Target Walleye/Ice email

Deer hunting meets fishing, Frog eating walleyes, Early-ice bluegill spots

Gonna be seeing more and more ice-fishin’ schtuff in these emails going forward — buckle up, boys and girls!

Today’s Top 5

Ice fishing: You’re doing it wrong.

Still a few diehards hitting the open-water, and it looks…enjoyable?

1) Remember that time Fishing 411 TV’s Jake Romanack found another use for the durable-as-snot Off Shore Tackle Planer Boards — looks like it works better than the real thing:


2) Or how ’bout when your net stands up on its own…like Lake Erie guide Ross Robertson’s socks and underwear do (lol):


3) This has to be the coldest Rapala Shadow Rap ever. Posted by Andre Smith in the Lund Boat Owners FB group:

Walleyes love them some froggies!

Came across this awesome shot from South Dakota Fishing Guide of a walleye gettin’ its Frogger on! And you wonder why they won’t eat your fathead:


Hey, Rapala – we need this pattern on a Husky Jerk and Jigging Rap ASAP:


If you remember this OG post on, you know folks have been using frogs to catch walleyes for decades.

Last season was the first time I had ever seen anyone specifically target frog-eaters through the ice — from the fellas at Brewer-Agre Outdoors:

> Tell me these Lake Winnipeg [Manitoba] greenbacks don’t know that frogs = food! The LIVETARGET Walking Frog [topwater bait weighted down with a bell sinker!] put numerous greenbacks topside, including this Manitoba Master Angler:


Nicely played, fellas!

How/where Joel Nelson targets early-ice bluegills in the weeds.

Where you deer hunters at?! Know there’s a few of you hitting the stand this weekend…or maybe reading this from one right now — this one’s for you.

Fish-head Joel Nelson uses the same ideas for picking treestand locations as he does for finding early-ice ‘gill spots: funnels and pinch points.

> “[The spots] typically involve some sort of inside turn pushing up from deep water into the shallows…especially where the shallows lead into another neckdown, lake, or other expansive flat and shallow-water environment.

> “I’m a firm believer that these locations act as funnels, channeling fish movements through a pinch-down area and helping you to get more looks from more fish. Other spots would include major points, or mid-lake humps that have weeds as well.”

Joel talks more about the spots and shows his fav early-ice ‘gill bait here:

One thing that stood out to me: Joel’s VMC Tungsten Tubby Jig lineup was full of the larger/heavier 1/16-oz size — most everyone else is buyin’ the microscopic stuff:

> Says they let him fish much faster which is great for early ice when the fish are “tuned up” and oxygen levels haven’t dropped (like they do mid-winter) yet.

> Also let him punch those baits down to the base of the weedbeds where lighter jigs would lay on top.

If you prefer fishin’ plastics, check out the newer VMC Tungsten Mongo Jigs with X-long Power Gap hooks. They bumped the hook size up on each compared to the Tungsten Tubby (1/32-oz: #10 hook, instead of #12…1/16-oz: #8 hook, instead of #10). Head also has a flat bottom so plastics sit flush:

When walleye fishing and deer hunting collide…

Good Luck to everyone hitting the deer stand this weekend and be safe! Hope you’ve got your spot dialed in like TW fan Curt Hoffbeck, who still might have the best deer stand location ever:

> “Went down to the river to put up some game cams for bowhunting and it dawned on me that big ‘eyes are easier to get this time of year than big bucks. Fished some backwaters on the river and got some fat 26- to 27-inchers and saugers.”

> “They were hitting VMC Neon Moon Eye Jigs with 4.5″ Go-To Hoochie Koochie tails (lemon lime and white). Cheers to fall…the best time of year!”

Here’s what Curt’s stand must look like with Down Imaging lol:

And how ’bout that time TW reader Zac Bernier went deer hunting fishing on the Rainy River??? Bet it fought like a 67″ sturgeon:

How the Lund Alaskan got its name….

Okay, I don’t actually know the real story, but this can’t hurt…. Another cool post in the Lund Boat Owners FB group, this time by Corey Schwanke:

> “My son’s caribou from interior Alaska…decided to tow it to a better place to butcher. This 18′ Lund Alaskan has had a lot of fish blood spilled in it, but this was the first caribou….”

Congrats dude!


1. Solid NWT 2020 schedule breakdown…

…from hammers John Hoyer and Gary Parsons. Say it’s a “big-fish schedule” and we could see total-weight records broken across the board.

2. MN: Upper Red Lake walleye reg changes.

Starting Dec 1: 4-fish bag limit, with only 1 over 17″ allowed.

URL gets ice crazy early, so if you’re heading up there over the next few weeks, I believe it’s the same limit except you can have 1 over 20″ instead. But ALWAYS good to check the regs yourself…instead of listening to some bozo on the interwebz lol.

Guess things are getting “tightened up” this winter to help account for the record # of people fishin’ (and keepin’) on the lake:

> Anglers spent 1.9 million hours fishing on Red Lake during the winter of 2018-19, significantly higher than the 178K hours they spent open water fishing in 2019. Those anglers harvested 293K lbs of walleye during the summer and winter of 2019 — a record high for annual harvest since walleye fishing resumed on the lake in 2006.

3. ID ain’t all trout and sumo perch….

Plop a SoDak boy in the trout Gem State and let him loose! Walleye nut Andy Fiolka has the ID waldos dialed-in on Salmon Falls — among other places — and let outdoor writer Jordan Rodriguez hop in with him for a day of whackin’. Full scoop here.

4. New Freedom Tackle Blade Bait comin’.

Looks filthy good. Can be rigged up 3 different ways, including:

> …the ability to rig the double hook on the top of lure head and lock it into place on the custom design hook notch. This allows anglers to tap the nose of the lure on rocky bottoms without the fear of hang-ups…a preferred presentation for whitefish and lake trout through the ice.

Click the pic for a Tactical Angling vid with a better look at the bait, and some other ways to rig it:

Word is it’s coming out later this month. Keep you posted.

5. KastKing has a military and first-responder discount.

> The discount, effective immediately, applies to all fishing tackle and other products available at The 10% discount can be had for the members of those groups by entering the discount code, HONORTEN….

6. Costa’s got new sunglasses for sweatier folks.

Case you have a problem with gettin’ #FoggedUp **raises hand** might wanna check out Costa’s new Diego frame. Says it has:

> Innovative vented hinge system to maximize airflow and comfort
> Vented nose pads reduce fogging
> Sweat management system cools and wicks away moisture

Will have to get my hands on some — I have an awkwardly big melon, so sunglasses and hats are something I always need to try on in person before buying….

7. MI pledges $8 mil for Chicago River carp barrier.

8. ND: Darkhouse spearing opens at ice-up.

Whenever that happens, or maybe already has happened.

9. KY’s using a “bio-acoustic fish fence” at Barkley Lock….

…to keep out Asian carp. Part of a 3-yr experiment to “limit their passage from the Cumberland River into Barkley Lake.”

> Flashing white lights at night, particularly when water levels are low (the rate of flash is slow and below the threshold for anyone with photosensitive epilepsy).

> A line of bubbles running the width of the channel from the main guide wall to the opposing bullnose.

> Vibration, particularly noticeable to small craft, from the bubble curtain.

> Noise from the sound barrier itself heard through the hull of the vessel as well as on deck.

10. St. Croix’s expanding the CCI lineup.

That’s their Croix Custom Ice technique-specific rods. Haven’t had the chance to try one (were sold-out all over last season!) but have heard really good things from some diehards.

11. UT completed 300K boat inspections this year.

> To prevent invasive quagga mussels from spreading from Lake Powell and other infested waters to other UT waterbodies.

Sounds far from relaxing! Props to the workers.

12. Life jacket use hits record highs at NMMA boat shows.

Now just make sure you’re wearing one on the water too….

13. Remember these gems?!?!

Got a few more of our Target Walleye Ugly Fishmas Sweaters in stock!

Super-limited quantities, so if ugly sweaters are your thing, jump on it! Why? ‘Cuz ugly-sweater season is more than just a couple days up here in the ice belt. No joke I’m wearing mine while I write this.

14. DC: New program has $50m for landowners…

…for public fishing and hunting access:

> Jerry Roach, program admin: “Nationally, there is $50 million available. The maximum funding that can be awarded per project is $3 million, and the minimum is $100K.”

15. FL is using Roundup on lakes??

> 17 registered herbicides are approved for use in FL waters, including glyphosate (the active ingredient in the controversial product Roundup).

Heard this is what happens if you try spraying it on zebra mussels:

Tip of the Day

Ice fishing: Deep-water basin crappie tips.

The AnglingBuzz fellas talk how they snatch finicky, deep-water crappies using tungsten in places most others would use jigging spoons.

Also debunk one of the biggest fishin’ myths you’ve probably heard…how if you reel ’em up outta deep water niiiice aaaand sloooow, that the fish’ll be just fine — but that’s just not true….

Jer says you’d probably have to reel that fish up over the course of 3-ish hours [!] for that to be the case. So get enough for dinner, and get out…even if the graph is THIS stacked:

Meme of the Day

Be safe this weekend if you do get to sneak out on the hard stuff!

Today’s ‘Eye Candies

Guess bassin’ pro Brandon ‘BP’ Palaniuk likes a challenge from time to time [smirk emoji]:


That’s a good look for you, dude!

BP put down the flippin’ stick (I think?) and picked up a Molix Tago Vibe for some real-life video games on his Humminbird SOLIX 12:


Think this one was hungry? #ChokedIt

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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
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