Target Walleye/Ice email

High-speed graphing, Walleye eat burbot, Troy Lindner things

Today’s Top 4

Przekurat wins NWT championship!

Jason “JP” Przekurat was crowned walleye king at the NWT Championship on Lake Erie = the biggest event in professional walleye fishing. First pro to ever pull it off twice (also won the 2016 NWT championship on the Missouri River). He sacked-up a 3-day bag (15 walleyes) weighing 73.25 lbs. Aside from having the ultimate bragging rights, Jason also nabbed a $97,905 payday. #ChaChing


His primary area was 18 miles north of Huron, but Mother Nature said “nope!” and kicked-up some nasty conditions, forcing him to change plans on the final day. Full scoop in this NWT Insider Report, few excerpts below:

> JP: “It was just nasty [on day 3] and I knew there was no way I was going to be able to do what I needed to do once I got there…changed game plans right out the get-go. It was a difficult call…leading the tournament, and can’t get to where your fish are.”

Instead he ran 7 miles north to his back-up area, and cracked two 4-lbers and a 5.11 on his first trolling pass — gave him the confidence that he could catch ’em there without making the long run:

> “It was a just a little 1/2-mile area, but we caught every fish there today. With 30 minutes left, we caught 1 more good one that give us a 1/2-lb upgrade. Without that fish, it’s incredibly close…it probably sealed the deal.”

Said he was fishing the same depth (44-46′) in both areas:

> “The high ones are always the most active and catchable…. [But] all of my big fish came 25-33′ down. We were using 2-oz Off Shore Guppy weights. With the snap on, it was 100′ back total.”


Trolled at speeds of 1.5-1.7 mph with his bow-mount Minn Kota Ultrex and said he had to get squirrelly with it:

> “The whole thing was erratic driving and erratic speeds…making quick S-turns constantly to speed the boat up and then slow it back down. [The baits are] raising up and they’re going down — they’re turning left and then turning right…trying to cover all the depths at one time. To do it, you drive erratically.

> “I was using the Ultrex with High Speed Bypass [immediately boosts the motor to the highest speed] to avoid the kicker-engine noise. When you’re fishing in a pack of boats, that’s how you get extra bites.”

JP said he was running “standard deep-diving crankbaits,” that “purples are typically productive on Erie” but golds took his bigger fish of the week:

> “When I was in my primary area the first 2 days, I was trolling around the perimeter of the bait. You don’t want to be fishing where there’s a lot of bait, and there was a lot of bait out by the buoy. I would just slide outside until the bait started disappearing.

> “With my Humminbird Helix 12 on the dash, I can run around on plane and differentiate between baitfish and walleye marks.

> “This one means more than any one of my other titles. I’m 50…I’m getting up there in age. There are a lot of young guys that are really good sticks — they know their stuff. This tells me that I’m still here…I can still compete, and I’ve still got some good years ahead of me.”

Jason’s a top-notch pro, much deserved man! Pumped to see you’ve got a new shotgun rider:

Sprengel (finally) wins AOY.

Might come as a shock considering how consistently goooood Korey Sprengel is, but this is the first time he’s ever won the NWT ‘Angler of the Year’ title. He slam-dunked it with his 2nd-place finish at the Lake Erie championship thx to his 3-day bag (15 fish) for 73.25 lbs and a $76,590 payday:

> Korey: “I’m still not sure it’s happened. I was almost content that it was never going to happen. I’ve had a great run of events, and I’m proud of my Angler of the Year average, so I could live with not getting it.

> “It still hasn’t sunk in yet because I’ve been so focused on the tournament. I wanted to make sure if JP slipped today, I was there to take it. Honestly, I don’t know where this title ranks. It’s towards the top for sure, but I’m not going to say it’s at the top.

> “Pursuing AOY pushed me to be better — it pushed me to try and be flawless. I’ll never say that I’m a better angler than anyone else. But a lot of this game is about decisions. I can say with confidence that I can make some good decisions.

> “I’m honestly trying to think of my next goal, and right now I’m not sure. What I’m really looking forward to is next year’s schedule. Now if you want to fish the championship, you better make sure you have enough points to qualify.”

How he caught ’em at Erie:

> “I learned real quick that this event wasn’t about being different than someone else in terms of baits. I didn’t care where I caught my fish either. I knew what to look for on my electronics.

> “The graph could be loaded with marks, but it had to have the right combination of everything. In my primary area, there was a lot of bait, so you’d have to slide out to the side and mark fish that were without all the bait.”

On day 2 he purposely drove “slower” so he could graph the entire 18 miles out to his spot. When he says “slower,” he was actually high-speed graphing (on plane) at 30-35 mph. Now THAT is how you break down the BIG water in short order!

Here’s an actual pic of how Korey pre-fishes:

Okay not really but we’re all picturing it that way! #SearchAndDestroy

> “I was dropping waypoints the whole way out, so I stopped at the furthest one and started fishing. That’s where I caught the 7.5-lber and I caught another 5-lber too.

> “[On day 3 the water] got really nice and clean, and those fish decided to bite. I knew I was going to need stuff to fall back on, and it played into my hand.”

Said he caught ’em suspended over 45-50’…trolling erratically between 1.6-2.0 mph — at the slower end of that in the mornings. Would target the top 20′ of the water column with #11 Berkley Flicker Minnows — ‘flashy purple candy’ (top) and ‘flashy chartreuse’ (bottom) were his best colors. Also used some deep-diving crankbaits down to 35′:

> “Every morning they started down low. Around 10:30 or 11 they would start moving up to 18-20′. It was a little different every day. [Day 3 and 2] they were only 12-15′ from the surface. With those higher fish, you would see them on plane graphing, but not when you’re actually fishing…almost had to forecast where they were going to be.

> “Every pass was different, and every school was different, but it was critical to mark them with speed — that’s how I knew we were in the high-percentage zone. The ones by no bait were the easiest to catch.

> “AOY was my #1 goal this week. Wherever I had to finish in the tournament, that’s what I was focused on doing. It’s a great finish to the year.”

Keep killing it, man!

“You know you caught a LARGE walleye when you look down into its mouth and notice it recently ate an eelpout.” 
– That’s the caption under this pic of IDO’s PJ Vick hoisting up a greedy bugger!


Crazy! I reached out to PJ to get the burbot’y scoop:

> “That was one gluttonous [his word LOL] walleye! James Holst, Konnor Kleist and I were up on Lake of the Woods for a fun-fishing getaway. Fish were in super grump mode that day with 27°F weather and 15-20 mph wind so the jig and shiner came out. A 1/4-oz ‘chartreuse orange’ color VMC Neon Moon Eye was the jig of choice.
> “Open-water ice fishing was how I presented the bait…held it off the bottom with short jig strokes slowly working the bait up and down.”

Nicely done fellas!

Maybe TW fan Craig Hoffbeck was onto something when he caught this gravel lizard (a few falls back) casting the massive Savage Gear 3D Burbot for muskie near a 7′ Leech Lake, MN rock reef:


And we’re over here using tiny 1/16-oz hair jigs, slip-bobbers and live-bait rigs with 12′ snells trying to fool ’em:

Troy Lindner WOULD catch…

…a MASSIVE carp with a Rapala Rippin’ Rap lol. Yup, hooked in the mouth!


Troy (Al’s son) is a diehard multi-species stick — which I think is a prerequisite to carrying his last name — but this catch was maybe even a little “out there” for him.

Guess I know what to get him for Christmas…. #CandyCorn


1. We have a Thorne spotting….

No doubt with a last name like Thorne, you’re expected to be able to catch ’em, and catch ’em Paul Thorne can! Paul wrassled in the largest fish caught in the 2020 Frank Schneider Memorial Muskie Tournament out of 490 anglers — hit the board at 53.25″! Congrats man!!

Paul and his bro Gregg co-founded Elliott Rods — incredible high-end fishing rods handcrafted in MN. Crazy how fast their sticks go from “in stock” to “sold out,” but makes sense after you actually get one in your hand and feel just how GOOD they are.2. MT: Walleyes are taking over at Fresno Rez.

Waldos made up 60% of the total fish (all species) in recent netting surveys…which I’d say is almost the exact opposite of what we’ve got going on over here in MN on most lakes. They must not have any bluegills in MT lol.

3. In-Depth Media Productions hiring a videographer.

Break into the biz!

4. New episode of AnglingBuzz Ice just dropped.

First of the 2020-21 hardwater season and called “Finding Panfish Fast.” And after watching Jeremy Smith’s segment on making his secret fish tacos, I’ll be “Eating Panfish Fast” too lol:


5. WI: More ‘eyes getting stocked into the Menominee River.

Another 15K fingerlings (6-8″) were dumped in Kingsford Flowage and Twin Falls Flowage.

6. AR: New walleye regz for Greers Ferry Lake.

> Removing the 20-28″ protective slot limit for walleye…and implementing a 14″ minimum length limit. …few anglers pursue walleyes at Greers Ferry, and enabling anglers to keep bigger walleyes will not damage the walleye population.

7. NY: Great Sacandaga “Walleye Challenge” cancelled.

8. Couple teens trying to catch a fish…

…in all 50 states. Sounds like they’re currently in OH looking for the elusive walleye from shore….

9. NY: New launch at Onondaga Lake is open.

#Covid #2020

10. Rather Outdoors is hiring an art director.

In case you hadn’t seen than name around (I hadn’t) it looks like Rather Outdoors = Lew’s, Strike King, etc.

11. Buck Knives is having a kitchen knives sale.

Got me thinking how I own probably 6-ish fillet knives even though I rarely keep fish…yet I’ve never upgraded the kitchen knives that we use every day? Might just have to….

Random story: I was actually using Buck’s Abyss Fillet Knife (sold-out right now) to clean up some fat on a pair of pork shoulders the other day — got myself pretty good on the tip of my pointer finger…dang those things are SHARP!

Smoked ’em on my Traeger (use it like 5x a week!) for 4 hours before wrapping ’em to finish. Pretty sure my little helper ate her body weight in pulled pork:

Tip of the Day

SD guide Joel Vasek says people fish too shallow for reservoir walleyes in the fall. His full throwback breakdown here, few excerpts below:

> “People fish too shallow for fall reservoir walleyes. As fall progresses, reservoir walleyes migrate to deeper water — that’s where the baitfish go.

> “In later fall — when water temps are 56 degrees or below — you want a calm, bluebird day. Earlier in the fall, when water temps are in the higher 50s or above, you’re better off on a cloudy day with a little chop.

> “I look for anywhere from 28-40′ with a nearby drop to even deeper water. I always look for sharp dropoffs, steep banks and rocky points. You always want very deep water adjacent to these rocky spots.

> “Vertical jigging is effective, especially on bluebird days. Use a 3/8- to 1/2-oz jig tipped with a shiner or 3-4″ sucker minnow. That’s a heavy jig, but the water is deep. I recommend 6-lb FireLine for better feel. You can also use a 4” white twister tail. White imitates gizzard shad, primary forage for reservoir walleyes.

> “Use a Lindy rig with fatheads when there’s a little chop and you need to move around to locate active fish.”

Quote of the Day


“Too close for comfort…got really lucky today!”

– Central MN guide Christopher Meitzner had a Rapala Jigging Rap that decided to fight back…luckily Chris was juuuust able to dodge its right hook:

Could’ve been really bad. Glad you’re okay, dude! Though I gotta say, it’s about time those J-Raps stood up to you after how badly you’ve been picking on ’em them this fall lol. #2for1s

Today’s ‘Eye Candy


Shauna Lowe (@canadian_fishingaddict) burned-up a vacation day and was rewarded with her new PB open-water walleye! Wait…I thought that’s what sick days were for (lol)? Caught the 30″ Manitoba #greenback vertical jigging with a 3/8-oz blue/green Big Sky Flasher Jig and a salted minnow. Congrats Shauna!

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Target Walleye — 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
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