Target Walleye/Ice email

Record walleye pic, Giants from the bank, Dirty water tricks

Today’s Top 4

Finally tracked down a pic of the CO state record walleye.

Looked high, low, and everywhere in-between for a quality snap of Scott Regan’s 1997 CO state record walleye caught outta Standley Lake…. Was finally able to get my hands on one straight from the source — thx Scott!

Far as I know, it’s the first time anyone is publicly seeing this pic (on the interwebz) after 22 years of hiding. Here she is, all 18 lbs 13 ozs (34″) of her!!

Insane fish! Still has the bait he caught it on hanging in its mouth on the wall. Looks like a leadhead jig with a green pumpkin-ish FAT Curly Tail Grub — I zoomed in for a closer look:

> Scott: “Caught on April 7, 1997 during the spring spawning run…. It was in a deep pool in the inlet of Standley Lake where we used to catch many big walleye.

> “Here are a couple more that I caught in the years before…the bottom one is actually larger, but I didn’t know what the record was at that time.”

It’s mind-boggling to imagine catching/holding/seeing fish of that caliber. They could literally be half the size and would still be considered a big fish.

Man, 1997 was a ways back! A few snippets to help you get your bearings:

  • Hanson’s “MMMBop” skyrocketed on the charts
  • Tickle Me Elmo and Tamagotchi were top-selling toys
  • The 3 biggest films released that year were:

Feeling old yet??

Shore fishing for tailrace walleyes.

Not this kind of tail-race:

This kind: “Angling immediately below natural or man-made dams…or restrictions to the flow of water on rivers, canals, streams or any other flowing current.”

Don’t need a big, fancy boat to catch early-season walleyes…. Steve Ryan talks chucking big-bodied plastics and stickbaits from the bank in the full In-Fisherman write-up here, few excerpts below:

> Pursuing trophy shore walleyes…you can access areas where fishing from a boat is difficult or impossible. Fishing these less accessible locations can pay huge dividends for shore anglers.

> With current, turbid water and a deep scour hole below most spillways, walleyes may feed throughout the day. For lure selection, think big and snag-resistant…plenty of debris collects below spillways. Large-profile lures that emit plenty of vibration….

> Prime picks include large, soft-bodied swimbaits like the Berkley Power Swimmer…dark colors allow the bait’s silhouette to be seen from a distance. Rig on a 1/2- to 1-oz bullet-head jig tied to 15- to 30-lb braided mainline.

> …make long casts to the face of the spillway. The heavy jighead allows for greater feel and control as the lure is drawn out of the turbid water and swept along the current seam.

> Swim the bait in mid-water column through the scour pool for actively feeding fish — resist the urge to make constant bottom contact because a swimbait that’s retrieved to mimic large fleeing baitfish is often what draws walleyes to strike.

Big-river wading

> One of the most consistent trophy walleye bites occurs each spring as fish move upstream…seeking prime spawning grounds that contain a mix of sand and gravel or other cover that creates current breaks in 2-6′.

> Timing also becomes important — hit these spots too early and they’re dominated by 15-19″ males. When water temps approach 45 degrees, there’s no better time to be wading for trophies. The best bite for big fish occurs a few hours after dark and continues sporadically throughout the night.

> Primary baits are mid-sized stickbaits and shad baits that run from 3-8′. Productive lures change from day to day and year to year, but effective ones include Rapala J-11’s, Husky 13s, and Smithwick Rogues…to name a few.

Lot more info here on big-river wading and chucking cranks from shore.

Slaunches of the week!

Fish-head Calvin Svihel crushed himself a dirty 30 — on the last day of his Rainy River trip — dragging a 3/8-oz VMC Neon Moon Eye Jig paired with a “great white” color B-Fish-N Tackle AuthentX Pulse-R. Their boat had 414 fish on the clicker [!] over 5 days…can you say #DIALED?

How ’bout Brad YeeeeeHawthorne getting his Lake Erie troll on with Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerks:

Cody Solberg cracked himself another Fox River razorback trolling a Salmo Whacky 12. Diggin’ Salmo’s holographic True Image colors like the “gold chartreuse shad” one Cody was using. Sick shot btw!

Heather “usually catches the biggest one” Brosdahl (Bro’s betterest half) broke the magical 30″ mark with this Rainy River humpback that scarfed a “sunrise” color 3/8-oz Northland Thumper Jig tipped with a rainbow:

Caught it ^ working current seams and sandbar breaks in 15-18′. Said they would do 1-2′ hops with a long 3-5 second pause to let the Thumper’s blade do its thing in the cold water. Here’s proof “sunrise” pics aren’t always cliche:

Do you own this muddy-water bait?

It doesn’t get much muddier [!] than where Joel Nelson popped this one:

Here’s some classic info from the Lindner clan on one of their go-to baits when the river muddies up. Full read here, but a few excerpts below:

> Shallow is key, because spring runoff muddies the river. Shallower water will be a little clearer — though not nearly as clear as lakes this time of year. And that’s why a Rapala Shad Rap will often outproduce the classic jig-and-minnow set-up [vibration!].

> Al Lindner: “For a really big bite, find a feeder creek dumping into a main-river area with riprap rock, and pitch a Shad Rap up shallow. Little feeder creeks that are dumping into the river will attract a lot of fish.”

> James Lindner: “A lot of times in early-spring river conditions, you’re fishing darker water…. You need that vibration for the fish to find the bait…. You sort of reel it down there and you pulse it and go brrrrrtttt! You want to be able to keep the bait vibrating.”

> James likes a 7′ M spinning rod and 10-lb Sufix 832 braid with a 3-4′ fluorocarbon leader. Using braid helps you feel how the bait is moving in the water and increases your casting distance.

> “Because I’m constantly hitting the bottom and there’s also a lot of zebra mussels, I like to beef up my fluoro leader [to 10-lb] from what I’d use when I’m fishing in lakes. You’re going to have to check your knots a lot because you start ripping across that type of bottom and it scars that leader pretty quickly.”


1. WI: Winnebago NWT deadline comin’ in hot.

Guaranteed deadline is Mon, Apr 15. If you haven’t been in the boat with a pro, this is a great opportunity to do that and learn as a co-angler.

2. You spooling up for the season?

Might wanna check out the Berkley Line Stripper Max — attaches to a cordless drill so you can peel off a pile of line right quick. Work smarter, not harder….

3. Eric Haataja’s favorite fishin’ coat.

He’s lovin’ the Blackfish Zenith softshell. When someone spends as much time on the water as Eric does, it’s worth listening to what they’re rockin’. Anyone else a sucker for lime green? #MeLikey

4. NE having a contest to take people fishing.

Pretty cool idea:

> The Take ‘Em Fishing Challenge encourages experienced anglers to take a pledge to go fishing with someone who either has never fished before or who hasn’t fished in several years. Anglers who take a photo of themselves taking someone fishing can enter an online drawing for dozens of prizes….

5. FishUSA has NFT Long-Shank Fire-Balls in stock…

…for you shiner pitchers. I will forever be a sucker for the “UV purple tiger” color. #Jackpot #Works

Can bend out the wirekeepers how you want.

FLW Outdoors founder Irwin Jacobs of MN passed on this week. At one time he started and owned the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, a pro-level trail that ended some years ago. Prayers for all affected.

Tip of the Day

Dave Csanda: Muddy river walleyes.

Timely stuff from Dave Csanda. Full write-up here on, few excerpts below:

> High water in spring is often accompanied by fast flow and muddy conditions, pushing walleyes tight to shore and even up into shallow cover. This happens each spring on the Rainy River along the MN-ON border when the Big and Little Fork rivers (tributaries to the Rainy) pour muddy water into the main river.

> When the water turns to chocolate milk…walleyes can’t respond to lures moving that quickly. Anchor in known productive spots, generate a lot of noise with your lures, and attract walleyes to the commotion. Once they’re able to locate your baits in the murk, they just might eat them.

> Holes at river bends are obvious staging areas for schools of fish moving upstream. Eddies formed at tributary intersections are also great. Lesser-known but potentially just as good are rolling sand dunes, with pockets of calmer water between them, as the current flows over their tops and past their tips.

> Don’t be afraid to go to bigger 1/2- to 5/8-oz jigs, pounded on the bottom…. Upsize from small jig bodies to larger 4″ grubs to 6″ lizards in wild, bright colors — plus a minnow or two on the hook for good measure!

> Try jigs with rattles or spinners. The bigger, bolder, louder and more obnoxious the presentation, the better it sometimes works in muddy water. Just as long as it’s barely moving or literally held in place….

Meme of the Day

Yeah, yeah…we know (lol):

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

This Mississippi River sauger is all camo’d up and ready for the spring turkey hunt lol. Awesome Do-It Molds shot:

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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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