Target Walleye/Ice email

Jigging spoon overhaul, Plastics can be tuned, Learn your ice chisel

Today’s Top 5

Everything you EVER wanted to know about jigging spoons.

Gotta give huge props to the AnglingBuzz ICE crew for putting together a ridiculously-comprehensive video showin’ everything you need/want to know about fishing jigging spoons through the ice. Loaded with TONS of underwater footage, spoon hacks and tweaks, and specific jigging techniques to catch you more fish:

Didn’t think I’d watch an entire 33-minute YouTube video, but then never wanted it to end! Well, until I saw the bloopers of myself attempting to wiggle my ears, flare my nostrils, and snap my fingers at the same time (lol). Can’t make that stuff up….

Sprengel “tunes” his soft-plastics.

We’ve all heard of tuning crankbaits, but have you ever seen anyone “tune” their soft-plastic swimbaits? Fishin’ jedi and NWT pro Korey Sprengel does because why wouldn’t he:


Korey was nice enough to let folks in on the little secret at the last Twin Cities Walleyes Unlimited (MN) meeting. Says he can change the action of his Berkley Ripple Shads by stretching and massaging ’em to break up the salts and minerals in the bait = loosens up the plastic to make it a little more limp:

> A stiffer swimbait is going to have a tighter action…lot of times good for cleaner water ‘cuz it’s more natural.

> Dirtier situations…a wider [action] is going to move more water and make the bait roll more.

Also says he likes that loose-ified bait in cooler water ‘cuz he can work the bait slower yet still get the right amount of action out of its paddletail:


Awesome stuff. Thx much for sharing, dude!

Early-ice safety: How to use a “spud bar” to check ice thickness.

Annual post ‘cuz it’s that important!

Stop using your “spud bar” (aka, ice chisel) as a walking stick and start learning what each swing means for you in actual inches of ice:

Don’t think Clam makes ice chisels anymore? If you’re looking for another meeeean spudster, check out the Rapala Two-Piece Chisel — thing absolutely shreds ice.

I also slapped a cut-down 36″ Transparent Boat Ruler from Quik Measure Pro onto mine so I can quickly check ice thickness — while “spudding” my way out — by hooking the lip of the chisel on the bottom of the ice. Why? ‘Cuz the less things I have to carry from hole to hole, the better:

Clam drill-plate hack.

Got this awesome message from TW fan Jerry Sanford, a little trick he does to modify his Clam Ice Auger Drill Conversion Kit to carry a spare battery:

> Jerry: Every time the battery goes dead on my drill it seemed I was a loooong way from the spare battery, or even worse I had left it in the truck in my hurry to get on the ice! Finally took time off from sitting in a treestand long enough to come up with a simple little solution to the problem.

> It’s made from 1″ x 1/8″ aluminum strap and uses the existing lower knob that holds the drill in place on the Clam plate. Now you have a spare battery right there with you if you have the auger in your cold hands!

I’m digging it! Know some folks will throw the spare battery in their jacket pocket, but heck…I can’t even stand having my truck keys in their lol. Thx again!

Picture-in-picture isn’t just for football games….

Love these shots from Marc Temblay and his son Jeremy, whackin’ em on Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow Walleye Deep Divers and saving memories one IG post at a time:

Keep after ’em, fellas!


1. OH: We lost another fishing brother.

From a boating accident on Lake Erie. Earnest James of Cleveland, OH was trying to catch the big one for the Lake Erie Fall Brawl. Prayers to the family.

2. WI: “Hidden overharvest” rapidly declining the walleye pop.

An interesting new study by a UW Madison Center for Limnology grad student shows that WI’s walleye fishery is being “overharvested at a rate 10x higher than fishery managers anticipated.” Basically ‘cuz over the years, nature has changed much more than the walleye limits and regulations have….

> A big reason for this “hidden overharvest” is that for the last 30 years, resource managers have focused on fish abundance and not fishery productivity when calculating harvest limits.

> In these last few decades, annual walleye production in many of the state’s lakes has declined by 35%. On top of that decline, walleye stocks now take 1.5x longer to replenish themselves than they did in 1990.

> Think of it in terms of a bank account…if you start taking more money [walleyes] out of your account [fishery] than the interest rate [walleye production] contributes each year, your savings shrink. Do this several years in a row, and those annual withdrawals begin to have an outsized impact on what little money is left….

3. In-Depth Outdoors and Eskimo join forces.

Had to do a double-take at the post! IDO was Otter, but now is Eskimo. IDO’s James Holst has already been out getting some fish slime on ’em. Click the pic for their newest video chasing first-ice crappies in central MN:

4. Lake Huron: Zeebz are helping the walleye population?

> While some species are having a tough time in the environment the mussels created, walleye are doing well. The clearer waters, while harmful to some, may be helping the survival of walleye eggs…the dynamic created by the mussels supports the little fish walleye eat, like gobies.

5. ND: The Missouri River System’s seeing record water levels.

6. Lake Superior’s cisco numbers steadily declining.

7. New tungsten ice jig has moving eyeballs.

Called the Acme Rattlin’ Google Eye Tungsten Jigs. Its “eyes” have a built-in glass rattle that reflects light, adds sound and movement to seal the deal when it’s getting the once-over from a big pannie. Full video here, little preview below:

Comes in a bunch of good lookin’ colors too:

8. Ladies only: Virtual ice-fishing’ tourney.

Free to join with over $4.5K in prizes. Can fish any public lake, but sounds like it might be U.S. only? More info here.

9. We saw a freakin’ PILE of cool new products…

…at the Fargo Ice Fishing Show last year! [heart-eyes emoji] Quick look at just a few that caught our eye:

Hope you get the chance to stop by Dec 13-15 this year for newer/bigger/more.

10. MN: Josh Evan wins walleye stamp contest.

> Purchasing a walleye stamp [wherever DNR licenses are sold] is voluntary…helps fund an account dedicated only to walleye stocking in about 1,000 lakes that cover roughly 1 mil acres, and the effort costs more than $3 mil per year. The money helps the DNR buy walleye from certified private producers that are stocked in MN lakes.

> With MN having about 2 mil acres of walleye-populated water, about half of which have strong self-sustaining walleye populations, stocking walleye improves fishing where natural reproduction doesn’t occur as much….

Now that’s our kind of “food stamps.”

11. New PK Rattle Spoons are out NOW.

Mentioned ’em as coming soon-ish before, but PK just dropped ’em on their website. Yup, I already snagged a few. Tell me you wouldn’t eat this [drooling emoji]: Highlights

Tip of the Day

How Jason Mitchell targets first-ice ‘eyes.

> The very best bites for early-ice walleye in shallow water usually happen at sunrise and sunset, but by utilizing the middle of the day and to hunt for new spots with fish, you can be in a much more fluid position of staying on good bites.

> There’s a general rule of thumb that fish slide up on tops of reefs, points or move shallow when the sun gets low — keep with that mentality when you looking for walleye during the day…hit the same spots where you’d expect to find them come sunset….

> …shallow walleyes often don’t slide deeper during the middle of the day, they simply seem to lay on the bottom and quit cruising. That’s why you often can’t sit in one spot and catch multiple fish out of one hole during the middle of the day…. Come sunset when fish are cruising on the prowl, you can catch several out of one hole.

> When looking for fresh fish, focus on the money spots and hit as many as you can. …keep hitting new spots with fresh ice where there has been no pressure yet. If there are a lot of fish on a spot, there will be a few that slide up shallow much earlier than they should.

> When I’m looking for fish during the middle of the day, I like to use the same lures I expect to use at sunset. ….big and aggressive because fish that are laying on the bottom must get turned around. …odds of landing right in front of a fish is slim…the odds of landing within 20′ are much better. The fish might be facing the wrong direction and laying on the bottom…finesse just isn’t going to move them…. Hard pounding can get them to respond.

Keep reading here.

Quote of the Day

“Who says you need a flippin’ stick to catch bass?”

– That’s the caption under this @NorthlandTackle post of the Bromeister gettin’ his green carp on — hardwater style:

Guess you bass-heads need to put down the 10″ worms and pick up a 1/28-oz Northland Tungsten Fire-Ball UV Jig….

Side note: Interesting that the fish’s tail is scuffed up sorta like you see after they spawn — heard rumors of largies and smallmouth spawning again late in the fall….

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

If you’re still “window shopping” ice fishing trips, I for sure recommend checking out Wekusko Falls Lodge in northern MB:

***Ana Leschishin and Nicole Stone not included


They ^ just got back from a multi-species beatdown way up yonder that’s got me making the rounds through my calendar…trying to line up a few days for a north-bound journey.

Here’s 4 more reasons why you might wanna consider it too….reasons that probably combine for about 11-ish FEET lol:

Sign up another fish-head!

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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
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