Target Walleye/Ice email

Rare yeller-belly caught, Bass vs walleye debate, Pike eats porcupine

Today’s Top 5

Rare “golden walleye” caught!

Golden walleye, yeller-belly, whatever you wanna call it…only a handful have EVER been caught before, and TW fan Jesse Meyer was lucky enough to punch his golden ticket soaking a slip-bobber on a southern Alberta reservoir:


WOW!!! Congrats on the fish of 10,000 lifetimes!

Thing looks like a bundle of rotten bananas headed for the freezer…that’ll NEVER be made into that banana bread you were promised at the time lol:


How’d you like to see one in real life some day? Me too!

In the meantime we’ve got your “golden walleye” fix right here — took every one we’ve ever come across after yeeeeaaaars of scouring the interwebz and jammed ’em all into one post. Enjoy!

Some fresh NWT stats…

…coming off the Green Bay qualifier. Always been a number-crunchin’ fact lover myself. If you are too, you’ll wanna check out these snippets from John Balla:

Awesome. Big thx to John “ballin’ ain’t is easy” Balla for the deets.

The next NWT stop is Aug 13-14 out of Sault (pron. “Soo”) Ste. Marie, MI. Ton of water to cover — even with CAN being off limits. Some pros aren’t ruling out 100+ mile runs one-way to get 5 BIG bites. Here’s how a few pros think it’ll go down.

How it was won at “The Soo” last year

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


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.”

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 (again) man!

Any guesses who got 2nd at “The Soo” last year?



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 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 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! Go and get ’em next week.

Sutton long-shanked ’em for 3rd.

IL pro Bill Sutton cracked 41.54 lbs of Soo melons putting him just 0.02 lbs outta 2nd place last year…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 Northland Long Shank Fire-Ball Jigs 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” 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.”

No doubt!

Good luck to all the NWT pros hitting “The Soo” next week!!!

“Is walleye fishing as difficult as bass fishing?”

Not us asking the question…. That’s an actual headline from an older ESPN write-up — too hilarious (and serious??) to not have it’s own top spot.

Our CliffsNotes version of the full post:

> I don’t own a boat but the last couple of years I’ve stepped outside the air conditioning and jumped on my friend’s boat and did some fishing.

> Walleye fishing on his boat consists of the ‘bottom bouncer’ rig. Dropping a line in the water and trolling around waiting for the bite.

> I’ve done my fair share of bass fishing and it always felt to me at least that bass fishing took a little more skill.

> The skill of having to reel and cast a lot more, accompanied with the fact you feel like you aren’t just snagging ’em near the bottom makes it feel more competitive….

> Plus a bass will give you a much more fun time reeling it in than a walleye.

> Now don’t get me wrong, walleye fishing is a blast. More my cup of tea as I don’t have to do as much work to catch as many fish.

Lol! Don’t know where to start. Asked a few guys ’round the office what they thought:

What DON’T pike eat?

Short answer: Nothing.

Long answer:

Scott Lake Lodge is way, way, waaaay up there on the border of Saskatchewan and Northwest Territories. Probably best known for its massive pike since catching one over 50″ isn’t out of the question. Yup, you read that right!

So how do they get so big?

1) A lifespan of 30-ish years,
2) A strong catch-and-release program,
3) Controlled fishing pressure, and
4) By eating whatever the heck they want!

This blip from Scott Lake Lodge’s website:

> “…pike are well known to attack almost anything alive, including small muskrats, ducklings, loon chicks, mice and nearly any smaller fish in the lake.”

Guess they’ll be adding porcupine to that list after seeing this pic on their FB page:



Heard the Savage Gear 3D Porcupine will be making a run for “best hard lure” at ICAST’s new product showcase next year. You saw it here first:


Lol kiddin’…sorta….



> “So far this year, the DNR has documented 14 deaths related to boating activity. 4 remain under investigation. The 10 confirmed incidents involved capsized vessels, falling overboard or the individual voluntarily leaving the boat. 9 of the 10 individuals were not wearing life jackets….”

2. IA: Boat “hit-and-run” on West Lake Okoboji.

> DNR Law Enforcement Bureau is seeking the public’s help in locating a boat involved in a hit and run on Tues, Augt 4vat approximately 10:35pm, near Manhattan Point….

> A boat, traveling northbound hit another boat from behind…injuring Vaughn Wickman…who was operating the boat that was hit. The boat that caused the crash then fled the scene.

3. Johnny Morris bought a theme park.

35 minutes from Big Cedar Lodge:

> …a 400-acre former theme park in northern AR [formerly called] Dogpatch USA.

> …Bass Pro says that the future development will be an extension of the group’s signature experiences that help families connect with nature.

4. Great Lakes want more ciscos.

> “Cisco are kinda like the rabbit of the fish world…a lot of predators depend on them and are driven and sustained by their numbers.”

> Several conservation groups supporting Lake Huron are trying to bring them back. If successful, fishery managers with other Great Lakes could follow.

> A cisco rehabilitation could ripple through the Great Lakes by strengthening the population of several other fish species.

5. SD: Zeebz found in Lake Cochrane.

6. MN/WI: Over 300K acres of public land = landlocked.

Surrounded by private land and no way for folks to access it.

7. MI’s still in hot high water.

8. NT: Otisco Lake got a public access.

Write-up says it’s the “most easterly of the 11 Finger Lakes and is 8th in size.” Also that the “walleye fishing is good during the spring, early summer, and fall”…so don’t go there right now? Lol.

9. T-H Marine has a new program for guides.

Discounts and more.

10. Johnson Outdoors’ Q3 revenue down overall.

But sounds like electronics was strong. And must be Q3 fiscal, not calendar?

11. Garmin Q2 down overall but marine up 4%.

12. Thomas MacAulay new POMA executive director.

POMA = Professional Outdoor Media Association. Highlights

Tip of the Day

From MidWest Outdoors:

The Bromeister loves pulling spinner rigs for late-summer walleyes ‘cuz A) they’re a great way to cover water, B) there’s lots of ways to fish ’em and C) he can switch up components to dial in the bite:

> There’s a time during Aug in many lakes where fish are on top of structures on both the outside edge and inside edge of the cabbage weeds.

> Fish like flats in the summer and will concentrate near the patches of chara, gravel and rocks on the flats. These areas will hold a mixture of forage — including minnows and crayfish, which are a large part of their summer diets.

> Spinners give the bait some lift…helps keep the baits off the bottom and out of the weeds. Also send out vibrations fish can feel along their lateral lines and help them target the baits in lakes with limited visibility.

> Pick up the speed on the flats to cover more water and put baits in front of more fish…gives fish [less time] to decide whether to strike at the bait or let it pass by.

> Larger leeches can be hard to find late in the season…[try using] 2 small- to medium-size leeches on spinner rigs instead….

> I often use Northland’s 1.5- to 2-oz bottom-bouncer with either a 2-hook spinner rig with a nightcrawler, or a single Slow Death hook for either nightcrawlers or leeches.

> Stained-water lakes give anglers a better chance to catch walleyes during the day…even when faced with less than favorable conditions.

Quote of the Day

“6:50 a.m. means motors off, hands on our hearts and standing up for our National Anthem!”

– That’s the AIM Pro Walleye Series, a catch-record-release tourney, starting things off right!

Speaking of AIM…how’d you like to catch this golden pintail during a length-based tourney?!

Meme of the Day

Watch your own bobber:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Hope your weekend includes a whole bunch of this!

That “gold perch” color Bagley Rumble B might help….

Sign up another fish-head!

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