Target Walleye/Ice email

Fidget spinner muskie, Blade baits overlooked, Fall walleyes indecisive

Today’s Top 5

Muskie caught on fidget spinner! Seriously.

Aaron Wiebe (Uncut Angling) is a sucker for unusual fishin’ shenanigans, like:

Plus lots more. So of course he’d be the first one to catch a dang muskie on a homemade fidget-spinner bucktail tied with his own upper-lip hair:

Okay timeout…does anyone reeeeally know if it’s spelled “musky” or “muskie?”

Maybe we’re all wrong??

Imo “muskie” is a fish and “musky” is a smell….

Anyways where were we? Oh ya, A-a-ron is a beast — check the video here:

Believe Aaron’s a ’90s kid, so wouldn’t be surprised to see him make a lure out of one of these gems next:

Slaunches of the week!

Kelly Sabescay stuck his first Manitoba Master Angler of the fall (gotta be 28″ or better) outta an area known as “end of main” (EOM) on the Red River, where it meets Lake Winnipeg. That bite will only get better over the next few weeks:

Chris Kindraka and Kevin Schafer are hoping this 29.5″ slaunch bites again on tourney day…. Was caught pre-fishing for the Nipawin Vanity Cup on SK’s Tobin Lake happenin’ this weekend — will be 160 teams chasin’ a chunk of the $300K [!] in prizes.

Chris said it was caught dragging ’round a leech on a 7′ live-bait rig, but can you ever really trust what guys say the day before a tourney? Lol:

‘Walleye’ Will was pitchin’ around Northland Puppet Minnows when he Pappenfus’d this golden beef brisket. Knowing Will, I’d guess he was dunking the “glo perch” or “firetiger” colors. And yup, they’re already seein’ some white flakeys up north. #Brrrr

Better try blade baits for cold-water walleyes.

Rippin’ blade baits is still one of the most overlooked and not-talked-about techniques for cold-water walleye. Lucky for us Gary Parsons and Keith Kavajecz were willing to leak a few secrets. Full write-up on The Next Bite’s website, few excerpts below:

> Rocks in deep water are a great place to target. “Deep” is a relative term. In 80′ it can be a 25′ hump. In 15′ it could be a rockpile that tops out at 10-12′.

> If we’re fishing a hump that tops out at 12′, we’ll cast a 1/4- or 1/2-oz ThinFisher…deeper and we use a 1/2-oz.

> Vertically: Drop the lure to the bottom and aggressively lift it up 6-12″. You’ll be able to feel the vibration of the lure on each stroke. It’s the combination of flash and vibration that makes this lure work.

> Casting: Work [them] just like you would a jig, moving it just enough to make it flutter. Hold your rod at the 11:00 position and let it swim back to you. You can be aggressive as you lift your rod, but it shouldn’t be a giant sweep.

> Once you get the lure back to the boat, don’t be afraid to vertical jig it — sometimes the fish will follow the lure and then hit it when you change the action.

Gary sees ’em as a cross between a jig and a crankbait. Here he is talking ’bout one of his favs…the 1/2-oz Johnson ThinFisher:


Gary likes to use chrome/blue and chrome/gold in clear water, firetiger when it’s dirty, and says purple tiger works well in both. Rigs ’em with 10-lb Berkley NanoFil and a 2′ Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon leader on a M to MH 6-7′ rod with a lot of backbone.

“Spinners aren’t just for spinnerbaits.”

– That’s Cliff Crochet gettin’ his Rat-L-Trap on, #SpinTrap style:

Love me some gear tweaks — should help get your creative juices flowin’.

Heard Bill Lewis might actually be selling these as-is, but couldn’t find ’em online. Reached out to Prez Wes Higgins and he said:

> “You’re right, the Spin Trap can be tough to find. We can do custom runs for your readers…just call [here] to order…direct from our factory to their doorstep. That’s the nice thing about making lures in the USA still…we can actually do this type of stuff.”

How cool is that?

Speakin’ of tasty…. Here’s a few sick ‘Trap colors — made specifically for walleyes — you maybe haven’t ogled yet:

‘Trap has those and a zillion other walleye snacks right here.

Wow! Catch of a lifetime!!

Too good not to have its own top spot…. You will NOT believe what Travis and Jessie Wagner wrassled outta the lake — had to blur out the thumbnail so no spoiler alerts:

No doubt it took both to land that new PB — big congrats!


1. Jay Kumar’s 2c on getting into the fishing biz.

Was reading yesterday’s BassBlaster (a sort-of-bass-fishing-version of Target Walleye) and came across this #money quote from Jay Kumar (guy who writes it) on breaking into the fishing industry:

> Jay: “Be really really good at whatever you do, underpromise and overdeliver, work your tail off, be humble and grateful to everyone (can be hard!), know that the whole fishing biz runs on RELATIONSHIPS, not necessarily $ and cents (if you burn bridges, your time in this biz will be short).”

Spot on man! And gotta say I wouldn’t be writing these-here emails if it weren’t for him (thx dude!).

If you wanna know more ’bout breaking down that industry door, you might wanna check out the Fishing Careers Workshop happenin’ Oct 27. Hope to meet some of you fish-heads there, instead of just through a computer screen….

2. MB: First-ever Selkirk Walleye Championship…

… put on by the Kickerfish crew happenin’ Oct 20-21. Should be right in the thick of the fall greenback run — can’t wait to a lot more of this:

3. MN: Hey Twin Cities folks….

You a member of Twin Cities Walleyes Unlimited yet? Have Steve Pennaz speaking at their next meeting on Thurs, Oct 4. Gotta solid lineup of speakers comin’ in hot:

4. MN: 17th annual Fall Walleye Classic…

…happenin’ this Sunday on Pelican Lake near Breezy Point. Solid payouts, $200 team entry fee, and the tourney helps raise money to better walleye fishing in the Brainerd Lakes Area. Drop ’em a message here if you’re looking to jump in.

5. Hey custom painters: Phantom’s gotcha covered.

Can get their baits in clear, aurora glow, golden nugget or silver bullet ready-to-paint bases…although I might just have to take “golden nugget” out for a rip as-is:

6. MI anglers super concerned about Asian carp…

…getting into the Great Lakes, and rightfully so.

7. PA: Snakeheads found in Susquehanna tributary.

No, they’re not the same thing as a bowfin aka dogfish:

Get this:

> “Snakeheads are toothy, slimy and huge, weighing up to 20-lbs. They can also breathe out of water as long as they stay wet, and use their fins to travel short distances on land. They mostly eat fish, frogs, small minnows, crawfish and eels, but have also been known to bring down ducks and small mammals.”

How’d you like to see one of the things WALK passed you lol…yikes!

8. CO rez closed because they can’t check for invasives.

Can only launch during the seasonal, office hours…imagine if that was a thing on all public lakes? #scary

9. MN: Zeebz found in Big Pine.

Settle down Otter Tail folks, talkin’ the Aitkin County Big Pine….

10. Lunkerhunt Bento is heavy matchin’ the hatch.

Awesome thing you might not know about the Bento Baits: The plastic is molded around — and fuses into — a holographic fabric in the middle…sorta like rebar and concrete. I’ve fished with one an entire day without losing it. Go to take it off and it’s like trying to get a hook out of a t-shirt. #works.

11. Bass Pro comin’ after formers Cabela’s execs…

…over non-compete agreements.

Headline of the Day

Catch the biggest walleye, win a $100K boat…

…in the Lake Erie Fall Brawl:

> Pay $30 to register in the Brawl and fish any time [during the Oct 19 – Dec 2 contest] in the Ohio waters of Lake Erie…off shore or in a boat. Bring any walleye you catch to Erie Outfitters to weigh — the biggest fish wins.

Started in 2011 as a bunch of buddies throwing in $25 towards a “big fish pot.” Expecting 6,000+ this year from over 15 states.

Dang near every year someone fishing from shore finishes in the money = #stout

Tip of the Day

Mike Gnatkowski:

> Weeds begin to die as winter approaches, depleting the oxygen in the water and fish are forced to deeper water.

> Baitfish flushed from the weeds relocate to the first available structure…dropoffs, stumps, wind-swept points, gravel bars or reefs.

> Look for spines and fingers that act as roadways leading to rockpiles, humps, gravel bars or boulders in 10-15′ in the main lake. Watch for the reverse later in the fall when the shallows cool and become re-oxygenated.

> A great way to target ’em then is to stealth troll after dark. Work up and down the contour, trolling slowly and quietly at 1.0-1.2 mph. Big Rapala Husky Jerks, Storm ThunderSticks and Smithwick Rattlin’ Rogues interest the biggest fish.

> Keep noise to a minimum and lights off the water because the walleyes are on edge, but you’ve got a chance of catching a pig.

Meme of the Day

Back in the box you go. *wipes sweat from brow

Lucky for Mike Borovic ^ they make more “hot chub” Tail Dancers every day.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Who handed this Simms mannequin a walleye?

Lol kiddin’ John! Just have some serious fish-envy going on over here….

Sign up another fish-head!

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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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