Target Walleye/Ice email

Crank size matters, Sunken boat recovered, Twofer zander

Today’s Top 5

A fisherman’s favorite kind of 2fers.

This ‘happy hour’ courtesy of TW fan George Jones:

> “We decided to try casting a Rapala Jigging Rap! OMG!!! Best fishing we’ve ever had for 3 hours straight, Brock pulled in 18 walleye in 18 straight casts. One of those casts had this! One walleye and one zander…can you guess what part of the country this was in?”


Wild — thx much for sending in, George!

Case you didn’t know:

> The ND Game and Fish Dept stocked [a lake] with 180K European zander fry and 1,050 fingerlings in ’89 after failed attempts in ’87 and ’88. The state scrapped the program in ’90 because of concerns from neighboring states MN, SD, MT and the province of MB.

Actually saw quite a few caught outta the area last spring. Still a small population in there that’s reproducing successfully, and pretty cool to see that little feller thriving.

Pumped for you folks lucky enough to catch one, but definitely still a little jelly lol:

Crankbait size matters!

When they choose a crankbait, Gary Parsons and Keith Kavajecz say: “Action is always the 1st question, depth is the 2nd and color is last….”

So where does crank SIZE fit into the equation? Some super-interesting info in their full Midwest Outdoors write-up here, but here’s a few excerpts:


> …shiners and shad spawn in May to July depending on latitude. Shad are generally 5 cm long in early fall, 7 cm long by late fall, and much larger (an almost inedible 6-9″) by the next spring.

> Shiners grow slower than shad, with 1-yr-old bait often 4-5 cm and 2-yr-old bait 6-7 cm long.

> Perch spawn earlier in the year (late spring) and are generally 7 cm after 1 year.

> …look to the first few bites to start the pattern and use the next 5-10 bites to help dial in size and color preferences. Sometimes these bites will take hours, and other times it will take a few days of fishing….

> Take a simple trolling situation, with 6 lines spread out on a shallow flat using side planers. Starting with action details, the lines might have 2 Flicker Shads, 2 Flicker Minnows, and 2 Berkley Diggers running near the bottom. Sizes for these lures can be based on the biology discussed earlier or simply a guess based on previous experience. The first few bites generate an action-triggered trend suggesting a path forward for the rest of the day.

> At this point, 4 or more of the lines will be changed to similar, but not the same lure as the first pattern details. One size up and one size down are an easy plan, with small color adjustments okay at this point.

> As fish bite larger or smaller sizes, keep adding the next size to the spread and subtracting the ignored offering. Always reserve a line or 2 in order to try something totally different.

Another sunken boat found…

…with Humminbird Side Imaging. This time Rod Carberry and crew went on a recovery mission:


How cool is that? Knew those HELIX units paid for themselves in tourneys and for fishin’ guides…but this is a new one. [fist-bump emoji]

How’s THIS for a pregnancy announcement?!

> Carl Miller: “Working on a few mods to the portable shack for the ’20/’21 ice season. What do you think?”


Dude’s already got the whole “dad life” thing dialed-in lol! Congrats!!

Track down late-summer pods with bottom-bouncers.

Bottom-bouncers are a killer (and super easy) way to search out late-summer fish. I’ll cruise around at 2.0-2.5 mph with a Northland Butterfly Blade Super Death Rig until I graph a pod, then back off the speed and drag over ’em.

Awesome thing about those polycarbonate “Butterfly Blades” is you’re able to cover water quickly, but can also slow way down (when necessary) to 0.25 mph and they’ll still spin.

I like running ’em with a 6″ Impulse Nightcrawler ‘cuz they have a nasty-good action when twirling on that Super Death hook. No messing around with re-baiting, keeping ’em alive, or getting dirt/bedding all over the dang boat! #Money

Better look at the setup in this quick vid:


Do make ’em in harness and single-hook versions too for you live-bait guys/gals.

That’s the what. Here’s the where:

Picked a random lake and pointed out a handful of spots I’d be itchin’ to check right away. I highlighted the 19-24′ edge ‘cuz on a lot of lakes that’s where the deepest weedline seems to taper off, and pods of fish like to roam.

I’m a sucker for tight breaks on the edge of feeding flats, inside corners ‘cuz fish love to PILE in ’em (play the wind), and slow-tapering points they can slide up and down:


If the fish are holding tight to a specific spot: hit ’em with a hard-bodied jigging bait (Jigging Rap, Puppet Minnow, Shiver Minnow, Tilly, etc) instead.


…in Lake Pend Oreille’s catch-and-kill walleye lottery. Doug Lambrecht is the 5th winner after plucking the golden nugget out of a shallow weed bed off the north shore mid-July. There’s potentially still another $95K in reward-tagged walleyes swimming in there….

2. WI: Still more folks fishing = GOOD!

> So far in 2020, 1.4 mil individuals have purchased fishing licenses, a 14% increase over the same timeframe in 2019.”

Also thought this was interesting:

> “The economic impact of outdoor recreation in WI is notable. Annually, it adds an estimated $7.8 bil [!] boost to the state’s GDP and supports more than 93K jobs….”

3. MN: DNR’s holding confiscated fishing/hunting equip auctions…

…online Sept 19 and Oct 24.

Here’s a few of the confiscated items they probably won’t be auctioning off (lol):

4. NE: More lakes confirm blue-green algae blooms.

Calamus Rez, Johnson Lake and Bluestem Lake.

5. The Next Bite TV’s hiring a videographer this fall.

6. MN: Rapala’s hiring at their Eagan distribution center.

Could put that employee product discount to work!

7. NY: Gobies “invading” Hudson River.

8. MN: Big Watab Lake’s got the zeebz.

9. Thomas Allen left Bassmaster for In-Fisherman.

New digital content manager.

10. Bagley Deep Diving Minnow Bs on sale.

FishUSA has ’em buy 1 get 1 free right now:

11. MI: Escanaba River fish kill blamed on “black liquor” from…

…the Verso Corp paper plant. Affected at least a dozen species, including walleye.

12. Lowrance Active Imaging 3-in-1 Nosecone transducer’s shipping.

> “The optional accessory adds Lowrance CHIRP Sonar, SideScan and DownScan Imaging sonar technology to the already feature-packed Ghost freshwater trolling motor.”

13. DC: Interior opens 2.3 mil acres to fishing and hunting.

14. How Honda car engines become outboards.

15. ME’s looking for game wardens.

16. MI: Bald eagle knocks State’s drone outta the sky.

> “…theorizing that the big bird went after the drone because it resembled a tasty seagull.”

Or maybe it just hated the thing lol.

17. Free shipping on Target Walleye gear!

Through Sept 15. Highlights

Note: The FishUSA links in this email are affiliate links, meaning if you go through them to make a purchase we might earn a commission…at no cost to you. Click here if you want to learn a little more about links in TW.

Tip of the Day

Lot of fish push out into the basin this time of year ‘cuz that’s where the coolest water is. Hard part is they can scatter out ‘cuz there’s bait everywhere and they’re on the move. Best way to get to ’em is pulling cranks to cover a ton of water and track down active fish.

Solid bonus info on why you should always keep the boat in gear while fighting a big fish on leadcore:


Lot of folks run smaller cranks on leadcore, but sometimes big baits do = bigger fish. One of Jon Thelen’s go-tos (in that ^ video) is the big-bodied 4.75″ Bandit Walleye Shallow. Says it has a little tighter wobble than the Bandit Walleye Deep Diver, and super-loud rattles to call fish in:

Meme of the Day

My 2¢: Of course there’s nothin’ wrong with keeping some fish [!!!] but if you’re only in it for the meat it’d be way cheaper to hit the grocery store….

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Fish-head @cody_solberg cracked the code to those big Green Bay gravel lizards >> lucky fishin’ hat + Salmo Freediver 9s = a 29″ master angler:

Sign up another fish-head!

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