Target Walleye/Ice email

Ice flasher mods, Net breaker caught, Walleye of the week

If you’re receiving this Target Walleye/Ice email — covering the best of walleye fishing during open water and the best of ice fishing during hard water — for the first time, a friend probably signed you up! Target Walleye/Ice is brought to you by Al and Ron Lindner, Jim Kalkofen and other walleye and ice fishing nuts like you.

Hey everyone, we’ll only be sending you one Target Walleye this week because we’re off to the “Super Bowl of ice shows” in St. Paul, MN. Stay tuned to the TW Facebook and IG pages for updates from the show. Have a great weekend!

Today’s Top 5

Toothy critters of the week!

Ross Robertson cracked his biggest whale-eye of the year — and of most people’s life times — while slow trolling cranks on Lake Erie. Stats: 31 X 23 inches, weighed over 13 lbs, and wears the same size jeans as Ross:

Mark Krupa Lion King’d this stout Bay of Quinte gravel lizard trolling #12 Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerks behind Off Shore Tackle Planer Boards. She was 29.75″ long with a 19.50″ girth:

Max Wilson asked his significant other what she wanted to do for their anniversary…. He braced himself for “shopping or spa,” but Xochitl Vargas said she’d rather “go deer hunting and then head to Lake Erie to fish for monster walleye.” No arguing with that:

New PB alert: Finned-out 28-incher straight outta Forest Lake, MN:

In-Depth Outdoor’s James Holst and Paul Delaney whooped up on the Bay de Noc gravel lizards casting #7 Rapala Rippin Raps. Can’t wait to see the video footage:

Anyone else notice that the Rippin’ Rap’s face looks like that one Snapchat filter?

Sorry Al, had to.

Modifying your flasher for ice fishing.

Ice anglers are constantly tweaking their gear to give ’em the upper hand on their fishing buddies — rightfully so! Here’s how Target Walleye’s Brett McComas rigs up his Genz Box to make him more efficient on the ice. SPOILER ALERT: His flasher has a built-in cell-phone charger lol:

Some of the stuff you can find laying around the garage, but here’s the rest of those trinkets: Genz Box, Cold Snap Rod Clamps, MarCum Transducer Support Arm, Plastic Minnow Scoop and Lure Lightning.

Net-breaker walleye landed.

You know it’s a biggun when it snaps your net like a chip in dip:

Can’t believe they were able to keep the profanity to a minimum…. Yo Ashley Rae, with hands like that you’ll be taking Gronk’s job soon. #GreatSnag:

Mille Lacs sand shark caught.

Not walleye or ice related, but a fish this big deserves some spotlight. Marshall Hopp skipped the Black Friday shopping to pull cranks on Mille Lacs instead, cracking this 56″ sand shark:

Said he was trolling a 14″ walleye on a 9/0 circle hook at 5.7 mph when she bit…. Ok not really, but would probably work lol!

They can’t all be giants….

We share a lot of pics of ridiculously-oversized fish, but gotta give some love to the little buggers that reeeeally test your bite-detection abilities…. Love the snarly attitude of this little bite-sized walter caught by TW reader Kit Cline:

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1. Christmas gift ideas for walleye/ice anglers.

Have a fisherman/woman on your Christmas shopping list? Here’s some great stuff they absolutely “need” (lol) in our Special Holiday Issue: Gotta Have Walleye/Ice Stuff.

2. MN: Mille Lacs “winter” walleye season opens tomorrow.

Planned for ice fishing, but the late start may allow some open-water fish to be caught.

3. MT: No walleyes found in Swan Lake.

And they’re celebrating the fact…. This was the trout lake that had the “potentially destructive species” (walleyes) illegally stocked into it last year, and they were worried it’d ruin the salmon/trout fishing. They put a mandatory kill reg on walleyes and it worked like a charm.

4. WY: Pathfinder walleye limit doubles.

> “Daily limit for walleye in the Miracle Mile section of the North Platte River in the Casper region was increased from the statewide six daily and six in possession to 12 because of the expanding walleye population in the Pathfinder Reservoir.


> “That stretch of water is managed as a blue-ribbon trout fishery and we’re concerned about the walleye that are moving up into that stretch of river that could be preying on trout.”


5. ON: Grassy Narrows river system clean up.

> “The mercury in an average meal of walleye is 15 times the daily tolerable intake limit for adults, and about 40 times the limit for women of childbearing age, pregnant women and children”

Holy smokes. Thought the walleyes looked a little funny outta there:

6. MT: Invasive mussels found in Tiber Res. and Canyon Ferry.

They used mussel-sniffing dogs (for real!) to check docks along the shoreline. Found invasive mussel larvae, but no adults. Seems like a waste of a perfectly good hunting dog….

7. NPAA annual conference is coming up.

Jan 6-8 in Wisconsin Dells. That’s the National Professional Anglers Association. There’s no better way to learn about the business side of the sport than to network with pros who’ve had success on and off the water.

8. Ice Force gift guide.

Awesome stuff any ice-head would love.

9. The Technological Angler: Humminbird MEGA Imaging.

Dr. Jason Halfen gives us a rundown of what makes the new HELIX G2N models so special. Some of the screenshots off his units are just incredible. Here’s one where you can see the riprap shoreline along the left with a tree extending out into the water, and several groups of fish suspended nearby #Crisp:

10. Off Shore Tackle Planer Boards improved.

You can now move the ballast weight and they have an “improved flag that features an extended tab on the flag stem…allows the flag to provide four more tension settings.”

They also tweaked ’em to help keep the nose of the board down so they plane even better — especially for those running deep-diving cranks or sinking-line setups. Learn more about ’em right here.

11. Why your next ice suit should float.

Ice Force pro Joel Nelson shares some eye-opening on-ice experiences that changed the way he looks at hardwater:

> “…Trap-door ice, which is a large chunk that floats off the ice sheet, then wanders back and partially locks up. Step on the end of one, and you drop below the waterline, as the other end of the chunk rotates back over the top of you, quite literally sealing your fate.”

Remember: Floating suits like Striker Ice Brands aren’t made so you can push the boundaries even more so — they’re made to keep you on top should the worst happen.

12. Doctor Sonar: New educational DVD…

…for Lowrance Hook models. Learn ya some knowledge from the guru of fishing ‘lectronics.

13. Why tungsten jigs are so popular.

And it’s not just because they drop more quickly….

14. Underwater camera comparison.

No better way to compare ’em than than a side-by-side showdown:

The obvious winner was the Aqua-Vu HD700i — incredible unit! And we’re giving one away just in time for Christmas:

Enter to have a shot at winning a new Aqua-Vu High Definition underwater camera! It has HD 720p resolution and is 4x brighter! Just enter your email addy, then share the link you get for more chances to win. Good luck!


Fishing Reports

1. MN: Lake of the Woods.


> Those who have not put away the boat are getting rewarded with strong morning and evening bites in 15-20′. Many hawg walleyes reaching over 28″ have been boated recently — the south shore has been best from the gap, to Morris Point, to Rocky Point. Ice fishing is on its way as bays are just about iced over, with a cold snap in forecast at the start of next week.


> The shiner run continues in the Rainy River and walleyes are staying right along with them. The fishing has been terrific in 10-25′ with (bright or glow) jig and shiner.


Charles Darmer from Steve’s Lucky Bait is still on ’em:

2. OH: Lake Erie.


Walleye pro Jay Epping:

> “We pounded the walleye using a combination of Rapala Husky Jerks, Reef Runners, Bay Rats and the traditional Lake Erie playlist of classic West Coast rap music outside of Vermillion in the 40-43′ rang. Going along at 1.6-1.8 mph, the fish were constantly coming high in the water column, but also right off the bottom.”

> “On each trolling pass I do, I have a habit of dropping a waypoint on every fish I caught on my Humminbird Helix units, but I give every tournament caliber fish a different icon. This helps me detect patterns within the school of fish, as I’m a firm believer that fish of similar quality tend to school together (within reason, of course).

> “Upon looking at the data from the first two days, a pattern was starting to emerge: All the bigger fish were consistently coming off of the South end of the massive school out there.”

You can keep reading the awesome Jay Epping write-up here on


Great places to catch ’em

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Tip of the Day


Preparing your auger for first ice.

StrikeMaster Engine Tech Jason Culp:

Replace Old Gas And Oil

> If you forgot to stabilize your leftover gas last season, replace it before first-ice with fresh, premium, winter-grade fuel.


> Always be sure to empty the tank completely and fill with fresh fuel at the beginning of every ice season. Any old fuel will begin to deteriorate, which will cause issues with the carburetor and prevent the engine from starting and performing correctly.


> Use a quality brand of oil and mix it at a 40:1 ratio (3.2 oz of oil / 1 gallon of gas). Don’t add more oil than needed. Extra oil can cause poor performance, rough idle and cause unused oil to leak out your muffler — and all over everything.


> Your best bet is to buy oil in pre-measured 3.2 oz. bottles that you can simply add per gallon of gas you put in the tank. Also, it’s Ok to use a 40:1 gas-to-oil mixture even if your engine calls for 24:1. You’ll use less oil and your auger will run better and cleaner.


Inspect Your Spark Plug

> Fire up your auger in the garage before first-ice. Is it running rough or back-firing? Change the spark plug. Is it running pretty smooth? Just to be sure, remove the plug and check it for deposits around — or on — the electrode, cracks in the insulator or other signs of wear.


Check Your Blades

> Was your auger cutting slower at the end of last season? Did you have to push down? Did your auger cover stay in place over the summer and fall? Did something hit the blades? Did the blades hit the garage floor?


> If the answer to any of those questions is a ‘Maybe’ or ‘Yes,’ it’s time to replace the blades. Don’t wait until after your first trip out on the ice. Poor blade condition accounts for 90% of all cutting problems. Highly consider picking up a spare extra set as well.


Starter Rope

> Don’t pull your starter rope all the way to the end. Most recoil problems are caused by this, including frayed ropes, broken spools and springs. To prevent such damage, make shorter pulls on your starter rope and be sure to begin each pull with a slow motion until proper recoil engagement to flywheel is felt.


Air Filter

> Over time, air filters can get dirty and clog, restricting airflow to your engine, causing your engine to hesitate upon acceleration or lose power completely. If your air filter is dirty, replace it.

Meme of the Day

So if you could just stop complaining about the lack of ice that would be great, mmmk…


Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Coming to a lake near you — eventually:

That’s some Quinte gold caught by IG user @joel_drolet11 on a Northland Tackle Macho Minnow, which they now make in UV colors.



Apparently 350 kg of moose meat, venison, and walleye was seized in a Quebec poaching investigation. The suspects face a total of 320 charges and could face $700,000 in fines. Another great reason to practice catch-and-release? Wowza….


Check this stuff out!

About Target Walleye
Target Walleye/Ice brings you the BEST walleye and ice fishing news, pics, tips and events year-round, and is brought to you by Al & Ron Lindner, Jim Kalkofen and other walleye nuts like you!

Brett McComas is the main man for Target Walleye/Ice. He was plucked out of 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 quit sports in high school because they were interfering with his fishing time…. Get him at | |

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