Target Walleye/Ice email

Insane 45 rigs break through ice, Jason Mitchell’s basin tips, Engrave your cranks

Today’s Top 5

How to permanently label your crankbait’s running depth.     

Was sent this awesome tip/hack from TW fan Drew Suby (thx man!) of how he labels his crankbait’s diving depth. Drew skipped the sloppy Sharpie and picked himself up a diamond-tipped engraver for less than $15 off Amazon — believe it’s this one — and notches the depth range into the bottom of the bill:

That’s it — I’m ordering one.

Freakin’ awesome idea, man!

World record for most vehicles dumped through the ice?   

Not just talking about this ice season in general — though it might be a record too — but a disaster that happened in Russia where 45 vehicles broke through. Luckily no one was in ’em at the time.

Apparently the ice sheet collapsed — domino effect — while folks were ice fishing, and their rigs were parked in a line along the edge of the lake:

Glad no one was hurt! Always gotta look on the bright side:

Jason Mitchell’s basin fishing strategies. 

Whether it’s for walleyes or panfish: Big moves find fish, small moves catch fish.

Couple of good, eye-opening tips for me in this quick AnglingBuzz vid…particularly when it comes to how many holes to drill, and how much time to spend at each.

Lot of times those basin fish are constantly on the move and roaming around — move too much and you might miss ’em coming through:

The true (?) story of MI’s 21″ state-record perch.   

Super interesting read about the 3 lb 12 oz sumo perch — recognized by the DNR as the state record — supposedly caught by Eugene Jezinsk in 1947 outta Lake Independence.

A fish taxidermist, Doug Seibert, went on a solo mission to track down details of the record catch and “did everything short of hiring a private eye” to make it happen:

> “There has never been a yellow perch recorded that was as long as 18 inches. This perch is so much bigger than any other perch ever recorded. I had to wonder whether this was really a perch.”

Check the full story here or click the pic below:

How to tell you’re throwing the right baits.   

Post from fishing guide Donnie O’Bert:

> “I’m not naming names, but when a customer says I’ve got one and you land it with another customers bait already in its mouth…someone was asleep at the wheel.”

Those AuthentX Pulse-R Paddle Tails are money!


1. We lost Mark Bissler of Garmin…

…car crash at just 31 years old. Ugh. He was a Marine and part of Operation Iraqi Freedom 2009-2010. As the marine pro-staff field specialist, he helped Garmin pros rig and fix their stuff. RIP fishing brother.

2. TTI Blakemore prez Wes Campbell passes on.

Sounds like of natural causes at the age of 65. Believe Blakemore is mostly known for its Road Runner underspins that are still a sneaky-good option for plucking walleyes out of the weeds. And his dad (John Campbell) invented the Tru-Turn hook in 1958.

3. KY/OH: Apparently fish don’t like bourbon….

> Jim Beam was fined $600K [in Dec] after a July warehouse fire sent a nearly 23-mile plume of alcohol into the KY and OH rivers, killing fish.

> The July 3 fire was started when lightning struck a massive barrel warehouse near the Woodford-Franklin County line. About 40,000 barrels of aging whiskey were destroyed, with the runoff pouring into nearby Glenns Creek and then downstream into the rivers.

Of course a huge bummer for all, but definitely appreciate this comment from an owner:

> “While we were able to minimize impacts to the surrounding environment and wildlife…we recognize the regrettable and unavoidable impacts of the incident and have been committed to doing what we can to restore the environment. That includes making payments to the state to compensate for time spent, resources utilized and costs to supplement the local fish population.”

4. Lake Erie predicted to be 80% ice covered by late Feb.

One of those bucket-list places where if it has fishable ice (doesn’t every year) folks drop everything and go.

> Across all five Great Lakes, the administration forecasts a 47% freeze, below the 55.7% long-term average but well above the 9.5% coverage in 2002, the lowest amount recorded since record keeping began in 1973.

5. MN: Walleye derby donates $63K to charities.

The Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic is a live-release walleye tourney held each year on Lake Bemidji and Lake Irving. The 100 teams compete for $50K+ in cash and prizes — even if you don’t catch any fish, everyone’s a winner ‘cuz:

> “Over a 19-year tournament history, the Kraus Anderson/Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic has distributed a total of $820,250 [!] to community causes….

> “The funds were earned through tournament entry fees, sponsorships, donations and the annual raffle sponsored by Ray’s Marine/Lund/Mercury.”

The tourney’s 20th anniversary will be happenin’ Jun 13 on Lake Bemidji.

6. MN: Brainerd $150K Ice Extravaganza moving forward.

The contest is set for Jan 25. There’s currently only about 12″ of an ice + frozen slush combo in Hole in the Day Bay…usually needs to be 16″+ of solid ice for the Sheriff’s Office to grant a permit. The good news:

> “…Gull Lake was not froze over when we got that big Thanksgiving storm. …a lot of lakes in the area that were frozen got that snow and it pretty much wrecked them — Gull Lake didn’t take that hit. …there’s hardly any snow on the lake.”

Keep you posted as we hear updates.

7. MI: Ultimate Fishing Show happenin’ Jan 9-12.

At 7-acres big, it’s supposed to be the largest fishing show in the US.

8. Aqua-Vu has a new owner.

Kolt Ringer, a former fishing guide and president of MN’s Student Angler Tournament Trail. I’ve met him briefly a couple of times at different charity fishing derbies and kid’s events. You gotta appreciate this priority:

> Kolt: “Kids today have been brought up in the ‘screen generation.’ There’s no better learning tool for a young angler than an underwater camera. A depthfinder can only show you so much, but put an Aqua-Vu in front of a kid and watch them light up. It’s pure enjoyment, but also a great way to help these future anglers learn fish behaviors and how they react to lures.”

9. SIMMS has a new CMO.

Chief marketing officer = Strick Walker. Comin’ over from Merrell and was at Patagonia before that.

10. ND: Devils Lake ice conditions lookin’ primo.

As of last week: Main basin had 15-18″…Alice, Irving and Dry lakes had 18″.

Tanner Cherney’s been taking advantage of the conditions — texted me a snap of this THICK razorback he caught last night on a “super-glo goldfish” color Northland Buck-Shot Spoon:

Little jelly (lol) but super happy for you dude!

11. MN: Silver carp found in SW part of the state…

…for the first time.

12. MO: Lake of the Ozarks’ walleye numbers on the rise.

Have been consistently stocking ’em since the mid-90s.

13. MB: Lake Winnipeg is kicking ’em out.

Little update on the bite here — pretty spot-on with what we saw last week as far as time-frames and depths.

Love this shot in the write-up of Dylan and Kash Foui getting their greenback on. What it’s all about:

14. Evinrude’s launching a new 150hp “power” tiller.New E-TEC G2 Power Tiller has integrated power steering assist, and digital shift and throttle:

> “…our power tiller doesn’t require accessory power steering kits, additional batteries or recharging systems.

> “…has zero steering torque feedback…. …Touch Troll push-button operation for setting trolling speed….”

15. New Yamaha outboard promotion.

16. Merc’s got a deal going on, too.

17. MI: Background of the $50-mil Rouge River sediment cleanup.

18. Fishing can help trim your waistline in 2020?

Pretty interesting read for any of you taking a shot at the keto, paleo or Atkins diets. The write-up talks about some of the nutritional facts of eating specific fish or wild game.

I’m on a whopping day #3 of keto…only putting this here (publicly) to help hold myself accountable. Gotta cut out all those pizza and beer runs after a day on the ice and swap ’em for a fish dinner instead….

Weirdly enough, I legit used to lose weight in the winter thanks to chasing backcountry ‘gills — nowadays my fishing time is usually a lot closer to home or maybe cozied-up in some sort of track machine lol.

Wishin’ you fish-heads success both on and off the water, whatever your 2020 goals may be. Highlights

> Behemoth ice bluegill, Community holes are dead, Slabs of the week

> Massive 18-lber caught, Hub shack hack, Insane ice rides

Note: The FishUSA links in this email are affiliate links, meaning if you go through them to make a purchase we might earn a commission…at no cost to you. Click here if you want to learn a little more about links in TW.

Hard-House Tip of the Day

Best spot to mount a rod rack.

Case you hard-house guys/gals are out wrenchin’ in the driveway — getting ready for things to thicken up — here’s a rod rack that’s actually designed for ice rods: the Catch Cover Ice Rod Rack.

Ever considered mounting one to the ceiling of your shack? Few reasons why you should maybe consider it:

Quote of the Day

“I bought a bunch of new gear this year, and of course now there’s no ice to use it with.”

– That’s Seth Anderson talking about a WI ice-fishing tournament that didn’t have any ice — but I guess they still had it: Only 3 fish were caught, but Seth got one of ’em. Believe he caught it fishing off a dock through the ice that was too thin to walk on, but too thick to break a boat through.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Bassin’ pro Gerald Swindle = garage goals. If I ever win the fishin’ lottery…

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