Target Walleye/Ice email

Early-ice bluegills, Cool new stuff, Red River greenbacks

Only one Target Walleye/Ice email this week. 🙁 Hope you and yours have a great Thanksgiving! If you’re sneakin’ out on the hard stuff…be safe out there!!

Anyone else servin’ up walleye, instead of turkey? Know this guy is:

Today’s Top 5

Bruisers of the week!

Layne Maier kicked off his ice season in a big way with this SK bruiser that chomped a VMC Rattle Spoon. Coolest part = fishing structure he mapped out this summer using AutoChart Live on his Humminbird Helix units. Okay maybe the coolest part is his Target Walleye/Ice hoodie. 😉

Josh Wetzstein took advantage of a warm(er) November day and snuck down to the Mississippi River to pitch plastics:

TW fan Justin Wright cracked his first Brainerd Lakes Area walldawg of the season on a Clam Leech Flutter Spoon:

Scott Mackner (@330MaNiac) has been whackin’ the early-ice slabbers — this one slurped up a crappie minnow on a plain hook in 13′. #OldSchool

Speaking of old school…. Keep an eye out on Scott’s YouTube channel (he has 6.8 mil lifetime views!) for his next vid where they got reeeeally down and dirty:

He’d probably be done editing that vid by now if he didn’t fish so dang much…. Kiddin’ man…sort of (lol).

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

Where you deer hunters at?! Know there’s still 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.”

J-Nels 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 new-this-season 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:

Some cool new things I came across.

A transparent, self-adhesive ruler you can slap right on your fishin’ rod or wherever else. Less things I have to carry from hole to hole, the more better-er.

I cut one down to show 9-14″ and stuck it on a panfish setup…so I know how big a crappie or ‘gill actually is — by holding its snout next to the butt of the rod — when I’m outside hole-hopping:

Tough to see but easy in person! Only downfall is now I can’t call a 9″ bluegill a 10-incher…. Really cool idea. Will definitely be doing up a few more “fairy wands” soon.

Met BeaverTail owner Andrew Gullickson at the Fishing Careers Workshop and of course got to talkin’ fishing. Found out he’s making these baits out of actual beaver-tail meat [!] plus a special blend of “herbs and spices” that keep it fresh — without changing consistency or flavor. Stays on the hook crazy long and talk about au natural:

Safely (and legally) refill your own 1-lb propane cylinders for pennies on the dollar:

Few reasons that’s important:

1) Only legal and safe way to refill your own. Yup, those cheaper adapters your using to refill cylinder in your garage are illegal and rather sketchy.

2) So you’re not spending $3+ per cylinder, just to be able to use about $0.30 worth of propane.

3) Not actually supposed to throw used 1-lb cylinders in the recycling or trash since they’re considered hazardous waste.

If you wanna check Flame King out in person, they’ll have a booth at the Fargo Ice Show Dec 7-9. Free parking and don’t have to drive into the cities? You know where I’ll be lol!

Nothing fancy or tricky, just flat-out works. Been using ’em myself for the last year and they’re slick…plus no cardboard cuts (lol):

Behind the scenes at Otter.

Had the chance to visit the Otter Outdoors crew yesterday and see exactly how their Roto-Molded sleds (among zillions of other things) are made…all I can say is WOW.

Roto-Molded = 100% seamless, uniform wall thickness, aka more material in the corners to absorb shock/stress.

Got the full tour from national sales manager Troy Tufto — had to leave my camera gear back, but was able to sneak a few cell-phone shots when Willy Troy wasn’t looking:

Lol wasn’t kidding about leaving the camera gear back…there’s tons of super-secret moving parts to this MEGA operation. Pics would never do it justice anyway when you’re talking about a 280,000+ SqFt operation on 17 acres — with over 150 employees — right here in MN.

Here’s a look at one tiny fraction of that space, including a fleet of shacks on their way to WI right now:

Will have more interesting Otter info sprinkled in these emails soon-ish. In the meantime, I came across a really cool video that actually shows how Otter turns peanuts into dang-near bulletproof sleds:

Now THIS is how you decorate a tree!

My best guess is they don’t have any pets or kids under the age of 6 lol:



> Have the ability to exterminate more than 90% of invasive populations in water temps of 45°F. One of the treatments, Niclosamide, required only 24 hours of exposure to achieve this high mortality rate…without overusing chemicals.

> By using the proper amounts of these products, researchers hope to find the “sweet spot” that kills a substantial number of zebra mussels without affecting harmless non-invasive species.

But…wouldn’t the leftover 10% turn into the next 100%?

2. Lund parent Brunswick all in on marine.

> Brunswick Corp. is spinning off its fitness division and abandoning its longtime diversification strategy, and instead will look to marine parts and accessories as a way to weather economic downturns.

Brunswick also owns Merc, Attwood and MotorGuide, among other brands.

3. MN: NPAA conference comin’ to Minneapolis Jan 4-6.

That’s the National Professional Anglers Association — if you’re not a member yet, better get on it.

4. Little bit about the new Pure Fishing owners.

Few headlines from around the interwebz (not ours):

5. Massive Otter sweepstakes goin’ on.

Not by us ‘cuz I don’t have a 280,000 SqFt garage to keep all these prizes in (lol), but can enter right here through Otter’s site. Giveaway runs through Jan 4 and will be 25 different winners! #DoWant

TW Gear Black Friday Sale!

Gitcha 30% off all Target Walleye/Ice gear until Wednesday 11/28 at 11:59 pm with the code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout! Click here or on the pic below:

Tip of the Day

Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba greenback pics usually look like they’re taken in the middle of the North Pole…so it’s both weird and cool when you can actually see shore in the background:

But Eric says you can expect to see a lot of shots like that ^ during early- and late-ice when greenies are piled in the Red River. His full write-up and video here, few excerpts below:

> The famed south basin sees the highest concentration of recreational ice angling. The entire span of the southern edge is the site of hundreds of Master Angler [walleye over 28″] catches every winter. Access points dot the shoreline on the west and east sides.

> Aside from extreme snow cover and/or ice conditions, every manner of transport is doable on the lake…from passenger vehicles, to ATVs, to towable fish houses.

> High-percentage fishable water is merely walking distance from shore…particularly during early and late ice when vehicle use can be limited.

> Locals will attest that the best water to hit for early-ice walleye action is actually on the Red River. The big fish opportunities on the stretch of water from Lockport Dam all the way downstream to the ‘End of Main’ is as bankable a bite as there is in MB in December.

> Ice angling on the river consists mainly of hanging bait in current, although lures will also get action — especially when the water is running clearer. Trying different depths can quickly narrow down the most productive water. The bigger fish here tend to be suspended higher in the water column, so working different depths in this other sense can payoff as well.

> The area that we honed in on was near the mouth of the Red River in water less than 7′ (from the bottom of the ice)….eventually drilling holes over water as skinny as 4′.

Quote and Meme of the Day

If you love to fish, why stop when the water freezes?

Guessing most people’s answer:

Lol! That quote is actually from Peter Olson’s MidWest Outdoors write-up full of tips for someone wanting to get into ice fishing for the first time.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

@huntfishozzie5 dishing out lip-piercings via the Berkley Flicker Shad:

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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