Target Walleye/Ice email

Crazy Jigging Rap catch, Walleye swims 500 miles, River fishing right now

Today’s Top 4

Banded walleye swims 500+ miles.

Guide Chris Bartsch caught this Great Lakes walleye that just couldn’t sit still:

> “Talk about a trip!! This [21.25″] walleye with the jaw tag was caught on March 15th through the ice south of Little Sturgeon Bay [WI]. The fish was tagged 358 days ago at 20” in the Au Gres River Saginaw Bay [MI].


> “I know walleyes move quite a bit, but to go through Saginaw Bay…through Huron…across Lake Michigan…into Green Bay…to south of Little Sturgeon is crazy.”


That’s roughly 500 miles by water! Probably more because walleyes swim like your dogs walks [squiggly-line emoji].

Been hummin’ our version of The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” ever since reading this story. Goes something like this-here:

Guess how many eggs a female walleye lays??

Short answer: A bunch.

Long answer:

> “Female walleye will lay 50K to 60K eggs for every 2.2 lbs of their body weight. This means that a 5-lb fish could lay up to 300K eggs. A 10-lbr will produce over 500K! [#EggCannons]


> “Walleye are broadcast spawners, which means that the females drop their eggs out on the bottom and the males come along later to fertilize the eggs. The parents abandon their offspring and provide no protection for the little ones.


> “Only about 5-20% of the eggs actually hatch, and approximately 1 of every 10,000 of those survive to adulthood. Now, we can see how important it is to release any pre-spawn female walleye.”


Matt Foley approves of this message:


Jigging Rap catches lost rod with fish still attached!

Erik Osberg lost his JT Custom Snare Rod down the hole when a fish pulled it in, so he came back the next day armed with a Rapala Jigging Rap and MarCum underwater camera to track it down…and the fish was still attached:

Better buy a lottery ticket, Erik!


Ever wonder how they hole-hop in Manitoba?

This is how Keith Lovelace and Sharlee Robson do it:

Only thing we could find more Canadian than that on the interwebz:

Side note – have you ever seen how they curl in Russia? You can’t make this stuff up.




Dave Colley (St. Croix’s regional sales manager) has been battling stage IV stomach cancer for about a year now, and the bills are piling up. If you’ve got a few bucks to help Dave and his family financially, here’s the GoFundMe account. Prayers fishing brother.

2. MN: Thayer/Berg win Mille Lacs championship.

Matt Thayer and Aaron Berg won the NAIFC Championship on Mille Lacs with an 8.80-lb bag of pannies. They took home a $6K check + ultimate bragging rights + two gold-diamond championship #rangz

Congrats guys! Should have more deets one how they caught ’em soon.

3. IL: Berns/Schmerbach win Illinois River MWC.

Marty Berns and Maury Schmerbach rallied heavy with a 22-lb 10-oz bag –moving ’em up from 23rd place — to win the MWC opener on the Illinois River:

Caught ’em pulling 3-way rigs with a mix of jigs/floaters/minnow baits upstream along channel edges at 0.5-0.7 mph.

Schmerbach said the “water temp was 42.7 degrees, the river was clear and low, and the bite was definitely on.” Guess so!

4. MN: Mille Lacs summer regs announced.

To summarize:

  • Walleye will be catch and release only.
  • Walleye fishing will be off-limits from July 7 to July 27.
  • Walleye season is scheduled to run through Monday, Sep 4.
> Don Pereira, DNR fisheries section chief: “Ice anglers fished more on Mille Lacs in 2017, and caught more and larger walleye than expected. As a result, ice fishing this winter accounted for about one-third of the total amount of walleye state anglers can harvest from in 2017.
> “The plan is for this closure to coincide with the hottest part of the summer when released fish are vulnerable to stress. Warm water combined with July’s higher fishing pressure means that more fish die — even those that are caught and returned to the water.”


Who’s getting kicked off this list so we can add Mille Lacs walleyes to it?

Here’s Dick Sternberg’s (former DNR fisheries biologist who 12 years ago forecast problems for the lake’s walleyes) perspective on how to fix Mille Lacs.

5. ND: Water levels rising on Devils Lake…

…and it should make fishing ever better. Adding more water will create new shorelines in cattail marshes and farmland:

> “If the lake only goes up 1 foot, another 10,000 acres of land will be covered. If it rises between 3 and 4 feet, Devils Lake will again reach 200,000 surface acres.”


How would you fish it:

FishUSA will have to start sellin’ arm floaties…but for now they have Onyx Inflatable Life Jackets.

6. OH: Maumee walleye run is on…

…and guys are nutty about it. Couple of our favorite quotes:

> Justin Weppler: “It’s the hot spot. It’s where they go. It’s where you gotta go. You gotta chase them down.”


> James Morrison: “It’s a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of grief from the wife, but sometimes it’s worth it.”


7. MN: Asian carp found in St. Croix River.

Not good.

8. NPAA gets Phantom Lures.

9. Convert your Vexilar to an open-water unit.

The type of double-dipping your friends can’t yell at you for.

On another note, Vexilar owner Steve Baumann was just up at Lake Winnipeg — and despite some negative reports, he didn’t have a problem crankin’ on ’em:

Nicely done, Steve!

10. What’s covered under your boat insurance policy.

Any idea if your electronics are covered? How about that $2,500 worth of Okuma rods/reels stuffed in the rod locker?? That’s why it’s important to work with someone who specializes in boat insurance. Quotes from Worldwide are free — worth it! #AskBob

11. Expect more big-box sports failures?

Due to “the Amazon effect” — which basically means a shift to buying online. Who’da thunk?


1. WI: AIM on Fox River, Green Bay Metro, Apr 9.

Pert-near full. Sign up soon if you still want in.

2. OH: NWT on Lake Erie, Huron, Apr 12-13.

Who’s up for a road trip? #SlugFest

3. WI/MT/IA: Johnnie Candle’s Walleye University, Spring 2017.

This is the 7th year Johnnie has been doing ’em, so you know he’s doing ’em right. Several dates/locations this spring – more info here.

Jason Mitchell:

> Some of the first open-water walleye fishing opportunities occur on river systems (Wolf River, Missouri River, Mississippi River and Rainy River). Each system can be somewhat unique…but how fish relate to current seems universal.

> Incoming tributaries/culverts are prime locations…the current is often warmer and [might have] washout holes, channels and current seams where fish rest.


> If you can see your prop, the fish won’t have any problem finding your presentation. If you can only see a few inches into the water, look for cleaner water upstream from the incoming tributary.


> Soft-plastics and hair usually outfish bait — the added durability keeps you in the water longer. When you miss a fish with a jig and minnow and the fish steals the minnow, you’re done.

> Kalin’s Sizmic Grubs work well in moderate current, while the more-streamlined profiles of Kalin’s Jerk Minnow JRs work better in stronger current.


> When slipping the current, the old rule of thumb was to keep the boat the same speed as the jig getting swept down river…keeping your line vertical. But there’s times when dragging jigs upstream or downstream can be downright deadly


> These dragging tactics shine in less than 10′ where there’s moderate to slow current. Lighten up the jig and give it a good cast upstream. Let the current carry your jig downstream, dragging it back to the boat.


> The other method is slowly dragging the jig upstream. Cast behind the boat and use your trolling motor to crawl upstream. You typically want the jig to occasionally tick bottom.


Read more here.


Quote of the Day

A lot of people are glad he fishes bass tournaments, and not walleye.

– That’s NPAA President Jimmy Bell talkin’ about Sir-Sticks-A-Lot, Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson…who’s been whackin’ Lake of the Woods walleyes on Northland Buck-Shot Spoons, but also cranks on ’em all year long:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Now THAT’s a jumbo! Caught during Ice Team University on Devils Lake, ND:

Sign up another ice-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 and other diehard fish nuts like you! #fishheads
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