Target Walleye/Ice email

Complete jigging-spoon setup, Gravel lizards of the week, Ice fishing masterpiece

Merry Christmas everyone! Not sure if we’ll get a Target Walleye/Ice out next week…but fingers Xd. Just wanna say a big THANK YOU to everyone readin’ these-here emails. None of this craziness would be possible without you and the companies that support Target Walleye/Ice.

We hope you and your families have a blessed Christmas — nothing better than spending time with loved ones, but….

Today’s Top 5

Gravel lizards of the week!

Parker Butler’s old man can catch ’em too! They’ve been dialing ’em in on “The Big Pond” (aka Mille Lacs) with their Garmin Panoptix units — drilling a single hole and scanning for fish 100′ away in ANY direction [mind-blown emoji]. This big gal walloped a #7 Rapala Rippin’ Rap, then got all finned-out and perky for the pic:

I’ve fished against Mandy Uhrich in a few Brainerd-area tourneys — she’s one heck of a stick [!] and that’s no different on the ice. Here’s one (of many) good ones she plugged on a “golden shiner” color 13 Fishing Origami Blade spoon — tipped with a shiner head — in 26-30′ Mille Lacs Lake mud:

Cap’n Brian Daun is one of those nutso diehards who’s still hitting the open-water. Worth it when you stuff an 11.9-lb Lake Erie giant like this! Inhaled a #11 Berkley Flicker Minnow — custom-painted by Renegade Outdoor Innovations — trolled behind an Off Shore Tackle Planer Board. #Stout

Love me some Manitoba greenbacks! So does Vanessa Toews, who’s been whackin’ ’em on PK Panic spoons and Spin A Jigs. #BigGreenGiant

Sorta looks like she’s fishing on Mars….

Those PK Spin A Jigs are awesome river baits, but I had a tough time picturing ’em in an ice-fishing situation…until I saw this video.

Now that’s how you move some water, man!

My complete jigging spoon setup.

You don’t (always) need live bait to catch hardwater walleyes…. Ever try the “fake” minnow heads on your spoons? How about a feathered- or glow-resin treble hook?? That and waaaay more in my last YouTube vid.

It’s 15-min long, so I’ll give you a “Table of Contents” lol:

0:27 – Top 6 jigging spoons to catch walleyes anywhere

5:05 – 3 alternatives to live minnow heads

9:06 – Rest of the setup (line, leader, snap, swivel, etc)

11:25 – Longer ice rods are better….

12:18 – My absolute favorite budget-friendly ice reel

13:10 – Braid gives you better spoon control

Or check the full vid here:

Let me know your go-to jigging spoons — or what you’d like to see next — by dropping a comment here. Really appreciate you watching!

WTHeck is Brad Hawthorne up to now?

I had a solid time “playing hooky” with the Rapala crew the other day and jacking a pile of razoracks! Fish were scarfing 3/16-oz VMC Tingler Spoons, and #5 and #7 Jigging Raps in 25-34′.

Few bonus “‘Merica!” flags popped too, but definitely wasn’t gonna try and race Matt Jensen (marketing guru at Rapala) to ’em lol:

Was a bunch of quality sticks out there, including full-time guide Brad Hawthorne. Whenever he talks fishing, I listen…guy spends a TON of time on the water and ice. Noticed Brad had all sorts of something goin’ on with his MarCum LX-7 Lithium Shuttle Combo, so had to take a closer look….

Ends up he straps a Pedestal Nylon Tool Holder — type you’d typically find attached to a boat seat — onto his shuttle. No screws, no nothing. That way he’s always got a pliers/scissors handy:

Slick idea that might inspire you to come up with something similar. #Convenience

Btw (‘cuz I know it’ll be asked) that’s a Retractable Ruler in the top right. First I’d seen one in action and it worked slick. Fish don’t freeze/stick to it like metal rulers….

This spoon’s been flying under the radar….

Jerkbait + rattlebait + jigging spoon + blade bait = Freedom Tackle Minnow Spoon. Don’t know how else to describe its action other than “WHOA.” Click for the full vid:

After seeing it underwater, all I can think about is my man Patches O’Houlihan:

Freedom Tackle Minnow Spoons have been around for 4-ish years — know they’ve been responsible for a ton of big walleyes — but the guys using ’em are pretty tight-lipped…. Sorry all…I’m here to out it (lol)! Comes in some nasty colors too:

Speaking of it catching big walleyes….

Stuart Henuset (@disco_stu11) cracked his PB walldawg dancing a 5/8-oz “hot shad” Freedom Tackle Minnow Spoon in just 5′ of Lake Winnipeg water. She went a thiiiique 30.5″ x 18″ and is for sure gonna be a tough one to top. Congrats dude!

Think you’ll be seeing more of that bait in the not-so-distant future.

How dang cool is this LEGO ice-fishing masterpiece?!

No doubt Catch Cover’s Trevor Sumption is obsessed with ice fishing, but looks like it runs in the family too:

> Trevor: “My son started building [this Lake LEGO scene] last summer. The whole thing is about 36″ x 36″ and we figure around X,XXX [!] individual bricks.”

How many bricks do you think she’s made up of? Seriously impressive! Can get a closer look at the masterpiece in this video.

Know what I’m getting Trevor for Christmas:

Think of all the money you’ll save from the “swear jar” lol.


1. WI: 14 rescued from ice on Green Bay.

> “…The ice was shifting out from shore…had a 50′ crack opening that quickly became a half-mile wide.”

2. MN: 4 different ice incidents (in 3 hours) near Willmar.

Had 2 fish houses and 2 ATVs break through…talkin’ 4 separate cases on 4 different lakes. Please be safe (and patient!) everyone….

3. MT: DNR done with trying to get rid of Noxon walleyes.

> “5 years ago, state officials announced their intention to do what they could to greatly reduce or eliminate walleyes…but when the angling community heard, they responded in force with more than 400 comments, and 83% of them were against eradication.

> “FWP has decided it will allow anglers to do their best to keep the walleye numbers under control…since walleyes aren’t recognized as a game fish…can keep as many as they want.”


4. OH: Walleye numbers up (again) on Erie.

> “Preliminary results from the 2018 fall trawl survey…indicate that young-of-the-year walleye catch rates were the highest recorded in the past 20 years.”

5. MT: Meetings scheduled for 10-yr fisheries plan on…

…Canyon Ferry, Hauser and Holter reservoirs.

6. MN: Is LOTW the burbot capital of the world?

That’s Lake of the Woods. For sure is the “grease pig” capital of MN — it holds 5 of the last 7 state records, including the current 19-lb 11-oz record caught by Brent Getzler in 2016.

7. ID has new head of Fish and Game.

Ed Schriever, who’s been with the agency for 35 years.

8. MN: Champions Tour schedule set.

The catch-and-release, artificial-only [!] bass and walleye derbies. Can’t wait to see how these go down — believe it’ll do nothing but grow sport.

9. Merc owner Brunswick invests in autonomous boat tech.

Right now it’s just for commercial marine use, but they think it could be brought into recreational boating. To me, self-driving boats sound scarier than being a long-tailed dog in a room full of rocking chairs….

10. Ice flasher vs LCD sonar/GPS debate.

Some good info from Humminbird if you’re trying to figure out what’s best for you.

11. ON. Proposed “open season” on cormorants.

Believe they’re threatening walleye stocks in Lake Nipissing:

> “The province wants to list these as game birds, allowing them to be hunted from Mar 15 to Dec 31. Anyone with a small-game hunting license would be allowed to shoot up to 50 cormorants per day.”

‘Nother possible option? Train them to fish WITH you instead of against you…yup, it’s a real thing:

12. Mercury levels in fish rise with water levels.

> “When water levels drop, plants colonize the newly dry land, absorbing mercury into their tissues….when levels go back up, all of this vegetation is now underwater and begins to decompose. During this decomposition, bacteria take in mercury and convert it to a highly toxic form called methyl-mercury.”

13. Modern Fish Act passed by congress…

…and headed to the White House. It’s about saltwater, but improves the way those fisheries are managed. Here’s what that means for anglers.

Headline of the Day

Mars Express beams back images of ice-filled Korolev crater.

Okay, who’s down?! Don’t forget your 50-mile auger extension:

Tip of the Day

Not all snowmobile oils are created equal — especially when it comes to running in extreme-cold temps. Knew it was important, but had no idea there was THIS big of a difference in cold-weather performance:

> “Oils that thicken at cold temperatures are difficult to pump and can fail to protect components. To protect your sled against wear, you need an oil proven to remain fluid and flow quickly in the harshest cold.”

The AMSOIL crew put their INTERCEPTOR Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil in a head-to-head test against 3 competitors and the difference was straight-up crazy. Some of the others dang near turned to a solid…click the pic to watch the video:

Meme of the Day

Gift idea for your fishing buddies that like to “round up” lol:

If you’re seriously looking for a new scale, check out the Rapala High Contrast Digital Scale. Ran one all last year and the thing freakin’ rocks.

No poking holes in the fish, super easy-to-read display, and love being able to save/record weights on the day. Also a lot easier to use than older models.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Guide Matt Peters (@fishwithmatt) has been stackin’ up the future fish tacos on Lake of the Woods with a Phantom Lures Tilly vertical jigging bait. #TillyTilly

‘Gator of the Week!

Scott Mackner (@330maniac) wrassled in his new PB freshwater ‘gator (41.5-incher!) outta Devils Lake, ND. Caught soaking a large-Marge smelt in 11′ under a Sullivan Tip Down:

Figured Scott would’ve got the catch on film considering his YouTube channel has 7.1 million [!] lifetime views — he did. Thing literally did the same “death roll” real alligators do in the hole:

Sign up another fish-head!

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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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