Target Walleye/Ice email

Lure color doesn’t matter, NWT winning deets, Rod selection tip

Today’s Top 4

Lure color doesn’t matter…

…as much as other things. Bet that first line had a few of you worked up quick lol. But really, how often are you asked: “What color are you getting ’em on?” Johnnie Candle summed it up well in this Joel Nelson write-up:

> Johnnie: “First and foremost you need to have your baits in front of fish — color can’t overcome fishing where fish just aren’t (nearby).”

> “After you’ve found fish, gotten a few to eat…and then fine-tune your retrieve, speed, action and other offerings…then maybe you can start to crack the code of which colors work better.”

Spot on! There’s for sure times when lure color makes all the difference IF you’re on ’em, but you have to be on ’em. And certain colors always seem to work better on some bodies of water, like Joel Nelson’s rusty crayfish pattern:

> “Orange, and I mean the brightest, gaudiest, blaze orange you can find…. I attribute it to the rise in invasive rusty crayfish in many of the larger waters I fish.

> “I’ve seen orange-craw patterns dominate in many conditions as fish in the livewell regurgitate orange carcasses. Lake of the Woods, Leech Lake and other smaller waters in northern WI, crankbaits and plastics that imitate a scurrying crayfish have been winners no matter the time of year.
> “Rapala has several new retreating craw color patterns that have worked on numerous occasions, no matter where I’m fishing.”

Joel and Johnnie go into more detail on when color does and doesn’t matter right here.

Courts wins on one wing dam.


The National Walleye Tour was just on pools 9, 10 and 11 of the Mississippi River. The water was slowly rising, which helped to position the fish in more predictable places…and man did pro Mark Courts ever predict ’em.

He won the derby fishing a single wing dam, weighing a 2-day bag of 41.97 lbs and banking an $81K payday:

Mark said the spot was a short wing dam 10-11′ on the front side tapering down to an island. He focused on the base of the dam which had rocks and sand:

> “I positioned about 50′ upstream with my MinnKota Ultrex. Every fish came from that wing dam. I never moved more than 40′ side to side. It wasn’t a difficult decision to stay because I kept catching the right fish.

> “Typically, you get bit right at the face of the dam. Today [we] couldn’t keep it there long because there was so much grass floating down. We were constantly cleaning our baits. There was a big flat behind the wing dam. The walleyes rest behind it and then slide up to eat.”

Three of his fish came on a bassin’ crankbait [!] called the Berkley Dredger 10.5
(rootbeer splatter back), which looks like this:

The rest came on smaller willow cats fished with a 1/2-oz egg sinker, 1′ leader and a #2 Fusion19 Octopus Hook.

> “I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of big moments in my career, but to go on a 9-year drought, it gets frustrating. I lost a championship a few years ago to Korey Sprengel and that gets under your skin. Every win is a memorable one and this one is special because it’s been a long time.”

Earned it man! Keep doing your thing.

How Hoyer got 2nd…not 1st.

John Hoyer finished 2nd, weighing 40.80 lbs for $19,654. He actually had the winning fish a few feet from the boat, but it came unbuttoned — sounds like walleye fishing:

> “I lost a 6- to 7-lber on my very last cast of the day. My partner had two of the rods reeled up when it bit. We had her about 6′ from the boat and she just let go. I had all the bites to win.”

Hoyer fished a current seam of a small wooden cut in 8-10′ on Pool 10:

> “The fish would sit in the wood. I could see them sitting there with my Lowrance side imaging. They wouldn’t bite anywhere else but right on the current seam.

> “…position two rods with creek chubs on a slider rig with a 1.5-oz weight. On the other two, we would swing willow cats down the current seam on Lindy rigs with a 3′ leader and either a 1/4- or 3/8-oz weight.”

Different type of “current seam” than the one he and Spenser Samplawski fished on Devils Lake, ND:

Congrats on the solid finish, man!

Crawler-eating ‘eyes look like…skeksis?

If you’ve never heard of a “skeksi,” it’s a nasty creature from an 80s flick called The Dark Crystal (returning soonish as a Netflix Original Series):

Kind of looks like a walleye face! And you just gotta tie on a nightcrawler if you wanna catch one of your own, like:

Rylee White stuck this 24″ stickle-backed skeksi while river feeshin’ in MB:

Hans Holkesvik caught this 22″ crawler-eatin’ skeksi somewhere in Iowa:

Unique fish — even this guy was impressed:


1. CAN/US: Border crossing by boat made easier.

Thanks to a new Canadian law. Used to have to call into customs when going back and forth, but now:

> American boaters who do not anchor their boat — or step foot on Canadian soil — will not have to report to Canadian Customs.

Still no one knows what to do with the jetpack hover-board guy:

2. ON: HUGE comeback win on Magpie River.

Jamie Robinson and Terry Bernath stole the NOWT win after starting day 2 in 66th place! Now THAT is fishin’ yer hearts out. Congrats guys:

3. WI: Thousands of fish killed in Beaver Dam.

Result of a “culvert replacement project.” The city’s utility director must not fish?

4. IA: New DNR fish-structure-maps.

And they’re giving you free waypoints for:

> …structures such as cedar trees, rockpiles, rock fields and pea-gravel beds that have been strategically placed to attract fish for anglers.


5. MT: New boat decals required…

…even if you’ve permanently registered your rig.

6. New super glow Shiver Minnows…

…from Moonshine Lures. Here’s what they look like:

Those colors clockwise: yellar goby, blue goby, jaws, and purple goby. It’s that time of year — FishUSA has ’em in stock here.

7. Installing a Smooth Moves Ultra seat.

Keith Worral of OutdoorsFIRST tricked out his Lund 1750 Rebel XS with a pair of Smooth Moves Ultra suspension seat bases. Here’s how they go in start to finish:

Still surprised that local chiropractors aren’t pooling together to buy-out the company…. #BackSaver

Hope Tony M. of Detroit Lakes, MN is paying attention…. He won the Smooth Moves giveaway from last week!

Tip of the Day

How Jason Mitchell chooses the right rod action.

Jason talks about his preferred rod actions for: throwing swimbaits, river/current, deep-water jigging, live-bait rigging and pitching crankbaits. Ton of great info packed into < 90 seconds:

Check Jason’s new Elite Series Rods here.

Quote of the Day

This ain’t grandpappy’s gummy worm.

– What Mike Borovic said about his go-to bait on the Detroit River: the Lunkerhunt Bento Bait. Love the shot too:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Ronnie Rhodes cracked this suspended smelt smacker on a Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow Walleye Deep Diver:

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

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