Target Walleye/Ice email

Marker buoys still a thing, Better ‘crawler action, Melons of the week

Heads up: I’m headed to Devils Lake, ND for the next NWT event. Still sending you Target Walleye emails, but may be comin’ your way unusual days/times. Thx so much for reading!!!

Today’s Top 4

Change ‘crawler action with hook placement.

Did you know you can switch up the action of your crawler — to make ’em spin or run straight — by changing where you hook ’em on a crawler harness? How Mille Lacs guide Brad Hawthorne does it no matter where he’s fishin’:

Just make sure you don’t forget to throw ’em back in the fridge or cooler when you’re done. #Can’tUnsmell

Btw – here’s the real reason Brad likes trolling more better-er than casting:

Sorry man, had to! Definitely kept your cool better than I did — though you had a few years on me. #FlatTop

Rock melons of the week!

Matt “I fish a lot” Paul and Erika Cheadle have been whacking the Manitoba wall-dawgs…talkin’ fish up-and-over the 32″ mark [shocked emoji]. Matt said they’ve been covering water with Rapala Snap Raps, looking for pods of big fish and Spot-Locking on top of ’em:

Guide David Shmyr Jr. was pulling a “yellow perch” Bagley Minnow B 05 behind a 3-way rig with a 2-oz bell sinker — at 1.7 mph in 12′ — when he cracked this big ol’ rock melon:

Ryan Beck kicked it old school jig-and-minnow style for this Manitoba Master Angler:

Matthew A. Franz stuck his new PB walleye on a Rapala Glass Shad Rap — great clear-water option:

Insta user @blaeser9’s been on the Lake of the Woods slobs downrigging Rapala Shad Raps and Berkley Flicker Shads:

Marker buoys are still a thing.

Your GPS is good…really good…but it can never be as spot-on as a good old-fashioned marker buoy. Tough to beat for spot-on-the-spot type deals, precision casting in shallow water and marking transition lines/edges. Tell ’em Joel Nelson:

Lake Erie (big water, bigger fish) guide Ross Robertson fashioned up a marker buoy using a “landfill chicken” and Schooley ice reel. Said it helps him to catch more fish, and a lot less fishermen — you’ve gotta see this #ingenuity:

Love it Ross!

There’s a new Willie in town.

Talkin’ famed “Willie Walleye” at Lake of the Woods. Willie Sr. was falling apart…so they brought in some heavy machinery speed up that process:

Few pics of Willie Jr. being born (spawned?):

His “swim” north to Baudette, MN:

Still wrapping things up, but here’s a look at the new-school Willie Walleye:


1. ND: Devils Lake NWT happenin’ Jul 26-27.

Here’s what the pros think it’ll take to win. Will just say this: The last 2 NWT events on Devils Lake (2013 and 2015) were won with Rapala Jigging Raps….

2. MN: Mille Lacs has 2x as many walleyes as ’14.

That’s an early guesstimate of a study the DNR will be completing this fall. Write-up also said:

> The DNR blames climate change and invasive species like zebra mussels for affecting the walleye count. Parsons [new fisheries chief] says the lake has a high number of walleye born in 2013. And now that they are fully grown, it’s helping the overall count.

> That’s the issue we’ve had in Mille Lacs is survival of little fish to become big fish. That’s dropped in the past 10 years pretty substantially. So that’s what we need to see turn around.

Still sayin’ this is some of the best walleye fishing I’ve ever seen (or heard of) on “The Big Pond for both size and numbers.

3. ON: Davey/Haisell win Kenora Walleye Open.

4. WI making room for walleyes…

…by removing bass and panfish from McDermott Lake:

> Researchers know warming lake temps and changing habitats have led to a reduction in walleye and an increase in bass and panfish populations…[also] want to know whether interaction between the species plays a role.

> Thought is that panfish and bass are in so much higher numbers than walleye that they’re [potentially] monopolizing resources and out-competing those really early life stages of walleye…don’t know if it will work — that’s something I want to emphasize…this is an experiment.

Said they keep some of fish they remove for further study…rest go to “wildlife rehab centers, serving as food for birds and other animals.”

5. MN: Lake of the Woods Tourism is hiring…

…an Assistant Director. More info here.

6. MN: Sauk Rapids/Sartell high school fishin’ team…

…has exploded in its 1st year — believe they’re now the 2nd largest high school fishin’ team in the Midwest behind the Brainerd Warriors. More and more teams poppin’ up all over the country = #Stout

> Mike Danielson (co-founder of the group): “We had an informational meeting in Oct and I think we had about 100 people show up to that…took off from there.
> “(It’s) to create opportunity in the fishing world that may not have been known to kids before this. Whether a kid wants to be a bass tourney guru or learn how to fish carp on the bank…just to be a resource for these kids to let them know all these opportunities that are out there.”

The team literally had to close registration for the 2018 season because there were so many students interested — didn’t have enough volunteers.

> Danielson: “We hate to turn any kids away from doing this…it kind of crushes us a little bit.”

Said they’re hoping when registration opens again in March, new members will bring more people looking to help out. No doubt they will, man!

Hit ’em up here if you’re from the area and willing to help.

7. New ‘Rude marketing VP.

8. Great Shaw Grigsby post on trolling motor maintenance.

Says in there his batteries have lasted up to 10 yrs!?!

9. MN: Fishing Careers Workshop in Oct.

> …hosted by Al Lindner, Troy Lindner and Joel Nelson…held at Madden’s Resort on Gull Lake in the Brainerd Lakes Area on Saturday, Oct 27.

> Al Lindner: “If you’re in the tackle, marine or tourism industry — you need to attend or send a representative. We have a fantastic line-up of mover and shakers, each sharing their personal journey and step-by-step details, wisdom and practical guidance on how to create and navigate a successful career or business in today’s sport fishing industry. Our goal is inspire and encourage your life path and to pursue your dreams.”

So grateful to be a part of this event again this fall. It’s truly a special thing when careers and passions align — hard work is everything.

10. Savage Gear and Okuma part ways.

Was forwarded an email from the head of Savage that says:

> “After the recent mutual agreement between Okuma, former distributor of the global lure brand Savage Gear, [and Savage Gear] to part ways, we can announce that Savage Gear from Sept will open its own office and showroom in Miami, FL. ”

11. Tracker tin boat biz hurt by new import tariffs?

12. New global brand manager for Mustad.

13. National fishin’ trends.

Nothing walleye-specific but:

> Freshwater fishing was once again the most popular form of fishing with a participation rate that held steady…from 2016 to 2017. …38.3 million participants, which was 3 times the amount of people that participated in saltwater fishing….

> In general, children ages 6-12 participated in fishing at a higher rate than teenagers, ages 13-17. Both groups fished more than they did the year before. Among children, fishing grew by half a million people to reach 7.3 million…or 24.2% of American kids. Teens added 200,000 participants to 4.3 million people or 20.1% of American teens….

> …Hispanic Americans continued to significantly increase…from 10.6% to a record high…11.7%, or 4.2 million people. …tended to be avid participants, embarking on 22.2 average annual outings per participant — nearly 4 more outings than the typical [angler].

Thought this graphic was interesting:

Feel like the Midwest makes up a big chunk of the 20% that like to switch it up. On the other hand, the #1 other reason given for fishing was to “get exercise,” which sounds sketchy lol.

14. Boat dealers still seeing lots of ethanol damage.

> 85% of our respondents said they have seen damage to engines or other components caused by ethanol in their business. That was down from 92% last year and 87% in 2016.

Do-It Molds Giveaway!

Have a shot at winning this killer $550-ish spread from Do-It Molds! Comes with a $100 gift card, Soft Plastic Starter Kit for pouring your own baits, assorted jig molds and way more (walleye not included lol). Click here to enter. Share the link you get for more chances to win — good luck!!

Headline of the Day

Patience key for landing big walleye.

Easier said than done:

Tip of the Day

Tungsten’s been all the rage on ice, but we’re talking OPEN-water tungsten jigs…yup, they’re (finally) a thing! Full Jason Mitchell write-up here, few tidbits for you to soak in below about the new Clam tungsten jig. #HeavyMetal

Called the Drop TG Jig and has a 2x Mustad Ultra Point long-shank hook with welded keeper. Few colors me really likey:

Of course there’s the whole non-toxic, environmentally-safe side o’ things…but here’s a few fishier reasons why it’s a big deal — pay attention fish-heads:

Heavier and denser

> 30% smaller than the same weight lead jig = better jig control and sensitivity, punches through weeds, plummets fast to deep-water schools and the smaller profile is killer for pressured or finicky fish.

> 1.7x more dense than lead — denser tungsten shows up better on graphs and sonar. #AskGenz

> Less resistance in heavy current or deep water to keep your jig more vertical…keeps curls and kinks out of the line.

Increased sensitivity

> Lead absorbs impact — harder tungsten does not = more “feel” of your jig as you work it through cover. The energy of impact with a rock, sand, mud, wood structure, log or a bite does a better job of transferring through to the line. #thump

Also heard that lead absorbs sound while harder tungsten is noisier…especially when “tinking” off rocks. Something to think about….

Learn more about how Jason Mitchell fishes ’em here.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Can’t figure out if this Devils Lake walleye looks happy or sad:

I’ll ask him when I head that way this weekend — can’t freaking wait! Already know I won’t have cell service out there…luckily Woodland Resort has solid Wifi, so will still be shooting Target Walleye emails your way. Have a great weekend!

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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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