Target Walleye/Ice email

NWT winning deets, Insane double-header, Why orange works

Today’s Top 5

Kolb completely DOMINATES “The Soo.”

The last NWT stop was out of Sault (pron. “Soo”) Ste. Marie, MI on the St Marys River, connecting Lake Superior and Lake Huron. First time the big show was ever there, and the last pro-am walleye derby there was waaaay back in ’05. Ton of water to cover, with some pros making 100+ mile runs one-way!

MI’s David Kolb, a tourney pro and Great Lakes charter captain for 2+ decades, got the ‘dubyah’ by a huuuge margin…. His 2-day bag of 65.04 lbs (nearly 15 lbs ahead of 2nd!) landed him cash/prizes totalling $83,259 + bragging rights:

> David: “I spent a week and a half prefishing — I worked really hard for this one. Have been in the hunt several times, so it’s nice to finish one off. Sometimes you wonder if you’re doing something wrong.”

Found his big-fish spot approx 45 miles from takeoff…a rocky shoreline in the Drummond Island area that kicked out a 26″, 27″, and a 29.5″ during prefish before he snuck outta there. Knew it was something special, but wasn’t sure it would hold up for tourney day.

> David: “I really think the big lake was too cold. …productive reefs out on Huron, but the water temp was only 62 degrees. At Drummond, the water was 68-70 degrees and that made a big difference.

> “That class of fish is really rare up here. I was fortunate to find it and that they were active in the afternoon. I don’t understand why, but it was a later-in-the-day bite.

> “I actually started the tournament on a jigging spot in the St. Joseph’s area [where] I was consistently getting 23-25 lbs. Caught a few, but ended up culling everything out at the big-fish spot. [On the final day] I pretty much spent the entire day in Drummond.”

Caught 2 casting a #7 Rapala Rippin’ Rap (redfire crawdad) on day 1. All 5 of his day-2 fish came making a 1/4-mile trolling pass with Reef Runner 600 Series Deep Little Rippers (cheap sunglasses and purple descent) in 8-12′:

> David: “My speed was 1.5 mph, but I was going into the current. These fish were sitting in the rocks and waiting for the current to wash the bait by…gobies there and other clouds of baitfish too.

> “…big boulders, so I wanted the crankbaits just above the bottom. Today I ran 4 boards to one side [!!] because all my bites were coming on the inside.”

He used Off Shore Tackle Magnum Planer Boards with short leads so the big ones wouldn’t bury the board (more likely to get off then). His co-angler reeled in the fish while he “coached, controlled the motor, and manned the net.”

> David: “On these big fish, getting them in the boat is everything…we only had 5 bites. I have the co-angler do most of the reeling. I kill the kicker and use the trolling motor…I’m a firm believer they can hear the kicker and then fight harder. Plus, there can be issues with prop wash. We put all 5 of our bites in the boat today.”

He had just 4 lbs in the well at noon…then put 4 giants in the boat by 1:10 (including a 29.5″ and 28″) for a day 2 bag of 34.07 lbs. Unreal stuff — BIG congrats, man!

Johnny Hot Stick fishes muskie spots for 2nd?!

Any guesses who landed 2nd at The Soo? Hint: He won the previous NWT event on Green Bay….

That’s right, John “you know the name!” Hoyer cast his way into a 2nd-place finish, sacking up 50.82 lbs and a $22,809 payday. #ChaChing

Had all of their fish by 8:30 am the last day: #dialed

> “I caught every one of my fish on the new Berkley PowerBait The Champ Swimmer on a 1/2-oz Fusion19 Swimbait Jighead with a 6/0 hook. It’s a 4.6″ paddletail with high-definition printed sides. My best colors were black crappie, blueback herring and yellow perch.”

> “I was basically bass fishing in musky spots. Would cast into the thickest cabbage, snap the bait hard as I could to clear the cabbage, and they’d bite it on the fall. Was letting the bait freefall as fast as it possibly could, and they’d absolutely inhale it.”

When Hoyer says he was snappin’ the bait hard as he could, he’s not kidding. Check the blisters he got after doing it for 8-ish hours on day 1…before ‘frenemy’ Korey Sprengel was nice enough to bum him a pair of SIMMS SolarFlex Guide Gloves so he could keep his head (and hands!) in the game on day 2:

He was fishing the north side of St. Joseph’s Island and actually spent most of his practice trolling #9 Berkley Flicker Minnows in the same area. Was initially dropping waypoints to avoid hitting the cabbage with his cranks….

> “I found this pattern the day before the tournament. I had one nip at my bait, so I threw back out there, ripped it through the cabbage and caught a 7-lber…spent the rest of my practice trying to find every strand of cabbage I could. Depending on the spot, it was between 8-16′. If it had rock + cabbage + current = it was an A+++ spot.

> “Had 3 hours to find every strand of cabbage possible in a 5-mile area. Once I found an additional 20-some spots, I had the confidence to run through all of them almost blind come tourney time. Can’t stress how much of an asset my Lowrance SideScan is…enabled me to find the cabbage quickly, and to be able to position my boat the perfect distance from the weededge….

> “My setup was a Thorne Bros 7′ 3” MH Predator spinning rod paired with an Abu Garcia Revo MGX spinning reel spooled with 10-lb Berkley Ultra 8 Carrier braid and a 15-lb flouro leader.

> “It’s kind of like taking first in that it hasn’t really sunk in yet. I wasn’t on the same class of fish as Kolb…my fish were all so close to the same size, so 2nd feels unbelievable.”

Well-deserved dude!

Sutton long-shanks ’em for 3rd.

IL pro Bill Sutton cracked 41.54 lbs of Soo melons making him just 0.02 lbs outta 2nd place…so he got 3rd and $16,936:

> “We were fishing a rock bar that sets up very similarly to a wing dam. We were pitching the new Northland Long Shank Fire-Ball Jig tipped with a full nightcrawler…working the base of the rock bar in 13-15′.”

If you haven’t had the chance to see ’em yet (where ya been?!) here ya go:

> “We were making a 30-mile run to the St. Joseph’s channel. The current set up a lot like a wing dam. Today the wind shifted and shut down some of the current, but…I stayed there and grinded it out.”

Said his Okuma Dead Eye Custom rods — paired with Okuma RTX spinning reels — also played a big part:

> “These fish were native river fish. A 22-inch fish fights like a 30-incher in that river. And I’m not really much of a jig fisherman — I was out of my comfort zone — so those rods were a huge help.

> “To take a top 5 against this caliber of fishermen, I’m happy with that.”

His and hers big double-header!

Taylor Klimczak (@705_true_north_angling) and Victoria Lafrance had 58″ of gold hit the net at the SAME TIME:

Got it all on video too…hectic in a really good way.

Their program: Running line-counters on Okuma Blue Diamond trolling rods (ML with a mod-slow action) with Off Shore Tackle Planer Boards to keep their lines out away from the boat and catch those fish that spook out to the side. They ran big-profile stickbaits: #9 Berkley Flicker Minnows, Smithwick Top 20 Rogues and #9 Rapala Deep Tail Dancer.

Btw if you’re a Lowrance’r…this snap from Taylor is exactly what you’re looking for hidden in the rocks. You must’ve accidentally cut off the coordinates, man 😉

As far as 2D sonar, I think you’d find me doing hot laps over this stretch. #AnothaOne #NotOnDemoMode

Gonna be a tough double-header to top, but no doubt they’ll keep trying!

“There’s eleventy fish in this spot.”

That’s Jason Rylander talkin’ about this BIG school of jumbos he and SD fishing guide Jarrod Fredericks found loaded up on the ‘bird. Know there’s a bunch there when even Jason can catch one (lol kiddin’ man!):


1. MI: More than 460K walleye stocked in UP.

No excuses now…. 😉

2. MN: Scientists mapped the zebra mussel genome.

> …pieced together from hundreds of millions of lines of genetic code….

> The genome sequence could make it possible to find ways to genetically modify zebra mussels in a way that could slash their populations here…could mean manipulating their genes so they essentially self-destruct….

3. NY: How the Sunset Bay Walleye Shoot Out was won…

…by team Reel Mania on Lake Erie. Believe it’s the highest paying 1-day walleye derby in the country, with over $150K in cash and prizes. Believe it was won like this:

> …on a mix of worm harnesses and both shallow- and deep-diving stick baits.

> From the number of lines anglers can keep in the water, to the daily bag limit of sauger, saugeye and walleye….

5. OH: Algae bloom hurting charter bizs on Lake Erie (video).6. MN: New 5-yr mgmt plan for Cass Lake.

Long but interesting read if you’re a Cass Lake’r. The 30+ page draft goes over the DNR’s “5-yr fish population objectives and fisheries management actions.” They’ll be accepting/reviewing any comments through Sep 3.

7. ND fish hatchery is raising BURBOT.

That’s what I’m talking about! #ForTheLoveOfBurbot

8. MN: Tony Roach “take a kid fishing” event…

…happenin’ Aug 10 at the Knife Lake public access in Mora. FREE event where the kids can learn from pros, get some solid freebies and have themselves a day. Such an awesome dealio — big thx to Tony!

9. ND: Devils Lake Walleye School comin’ up.

An electronics walk-through that combines classroom and on-the-water learning with Doc Sonar and Johnnie Candle. Happening Sep 19-22 outta Woodland Resort. More info here.

10. Has Sea Foam lost their marbles?

They’ve got a massive Boat Sweepstakes going on where they’re giving away a Lund 1775 Adventure Sport with a Mercury 90hp ELPT motor. Deadline to enter is 9/3. More info here.

The giveaway is celebrating their new Marine PRO product designed just for marine engines — hope you’re lucky enough to get your hands on some! Cleans and lubricates your motor, helps prevent corrosion caused by ethanol and water, and stabilizes tank fuel up to 2 years [!!].

Tip of the Day

Lots of fishing reports specifically call out orange or red as a “must-have” color…here’s why Joel Nelson says you need to be throwing it in certain systems, especially those with invasive rusty crayfish:

Case you’re new here (lol) that was a #6 Rapala Rippin’ Rap Joel was waving around. Legit big-fish catchers if you stick with ’em.

Quote of the Day

“Fricken alarm didn’t go off.”

– That’s THE James Overstreet (@outdoorshooter), Bassmaster photographer, talkin’ about how mornings are hard lol. Ever done this?

And judging by the amazing shots Overstreet kicks out, 6:30 am is probably sleeping in for that feller….

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Jason Mitchell was able to sneak in a little “fun fishin'” with his oldest son — caught ’em pulling bottom-bouncers and spinners. Super nice of the younger Mitchell to let his dad help hold his big-headed gravel lizard:

Way to show the “old man” how it’s done dude!

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