Target Walleye/Ice email

How Hoyer snap jigs, Line spooling hacks, Jig rap with mono

Today’s Top 5

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 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 all year long. 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.

What’s all that ^ get you? About a mortgage payment + monthly utilities lol! But also probably one of the absolute lightest and most sensitive combos in the world, and clearly it’s been workin’ for him….

These fall BRUISERS will get your blood pumpin’!

Few rock melons sent in from TW fans:

This one came from walleye nut Greg Abdallah who was nice enough to let his bud Steve Meyer Bagley Rumble B a dirty-30 near New Town, ND. Must be some money stretch of the Missouri River?

Adam Canfield and his mom caught the SAME freakin’ 30-incher about an hour apart! Were fishing the Saskatchewan River near Nipawin with local hammer Ray of Twin Marine Outfitters. Said they were Spot-Lock‘d “in current with an eddy off to the side of a tailrace by a dam.” Adam’s mom caught it first, which is probably why the fish wasn’t smiling for the pic on the second go-around:


Riley Pashniak’s pot-bellied water pig scarfed a #3 Moonshine Shiver Minnow (“IK Dominator” color) out of a secret SK lake. Said it was a 28-incher that went 9 lb 14 oz, so he was bummed to not join the elusive 10-lb club…but tough to be mad about a fish like THIS!

Some quick line-spooling hacks!

Asked Al Lindner if he was excited about fishin’ the hardwater and he said:


Lol sorry had to, man!

Believe it or not, we’re just weeks away from first ice — time to get those “fairy wands” spooled up and ready to rip. One challenge of using smaller ice spools is they cause more line twist or coiling — ain’t nobody got time for that!

Did you know spooling in a bowl of warm water can help keep line WAY more manageable? No joke. That and a few other bonus tips in this short 4-min vid:

First thing I saw when I woke up this morning…

…and jumped on my social mediaz, was Taro Murata chirpin’ about a YUUUUGE 38″ channel cat his bud caught outta Manitoba’s Red River — absolute blimp:


Taro’s post got me extra jacked up ‘cuz I’m finally heading back up to Manitob-ugh-that’s-a-huge-fish in a couple weeks for the fall “greenback” run on the Red River. Obviously some world-class kittens in there too…so definitely gonna have to set aside a few hours to chase me some whiskers!

Took all of 5 minutes for me and the Mrs. to double up on Master Angler (34″+) cats the last time we gave it a go. I know this isn’t Target Catfish, but would definitely recommend adding this type of wrasslin’ match to your fishin’ bucket list:

Europeans eat like we do in the fall.

European fish that is…and zander aren’t the only ones that grow to stupid-big-dumb sizes…. @Westinfishing post:


1. Bruce DeShano gets Hall of Fame induction.

Bruce is the CEO of Off Shore Tackle, which needs no introduction. Well-deserved, man!

2. MT has inspected 110K boats this season.

Found 14 of those were transporting zebra/quagga mussels into the state. Means 1 in every 7,858 rigs checked was contaminated. Here’s an actual pic of the last one they found (lol):

Mentioned the Sea Foam Marine PRO Boat Sweepstakes a while back, wanted to follow up to let you know that real people actually do win these things….

Wish it were me (lol) but super happy for the Gadbois family from Sioux Falls, SD on winning themselves a new Lund 1775 Adventure Sport thx to the Sea Foam crew!!! Looks like they’ll be putting it to good use:

4. Olson/Browne win inaugural Blue Line walleye derby…

…during a tough bite on Lake Bemidji. Came out on top with 16.56 lbs for 5. Believe that’s only 1 fish over 20″, so a solid bag. Results here.

The event raised over $4K for local law enforcement = #Stout

5. Some things to consider for you next wheelhouse.

6. Fishing to End Hunger derby happenin’ this weekend.

On Gull Lake. Believe 1st place pays $15K, which is probably why the town (Brainerd) has looked like a boat parade all week. #ChaChing

7. Brunswick/Merc wins trade award…

…for the Most Innovative Company of 2019 according to Soundings Trade Only.

And, Brunswick just opened a 45,000 sq ft technology center in FL.

Both for fellas and the ladies:

10. VA: Lawsuit over boat accident social media posts settled.

Always, ALWAYS gotta think before you speak…equally true when it comes to posting/commenting on social media. Once you press “send” it’s out there forever….

11. Dude catches a 10,000-yr-old Irish elk.

A now extinct ancient species:

His first impression when pulling it out of the water:

> “I thought it was the devil himself…was going to throw it back in….”


Headline of the Day

Poison pill may kill pesky zebra mussels.

Sounds pretty sketch to me….

Tip of the Day

Al’s Jigging Rap line-selection tip.

Should you be using mono, braid, fluoro or a combo when fishing the Rapala Jigging Rap?? Here’s how Al Lindner does it, and it doesn’t need to be as difficult as you’d think:

> “One of the most important things about fishing the Rapala Jigging Rap is using a barrel swivel [I like the smallest size possible…a #12 or #10 in these] about 15-18″ above the bait — especially if you’re casting into the wind. The way the bait fishes will cause line twist, and a barrel swivel simply eliminates that.

> “About 50% of the time I’m casting the Jigging Rap, 40% of the time I’m pulling it behind the boat and 10% is spent vertical jigging it.

> “My leader material is the same line that’s on my reel, 10-lb mono. I’ve said it before many times and I’ll say it again…you’re going to land WAY more fish with monofilament. Day in and day out I use 10-lb Sufix mono. It’s that simple, you don’t have to complicate it.”

I fished J-Raps exclusively on braid for several years before Al convinced me to switch over to mono. Definitely an awkward switch at first — takes some getting used to — but have absolutely noticed I land more of the fish that I hook.

Quote of the Day

“When there’s plenty of fish in the sea, but you end up catching your ex….

– Hilarious comment under this Instagram post where AJ Pappas said it took a team effort to free his Rapala Jigging Rap from this dino:


Yikes! AJ’s buddy Stephen Roller (@sj_roller_fishing) is waaaay more brave than I am, but hey…$7 is $7 lol.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

How badly does this shot make you wanna bail outta work and head to the nearest access?


Believe that’s the big 3/4-oz (3.5″) Phantom Tilly designed with donkey hunters in mind. Hard-bodied jigging baits are typically a visual bite only…so love that these come with an internal rattle chamber to add some noise to the equation….

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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
Brett McComas is the main man for Target Walleye 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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