Target Walleye/Ice email

Metro walleyes tip, Sight fishing trout vid, Wine cork tip-up hack

Heads up: We’re off to Bakers Narrows Lodge in northern MB for the next weekish, chasing MONSTER lake trout (and maybe burbs?)! Still sending you Target Walleye emails, but they may be comin’ at unusual times/days #BearWithMe. Thx so much for reading!!!

Today’s Top 5

How to catch heavily-pressured metro walleyes.

When targeting heavily-pressured ‘eyes in the big city, you gotta think differently. Many of these fish have seen it all and can’t be fooled by the “typical’ approach….

We tracked down Twin Cities (MN) native Andrew Osowski and had our minds blown by his approach to big metro gravel lizards…little outside the box, but clearly workin’ for him! Full write-up on, few excerpts below:

> Andrew: Seems like a lot of guys will go deep midwinter…there’s definitely fish to be caught out there, but most of my bigger ‘eyes come shallow.

> Fishing pressure will send fish shallow, but on metro lakes it’s also truck and snowmobile traffic that push ’em into weeds.


> I’m looking for shallow weed flats (3-7′) with a clean coontail/milfoil mix that are adjacent to deeper water.

> Within the weeds I’m trying to scope out hard spots that have a sandy bottom…seems like walleyes will use these as travel lanes between the thicker weed clumps.

> I find these hard spots by either visually looking down the hole or using my flasher to find the clean areas…this is where I want my tip-ups to be.

> Finding small bluegills and crappies is the most important part of this deal [more on that later] because that’s what these shallow ‘eyes are gorging on.


> I approach this kind of fishing like I’m targeting bluegills and crappies…a 4-mm tungsten jig and Panfish Plastics Chigger Fry (white).

> Crazy as it sounds, I actually try to catch the little panfish and get a school fired up below me. All that activity attracts roaming walleyes — essentially I’m fishing for bait to get the ‘eyes to roll by.

> When a walleye does come in, the pannie school will disappear [off the flasher] and be replaced by a big solid mark…stay aggressive with the tungsten, usually they’ll be fired up and crush it.


> For my tip-ups, I like the Bigtooth Trophy Thermal…keeps holes open in cold temps and has a smooth spool.

> Biggest thing is running a small hook so the minnow can swim as naturally as possible…I run a #1 Gamakatsu Octopus Hook with a couple split-shots to keep the minnow down. Tried smaller spoons but they seem to limit the minnow’s action.

> I like using small sucker minnows (2.5-3″) ‘cuz they’re super active in the water and pressured fish will actually eat ’em…not just mouth ’em like they do with larger minnows.

> Just barely skin hook the minnows with hook point facing the head — most fish will eat it head first, so this increases hook-ups for sure.

> Run a long leader (10+ ft) of 12-lb fluoro to the tip-up line…don’t want any of the tip-up line in the water column. I experimented with lighter leader line, but kept breaking off…the fish run hard side to side in shallow water and rub the line against the hole.

> Really have to let them eat it — lot of times when the flag pops they’ll just sit at the bottom of the hole and chew — wait until they start taking line before setting the hook.

Other important tidbits:

> Being quiet is huge. Fish are extremely spooky in this shallow of water, even with a foot of ice above ’em.

> I always run low power mode on my flasher and I do think it makes a difference.

> I’ll park my rig at least 50 yards away from where I’m going to fish and walk the rest of the way…also never run to tip-ups…speed walk softly (lol).

> Best time is usually the hour before and after sunset, but I’ve caught ’em in the middle of the day when we’ve had stable weather.


That ^^^ is the title of Uncut Angling’s newest vid after a mini (and typical) YouTube hiatus. Believe it’s pokin’ fun at some of the super click-baity titles other YouTubers are quick to throw out….

Only thing he’s missing is: “COPS CALLED (NOT CLICKBAIT)” lol!

Best part about Aaron’s vids is he walks it like he talks it. In this one (has nearly 80K views since yesterday) he’s sight fishing massive rainbow trout, and pulled off a new shot he calls the “undercam.” For sure worth a watch…or two:

Not sure what else to say besides:

As seen in Florida….

Buckle up boys and girls…she’s about to get…frosty?

Meanwhile we’re up here in the ice-belt like:

Ziploc makes ice-fishing shacks?

As seen on the Ishim River in Kazakhstan. Temps as low as -30 and these guys are a-feeshin’ in plastic bags?! We gotta hook these guys up with some legit shacks:

What’s colder: -30 C or -30 F? Doesn’t matter!

Ice fishing Vlog: Rollin’ tracked-out on Lake Winnipeg.

IMO what makes Manitoba’s Lake Winnipeg aka “Big Windy” a world-class walleye fishery is that even on a crazy tough cold-front bite, it can still kick out the fish of a lifetime…and last week was no different.

We were rolling in style thanks to Todd Longley’s tracked-out “Ice Ridge Reaper.” More than glad to leave our sleds parked on shore seeing as it could’ve been 50+ degrees warmer and the lake would’ve still been making ice!

Just wrapped up editing the vid, if fishin’ Vlogs are your thing. Spoiler alert: Eric stuck a PIG. #OinkOink

Thx much for watching! Gonna try to have cameras running the whole time again this weekend when we are chasing monster lake trout (and maybe burbs?) out of Bakers Narrows Lodge in northern, MB.


1. 27-year-old walleye caught…

…by fisheries biologists during an “adult sampling” on Lake Sakakawea. Fish was just 25.2″ long…didn’t say if it was a male or female. Maybe they shrink when they get old, like we sorta do?

> Bony fish are aged by counting the growth rings on their otoliths (ear bones). Here’s an otolith from the 27-year-old walleye:

Assuming that pic means the fish isn’t getting any older….

2. WI: The Women Ice Angler Project hits Lake Superior.

A women’s ice fishing group who’s gathered on a different lake to fish every winter since 2015. Started as a one-time media event to create positive images of women ice fishing independently. #Stout

> Barby Carey: “Because I see how women’s lives are changed… see how all of a sudden they’re backing their boat in, they’re going fishing, they have confidence and pride in doing things they never thought they could do.”

Thanks for all you do to help grow the industry, Barb!

3. MN: 10,000 anglers fished the Gull Lake derby…

…last weekend, despite the nasty conditions. Were fishin’ for a chunk of the $150K in prizes — Gary Creger got his (won a new truck!) thanks to a 5.2-lb pike that snatched up his sucker minnow. Worth the frost bite!

4. ON: Lake Scugog walleye fishing could be closed for years.

MNRF banned walleye fishing back in 2016 to help boost the population…3 years later, it’s still in its “very early stages” and “may take many years to see improvement of the walleye population.”

5. Lithuania team dominates World Ice Fishing Championship.

6. WI: Winnebago trawling report released.

Says there was still a “measurable walleye hatch” despite the mid-April snow storm that dumped more than 30″ of snow, and brought record high-water levels to the Wolf River.

Btw – guess a “trawl” looks like a large, mesh sock and is drug across the lake bottom behind a boat.

7. ND: 1.3-lb walleye wins Devils Lake tourney.

Zac Bernier’s catch was good for a $2K payday. Know this cold front has screwed up the bite when that’s the winning fish on a world-class fishery like Devils Lake, ND…. Way to grind it out, dude!

8. MI DNR stocked over 22 MILLION [!] fish in 2018.

And you still can’t catch one? Lol.

9. You tried a bait-feeder spinning reel yet?Sort of like the old bait-clicker baitcasters. Okuma makes one called the Avenger that lets you disengage the spool so the fish can run — then just flip the switch and your normal drag is engaged. They’re perfect for set-lines or deadsticks.

Case you missed it, here’s the In-Depth Outdoors crew putting it to work:

Okuma has a new Ceymar Baitfeeder as well, which I’m currently drooling over.

10. Yamaha has a new 20hp

> The F20 features an alternator that produces up to 16 amps of power, 60% more output than the previous gen F20.

11. NY: $3-mil grant to fight invasives.

12. Skeeter gets innovation award for new WX2200.

That’s 22′ of their deepest-V ever.

13. New Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s prez.

Michael P. McDermott, who’s “held multiple high-level positions” at Lowe’s the last 5 years.

Headline of the Day

WI: Study links loss of ice over on lakes to climate change.

Definitely not losing any ice this week…or last…or next.

Mega Salmo Giveaway!!!

Have a shot at winning this $300-ish buffet of walleye candy from our friends at Salmo! Be the FIRST to get your hands on the new Salmo Freediver 9s and Rattlin’ Hornet 3.5s that won’t hit most stores until this spring!!

If you haven’t heard of Salmo’s Freediver series before, they have cranks that can be trolled down to dang near 50′ on their own (without leadcore, snap weights, etc)!

Same deal as before: Click here to enter. Can share the link you get for bonus entries. Good luck!!!

Tip of the Day

Wine corks and hot-glue guns? Here’s a quick (30-sec) DIY mod to keep your tip-ups tangle-free and organized:

Never took Brad Hawthorne for a wine guy…better than being a whine guy….

Quote of the Day

Any time you’re fishing in Minnesota, chances are you’re doing something illegal — whether you realize it or not.

– That’s a fairly well-known outdoor writer pokin’ fun at MN’s extensive list of fishing regs. At least they’re upfront about it:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Think this slaunch has a little something in its teeth:

That “little something” was a Phantom Lures Tilly, dunked by Blake LaFleur.

Might recognize Blake’s name from the 2-lb line-class world record white bass he plucked outta Devils Lake, ND a couple seasons back. She weighed 4.27 and 4.32 lbs (18.5″ x 16″) on two different scales:

That fish ^ ate a 1/16-oz Northland Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon on Asso Micron Three — an Italian mono rated at 1.5 lbs! Said he broke the first six knots he tried to tie — yikes!!

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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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