Target Walleye/Ice email

Line-spooling hacks, Zander pic rant, Finesse troll stickbaits now

Today’s Top 5

Don’t see that everyday…!

First one’s from the fellas at Brewer-Agre Outdoors:

> Tell me these Lake Winnipeg greenbacks don’t know that frogs = food! The LIVETARGET Walking Frog [topwater bait weighted down with a bell sinker!] put numerous greenbacks topside, including this Manitoba Master Angler:

Cal Haataja ( caught himself a flying fish while chasing monster Milwaukee brown trout. Yup, he released it…though some duck fajitas (aka dajitas) sound pretty good right about now:

Can’t tell if this is a Botox injection gone wrong or this pike got stung in the lip by a wasp…. Caught running Beaver Dam tip-ups outta Wekusko Falls Lodge, MB:

Finesse-trolling stickbaits for early-season ‘eyes.


The last few years, Ross Robertson has been targeting overlooked Lake Erie GIANTS by finesse-trolling stickbaits with snap-weights and planer boards. When I say giants, I mean fish like this 32.5″ x 20.5″ [!] slaunch:

Said he popped that one trolling as slow as he could go and still have the bait wobble with current — thanks to his Minn Kota Ulterra. Check his full tip on, few excerpts below:

> For whatever reason our big walleyes have been deeper the past couple years. Most of my biggest fish come right on the bottom in 20-30′ — adjacent to spawning areas — on hard-to-soft-bottom transitions.

> In the past we wouldn’t have even targeted these fish because they’re neutral, so we’d go after the suspended fish.

> Pull your cranks like you’d pull spinners. Don’t run your kicker — use your electric. I’m trolling with the Minn Kota Ulterra on the bow, running a max of 0.8-1.2 mph with slight turns and bouncing in the chop.

> Think about the precision a good leadcore fisherman has with increasing speed to rise over a hump or decreasing to go down the back. Same deal with this approach.

> I see guys dropping giant lead, and that’s just a recipe for snags. With a 1-oz snap-weight (or less) at slow speed, I can pull baits 2-4′ above the fish. Every once in awhile I’ll shut off the motor to stall the planer boards for a few seconds, letting the bait stall, suspend or drop a little bit.

> A lot of times, stalling your boards is the big-fish ticket. A Rapala Husky Jerk will perfectly suspend and the fish hate that. Another bait that’s really rocking is the Reef Runner 800, which I wouldn’t normally use until later in the season — it’s perfect for getting down right into their faces.

> Muddy water has a lot of junk fish and a poor strike zone. Gin-clear water is often a few degrees colder and serves more as a fish highway. But chalky water? Game on!

Gotta (finally!) get this off my chest…. #rant

Over the last few years I’ve seen dozens of well-known fishin’ brands — lure manufacturers, guides, you name it — using stock images of ZANDER (I believe) in walleye ads.

Can’t think of any specific ones, but usually it’s an ad on social media…quick chuckle, scroll on. Not sure if it’s companies that don’t actually fish or what, and I guess the 2 species do look similar, but…WALLEYE PEOPLE KNOW! And it bothers them — or at least me.

Probably the most popular “stock image” I see used is this one:

There’s a big difference — sometimes less noticeable than others, but diehards know:

Would be like seeing a perch ad with one of these European giants lol:

Or if bassin’ is your thing:

Can’t believe everything you read/see on the interwebz….

“Might need to upgrade to a 10-inch auger or catch thinner fish….”

Understandable caption under this [fire-emoji] shot from @zach_southgate of a Canadian hole-plugger:

Not sure what that ^ specific pike was caught on, but they had been whackin’ fish up and over the 40″ mark on Storm 360GT Searchbaits. Have seen ’em used for lake trout through the ice, but first I had heard of hardwater gators:

Zach has a pile of cool content on his IG page — check it out here.

When you should be using red baits for perch.

@thefishingdoctorsadventures found Lake Cascade, ID jumbos gorging on bloodworms — here’s how he knew. #PerchVomit

Said they switched over to little Impulse plastics and kept fish coming topside on what was otherwise a really slow day. Way to dial ’em in dude!

Same combo works awesome back home in central MN this time of year when those soft-bottom snacks start to show up.


1. MN: Building a stronger voice for anglers.

A new nonprofit fishing organization is launching this month called the MN-FISH Sportfishing Foundation & Coalition:

> …formed to bring a strong, unified voice to St. Paul to represent the interests of MN anglers and other stakeholders…increase state investment into fisheries and fishing-related programs…improve fishing opportunities in MN and shorten the time between bites.

Will have a booth at the at the Northwest Sport Show in Minneapolis this weekend. Stop by and meet famed anglers like Al Lindner, Ron Schara and Babe Winkleman, find out what they’re all about.

2. Fish Addictions drops new NWT series.

A behind-the-scenes look at all the prep work that goes into fishing the Cabela’s National Walleye Tour. Part 1 of 5 kicks off at Lake Winnebago — finally some raw footage shed on the pro walleye circuit:

Almost forgot to mention they’re giving one person a chance to pre-fish with ’em at an NWT event this season — details on how to enter here.

3. MB. Commercial fishermen not happy…

…about the reg changes coming to Lake Winnipeg. Some of those changes — supposed to help the future walleye population — include: a commercial fisheries quota buy-back option, adjusting the minimum net mesh sizes and tweaking slot limits. Lot more info in this Hooked Magazine write-up.

4. Yetti Fish Houses have 3 new colors for 2020 models.

Extreme green, Pepsi blue and matte white. #NomNomNom

Bunch of other sweet interior options comin’…can’t wait to show you some of ’em once I’m allowed to [zipped-mouth emoji] lol.

5. OH gov wants $1B [!] to help Lake Erie.

Bulk of the money will go toward controlling the toxic algae.

6. Just came across these…

…interesting tube jigs with a spinner blade on the tail:

Designed for lake trout, but they also have a glow option I’m gonna have to try for burbot….

7. MI: New boating/fishing laws kick off tomorrow…

…to help combat invasives. Most of the changes sound like stuff peeps should’ve been doing all along: pulling drain plugs, removing weeds from boat/trailer, etc.

8. SD: Flooding closes state parks along Big Sioux River.

Some crazy flooding is happening all over the country. Prayers to everyone dealing with it.

9. Uncut Angling vs EVERYONE?!

Sounds like Uncut is having an online tourney for the LONGEST walleye caught the last 10 days of March. Can enter from anywhere walleye fishin’ is open.

Chance to pluck $1,000 cash outta Aaron Weibe’s pocket + a bunch of other prizes…don’t worry, there’s random drawings too if you only catch little ones. 😉

Tip of the Day

Some quick line-spooling hacks!

Whether you’re spooling up for late-ice, or preppin’ for the open-water bite: Line twist? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Here’s a few tricks I’ve learned to help keep line WAY more manageable, including:

1) Spooling in a bowl of warm water [seriously!]
2) Using line conditioners

3) Stretching the memory out of your line

See it all in this short 4-min vid:

Video Meme of the Day

Walleye fishing has been known to test friendships:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Nick Geiger and Katie Billings drove 3,500+ miles through 2 whiteouts — and fished in blizzard-like conditions — to ice these 1.8- and 1.9-lb Lake Cascade, ID slobs. #WorthIt

Sign up another fish-head!

If you’re forwarding Target Walleye/Ice 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/Ice
Target Walleye/Ice — 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/Ice. 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