Target Walleye/Ice email

Nuclear orange crappie, Metro walleye tip, ND record jumbo throwback

Today’s Top 4

Rare “golden crappie” caught.    

Matteo caught and released this southern NH creamsicle on a Clam Drop Jig tipped with a spike. Looks more like a “nuclear orange crappie” to me, but wowza:


How? Why? Here’s what a few different fisheries biologists think:

> …a rare mutation called ‘xanthism’ which is a partial form of albinism found in fish. Only certain melanin color pigments in the fish’s skin are lacking, and in turn the cholesterol found in the fish’s skin turns the colorless cells bright orange….

Willy Wonka was rumored to be interested in the fish….

ND state-record jumbo perch details.  

Shout-out to TW fan Tyler Riedesel for tracking down some nuggets on the ND state-record perch! Kyle Smith caught the 2-lb 15-oz freak outta Devils Lake back on Mar 28, 1982:


Here’s a few lines from that ^ original write-up:

> “Kyle landed a supremely fat 2-lb 15-oz yellow perch, breaking the ‘old’ record set just a week ago [a 2-13 also caught on Devils Lake].

> “…was among a half dozen…weighed in Monday morning that tipped the scales over 2 lbs.

> “He caught the beauty using [a jig and minnow] on 20-lb line.

> “Officials at NDG&F…said Kyle’s record will probably stand up at least until next winter’s ice-fishing season.”

Now going on 38-years strong! That gut is madness:


Btw this Top Item was inspired by the near-record perch caught it ND last week.

Wheelhouse life is the life for me us. 

Had the chance to borrow a 21′ Yetti Traxx Edition (toy hauler) last weekend for a little family getaway. I was super pumped [!!] but gotta admit I was also crazy nervous ‘cuz I had never towed anything that big before! I mean I’ve pulled plenty of 16′ and 17’ wheelhouses with my half-ton truck…but never anything like THIS:


Was shocked to find out it pulled like a freakin’ dream! That would of course make sense if I had a 2500 or big ol’ diesel…but a 1500 gasser?? Had zero issues during our 4-hour round trip or the 3 days we spent on the ice.

Get this: Yetti Fish Houses are on the aluminum-frame diet and weigh ’round 20% less than similar wheelhouses. If my math is right = means they cut 800-1,200 lbs [!] off depending which model you’re lookin’ at. Can definitely feel that in the towing department.

Another thing that helped reduce my anxiety levels: Had a rear observation/backup camera — believe you can get ’em on all 8′-wide models. Legit lifesaver for parking and maneuvering in tight quarters:


Main reason I was so pumped to borrow this Yetti, is ‘cuz it was really the first time our ENTIRE family has gotten out together since we had our 17-month-old daughter Maisie. Not sure how else you can get ’em on the ice when they’re that young.

Let’s just say Maisie made herself right at home in no time:


Couldn’t believe we picked up like 50-ish TV channels out on the ice when I can’t get 1 local channel living in town (WTHeck). Maisie for sure appreciated the early-morning cartoons with breakfast, but I was more into this picture-in-picture:


Though the view through these other 10 “windows” was sometimes just as good-er:


Oddly enough EVERY single one of our fish came suspended just 3-4′ under the ice even though we were in 16’+. Occasionally see that with crappies (especially late-ice when things start to drain back into the water) but not normally this time of year or with bluegills really ever? Only thing I can think of is maybe there was already a lack of oxygen down under…? Who knows.

We caught some slabs jigging with smaller 1/16-oz Northland UV Buck-Shot Spoons tipped with euros. Most of our bigger crappies engulfed a fathead minnow on a plain hook soaking just 3-4′ under the ice on a Catch Cover Rattlesnake Reels — man did I miss the sound of that “ding, ding, ding!”

No surprise my wife Amanda had the hot hand, catching the first/most/biggest/last crappies of the trip — what’s new?!


And ya can’t have late-night rattle reels without a cup of high-octane bean juice to kick off the morning! I had never made coffee with a French press before, so Jeremy Smith’s vid on how to make coffee in a wheelhouse WITHOUT a generator was #money! Nice when you don’t feel like being “THAT guy” who wakes up the entire shack or neighboring fish-heads:


Btw gotta shout out those Catch Cover Safety Covers too. My kiddo is fearless and for sure would’ve done one heck of a bobber impression without ’em. Even caught myself accidentally stepping on ’em a handful of times = saved me from wet Crocs!

Whole fam seriously can’t wait to get back out in that “shack” again. We legit even slept in it while parked in the driveway one night lol.

Yo Nick Lindner – Have fun explaining this one to Al! 

Never know what type of shenanigans you’ll see when snoopin’ around Lindner Media…. Even the staff’s kiddos are “thinking outside the box” lol:


1. Alberta thinks walleye will boost economy.

> “The creation of a walleye restocking program could promote the economy and tourism….

> “We would really like to promote [recreational] fishing in general…it will attract a lot more people from maybe outside AB. …could also drive local economies.

> “We will be focusing on help and assistance from local clubs, fishing clubs, fishing game associations and those types of angler groups that are really interested in supporting us….”

2. NY: Oneida Lake adult walleye pop hits 1 mil.

First time reaching that level since the ’80s.

3. AB: Fishermen both fined $2K and banned for 1 year…

…after keeping 4 walleyes on Sylvan Lake, where the limit is currently ZERO. Doesn’t sound like it was an accident according to this write-up:

> “…saw the officer and dumped a black garbage bag overboard…into the lake. Officers retrieved the bag and found 4 walleye and a large rock inside….”

4. ME: Dude snatches a 47″ muskie through the ice.

For 1st place in Long Lake Ice Fishing Derby’s muskie division on Glazier Lake. Had to go dang-near shoulder deep to get her turned up:

5. Midwest mayfly population way down.

> …a staggering 84% decline in Lake Erie Hexagenia abundance between 2015 and 2019. …sharp declines are also evident in Mississippi River populations, where results indicate a decrease of 52%….

Wonder how that will effect the food chain in those fisheries?

> …culprits for the recent sharp declines in Hex abundance, including climate change, nutrient-laden runoff from agriculture, and pesticide use.

6. MI: Black Lake sturgeon season over in 6 hours.

**presses the “that was easy” button**

7. WI: Winnebago ice conditions and water clarity tested…

…ahead of Saturday’s sturgeon spearing season. Water was clearer than last season, but only had 6-11″ of ice where they checked out to 6′ deep.

8. Lindner Media’s gotta decked-out Lund for sale.

2019 Lund 1875 Impact SS w/ a Merc 150XL 4-stroke (just 50 hours on it):

Comes with Smooth Moves seats, a 12′ Minn Kota Talon, kicker motor, pair of Humminbird Helix 10 MEGA SI G3Ns, 113-lb Minn Kota Ulterra, and more:

9. Lindner’s Angling Edge now on WFN.

World Fishing Network, Tuesdays at 7:30 pm CST.

10. How sick are these power boxes?!

Came across a company called Bold North Outdoors at the Fargo Ice Show a couple months back that was kicking out some super schweeeeet Portable Power Boxes:

Not a TW sponsor or anything…things just look pretty dang cool.

Love that they’re 100% customizable — add a lithium battery, solar panel chargers, and of course any plugs/ports/mounts you can think of, including RAM Mounts to run a flasher/graph straight off ’em. Have even heard of people jump-starting their ATVs with ’em in an emergency.

11. MN: Aquatic invasive plant control grants now available.

> “Grants for projects that control invasive aquatic plants are being offered by the MN DNR invasive species program.

> “These grants are available for the first time in 2 years after the MN Legislature approved a boat license fee increase that will also fund other initiatives.

> “About $530K is available to lake associations, watershed districts, cities and counties for projects that control curly-leaf pondweed, Eurasian watermilfoil and flowering rush using herbicides, mechanical control or a combination of both.”

12. Changes coming to boat electronics repairs??

> 27 state legislatures have introduced bills that would require manufacturers to release software information to allow independent retailers to repair electronic products. These efforts — commonly referred to as “right to repair” — are opposed by a wide range of stakeholders, including the recreational boating industry.

Headline of the Day

Airborne Angler helps ice fishermen stay safe on Saginaw Bay.

Guy posts photos/vids of the ice conditions from a 1,500′ birds-eye view. Highlights

Tip of the Day

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 for his approach to big metro gravel lizards…little outside the box, but clearly workin’ for him!

Full write-up here on or click the pic below:

Meme of the Day

Shots fired, BassBlaster!


Posted by Jesse Babcock in the Ice Junkies Outdoors Facebook group. All in good fun — doesn’t matter what you’re fishing for, long as you’re fishin’.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Amanda Galbraith out-fished her husband Bryce again (lol sorry man had to) on Manitoba’s Oak Lake. Said she iced this THICK Master Angler perch on a 2″ Northland Rippin’ Shad in just 5.5′ — congrats!

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Who is Target Walleye
Target Walleye — 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 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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