoBigOrGoHome gameplan when chasing the ‘dubyah!’

Not sure exactly what he’s doin’, but do know Joe loves him some casting on Green Bay. In the past he’s made long runs up north to target specific spots with Rippin’ Raps, Shiver Minnows and other (secret?) vertical baits…fishin’ for just 3-6 bites a day, but they’re the right ones.

Here’s a sneak peek at Joe on his way to weigh in today:

Believe there’s nearly $275K up for grabs (can you imagine??), so expect this one to be a shootout. Check the live weigh-in here starting at 3pm CST or smash the refresh button on the live leaderboard.

Broomtails of the week!

Remind me to add a Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba spring trip to my fishin’ bucket list. Matty Haarsma (@haarsma01) had a banner 95-fish session in just 5.5 hours of fishin’…works out to one every 3.5 minutes!

> Matty: “These fish were stacked on the entire west side of Lake Winnipeg around the piers, using ’em as walls to chase shiners up against them. 1/4-oz flasher jigs with a 4″ jerk minnow…split-tail was outperforming the paddle-tail.”

@parker_schuh stuck this 29″ Peshtigo River rock melon slinging a #12 Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk in his duck-fetchers:

Mike Brayford’s on that shallow-water grind chuckin’ Lunkerhunt Flat Sided Squarebills in waist-deep water. Peeps like the flat-sided cranks (vs round) in cold water for the tighter wiggle:

Gotta love when folks that work in the fishing industry are avid fisher-peoples themselves, and Johnson Outdoors’ (Humminbird and Minn Kota) pro staff manager Tim Price is one of ’em. Here he is puttin’ the new LakeMaster MN chip to good use on the Mille Lacs broomtails:

If you’re wonderin’ how much more detailed the newly resurveyed lakes could be, have a look-see at one of Mille Lacs’ supposedly featureless mud flats. #DoWant

Ever wonder how many fish cormorants eat?

Their fair share:

Mostly perch, but a few little ‘eyeballs in there too….


On the Missouri River. Chasin’ that next state record….

3. MTT headed to Mille Lacs this weekend.

Took a 7-lb average to win a couple weeks back, would guess it’ll be about the same. You’ll see that number creep up as more fish school up in the mud….

4. Merc plant earns “zero waste to landfill” status.

5. Gunpowder PR gets SIMMS.

New-school media company also working with Costa, Humminbird, Minn Kota, Mercury Marine, GoPro, and others. #HeavyHitters

6. Couple Asian carp updates.

Did MI wait too long to do something?

IL dude trying to harvest carp for ME lobster bait.

Headline of the Day

The knife that’s fed millions (and me).

Interestin’ write-up talkin’ about the OG Rapala Fish ‘n Fillet — they’ve sold more than 60 million [!] of ’em since 1967.

I sniped one outta my dad’s tackle box when I was younger (know he’s reading this…sorry dad! lol). Believe he bought it back in the ’70s:

Was scared I had lost it a couple times, but luckily it keeps turning back up. Decided to pick up a 5″ Folding Fish Pro Fillet this season to always keep in my glove box when I’m on the road, to make sure my dad’s old fish-cutter doesn’t get left in the middle of a Manitoba somewhere:

Tip of the Day

Throw “bass cranks” in tribs for flooded river fish.

Whether they’ll admit it or not, lots of walleyes guys/gals prefer “bass-style crankbaits” when fishing the river ‘cuz they do a better job of getting down quickly, can be easier to cast and are great at deflecting off snags. And catching bonus smalljaws never hurts….

Here’s a few snippets from Mississippi River rat Ted Peck on how he’s been putting ’em to good use on quality fish in overlooked areas:

> Flooding here on pool 9 has been outrageous. My last paid open-water guide job here was 11/2! Boat ramp access is still essentially non-existent. Location of post-spawn walleyes in a…flooded river is hard edges: dam tailwaters, along railroad tracks, etc…ALSO in the tributaries.

> Essentially every river pool has 4-7 tribs dumping in. When the Mississippi floods, levels in the tribs rise as the water pushes across the floodplain BUT current velocity doesn’t increase…with the exception of necked-down areas like bridges (natural fish-magnets). Find > 2′ of visibility and the walleyes will be there!

> Water in these tribs is normally just 1-2′, but now it’s 5-9′. Not even locals are aware of this trib pattern at flood stage…boated 3 in the past week over 24″, including one just shy of 28″. All on a “strawberry craw” color Bill Lewis MR-6.

> …smallmouth migrate almost en masse into the tribs when temps hit 55 in the spring. An IDNR study several years ago shows smallmouth migrate up to 12 miles downstream into the river, swimming past suitable over-winter habitat in the fall when the temp hits about the same parameter. Of course, a few walleyes do the same thing — mostly to spawn — but a few stick around ‘cuz the feeding is easy all summer long.

> You know I’m a lifetime Miss River rat — have been cashing in on this trib rise (due to river back-up) pattern since I was a kid down on pool 13. Can’t say the trib I’ve been pounding ’em in…but launching my Lund Alaskan within site of the cabin, 2 miles inland, and running upstream another 2 miles.

Thx Ted!

Meme of the Day

Couldn’t help ourselves…. Click it then send it to a bassin’ buddy that’ll “appreciate” it lol:

All in good fun — we’re equal opportunity hooksetters.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Anyone missin’ that fish-house life yet? Too soon??

Know quite a few of you pull double duty and use ’em as campers in the summer…heard if you crank the A/C waaaay down and close your eyes, you can hear rattle reels dinging in the distance lol.

Sign up another fish-head!

If you’re forwarding Target Walleye to a friend who loves to walleye-fish or want your fishing buddies to get these emails, just send us their email addresses and we’ll take care of it! (We won’t sell the addresses, use them for spam, etc.)

Check this stuff out!

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
To send us walleye pics, ice shots or whatever, just respond to this email or click here to email us. Or post it on the Target Walleye Facebook page.

To Top