Target Walleye/Ice email

LiveScope muskies, 17-lb walleye caught, Rattle reel tip

Today’s Top 5

Massive 17-lber caught from shore!

Was sent this shot from fish-bum Andy Nemo Winder of a 17-lb (35″ x 22″) North Saskatchewan River walligator caught from shore [!] by his buddy Travis Henderson on a homemade rig:

Was released to get even more bigger-er! Congrats dude!!

> Andy: “Biggest walleye I’ve heard of coming from around here other than the priest’s record ice-fishing walleye.”

I couldn’t read that statement without doing some digging….

The fish he’s talkin’ about is an 18.3-lber (36.5″ x 22.5″) plucked through the ice [!] by a local priest, Mariusz “Father Walleye” Zajak, on Tobin Lake back in 2005.

Said it was caught on a “diamond spinner” — while praying Luke 1:46-55 — over now-submerged Birch Island where old-timers used to log trees. Wowza:

That record still stands, but Travis Henderson’s 17-lber should weigh more when she’s full of eggs next spring…or after it eats 1 sucker….

Know you’re obsessed with ice fishing when…

…your man-cave bathroom floor looks like THIS:

Done up by Walls of Art muralist Tony Stafki. Seriously impressive, man!

Few of my favorite comments under the post:

  • I’d step over the ice hole every time just because it’s a habit.
  • Wonder how many cell phones would go through it?
  • My wife would hate it…would make her feel even colder in the mornings.
  • Only fitting that there is a CRAPPIE in there….


Catch more rattle-reel fish by NOT using bobbers.

Said we were gonna start bringing more wheelhouse fishin’ tips, here you go!

Whenever full-time guide Brad Hawthorne leaks a gear tweak, I listen…guy spends a TON of time on the water and ice.

Brad ditches the bobbers when rigging rattle reels and uses neutrally-buoyant fly line instead…acts like a bobber, but without the resistance. That’s the (usually) bright orange, green or blue stuff you’ll see laying on an endcap at your local bait shop. Typically comes in 30-ish yard chunks for like $4-8 and lasts forever-and-a-half. Best part = way less tangles.

He takes apart a small snap-swivel and uses the swivel portion to attach a leader (2-4 lb for panfish, 6-8 lb for ‘eyes), then slides the snap end onto his fly line to mark depth. Super cheap, fewer moving parts, and most importantly puts more fish topside:

Basking on a leather couch, shades drawn, game on…I’ve got some serious fish-house envy goin’ on, Brad! Maybe one day….

Semi-related side note: I’ll read online reviews for 2-3 hours before pulling the trigger on a $40 item — to make sure it’s exactly what I want — ‘cuz I’m a nerd like that lol. So of course I’ve been doing a pile of research on permie shacks…comparing anything and everything.

Saw that Yetti Fish Houses are on the aluminum-frame diet and weigh ’round 20% less than similar wheelhouses. Means they cut 800-1,200 lbs [!] off depending which model you’re lookin’ at, which could extend your ice-fishing season by a couple of weeks = me gusta.

Have you seen how aggressive their security systems are?

Is Garmin Panoptix LiveScope…cheating?

Don’t care, want one!

Uncut Angling’s Aaron Wiebe is back and his mustache vids keep getting better and better. This time he’s vertical jigging muskies outta Flag Island Resort in the NW Angle. The catch? He’s using Garmin Panoptix LiveScope.

The term “game changer” gets thrown around a lot in the fishing biz, but you def gotta see this one. Quick 3-second preview:

He and papa Uncut land multiple ‘skies, and do it in style. For sure worth a watch:

Okay I’m speechless, which doesn’t happen often.

Bull ‘gill of the week!

Reminder: We cover walleye during open water and all species through the ice.

Will Pappenfus iced his first 10-incher of the season using a Northland Tungsten UV Fire-Ball Jig on a small lake near Bemidji, MN:

Said ^ he was standing on a solid 4″ of ice in this pic, but found snow-covered areas with less. Only went about 50 yards out from shore and checked (spud bar!) as he walked.

I dunno man…looks to me like you made Fish Addictions TV host Mike Olson do the hard part. 😉

Mike’s a safety-first kind of guy, so a good one to follow on the ice. He gives a pile of great info on how to stay dry in this early-ice safety video:

Thx man!


1. OH: Lake Erie “Fall Brawl” can (will?) still be won.

Too late to sign up (will remind you again next season!) but if you haven’t heard of the Fall Brawl:

> Between Oct 19 and Dec 2, the biggest walleye caught in the OH waters of Lake Erie by a registered contestant will win a fully-equipped Warrior boat worth $100K. The next 4 largest walleye win thousands of $$$ in cash prizes totaling $110K+.

Started in 2011 as a bunch of buddies throwing in $25 towards a “big fish pot.” Now more than 6,000 people are signed up from dozens of states. Up until last year, someone fishing from shore has always finished in the money!

Jacob Detweiler is leading (as of Nov 6) with a 11.79-lber (31.57″). Massive fish anywhere in the world, but they expect many bigger to be caught:

> “The winning walleye normally is caught late in the derby each fall. Last year, Matthew Branigan landed his 31.5”, 14.97-lb winning walleye (the derby’s all-time largest) on Dec 1.

> “Walleyes come in close to shore to feed upon the massive schools of bait fish that congregate there to feed and take advantage of any slightly-warmer water that lingers from tributary streams or other discharges into the lake as winter approaches.”

Last year the top 10 all went over 12 lbs — sheesh! Keep you posted….

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

Free to join, lots of prizes, and can fish any public lake. More info here.

3. MN: High school ice fishing championship comin’.

The Student Angler Ice Fishing Federation (SAIFF) — a youth division of the NAIFC — is hosting the first-ever national high school ice fishing championship on Mille Lacs Dec 29-30.

It’s the first year, so won’t need to qualify…they’re taking the first 100 two-person teams that enter. More kids fishing = good!

More info on how to sign up here.

4. MN: More walleyes pumped into Minnetonka…

…by the volunteer Westonka Walleye Program:

> “We’ve raised over $175K all from private donations. All of that money goes to purchase fish, no tax dollars are being spent on this.”

The DNR estimates as little as 5% of walleye in the lake come from natural reproduction — so a BIG thank you to these folks.

From Humminbird product manager Justin Freeman:

> “Anglers can choose Wide Mode, which delivers a wider cone angle and big, clearly defined fish arches to ensure that what you’re seeing is actually a fish.

> “Narrow Mode gives you a tighter cone angle which allows you to clearly distinguish fish, bait and structural details and provide the ultimate in target separation even when fish are tight to bottom.”

6. Merc honors military personnel.

> Andres Gonzalez, Merc VP of human resources: “It’s our honor to celebrate women and men who have risked their lives to protect our freedom. We want to show our appreciation to the veterans who work at Mercury, have worked at Mercury or live in our community. It’s a great day to honor our heroes.”


7. It’s called walleye, not pickerel.

One Canadian’s take on the pickerel-vs-walleye debate. Don’t care what you call ’em as long as you’re out there fishing for ’em! #GravelLizards #Razorbacks #Walters #OhMy

8. TW gear Vets Day sale still on!

Expires Sunday 11/18 at 11:59 pm. 15% off entire purchase, code is one word: veteransday

And no, we didn’t forget about our “pickerel” chasin’ friends to the north. #TargetPickerel

Tip of the Day

Full tip here on Joel Nelson’s website, few excerpts below…following this sick Ben Larson (In-Depth Media Productions) shot of Joel’s biggest-ever razorback:

> My biggest fish on a Rapala Jigging Rap is also my biggest walleye to date, nearly a 13-lber from Lake Erie that came among a flurry of 3 fish that went well over 25 lbs [!]. Those fish reacted like bait perch, flying around the graph and vapor-trailing up to smash baits from 5-7′ below — big rips didn’t intimidate them.

> Conversely, last winter on Mille Lacs I was having more success fishing it with a few darts and more subtle dancing in circles, then just quivering it rapidly with fish on screen. Point being: Each fish and water body is different, and what works one place may not work well in another.

> I get in a comfortable place, either wheelhouse or portable, and drop that MarCum Quest Underwater Camera. Examine big rips, small shakes, and everything in between…exactly as a fish would see it. Learn what it takes to rock a bait back and forth, and…how to swim it in a circle.

> Keep in mind that it’s not summer, and a fish’s metabolism is not at the same rate either. Fish can be aggressive, but overall you won’t fish a Jigging Rap in the winter with the same amount of lift/swing that you would an open-water setup. What relative big swings you do are for drawing fish is, but can scare more than it catches if you continue to rip with fish on screen.

> Smaller lifts and slack can be too aggressive too, as without knowing where the bait is darting you can actually turn them off by having it unnaturally charge them.

> Once a fish is on your flasher, higher above them is a safe zone. I usually only drop to reset the cadence — or pound the bottom and stir up sediment — after a fish is starting to drift off screen.

> From there, I try to unlock that rocking motion as best possible, relying on my underwater camera work to inform that jigging stroke.

Meme of the Day

Be safe this weekend if you do get to sneak out on the hard stuff!

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

NWT pro Robert Cardenas skipping a Saginaw Bay, MI walldawg into the net on a “flashy red perch” Berkley Flicker Shad Pro:

Btw Flicker Shad Pros have the same filthy action as the original Flicker Shad, but is “molded from translucent plastic with a highly reflective foil insert chosen by the pros.” #NowYouKnow

Second Dose of ‘Eye Candy

The #13 Phantom Lures Abyss is 4.5″ long, yet looks like a dang appetizer in this freak’s mouth. Filthy shot!

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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 majored in marketing, only because there was no such thing as a “fishing degree” at the time…. Get him at

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