Target Walleye/Ice email

‘Eye guys win bass derby, Slack-line jerkbait tip, Stop vertical jigging

Today’s Top 4

Walleye-nuts crush the brown bass!

Heeeere we go again! “Walleye-nuts” made their presence known at the Sturgeon Bay Open bass tourney last weekend on Lake Michigan’s Sturgeon Bay in Door County, WI. A pile of ’em finished high in the standing against a stacked 130-boat field, including BASS and FLW pros.

How? Gary Parsons sums it up nicely:

> “You put a green largemouth in front of us, we all get scared…but smallies are almost walleyes.”

Lol touche man!

Willing to bet you wouldn’t see those same kinda results if the situation was reversed…would almost feel bad throwing a handful of bassin’ pros into a 130-boat walleye derby…. Sorta reminds me of this meme:

NWT pros Korey Sprengel and Ryan Dempsey won the whole dang thing [!!!] with a 2-day bag of 52.49 lbs…nearly a 5.25-lb average on 10 small-jaws. Great OutdoorsFirst shot:

Caught most of their fish on the sold-out Berkley Cutter 110+…same bait Sprengel frequently throws for walldawgs this time of year:

The next NWT event is happenin’ in the same-ish area (Green Bay) May 30-31. Sprengel said, “It’s going to be tough to focus on walleye knowing how much [the smallies] will be biting this weekend.” Sure you’ll manage!

Funny enough he couldn’t keep the waldos off while pre-fishing for brown bass — bet he wouldn’t mind a ‘well full of these on game day:

Will keep you posted on how things shake down at the NWT event next week.

Stop vertical jigging on lakes with zebra mussels.

Will you catch a few? Maybe. But you can catch waaaay more by getting that bait out away from the boat in clear, zeeb-filtered water…especially on sunny days when there’s shadows down there.

Fish-head Jon Thelen went out jigging for post-spawn walleyes on a northern MN lake that’s chock full o’ zebra mussels and walleyes. Said no doubt zeebz have changed the bite, but can still pluck fish outta that shallow 12-14′ stuff if you switch up the way you’re targeting ’em.

They had water temps in the high-50s to low-60s and found walleyes on the first edges and flats out from where the fish spawned. Really like how they take the time to map out the type of spots they’re fishing so I can duplicate it ’round home:

Diggin’ the big ol’ hook eye on those Lindy Live Bait Jigs. Jon says they come with no paint in ’em = bonus points for retying on the water:

Date night: Walleye dinner and a (real-life) movie.

Ever heard of fishing the bird pattern? Supposed to mean there’s loads of baitfish around, which = gravel lizard feeding frenzy. Okay so how about fishin’ the grizzly bear pattern (lol)? Was sent this from TW fan Reb Bishop — believe it’s from a northwest MT lake near Glacier National Park:

> “I took my wife for a Mother’s Day outing, she caught her first walleyes and we were treated to an unexpected surprise visit of 2 juvenile grizzlies out for a swim.”

*No bears were harmed in the making of that video…but a few walleyes were:

Guess that’s another good reason to have the auto stow and deploy on that Minn Kota Ulterra…’cuz I’m sure not gonna be the one to run up front and pull it when that grizzled pair starts comin’ my way! lol

Another good reason to keep smaller walleyes…

…and let the big breeders go. Might just be the definition of “biting off more than you can chew.”

Even pelicans can catch their new PB in Manitoba!


1. Skarlis is recovering from brain surgery…

…after having a walnut-size tumor removed. He somehow found the strength to hop on the last WeFishASA Podcast (start at the 30:19 mark) to talk about his journey. Powerful stuff — prayers fishin’ brother.

2. Skeet Reese saved a dude on Table Rock!

Bassin’ tubs, but another scary reminder why you should always wear your life jacket + kill switch:

3. SD: Channel catfish record voided?!

Found out 70 years later it was actually a blue catfish….

4. Bill Dance slips new Garmin trolling motor…

…on Facebook live. Not sure if guerilla marketing or an “oopsies” from Bill, but interesting no doubt.

In unrelated-related news:

Garmin had record Q1 revenue, and was named top 5 best employers in Forbes 2019 rankings….

5. New Salmo Freediver 9s in stock (all colors).

A 3.5″ bait that can dive up to 30′ [!] without leadcore, snap weights, etc. #Dibs

Its bigger brother, the Freediver 12, can be flat-line trolled down to nearly 50′ = [mind-blown emoji].

6. Evinrude + Alumacraft donate boat/motor to…

…Milwaukee Riverkeeper, an organization who’s mission is to restore and protect Milwaukee’s waterways.

…in the 2020 Yetti Fish House models. Shaved off another 170-lbs with this new strap system (vs the chained track). Can get it in a 60″ queen mattress [!] so the only thing keeping you up at night will be the rattle reels lol:

8. Adam Heggenstaller named ‘editorial director’…

…of Game & Fish Magazine. He’s comin’ off 14 years with NRA Publications.

9. WI DNR looking for conservation officers.

10. WY still zebra and quagga mussel free.

They’re trying to keep it that way, so are requiring all boats brought into the state to “undergo an inspection by an authorized inspector…even if they don’t intend to launch their boat in WY.”

11. Made in China tackle could be hit with 25% tariff.


Headline of the Day

MB man catches a walleye, calls it a pickerel for some reason.

The pickerel-vs-walleye debate continues. Don’t care what you call ’em as long as you’re out there fishing for ’em! #GravelLizards #Razorbacks #Walters #OhMy

Few other things those ‘Tobans pronounce funny IMO:

  • Decals = deckles
  • Sorry = sore-y
  • Fillet knife = fill-eTTTTT knife
  • Process = pro-cess
  • About = a-boat
  • Pasta = past-ah

Tip of the Day

Tony Roach slack-lines his jerkbaits.

Tony talks all about a few of his favorite early-season walleye techniques in this full Rapala blog post, but few excerpts below:

> They really smoke those [Rapala X-Raps and Shadow Raps] this time of year. The keys to fishing jerkbaits for shallow, early-season walleyes are long pauses and slack line.

> You’ve really got to train yourself to slow that bait way, way down in between jerks. Just make a couple of rips and then pop your rod tip forward — right back at the bait — to create as much slack in the line as possible.

> …you want to throw that bait sideways and then just let it sit there. Shadow Raps really throw themselves sideways, and then they’ll pause in the water column.

> I go back and forth between Sufix Advance Mono and braid-to-fluoro, letting the fish tell me what they want. What’s cool about mono when you’re fishing a jerkbait is you get that rubber-band effect — really bouncing that bait.

Quote of the Day

“With limited water clarity, our walleyes are not line shy…braid’s a better option for getting baits unsnagged from rocks, wood, you-name-it.”

– Here comes the “you-name-it” part guide Jason Feldner is talkin’ about:

How’d you like to cast shallow-running cranks at that Devils Lake, ND fish crib?!

Water temps are on the rise and the shore bite is en fuego. If you’re planning a trip that way soon, there’s a pile of info on the current conditions right here.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

No doubt this Lake Erie belly dragger (32″ x 17″) has been eatin’ good after the spawn! Bloated or not, she still wanted that Phantom Lures Dagger 11 for dessert:

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