Target Walleye/Ice email

Complete leadcore breakdown, Bugs better than yahoos, Parade of pigs

Hey everyone – we’re at ICAST (fishing biz trade show in Orlando) all week and will have our eyes peeled for the latest and greatest. This will be the only Target Walleye email, but check our Facebook and Instagram pages for updates from the show floor. Thx much for reading!

Today’s Top 5

Parade of pigs!

Kickin’ off today’s email with a “parade of pigs” jammed full of shots sent in from Target Walleye fans! Enjoy…

Nick McCabe snatched his new PB (personal best) walleye outta Mille Lacs with this 29-incher caught on a “silver shiner” Northland Butterfly Blade Super Death Rig with a Worm-Glo green nightcrawler. Said they “fished the same hump all day…caught 60 fish in 10 hours…never had to move spots.” Def worth the sunburn, dude!

Joshua Wiedel brought his NE/KS style of fishing to Devils Lake, ND and had himself a week. Stuck this one pulling leadcore with a Salmo Hornet 5 in 26′. Also caught ’em pulling spinners/leeches at 1.8 mph, but said you’re going to have to figure out the best colors on your own (lol):

Logan Gmiterek cracked himself a Manitoba giant to the tune of 30.25″ [!] hitting Lockport (dam area on the Red River) with a jig and 3″ Berkley PowerBait Minnow. And here we thought the Hunchback of Notre-Dame was in Paris:

Adam Crawford (@pro_crush_angling) struck Last Mountain Lake, SK gold! Said he was “keeping it simple with a Lindy Rig in mid 20′, of course.” Bonus points for the Target Walleye hoodie [fist-bump emoji]:

Breyland joined the 30″ club with this Lake of the Woods mud melon! Caught pulling a gold JB Ventilator Spinner Rig and ‘crawler. Hope it’s the first of many, bud!

How to get started pulling leadcore.

Gettin’ to be that time of year — you ready to add it to your arsenal?

Leadcore is exactly what it sounds like: fishing line with a lead core. The line sinks (duh!) which helps crankbaits dive deeper. Tough to beat when the water’s hot and fish start roaming the basin. Full Joel Nelson write-up here, few excerpts below:

> More than just a search tool, it can be an effective way to target spread-out fish…when pulling live-bait rigs and even spinners takes too long between pods.

> The cornerstone of every good leadcore program is a M to MH, moderate-action trolling rod, paired with a slightly oversized line-counter reel and 18-lb leadcore line.

> Leadcore line is marked by a different color every 10 yards, so a full-core would be 10 colors or 100 yards. You probably won’t need to dive to this depth, but it’s a good starting place to get you acquainted with the method.

> Standard leadcore dives on average 5′ per color, but Sufix 832 Advanced Lead Core dives 7′ per color (more depth with less line out).

Joel uses a slick reverse-spooling hack so he knows exactly how much backing to put on under the leadcore to perfectly fill the spool. Works great for regular braid too.

> Unsheath the end of your leadcore, and pull out 6″ or so of the lead. Pull the sheath back down and use it to tie a braid-to-mono, or braid-to-braid knot. [Have more info on different leadcore knots in Top Item 3].

> Areas where I’m trolling with zebra mussels, I run a 3-5′ section of braided leader, then a snap, then my lure. On ultra-clear water I run a 30′ leader of 10-lb fluorocarbon so it’s less visible.

> Any crankbait runs well with this scenario, as do spinners and a variety of other lures designed to be pulled.

[***Most crankbaits. Wouldn’t try that giant Rapala hanging in your man cave….]

> Start by letting out a few colors of line while going 2.2-3.0 mph. Let out line evenly to prevent overruns and keep kinks and tangles to a minimum. When leadcore knots, the interior lead can break and poke out in places.

> Deep-diving crankbaits should be let out until you’re occasionally making contact with bottom. You don’t want to be digging in constantly…this causes baits to wander, then tangle.

> Pull along gradually similar depths, and as you get better…work your way towards pulling along breaks.

Those of you looking for more advanced leadcore tricks (with planer boards, segmented, shallow water, etc) can find ’em right here.

Best ways to connect leadcore to your leader.

There’s a pile of different ways to do it — each has its own pros/cons. Gonna break down a couple of ’em so you can find which is best/easiest for you…

Lotta guys run a small #10 or #12 swivel to connect the leadcore to their leader. Works great most of the time, but too big of swivel can get hung up on the rod tip when fighting a HUGE fish…then you’re left with a biggun flopping off 10′ or so behind the boat. Doesn’t happen often, but nothing worse than when it does.

Brings us to what’s called the Willis Knot, aka “the leadcore knot,” where you’ll actually slide the leader material inside of the Dacron sheath, then tie an overhand knot (or two). Whole thing is super tiny and slides right through the rod’s eyelets:

Ben Garver makes it look too easy spooling up his Okuma Cold Water Line Counter:

Have heard of guys using a sewing needle to help fish the leader into the sheath — great idea if you’re not a surgeon with 20/20 vision…. Will either run the needle through backwards or dull the end so it doesn’t poke through.

‘Nother great knot option from Doug Burns if you’re running a braided-line leader or having a tough time “threading the needle”:

Jason Mitchell likes bugs more than jet skis?

Seems like it after watching his awesome night-trolling vid. He sneaks out after dark to avoid all the boat traffic and take advantage of some waaaay more cooperative fish. Vid’s from Gull Lake, MN where he’s hitting shallow sand flats with the Salmo Rattlin’ Sting, but should work on lots of clear-water, heavily-pressured lakes:

Here’s a closer look at the Table Rock shad” color Salmo Rattlin’ Sting J-Mitch was using to put a hurtin’ on ’em:

And he didn’t mention it, but pretty sure he’ll be pickin’ up one of these bad boys before his next slugfest (lol):

Garmin outs its new trolling motor.

Comes a couple weeks after Lowrance took the wraps off its Ghost trolling motor. #TrollingWars

Here’s a look at the Garmin Force troller — click the pic for a short vid:

More deets on the Garmin site plus:

> Force is 30% more powerful than the leading motor in the market today.

> Its unique brushless motor operates with almost undetectable sonar noise interference….

> Includes built-in Garmin CHIRP traditional and UHD ClearVü and SideVü scanning sonars.

> …can also be controlled via the wireless foot pedal that feels and steers just like a cable-steered pedal, or from the wireless remote….

> Expected to be available in August, Force will be offered with a 50″ or 57″ adjustable shaft for $3099.99 and $3199.99 MSRP.

Believe Minn Kota has been top dawg in trollers for a long time — MotorGuide 2nd place who also just announced new Tour and Tour Pro trollers. Wonder if prices will ever go DOWN if there’s competition? Market is about to be shook up….

Tip of the Day

There’s a zillion different weights on the market — each has its own time and place. Here’s Brad Hawthorne talkin’ his favorites and when he uses ’em.

BONUS rigging tip at the end of the vid shows how Brad uses a Quick-Change Weight Clevis and Loop Snap at the same time to swap out weights on the fly:

Meme of the Day

This is either good or terrible news, depending just how crazy you are:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

A mouth full o’ bluegill didn’t stop this 23-incher from eating Craig Jameson’s ‘crawler on a Slow Death Rig. #Greedy

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