Target Walleye/Ice email

How to find new lakes, Trolling motor rant, Prefish ice spots now

Up at the Rainy River for the next couple days to chase fishes and hopefully snag some YouTube content for you fish-heads. So today’s TW is gonna be a little quicker…has a few of my favorite fish/tips/tricks from the last year, as well as some new fishy goodness. Enjoy!

Today’s Top 5

Most impressive walleye of the year?!

Shared a pile of seriously impressive walleyes over the last year, but still can’t get Rob Henry’s outta my mind…a ridonkulous 16.8-lb freak caught (and released!) on the Bay of Quinte late last fall. Are you sitting down? Then here you go:

The interwebz Photoshop “fish police” are lovin’ that pic:

But it’s not Photoshopped! It is a rather generous hold…on a WORLD-CLASS gravel lizard. Would still be 16.8 lbs if he held it behind his back!

Okay, to the details:

Fish was suspended over 150′ [!] and crushed a “yellow perch” Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk trolled at 1.7 mph. Had an 8′ leader of 20-lb Sufix fluorocarbon tied to the 30-lb Sufix braid main line.

The program: Running a 3-oz Snap Weight 100′ behind an Off Shore Tackle Planer Board…then another 100′ of line back to the bait.

> Rob: “We knew it was huge when it hit…it yanked the board back and we couldn’t move it for the longest time.

> “Couldn’t have done it without Daryl Ensoll and Jason Greentree…definitely a team effort: One guy reeling, one taking the snap weight and planer board off, the other moving rods and lines (so we didn’t cross any) and netting the monster!”

Get this: The fish was caught and released juuuust before the Lindner Media crew showed up to film with ’em. Swear those big ones know whether the camera is rolling or not (lol). Insane fish guys!

When will transom trolling motors have an anchor mode???

Been thinking about all the crazy advancements in fishing technology and wondering again when there’ll finally be a transom-mount (back of the boat) trolling motor with Spot-Lock (Minn Kota), PinPoint (MotorGuide), or some other type of anchor mode? The technology’s already there so….

Only time I’m running my Minn Kota Vantage is when I’m holding RIGHT on a super-specific something or other, so an “anchor mode” just makes sense to me.

Heck, sometimes I’ll even drop down the bow-mount on windy days — just to use it for Spot-Lock — in case I stick a fish from the back of the boat. Maybe one day…?

How to find (big) fish on NEW lakes.

Fishing the same lakes each time out can get a bit stale…plus you’ll probably never stick that new PB (personal best) if you’re pokin’ around the same community holes day after day! Gotta step outta your comfort zone — you game?

We tracked down a couple of ice-heads who love practicing karate in the garage hitting new lakes, and picked their brains on how/where to start.

Waaaay too much info to post it all here — I’ll give you one snippet below — otherwise click the pic to read the full write-up:

If you fish in MN: LakeFinder is probably one of the biggest not-so-secret secrets of diehard ice-heads (your state might have something similar). Can search most any lake in the state by name — or searching the map on the mobile version — and it’ll kick out tasty info like:

1. Whether there’s a public access or not, and where it’s at.
2. Fish stocking info: when, what and how many.
3. Water clarity, quality and levels.
4. And my personal favorite…the DNR’s trap/net data.

That trap/net data (under the “Fisheries Lake Surveys” tab) breaks down the weight and length of all fish sampled by the DNR. It’s a KILLER tool for finding lakes with above-average size fish…right from your couch [zipped-mouth emoji].

Read the full write-up here on

Trick for solo-installing a “runner kit” on your portable shack.

Imo the worst part about putting together a new flip-over (by yourself) is trying to add a runner kit (aka: hyfax, slides, tracking kit, etc) to the bottom of the sled. Of course it’s worth it since they take the beating instead of your sled, and help it to track straight when towed behind a sled or wheeler. But it’s never fun installing ’em.

Few things you can do to make it easier:

  • Convince a fishin’ buddy — with pizza and beer — to come help. Works 60% of the time, every time.
  • Put the runners on first [!!!] so you don’t need to work around other schtuff.
  • Heat ’em up with a hair dryer or heat gun (maybe the oven if you ask nicely) to make ’em more flexible.
  • Screw/bolt down the first hole of each runner — at the front of the sled — as an anchor point.

This quick hitter from Anthony Kleinwachter is one of those why-didn’t-I-think-of-that type of deals. He uses a one-size-smaller drill bit than recommended so the bolts don’t fall out when you flip the sled over:

Anthony was putting that 50″ Tracking Kit on an Eskimo Wide-1 Inferno. Unique thing about that shack is it has an:

> “…expandable front spreader bar that allows for 32% more fishable area. Once the front end is expanded, ice anglers can fish multiple lines and still have room for electronics and a heater.”

Haven’t tried one, but looks like a slick idea:

Heard they came up with the idea while slamming a pile of Mountain Dew…with the wide-mouth can of course….

Okay not really…but another design that makes life more enjoyable lol.

Comfiest fish-house seat ever?

Brian Zaborowski Jr didn’t wanna let his new Lund boat seats gather dust all winter, so he slapped one on his Clam Legend XL Thermal instead:

Add a Buddy Heater and that’s the ultimate recipe for a nap lol. Don’t get too comfy, man…makes it harder to get yourself outside to hole-hop!


Back with the regular News section on Friday!

Tip of the Day

Joel Nelson: Find ice-fishing spots right now.

SPOTS, not necessarily fish!

> Our mobility is better than it’s ever been as ice anglers, but it’s drastically limited by the need to drill a hole to gather info. So why not put in the work when it’s easy?

> Using electronics from a boat to find fish — more importantly find areas that will gather fish — is far easier on a 60-degree fall day than a 10-degree winter one.

> Many times these locations are consistent producers during all months, yet others are specifically good for ice, like: shallow transitions from mud to sand, or sand to rock, as well as small gravel or rock patches in shallow weeds.

> Early-ice fish push to these places, especially after sundown in clear-water systems. Spots no larger than a kitchen table can seem impossible to drill out and find, while they stick out like a sore thumb on side-scan.

> Side-scan technology could be the #1 asset to an ice angler this time of year, as few things hide from it. If you don’t own this technology, chances are you know someone who does and you could get out for a day on the boat with them.

> Harder-bottom areas generally show up brighter or “whiter” (timber, fish-cribs, or other sunken gems). Soft bottom shows up darker. You’re looking for any break or transition in the substrate — the more sudden that change is, the more valuable it can be.

> Shallow water usually provides the first opportunities to fish on safe ice, so don’t worry about anything more than 15′ at first.

> Think about how/where you access the water-body. Focus on the areas immediately adjacent to shore…chances are (even if you’re walking out) your spots will be need to be within a 1/2-mile of your access point.

Joel’s full write-up here.

Quote of the Day

“The walleye got my face, but I got his sides!”

– That’s Lake of the Woods guide Jamie Bruce (@brucescanadianangling) talking about his new…look? Youch!

Glad you’re okay man. But there’s no hiding your secret bait anymore…that “prism Tennessee shad” Yo-Zuri 3DB Shad is putting on a show lol!

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

If you plan on fishing the Fall Brawl on Lake Erie — deadline to sign up is 11:59pm TONIGHT! — might be a good idea to pick up a Phantom Lures Abyss or two…. Bet Jake Bohnsack would love for this one to bite again next week:

Sign up another fish-head!

If you’re forwarding Target Walleye to a friend who loves to walleye-fish or want your fishing buddies to get these emails, just send us their email addresses and we’ll take care of it! (We won’t sell the addresses, use them for spam, etc.)

Check this stuff out!

Who is Target Walleye
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
To send us walleye pics, ice shots or whatever, just respond to this email or click here to email us. Or post it on the Target Walleye Facebook page.

To Top