Target Walleye/Ice email

Monster lake trout parade, Ultimate slush rig, Noodle vs spring bobber

Today’s Top 4

The ultimate ice-fishing rig is finally here!

Got fed up with all this dang slush and finally designed the ultimate ice-fishing rig for the cruddy on-ice travel conditions….

Bonus points for being able to “drop in” on private lakes without trespassing:

Haters will say it’s fake…but we’re already workin’ on the 1-person portable version for next season too:

Speaking of cruddy lake conditions….

Possible flood warning moves NWT opener…again!

The National Walleye Tour’s first stop of 2019 was supposed to be on Pool 4 of the Mississippi River — now they’re heading back to Oshkosh, WI (Lake Winnebago). Same dealio happened last year due to flood-level waters and lots o’ floating debris.

The tourney’s still a couple months out (May 2-3)…assuming they caught wind of National Weather Service’s prediction that spring flooding could be the worst the area has seen in years.

Bummer, but always gotta respect a decision that’s thinking safety first. Least it’s ’nuff of a heads-up that guys/gals haven’t already been pre-fishing for weeks….

Know one person that’s probably excited about the change…. Korey “hot stick” Sprengel who took home the ‘dubyah’ at last spring’s NWT Lake Winnebago qualifier. His 2-day bag of 35.33 lbs landed him an $82,635 [!!] payday. #ChaChing

Last year Korey spent most of his time fishing up in Butte Des Morts ‘cuz the fish “were further along in their post-spawn migration” = few extra days of recovering, feeding and bulking up. Guy is incredibly fish-smart:

> Korey: “I prefished this event for 6 days and never fished the main lake. I wasn’t going to get suckered into fishing the main lake and catching skinny walleyes. A lot of people were catching limits of 18-20” fish there, but they’d only weigh 13-14 lbs…those same fish in the upper lakes weighed 16-17 lbs.

> “I targeted shallow, active fish in 3′ or less. I was fishing weeds [curly-leaf pondweed], cane beds and rockpiles. The amount of flow we had from the snow and rain really set the fish up in certain areas. My practice wasn’t a lot of fishing…it was a lot of looking at new weedbeds and rock piles.”

Caught most of his fish throwing a “chameleon pearl” color Berkley Cutter 90 Shallow into the wind — bait is just 3.5″ long but weighs 3/8-oz. Said he chose that color because “Winnebago has a tannic color, and white baits really stand out and pop.”

> Korey: “On Winnebago, you know real quick if it’s going to happen. I would spend 10 min on each spot and then move if they weren’t there. I threw back a lot of 18- and 19-inchers. I threw back skinny 20s just to get a fat 19-incher.”

That’s how you win these things folks! He ran 20 spots on day 1 and 15 spots on day 2…in the pouring rain, 20mph E winds and 39° temps. Best way to stay warm on days like that? Catching these:

Dang does that ever make me look forward to the shallow spring bite!

Monster lake trout of the week!

Brittany Peeters (@brittanypeeters) had this northern Manitoba giant slurp up a “blue cisco” T.C. MOTO tube laying on bottom. No doubt it’s been eating good!

Here’s @lacseulfishing proving that Rapala Jigging Raps ain’t just for walleyes — congrats on the new PB!

Erika Cheadle (@erika_cheadle) has been ice camping and catching [!] outta her hub shack at Wekusko Falls Lodge, MB. #Dedication

Grant Prokop — owner of Thousand Lakes Sporting Goods in Grand Rapids, MN — has been putting his goods to work on Lake Superior chunks. Guy can catch ’em:

Yup, there’s plenty of lake trout-opotamuses swimming among the zillions of walleyes in Lake of the Woods — like this big-headed slush melon caught by @kurtisrak:

If big lake trout are your jam, might wanna add Lake Athapapuskow in northern Manitoba to your fishing bucket list…some absolute FREAKS up there!

My wife (Amanda) and I were able to get a small taste of the action during a massive -20°F to -40°F cold front a couple weeks back.

Just wrapped up the full Vlog from our trip — including lots of underwater action — if you’ve got a bucket of popcorn and some time to kill. No surprise who caught the most and biggest:

All of our fish were caught on a 3/4-oz Mission Tackle Rigged Lake Trout Tube. Love that is comes with a beefy stinger hook — especially after watching those fish on the camera slide up and just grab at the tail of the bait. #DaySaver

We definitely weren’t roughing it at Bakers Narrows Lodge — you ever seen a “fish camp” with a main lodge like THAT? Wow! The owners, Brett and Heather Baynton, were so incredibly friendly and helpful…felt like we had known ’em for years! No doubt we’ll be back.

What happens when an Otter eats its vegetables….

It puts on 65.5 sqft of fishable area and grows into an Otter XTH Pro Resort lol:

And Otter’s beefy RotoMolded sleds? Must be eating something a little more…hearty? Incredible @67canuk shot:

Okay, okay…I’m done:


1. We lost a fishin’ brother.

Walleye tourney pro and Marine Corps Veteran Jeremy Wildeman (35yo) passed on far too soon. Prayers to the family.

2. MB: Falcon Lake derby happenin’ Sat, Mar 16.

Called the Falcon Lake Winter-Fish Off and dishes out over $140K in cash + prizes, including a $15K payday to 1st.

They’ve got a pile of snow…luckily the local snowmobile club has offered to groom the entire derby site = #Stout

3. Uncut Angling hiring full-time videographer/editor.

Wouldn’t expect “banker’s hours” judging by the time this was posted to FB:

If you still don’t know who Uncut Angling is (where ya been?!) he’s a master at creating unique + educational YouTube fishing videos.

Hope this means he’ll be cranking out vids way more frequently….

4. ND: Fishing/hunting contributed $2.1 billion…

…to the state’s economy 2017-2018. Das alotta dough!

5. MN: JR “Coop” Cooper inducted to Fishing Hall of Fame.

Pretty positive JR could catch a 20-lb pike out of a bathtub — guy’s good! Congrats man!! Much deserved.

6. MN: Rainy River catch-and-release season is on.

Part of the new regs and runs Mar 1 to Apr 14. Great stretch of river to stick a giant while most rest of the state’s walleye season is closed.

The first rain suit I’ve ever heard of where frequent washing makes it better — good news if you catch a lot of fish lol! More info soon.

8. MN: Northwest Sportshow happenin’ Mar 21-24……at the Minneapolis Convention Center. It’s dang near impossible to miss the Lund booth, so better drive down a tow vehicle just in case. 😉

9. MI: Expect fish kills when ice thaws.

And it’s not just a MI thing. If you’ve never heard of a “winterkill.” Here:

> Given the harsh conditions of winter with thick ice and deep snow cover, fish kills may be particularly common in shallow lakes, streams and ponds. …distressed fish gasping for air at holes in the ice often ends with large numbers of dead fish that bloat as the water warms in early spring.

> Dead fish may appear fuzzy because of secondary infection by fungus, but the fungus wasn’t the cause of death. The fish suffocated from a lack of dissolved oxygen from decaying plants and other dead aquatic animals under the ice.

The DNR’s asking you report any with 25+ dead fish.

10. New Frostbite Co Dinner Bell spoon.

Has an “open-blade design” so the little blade in the middle can freely kick around and click off the spoon:

I can confirm this puppy’s the real deal — got my hands on one early and played with it in a sight-fishing hole for about an hour straight. Really like the movement that kicker blade adds…even while basically keeping the spoon in place.

Have a shot at winning this $200-ish stack of Freedom Tackle walleye- and ice-fishing loot! [fire emoji] Quality stuff that works as good as it looks! Including:

1. Minnow Spoons: Not sure how to describe its action other than WHOA (click for a vid). Basically a jerkbait + rattlebait + jigging spoon + blade bait…all in one.

2. Turnback Shads: Full-metal body so no broken tails, and free spinning so no line twists. Mucho nice!

3. Hammered Minnow Spoons: Have a quick-change clevis on the rear to swap out hooks or bead colors. Side-to-side wobble on the drop.

Same deal: Takes 10 seconds to enter — can share the link you get for bonus entries. Good luck!

Tip of the Day

Accordin’ to Dave Genz: “Probably neither!” And he can say that ‘cuz he’s the dang ‘Godfather of Ice Fishing!’ Hear from him — and some of the other biggest names in the biz — in this AnglingBuzz vid:

Quote of the Day

Back then, a gallon of gas cost 10 cents and you could buy a prime cut of steak for about 25 cents per pound.

– That’s a write-up talking ’bout when O.G. Schmidt invented the first-ever electric trolling motor — aka Minn Kota — back in 1934. Things have come a loooong ways!

Nowadays Minn Kota has over 300 different trolling motors to choose from and has delivered over 10 million [!] units. Promise their peeps do actually get time away from work (lol).

Lots more info on Minn Kota’s 85-years of makin’ motors in this Every Motor Matters post.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Here’s Cecilia Grönberg livin’ up to her Instagram handle: @ZanderQueen. Does it get any better than this?!

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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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