1_TargetWalleye blasts

Live bait rigging tips, Yellerbelly walleye, Bridge trolls of the week

Hope you have a fun + safe weekend and catch ’em good!

Today’s Top 5

Four 32-inchers weighed during tourney.

Nikki cracked her new PB walleye throwing crankbaits in 4-6′ while feeshin’ a tourney on Lake Elwel, MT with her hubby:

Get this: Her wally measured 32″, yet somehow still tied for big fish on day two. There were four fish over 32″ weighed including a 32.75-incher! Wowza.

> Nikki and Steve Zetterberg: “The support and friendships we’ve made fishing in the Montana Walleye Circuit are memories we hold dear! We’re all fishermen and enjoy putting our skills against one another, but in the end we’re all neighbors.”

How could anyone not be happy/friendly/giddy all the time when there’s a fishable population of 32″+ walleyes?! All MT wildlife must have the same genetics:

Bulbous bridge trolls of the week!

Tyrell Macheledt’s weekend trip to Devils Lake, ND paid off in 29.5-inches of bulbous bridge troll. Ty said they caught their fish using a 1-2 punch of 1/4-oz Lindy Live Bait Jigs tipped with leeches and Rapala Jigging Raps:

Hailey cracked this 31-incher in Al-Bertha, CAN while slow dragging a #4 Bagley Bang-O-Lure (black stripes on gold foil) in 8-10′. That’s a big fish bait! Great shot:

Connor Bowen stuck (and released) this thick 30.5-incher — that slurped a pink tiger UV Rapala Rippin’ Rap — from shore:

John Hoyer stuffed this 27″ Lake Sakakawea saugeye [!] pulling a #7 Berkley Flicker Shad (purple tiger) on leadcore in 12′. Yup, shallow-water leadore is a thing:

Jason Mitchell’s early-season rigging tricks.

This Jason Mitchell write-up is packed with too much good info to all fit here, so there’s just a few of those why-didn’t-I-think-of-that excerpts below:

> When looking for fish — or pulling the first fish off a location — nose hook for extra speed and durability. Once the spot dies down, you can usually pull a few more fish by tail hooking the minnow.
> Tail hooking works well when hovering over fish and hardly moving. The downfall is they usually fatigue quickly and die.

> To get more kick out of minnows when crawling through locations, hook ’em through the top jaw and not through both jaws.

> Bigger minnows sometimes require a shorter snell to stay in the strike zone. Anglers can often anticipate the bite by the “shudder” or action of the minnow before the strike.

Yup, you can actually feel the minnow “get nervous” when a walleye is close with Jason’s new Elite Series Spinning Rods:

> Many believe rigging requires finesse, but too light of a snell will A) twist when you speed up, and B) demand that you crawl along at slow speeds. I catch more fish by using heavier snells like 10- or 12-lb at times.

> Heavier snells allow me to speed up to over 1 mph and look for fish on my electronics when there’s none below the boat. When I mark fish, I can hover and back troll or use the spot lock on the trolling motor.

Jason said his favorite all-around rigging rod is the 7’0′ medium light fast action, which you can check out right here.

Yellerbelly walleye caught.

Michael Matson hooked this b-e-a-utiful yellerbelly while fishing Metro Detroit, MI:

> Michael: “I’ve never seen another one and have been at it for a while. I asked a couple biologists and they said it’s a pigment mutation.”

They already had their limit and released the fish. Probably would’ve tasted something like this:

Fishing dogs > hunting dogs.

Kirsti Harris’ partner in crime is looking forward to the walleye dinner:

Charlie Smith sent in this pic of his fishing buddy “Mac” going for the walleye sushi:

Grant Prokop’s fur baby looks big enough to take that gravel lizard down:

TW’s Brett McComas introduced “Vexi” to the jerkbait bite on Gull Lake, MN. Would you rather lick a dorsal fin, or a Rapala Shadow Rap Shad? #Ouch

News

1. New super glow blades from Moonshine Lures.

There’s 14 new colors painted with Moonshine’s super-secret “special glow.” Lookit how tasty these 5 are:

FishUSA doesn’t have ’em in stock yet :(. Maybe if you ask Moonshine Lures nicely, they’ll tell you where you can find ’em.

2. MN: Triple figure catches on LOW.

When was the last time your boat had a 100 fish day? That’s happening right now on Lake of the Woods…time for a #roadtrip

3. Tourney anglers: Win $$$ even if you don’t win!

> Toyota Bonus Bucks pays out $250 to the top two anglers in all AIM, MWC and NWT tournaments. You don’t have to win the tourney – you simply have to be the highest placing registered participants.

> The top two Bonus Bucks anglers at the respective championships will earn an extra $750.

That extra dough adds up! NPAA’s Pat Neu has been cashing some of those extra checks, which is why dinner is on him next time:

4. IA issues water level advisory.

Other states are too. Be careful out there this weekend.

5. Bass Pro-Cabela’s deal still on track for Q3?

Someone said when the US gov’t asks to review a deal twice, it usually won’t go…but someone else said that at first it was Obama’s folks and now it’s Trump so it should go through. Who knows….

Headline of the Day

TX couple catches record bass, credits chicken nugget as bait.

No word yet if they used any dipping sauce, but we’re thinking either creamy ranch or spicy buffalo.

#BassEatAnything

Tip of the Day

Mark Martin:

> Walleyes will head out into the main lake and cruise along the first breaklines offshore…especially at river and creek mouths. They’ll feast on the baitfish waiting for the rivers to rise, which triggers their mad dash upstream to spawn.
> The depths walleyes are at varies from 5-30′, so I’ll troll within several different depths until I get bit. Follow the breaklines to a tee, this is crucial! I can guarantee you that my eyes will be on the screen of my sonar/GPS at all times.
> I use Shallow Shad Raps and Original Floaters in water less than 8′. Shad Raps, Minnow Raps, and Deep Tail Dancers work well in deeper water.
> lure colors will depend more on water clarity than forage. Clear: Use the most natural imitation of the baitfish at hand, with maybe just a splash of bright coloration. Stained: Pick out brighter colors, including UV and fluorescents.

> Whether I’m trolling crankbaits or spinners, I get more strikes if my lines are out from behind the boat using in-line planer boards.

Keep reading right here.

Meme of the Day

Keep those priorities straight this weekend:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Check the CHOMPERS on this walligator that Wes Semeniuk caught on the fly:

Sign up another ice-head!
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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 quit sports in high school because they were interfering with his fishing time. Get him at brett@targetwalleye.com

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