Target Walleye/Ice email

Guy catches fish with his teeth, Crazy fish house break-in, Fines for filleting fish

Today’s Top 5

Fishing > cancer.

Was scrolling through my FB newsfeed and came across a vid that hit me pretty hard. Scott Hildebrandt was literally reeling in a fish using his mouth to turn the handle…and it wasn’t just one of those silly “challenge” videos:

> Scott: “…back in July 2018 I got diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia blood cancer…during chemo I developed a brain infection and lost function in my right arm, hand and foot since Sep 2018…. But I’ve taught myself a new strategy using my teeth to reel in — ain’t nothing stopping me from dangling and ripping lips.”

He was actually reeling so hard with his teeth that he broke or bit a piece of the handle off. Landed the fish though!

Huge props to you, fishing brother!

Btw — know I’ve seen some reels out there (somewhere) on the interwebz designed to make fishing easier for folks who can only reel one-handed. Any of you fish-heads know of one or have a hookup? Would be a pretty cool fishin’ present for a diehard like Scott — let me know….

Big fines if you’re bad at filleting fish…sorta.

There’s a new fish-transportation proposal out there in ND (could be fired up Apr 1, 2020) that’s gonna require you to be a little more precise with your cuts…. Language in the draft says:

> “…each individual portion of the meat removed from a fish is considered a fillet.”

If you’re someone (myself included!) that likes to “zipper” and “chunk” your fillets, better make sure you don’t ’til they’re about to hit the fryer.

And if you’re bad at filleting (myself included!) you better figure out a way to come out of it with 1 clean fillet…not those botched-up scraps you’re used to kicking out:

Main reason for the proposal: Game & Fish needs to be able to easily count the number of fish someone has (of course for checking limits) and that’s just not easy if a fillet is chunked-up into 8 tasty little morsels.

Wonder what it would mean for folks that like to cut out the cheeks or wings?

Boats banned on CO lake where state-record walleye was caught.

The city of Westminster has PERMANENTLY banned trailered boats from Standley Lake. Initially a temporary ban last March after “city staff learned that 24 of the 483 powered watercraft used on the lake in 2018 had broken the city’s zebra and quagga mussel quarantine.” Now they’re saying NO BOATS (with motors) going forward ‘cuz they could find “no good way to regulate the boats.”

This is causing such a buzz cuz Standley Lake is where Scott Regan caught the 18-lb 13-oz (34″) CO state record walleye back in 1997:

> Scott: “Caught on April 7, 1997 during the spring spawning run…. It was in a deep pool in the inlet of Standley Lake where we used to catch many big walleye.”

Btw the write-up also said:

> Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards can still be used in Standley Lake. “The reason being, those types of craft can be 100% visually inspected and 100% decontaminated 100% of the time….”

So here’s a few other “non-trailered watercraft” ideas we mentioned before that might get you within casting distance of a 20-lber on Standley Lake this summer:

Where’s the DNR on this??

When it’s okay to break into someone’s fish house….

I’ve got no time for someone that can’t respect other people’s property…but this time it was a necessary kind of “breaking and entering”:

Check out the caption under that @panoramic_outdoors post:

> “A few years ago K-dog (have yet to discover his or her actual name) used our ice shack for an overnight shelter while in a blizzard on Lake Winnipeg [Manitoba].

> “Most of the time our shack is broken into with the intent of theft or destruction…this time it was not the case…glad to see there are still some good folks out there! Our response to these visitors: Anytime K-dog!”

Pretty cool! Might also be a good reason to keep a pen and paper in your Yetti Fish House, instead of a Sharpie lol.

Now THIS is how you decorate a Christmas tree!

John H. sure has himself a pile of Moonshine Lures, but my best guess is he doesn’t have any pets or kids under the age of 6 lol:


1. WA liberalizing walleye limits ‘cuz of “orca crisis?”

If I’m reading this right, it sounds like folks THINK walleye are hurting the salmon population…and killer whales love them some salmon dinners…so less walleye is supposed to = happier whale populations:

> The new rules, which will go into effect mid-Feb, remove size limits and daily limits on rivers and streams throughout the state — the rules also double the daily limits for most species on 77 lakes….

> According to a WDFW presentation to the commission Saturday, 500 people supported liberalized bass and walleye limits. Those in favor were concerned that the nonnative fish were killing salmon and hurting endangered native species, like orca. They also believed broadly that protecting native fish and wildlife is more important than protecting nonnative predators.

2. SD: 2019 license sales down $1.5 mil.

Fishing and hunting are part of a billion-dollar industry in SoDak. License sales were down $1.5 mil in 2019 [!] which is a trend Game & Fish for sure isn’t about:

> “Surveys and reports show that the number of nonresidents — those who pay higher license fees to hunt, fish and trap — is declining.”

Guess that might be one negative of being too tight-lipped when good bites are happenin’.

3. ON: What’s happenin’ w/ Lake Scugog’s walleye pop.

MNRF banned walleye fishing there back in 2016 to help boost the population…4 years later, it’s still in its “very early stages” and “may take many years to see improvement of the walleye population.”

This write-up talks about a bunch of different factors going on with Scugog, ‘cuz it’s not just recreation fishing that’s impacted (or impacting) the fishery..

4. ND: Record-high water levels a good thing.

Can make the accesses a mess, but fisheries chief Greg Power says the high water might’ve saved 30-40 lakes from winterkill this year.

5. MN: LOW walleye numbers way up.

According to the fall population survey, Lake of the Woods had an average of 18.3 walleyes per net…well above the management goal of 14.

What’s that mean? I’d say it’s a dang good winter to plan a roadtrip.

6. Some custom-painted goodness.

Phantom Tillys come in some awesome stock colors, but how fish-sexy are these treats done-up by Matthew Fairbank? #Dibs

Matt’s a walleye-nut and combat vet — hit him up here on IG.

7. MB finally getting e-licensing in Apr.

One of the few places I even know of where you need to get the old-school handwritten paper licenses ‘stead of being able to buy one online. Nothing wrong with that — and always like to support stoppin’ in local businesses — but made it super tough for us out-of-towners coming through after business hours.

8. WY: $10K reward for catching a burbot?!

Burbs were “illegally introduced” to Fontenelle and Flaming Gorge Rezs, and area fisheries biologists are concerned ‘cuz they:

> “…compete with sport fish for food and are a voracious predator. Burbot eat prized sport fish like kokanee salmon, smallmouth bass and trout that would otherwise be available for anglers to catch.”

So they hold several derbies each season to help wipe ’em out.

Couple of those are the Burbot Bash set for Jan 24-26 on Flaming Gorge Rez, and the La Barge Ding-the-Ling happenin’ Feb 7-9 on Fontenelle. Folks compete for most, biggest and smallest burbot, and have a shot at catching a couple of tagged-and-released burbs worth $5K and $10K.

> “Anglers are encouraged to take advantage of improving ice conditions and do their part for the sport fisheries by removing as many burbot as possible from local waters. Every burbot removed is a savings in sport fish.”

So get your burbot on and maybe get your payday on.

9. G. Loomis’ Bruce Holt is retiring after 34 years.

10. Fish stress hormone could accumulate in scales.

Not sure that this is gonna change how any of us do anything, but it’s an interesting new area of research:

> “The finding means measuring cortisol levels in scales could offer a simple, minimally invasive glimpse into fish well-being, allowing scientists to better understand how they are coping with agricultural, industrial or biodiversity changes.”

11. IL/MI: Asian carp making their way to Lake Michigan.

Hope they don’t get in…. Highlights

Tip of the Day

One of Mike’s go-to combos is the Clam Drop-Kick Jig paired with a Maki Jamei.

Meme of the Day

I mean there’s nothing wrong with a good toaster, but…

Funny…that’s my size too.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Aaaand the best hardwater photo of 2019 goes to [drum-roll sound effect]:

Absolutely insane snap posted on Humminbird’s Instagram page. But I find it even crazier that Lindner Media camera dude Brandon Brown was able to catch a walleye (lol).

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