Target Walleye/Ice email

Evinrude is done, Jig trolling is back, How tourneys are changing

Today’s Top 4

Evinrude’s done making outboards?!

Wow — did NOT see that coming.

From BoatingIndustry:

>  BRP announced it has re-oriented its marine business by focusing on the growth of its boat brands with new technology and innovative marine products. We will discontinue production of Evinrude E-Tec and E-Tec G2 outboard engines. Our Sturtevant, WI facility, will be repurposed for new projects to pursue our plan to provide consumers with an unparalleled experience on the water.

> “Our outboard engines business has been greatly impacted by COVID-19, obliging us to discontinue production of our outboard motors immediately. This business segment had already been facing some challenges and the impact from the current context has forced our hand.”

> With this announcement, BRP will be positioned to expand its presence in the pontoon and aluminum fishing markets through technologically advanced solutions. …enhance the boating experience with unique new marine products, such as the next generation of engine technology with Project Ghost [integrated boat and electric motor]….

More from Fishing Tackle Retailer:

> “We have no plan to bring back the production of outboard engines E-Tec and E-Tec G2.

> “…signed an agreement with market leader Mercury Marine to support boat packages and continue to supply outboard engines to their boat brands.

> “At this point, we have no intention of selling the brand or the technology of Evinrude.

> “BRP will also consolidate Alumacraft operations from 2 sites to 1. All Alumacraft operations will be transferred to St Peter, MN and the Arkadelphia, AR will be permanently closed.”

For those of you wonderin’ what happens to warranties:

> “We will continue to supply customers and our dealer network service parts and will honor our manufacturer limited warranties, plus offer select programs to manage inventory. These decisions will impact 650 employees globally.”

Hawthorne’s “jig-trolling” breakdown.

I had the chance to hop in the boat yesterday with Mille Lacs guide Brad Hawthorne where he schooled me on the forgotten art of “jig trolling” for walleyes. Great, finessy way to cover more water and keep your bait in the strike-zone longer. Something I’ll definitely be adding to my walleye-fishing arsenal — hope you dig it!


His go-to bait RIGHT NOW is a secret color (but he ended up showing it in the video!) Northland Long Shank Fire-Ball Jig. Also whacked a bunch earlier in the day using the same “jig trolling” technique with a 4″ Impulse Smelt Minnow.

Will COVID-19 change the way we do fishing tourneys?

No doubt it has for the time being, and in some states it will for (at least) the rest of this season — like MN. Info from this StarTribune write-up:

> “…COVID-19 restrictions for outdoor gatherings remain limited to 10 people if social distancing is maintained. But the DNR considers the congregation of anglers and tournament officials at weigh-in stations off-limits even if anglers remain in their boats while judges retrieve their fish and weigh them.

Means the 250+ permitted tourneys still scheduled in MN will have to do a catch-measure-release format where no fish are brought to a central weigh-in…most likely using “cell phone apps like TourneyX, FishDonkey or iCatch to register fish….”

> “Other specific restrictions that remain in place under the governor’s revised executive order say events can’t hold in-person rules meetings or in-person awards ceremonies. Spectators are prohibited, social distancing must be kept throughout the tournament, and competitions must employ staggered starts or use multiple points of departure.”

Weird times.

Wonder if tourney trails will switch over to the catch-record-release format even after life gets back to normal…whatever that new “normal” may be…?

How to tell you’re throwing the right bait.

When they eat it like this. #ChokedIt #PassThePliers


That’s Jacob Zipperer putting the #7 “redfire crawdad” color Rapala Rippin’ Rap to work on WI’s Green Bay.

Same bait he used for this MASSIVE 33.5″ long x 19″ girth monster he caught — and we shared — last week:


1. Northland Tackle bought Bagley Baits.

No doubt if you fish for walleyes, you know Northland Fishing Tackle for their jigs, spinners, and Impulse line of plastics, among other goodies. Bagley is known for their reeeeally good crankin’ baits, and “will transition operations to Northland’s headquarters in Bemidji, MN.”

Little background info: Northland’s new CEO Gregg Wollner worked at Rapala for a while, and one of Bagley’s former owners — who now is with Northland — is legendary lure designer Jarmo Rapala:


Should be interesting to see what new fish-catchers they bring to the market.

2. MN/CAN: Coalition bringing AIS fight to boundary waters.

Talkin’ the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) = a 1.1 mil acre wilderness area within the Superior National Forest in northeastern MN. Has nearly 1,600 uninhabited lakes, 2,000 backcountry campsites, 1,200 miles of canoe routes, and about 1 zillion walleyes lol.

They said that developing an AIS plan won’t be easy ‘cuz:

> “The overlapping agencies, tribal governments, lake associations, and interested citizens and business groups involved in the management of the BWCAW are as complex as the geography of this area….”

But they might have nature on their side?

> “…some AIS experts believe that zebra mussels are unlikely to survive in most Canadian Shield lakes, due to low amounts of the calcium that mussels need to build their shells….”

3. ND: Record # of fishing licenses sold so far.

About 26K more than last year at this time.

Crews have been working ’round the clock to restock lakes with more fishes, and plan to plug another 10 mil walleye fingerling into lakes across the state over the next couple weeks.

Great job people!

4. MI: Did the governor’s hubby try to violate her boat order?

Not sure if it’s true, but pretty dang funny if so:

> MI Gov. Gretchen Whitmer faced backlash from Republican lawmakers after a reported request from her husband to get the family’s boat out on the water before Memorial Day weekend — far from their home in Lansing.

> Whitmer, a Democrat, famously has imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in the country, sparking frequent protests. What’s more, she’s told people not living in northern MI to stay away from vacation spots there during the holiday weekend.

5. It’s hard to make panfish look cool in shots…

…but this snap on @minnkotamotors Insta nailed it. #TalonDown


Helps having a fishin’ model like Brian “Bro” Brosdahl behind the fish, too!

6. Spring floods help spread Asian carp.

> New populations of silver carp established themselves in MN and WI thanks to last year’s floods, threatening the Great Lakes….

> The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting intense flooding in the Midwest [again this year].

> …window of time where the perfect combination of river flow and spring water temperatures are a ‘stimulus for reproduction’ for carp….

7. Lake of the Woods charter boats have bathrooms?

Had no idea, but wouldn’t complain in a time of “need” lol. Came across that little factoid in this write-up talking about the top 10 reasons to book a fishin’ charter on Lake of the Woods.

8. DC: Senate will vote on the Great American Outdoors Act.

> The legislative package allocates $9.5 bil over 5 years, all revenue from oil and gas drilling on public lands and waters, to address the massive maintenance backlog on public lands. It also guarantees full and permanent funding for the popular Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 mil annually.

9. UT: 54 folks cited for quagga mussels in boats.

Yikes. Sounds like a busy Memorial Day weekend.

Tip of the Day

How John Hoyer fishes the Berkley Snap Jig.

Reminder: The Berkley Snap Jig is a winged jighead — with a gliding/darting action — that lets you swap out the body with your favorite plastics to change up the color/action/profile:

Used to only come in 1/4- to 3/8-oz sizes, but…now this season us common folk can finally get the Berkley Snap Jig in bigger 1/2- and 3/4-oz sizes, a bait NWT pro John Hoyer has been whackin’ ’em with for the last year.

He says there’s really no wrong way to fish ’em, but that being said…I’m definitely gonna work ’em EXACTLY how Johnny “hot sticks” Hoyer does lol:

> I make a long cast (works best in 10-20′) and let it hit bottom. Then I do a light pop-slack…pop-slack…pop-slack…. This gives the bait a 3-4′ side-to-side walk.

> Then I hold my rod on tight line and let the bait coast back to bottom…this is when they stroke it. So basically a triggering sequence followed by an easy coast down to the bottom, giving them a chance to track it and eat it.

> Vertically: I pop it up 2′ and let it fall on semi-slack line, catching it just before bottom to let it plane out. I’ll hold it steady as it wanders back to center for 2 or 3 secs…then pop it again.

He’s played with zillions of trailers on the business end of the Snap Jig, and says his overall favorites are a 4″ Berkley Gulp! Minnow when using the 6/0 hook and a 3.4″ Berkley PowerBait The Champ Minnow for the 4/0.

If you haven’t seen that Champ Minnow before, comes in some sick high-def patterns — this one’s the “HD round goby” color:

Likes running ’em on 10-lb FireLine Ultra 8 Carrier braid with a 12-lb Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon leader.

His go-to rod is a custom Thorne Bros using an unpainted St. Croix Legend blank in the 7′ M fast-action. Has titanium torzite guides (“most sensitive in the world”), a Winn foregrip, and syncork rear grip for added sensitivity and feel. Pairs it with an Abu Garcia Revo MGX (size 30) spinning reel.

Quote of the Day

“He says he wants a raise and his own show.”

– That’s Jason “needs no introduction” Mitchell talking while gettin’ showed up by his oldest son Brennen. Keep doing your thing, bud!


Bet the younger Mitchell wouldn’t forget the scale…. Sorry, had to Jason! Lol.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Not sure if this is a new PB for Christopher Devos (@fishing_iz_my_hustle) or not, but he stuck himself one that hit the magical 30″ mark! Believe on the St. Lawrence River in QC. Big congrats dude!!

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