Target Walleye/Ice email

Planer boards in weeds, Lose less jigs, Balsa when spooky

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Today’s Top 4

WTHeck was Al throwing?!

Never thought in a million years this day would come…but I just wrapped up filming a TV show with Al Lindner #PinchAndPinchAgain. Not ashamed to say he whooped my dang butt [!] throwing a not-yet-released VMC Hair Jig — fish were all the right size:

What caught my eye was how Al was fishing it: Snapping it like a #7 Rapala Jigging Rap…basically the opposite of how everyone else fishes the “fuzz.”

Can’t show the exact bait yet, but I did some digging through Al’s tackle box and they’ve got some awesome patterns coming out. He was using one that reminded me of the top left:

Bait will be released this July at ICAST (the fishing biz trade show). More then….

Planer boards in the cabbage weeds?

Walleye nut Chad Maloy uses Off Shore Tackle Planer Boards to troll live-bait rigs through shallow cabbage and not spook fish. Get all the details in his full write-up, but here’s a few excerpts:

> Come late June (and mid-summer) when the weeds become fully grown, the bait’s no longer concentrated in isolated areas. Most bait is now living in or near the mature weed growth.

> [Cabbage weeds] provide the perfect place for bait and walleyes to get out of the sun and hide.

> Last July my friend Dave and I came across a beautiful patch of cabbage weeds. I told Dave we should try using an Off Shore to run a leech through the weeds.

> The water was crystal-clear and we needed to get the bait away from the boat to not spook the fish.

> Let the bait out at the desired depth, then clip the Off Shore Tackle Planer Board onto your line…it will run your bait to the side of the boat. The distance is determined by the amount of line you let out after clipping [the planer board] to your line.

> …rod was rigged up with a 3/8-oz worm sinker, a small swivel and 4′ of Berkley Trilene 100% Fluoro to a small Northland Gum-Drop Floater + jumbo leech.

> The cabbage was about 10′ under the surface of the water so we let out enough line that once we started to move the sinker would brush the top of the cabbage, allowing the leech to float just above it.

> Every once in a while the sinker would catch a leaf causing the whole rig to stall and then pop loose — ideal for triggering a bite if a fish is following your bait.

A super-sneaky technique that pays off:

Balsa ain’t going away…

Shallow, clear-water walleyes are spooky critters…making long casts with reaction baits can sometimes outfish vertical jigging live bait or trolling.

Full write-up here, but a few excerpts below from walleye-nuts Tony Roach and James Holst on why the Rapala Shad Dancer is so good.

> Tony Roach: “The biggest key element is remaining quiet, getting in stealthy and pitching away from the boat [instead of below].

> “Those walleyes are going to be jam-packed in the shallow waters — whether it’s rock reefs, sand flats, even old weedbeds — they’re going to be up there doing their thing. And guess what? They’re going to be feeding.

> “The Rapala Shad Dancer is half Tail Dancer, half Shad Rap…both proven fish-catching baits… It’s going to be one of your new favorites — I guarantee it.”

> IDO’s James Holst: “It’s a balsa bait that you can heave about twice as far as a Shad Rap…it casts like a bullet.

> “If it’s not windy, the fish probably are not biting…so you’re going to be casting into the wind, that’s just the way it is. Having that Shad Dancer that you can really rifle out there — and get that balsa action — is really important.”

Big key to fishing balsa is the pause. Basically hovers there before sloooowly rising.

Guys like throwing it on Sufix NanoBraid ‘cuz it’s ridiculously thin and smooth casting.

> “It creates less wind resistance. 10-lb NanoBraid measures only 3/500th of an inch in diameter…2-lb test measures a mere 1/1000th of an inch. Also makes it ultra-sensitive and practically invisible in water.”

With most any walleye presentation, recommend adding a fluorocarbon leader to the main line with a double uni knot:

Another fishy DIY hack.

Here’s one for you guys putting on a ton of miles — how MT walleye guide Dale Gilbert keeps his Lund boat cover from wearing where it rubs against the windshield:

> When [the wire loom] is snug on the full windshield, the cover doesn’t rub on fittings or snaps. Usually 1.25″ or 1.5″ diameter does the job.


1. WI: McCormick/Kirchner win NTC on…

…pools 7,8 and 9 of the Mississippi River. Mike McCormick and Marty Kirchner’s 3-day bag of 44 lbs 15 oz took the top spot, cashing a $25K check and $70K Merc-powered Ranger:

Said they anchored in about 4′ and pitched willow cats to the edge of a 30′ deep river channel. Congrats guys!

2. NY: 18-lb state record was caught…

..drifting and jigging a 4″ pearl-colored, Trigger X Walleye Swimbait — looks like this:

Believe they’re discontinued [?] but reminds me of the Impulse Paddle Minnows.

Case you missed Brian Hartman’s St. Lawrence River hawg-belly:

3. MN: New sturgeon catch-and-release record

Monster 73-incher came out of the Rainy River — took 45 minutes to crank in! Blurry pic but imagine that moment was pandemonium:

4. WI: Can name your own reef on Winnebago.

But it’ll cost ya….

5. MN has a shiner shortage goin’ on.

Big reason why = the late ice out…shiners spawn when water temps hit 60 degrees. Also thanks to a pile of expensive new trapping regs.

6. SD: New walter tracking study on Lake Sharpe.

7. Models show Great Lakes water temps increasin’…

…over the next few decades. The fire-HOT fishing on Lake Erie to blame? lol

8. Info on the new Merc outboards.

They’re rather drool-worthy:

9. Favorite looking for junior pro staffers.

10. You seen these yet?

Gotta shout out the purtty Yo-Zuri 3DR (Real) Series of Jerkbaits, Long Bills and Minnows. Have an “internal 3D prism” that’s supposed to be killer on heavily-pressured fish or super-clear water:

Maybe win ya some in our Yo-Zuri giveaway here!

Tip of the Day

How Ted Takasaki gets his jig unstuck.

Believe it’s known as the bow-and-arrow trick. Can’t remember where I saw it for the first time, but Ted does a good job of showing it in action:

Careful not to slice your finger open if you’re using braid. #BeenThereDoneThat #ButSavedTheJig

Quote of the Day

My wife wants me to put it in the garage, but I’ve got a spot picked out in the house.

– What Neal Leier said talking about his ND state record walleye (15-13) mount.

Know where world walleye champ Randy Gaines would keep his:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Nicole Stone stuck this Devils Lake bridge-troll pitching shallow, rocky banks with 1/4-oz jigs and white plastics. GREAT fish and shot:

Sign up another fish-head!

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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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