Target Walleye/Ice email

Record muskie caught, Jigging Rap fall crappies, Trailer maintenance tips

Today’s Top 5

How’d you like to get your hands on one of these?!

Dave Genz’s original Fish Trap concept, pic posted on Clam’s Insta Page:


Before that, everyone was either fishing outside on a bucket, or stuck in a little permie shack.

Was listening to this The Woman Angler & Adventurer podcast and found out that Dave and Patsy Genz sewed up 20-ish of ’em by hand that first year, believe 80 the next [!] before Patsy said enough was enough lol:


Patsy Genz was a huuuuge player behind it all — couldn’t agree more with Barb Carey’s comment in the podcast (worth a listen) that Patsy should be nicknamed “The Godmother of Ice Fishing!” So a big thank YOU to the whole Genz clan.

Most LOADED graph ever!

It’s freakin’ ridiculous just how loaded this Humminbird SOLIX 12 is on Lake Lanier Fishing Guide Jeff Blair’s rig:


Might look like it, but nope…that’s not a bloom of jellyfish:


Believe it’s a massive school of stripers? Here’s a little better look at the individual fish on Jeff’s DI (Down Imaging). #Stacked

Made me think of that quote from the movie Anchorman that went something like this:


Lol! But seriously: The only fish I’ve seen school even a fraction as hard is late-fall crappies piling in the basin…more on that in the next Top Item….

Rapala Jigging Raps ain’t just for walleyes…

…panfish love ’em too. The smaller #3 and #5 Rapala Jigging Raps catch the snot outta pannies this time of year, right on through ice up. Check out the full Tony Roach Rapala blog post here LOADED with crappie info, few excerpts below:


> This time of year, panfish begin pulling away from weedlines and start making their way towards winter haunts. But first they spend time suspending on breaklines between the weedbeds and drop-offs into deeper water.

> As the weeds start to die off, you’ll find big, big schools of fish adjacent to weedlines. They’ll suspend 10′, 15′, 20′ down on those breaks…that’s really where Jigging Raps shine.

> I’ll drive around with my big motor to mark schools and figure out what depth they’re at before I even drop the trolling motor….

> I fish vertically right underneath my graph on my bow. Jigging Raps are so dense…show up really well on sonar, so you can drop it down just above a school and watch fish come up to the bait and strike — just like you do ice fishing.

Tony likes braided main line with a 2′ fluoro leader attached using a small swivel to reduce line twist:

> You’re not ripping it aggressively…it’s more of a vertical-hover presentation. I might jig it to get them to come up, but then I’ll slow it down — just like ice fishing — where I barely raise that bait and allow those fish to come up and strike it.

> Fish a little bit higher in the water column…the fish at the top of the school seem to be more aggressive — especially when they’re bunched up in a big group. Don’t just drop it right in their face…try to slow the presentation down 2′ or 3′ before it gets to the fish, allowing them to come up to the bait.

Favorite clear-water colors: Natural patterns like “perch” and “chrome blue.”

Stained-water colors: “Orange tiger UV,” the “glow yellow perch,” and BIG crappies especially love them some “pink tiger UV!”

One of Korey Sprengel’s fav baits this summer.

Dude is always catching ’em, so I’m always watching what he’s doing…and it’s usually off-the-wall as far as walleye fishin’ goes.

One of his favorite baits from this season was the new (heavier) 3/4-oz Berkley Fusion19 Snap Jig paired with a 3.4″ Berkley PowerBait The Champ Minnow: [heart-eyes emoji]


How tasty is that color combo? Case you missed it, there’s more info on how to fish the Snap Jig in this YouTube video with John Hoyer.

New MN C&R record muskie caught on on Lake Vermilion.

By Corey Kitzmann. Fish went 57.25″ long with a 25.5″ girth = estimated at 47 lbs:


Super cool story on how it all went down:

> While alone on Aug. 6 at his family cabin on Lake Vermilion, Kitzmann was sitting at the table tying a homemade bucktail lure. Then he received a phone call relaying bad news — one of his best friends had passed away from a medical condition at age 40.

> With nobody around to grieve with, Kitzmann went fishing.

> “I worked my way through my favorite milk run of spots with my newly tied bucktail, thinking about all the ways my buddy had impacted my life and the memories we had shared together. I’m not sure there is a better place in the entire world to reflect on life than in a boat on Lake Vermilion.”

> After a couple hours with no action, he pulled up to one of his favorite spots that had been hot earlier in the week, fishing with his bucktail and 80-lb line.

> “When I set the hook, I knew immediately that I had a nice fish on. It wasn’t until the fish made its way to the side of the boat that I realized I had a true giant.”

> After a few photos, Kitzmann got the fish back in the water, supported its belly and watched the fish swim out of sight. He described what followed as 2 hours of floating aimlessly across the lake making phone calls to family and friends, including his dad who had gotten him into muskie fishing when he was 8 years old.

> “As the phone calls wound down I couldn’t help but think that one of my best friends, Brian Cronkleton, was looking down on me that day — Aug 6, 2019, is a day that I’ll certainly never forget.”

Sorry for your loss brother…but a big congrats on the catch! Seems like your bud was there with you that day….


1. MN: DNR cooked up a Mille Lacs walleye dinner.

Gotta read deeper into it before you get all worked up:

> Fall test netting to determine walleye population status is a normal part of managing a fishery like the one on Mille Lacs Lake. But many fish are sacrificed when otoliths (ear bones) are collected to determine age and other individual attributes of the fish.

> …although it’s unavoidable for some fish to die, they need not be wasted. They’re donating the fish to a variety of nonprofits that are grateful to get them. COs seized the opportunity last week to make use of those fish to provide a meal for residents of Aicota Health Care Center and Aitkin Health Services in Aitkin.

> “We’re trying to do a positive thing for the people we serve. Usually we’re in the position of telling people what they can’t do, so it’s enjoyable to do something like this on the positive side.”


2. Yamaha has a new tourney contingency program.

Called “Power Pay.” Not just a bassin’ thing, it Includes NWT, MWC and AIM trails and gives you a chance to take home an extra $500-$2,000. Have to be an original owner with an engine 5 years old or newer.

3. Have you seen the PK Vortex yet?

Supposed to work especially well in dirty water ‘cuz the metal blade rotating on beads causes flash, vibration and a clicking sound to draw ’em in:

4. MT boat inspection stations closed for the season…

…but inspections are still required — gotta hit up FWP regional and area offices.

5. This new walleye rig looks like a spaceship.

It’s Serial #1 of the DVX22 Fiberglass Multi Species Series from Vexus Boats — and yup, that’s a Merc 400 Verado on the back:

The new-ish boat brand was started by many veterans of the original Ranger Boats.

6. ND: Fall fish surveys donezo.

Not for good, but completed for the season. Sounds like Devils, Sakakwea and Oahe walleye numbers are all doing well or above average.

7. NY: New launch on Seneca River.

> …provides convenient access to the Seneca River and Onondaga Lake.

8. IL: Dude’s guiding for Asian carp on the Illinois River.

And you can leave the fishin’ pole at home…. #Bowfishing

> …clients sit on the back of the boat and shoot the carp with [bow] arrows when they jump out of the water.

> “It sounds hard, but when you have thousands of fish jumping all day, you actually get good at it. Most of your shots are anywhere from 1′ to 10′, so you get close shots at them.”

Add that to the fishing (sorta) bucket-list:

9. MN: Fishing to End Hunger registration opens Nov 1.

Talkin’ next year’s event happenin’ Oct 3, 2020. Instead of doing a boat draw, the takeoff order is based on when you sign up….

10. UT: Gotta release all ‘gills caught…

…on Steinaker Rez and Pelican Lake:

> Division of Wildlife Resources director Mike Fowlks issued the emergency change to the [regs] to protect bluegill populations.

> Steinaker Reservoir was drained for dam repairs in 2018, and Pelican Lake was treated with rotenone in Oct 2018. To date, around 700 adult bluegill have been restocked into Steinaker Reservoir and about 2,700 [in] Pelican Lake.

> Given this species’ schooling nature and how much anglers love to harvest panfish, we feel the need to protect these young fish until more bluegill have grown to a catchable size and are able to reproduce.

> The committee was established in Jan 2013 to help guide the DNR’s AIS prevention and management activities. Members provide advice and diverse perspectives to the DNR Invasive Species Program.

12. WI: Sturgeon spearing license deadline Oct 31.

Case you’re into that. I prefer to catch ’em this way. 😉

13. DC: Administration wants to promote outdoor pursuits…

…to revitalize rural economies.

$300 Salmo Rail Shad giveaway!

Bet you’ve never seen anything like this before (unless you saw our sneak peak from ICAST)…. A new ‘vertizontal’ bait design called the Salmo Rail Shad that’s coming out this Nov!

> “…features and industry first sliding head rail…allows the bait to sink vertically at incredible speeds, and with one twitch of the rod, the lure transitions to a horizontal presentation.

> “For ice fishing or open water…can be vertical-jigged or cast out and worked back. The unbreakable polycarbonate lip gives the lure an erratic darting action and the feathered tail draws fish in.”

We’re giving away a $300-ish spread of all colors! Takes 10 seconds to enter and you can share the link you get for bonus entries — good luck!! Highlights

Tip of the Day

Boat trailer maintenance 301.

We drop snippets in here from time to time on boat maintenance, but realized we haven’t talked much about the wheels that get you to and from the lake….

Some solid maintenance tips on wheels, tires and electrical from Ross Robertson in the full write-up here, few excerpts below:


> Loosen and tighten your wheel lugs annually or semiannually. This is a good safety measure to make sure the wheels are properly tightened, and it lets you “break free” any corrosive buildup so you can loosen wheels later without much trouble.

> When the lugs are off, spray the threads with a corrosion-inhibiting spray to prevent the lugs from seemingly welding themselves onto the bolt after you put them back on. Don’t forget to do the same process to your spare wheel if it’s also mounted on threaded bolts.

> Most trailer wiring systems use a trailer ball as a ground connection, and it’s prone to rust. Use a wire brush on a drill to clean both the trailer ball on your vehicle and up inside the coupler on the end of the trailer tongue to ensure a clean contact. Adding a little bit of grease on both parts afterwards is messy, but necessary, and will reduce the number of times you’ll have to repeat the process in the future.

> The trailer electrical plug that connects into your vehicle’s hitch can also give you problems, and most of the time you can blame it on poor (or blocked) connection points. If you’re not getting a solid connection, spray a few light squirts of electrical contact spray on the male and female parts and spread the liquid around with a Q-tip.

> After the lights are working again, slide a plastic sandwich bag over the trailer connection and secure it with a rubber band whenever the trailer isn’t being used. It should severely reduce the number of times you have to deal with dirty connection fittings.

Keep reading here.

Meme of the Day

Hang in there ice-heads:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

James Jenson (@jimdick87) snatched his new PB walldawg — to the tune of 30.75″! — trolling a “circus star” color Berkley Flicker Shad on the Rainy River. Fitting color name given the size of that fish. Congrats man!

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