Target Walleye/Ice email

Ridiculous 18-lb walleye, Wild URL crappie video, Line spooling hacks

Mother Nature has been out of control this season:

At this point we either need a couple weeks straight of sub-zero temps, or she should just fast forward straight to May. Still on the fence about which sounds better right now…of course for very different reasons lol.

Alright, let’s get into today’s shenanigans…


Is this the biggest walleye ever caught ice fishing?!

For sure one of biggest (if not THE biggest?) walleye ever plucked through a hole in the ice. This Bay of Quinte freak o’ nature measured 33” long x 21.5” girth and weighed a stout 18.5 lbs! Brace yourselves:

The fish was caught Jan 18, 2018. Here’s a few details from the guy who caught it at the time:

> Fish was caught in Big Bay [Bay of Quinte, Lake Ontario] on a 1/2-oz ACME Kastmaster. I doctor them up by putting red prism tape on one side and silver prism tape on the other…also add a larger treble hook.

> My normal strategy is to run-and-gun [on an ATV]…pop a hole and if I don’t have a solid hit after 30 min or so I move to a new spot. I [ice] fish pretty low tech…no fish finder or camera. I have a GPS so I punch in waypoints when I catch or lose a fish.

> I just keep moving and hope I drop my lure in front of one that’ll bite. This guy hit in the 3rd hole I cut at about 8:30am…was the only bite I had all morning [besides] a jumbo perch. This [was] actually only the 3rd [walleye he had caught so far that] ice-fishing season. Previous two were small eaters.

> Over the years I’ve caught a lot of fish in the 8- to 10-lb category and honestly this guy didn’t fight any harder than those…made a couple of runs against the drag…getting his head in the 8″ hole was the toughest part.

Yeah, I know what kind of diet that 21.5″ girth was on!

> When I laid him on the ice I knew it was probably the biggest walleye of my life. Had no scale or tape measure with me, but I suspected it was over 14 lbs. I normally put these big girls back but since I was pretty certain she was my new PB, I decided to keep her for the wall.

> When I got home and measured/weighed her I was in shock. I thought 17- to 18-lb walleyes were only a myth…never dreamt I’d catch one myself.

You know a fish is outrageously-big when you’ve gotta throw in a support arm on the hold:

Congrats on the fish of 1,000,000 lifetimes man! WOW!!

Two absolutely outrageous Instagram reels. 🤯

This first one is from @devoted.outdoors and crew in UTTER CHAOS on Upper Red Lake…exactly how I picture all the stories of the ‘90s crappie boom going, except for a couple of key differences:

1) This time there’s video proof, and…

2) They were releasing the fish to be caught again and keep those URL gems flourishing. 🙌

You have got to see this one to believe it!

I can’t stress enough the importance of protecting this magical resource. Not getting caught up in the moment and throwing every single one of them in a 5-gal bucket like the last time we saw something like this hit URL in the ‘90s…but we eventually ruined a good wildy special thing.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with keeping a few for a meal – I mean the 1-lb of meat per fish 😳 goes a LONG ways – but I strongly recommend practicing selective harvest, only keeping what you need, and sending the pie plates back to keep those big-fish genetics reproducing in the system. #RunsInTheFam

Okay, I’m done preaching…for now…. Onto the next!

Then you’ve got this little snippet from Jay Siemens with a monster pike thrashing under skinny ice. That thing could Catch + Cook HIM haha!

I love how he says, “Can you see that under the ice?”

Like…see what, Jay? 👨‍🦯🫣 LOL!

Awesome throwback In-Fisherman video…

…with James Lindner and Steve Hoffman searching for jumbo perch:

> “This throw-back video was pulled from the In-Fisherman Ice Tactics video. The crew discusses techniques to locate and catch more yellow perch through the ice. How relevant do these tactics seem by today’s ice-fishing standards?”

Underwaters, contour maps, seasonal fish-movement graphics, tactic and rig breakdowns…this thing is still an absolute gem today. 🙌

It was so dang wild watching this video for me because two of my fishing buddies – and best friends in the world – are actually their sons Nick Lindner (James’ son) and Christian Hoffman (Steve’s son), who also regularly hit the ice together and work on video content.

The tradition continues! Tho also gives me this cool but strange feeling I can’t explain:

As seen at the Johnson Outdoors HQ.

Came across a fishy “story” on Luke Lovrek’s Instagram and had to hound him about it. Luke is a content/marketing-nut at Johnson (= Humminbird, Minn Kota and many other brands) and posted a few pics from their HQ in Racine, WI that caught my eye…. ‘Cuz this whole fishing thing is more than just a hobby…it’s a lifestyle.

First up is a piece called “Full Alert Walleye” that makes it easy to see why the dang things can be so hard to catch sometimes lol:

I’d probably give this bass my lunch money before it even asked for it:

Luke said, “There’s a continuous office debate about which of these would win in a fight, in different situations.”

I’d probably have to give all of the rounds to “Black & Blue Fin Tuna” seeing as it’s one big Swiss Army knife lol:

Thx again for the snaps, Luke! 👊

How sick is this ice-fishing Valentine’s box?!

Your newsfeed will probably be cluttered with more sappy-love posts than fish pics next week (thx a lot Valentine’s Day!) so here’s a little something to switch it up…. Nevis, MN 3rd-grader Eli Boushee created this one-of-a-kind Vexilar box to hold his Valentines!

👏👏👏 Love it, Eli!

And in case your brain works like mine (scary, right?):

> Comment from @d0wnbyth3riv3r: “That’s pretty awesome! Got to admit at first glance, without reading the caption, I thought someone left their Vex way too close to a heater.”

Lol I would cry if that happened.

Side note + bonus Vexilar tips:

I came across this post from Adam Bartusek with some great, consolidated info on the specific settings they run when chasing panfish in shallow weeds:

> Bart: “We LOVE fishing shallow, as we’ve shown over the years in backwaters, but shallow weeds can often be overlooked. Your number one tool for this task? Your Vexilar FLX-30 BB.

> “We go through a bunch of tips and tactics in our latest episode [here’s their YouTube channel], but here’s a short summary.

– Under 2′ you should be in Low Power Mode.

– Generally, your Gain should be between 3 and 5

– Use your frequency settings to your advantage.

– Low Frequency = Wide Cone Angle

– High Frequency = Narrow Cone Angle

> “Mess with your frequencies a little bit, and you’ll be able to get a CRYSTAL clean image to shoot through weeds and help you catch more fish.”


1. WI: 9 people rescued off ice yesterday.

In 3 separate events. Sounds like they were each in different areas of Green Bay when ice sheets broke off and a south wind pushed ‘em out to sea.

2. IA: $42K up for grabs in this year’s Walleye Weekend…

…in Spirit Lake. 1 of the 10 tagged walleyes is worth $42K and the 42nd-annual event that’s happening May 4-5 thru the FishDonkey app.

3. MN: Ted Takasaki hosting seminars at Duluth Sports Show.

Happening Feb 15-18 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

4. MN: St. Cloud Sportsmen’s Show is this weekend.

The 36th-annual event is running Feb 9-11 at the River’s Edge Convention Center.

5. OH: DNR awards > $250K for local boating education programs.

6. If you like big bluegills…

…and I mean truly HUGE bluegills, then this YouTube video from the Devoted Outdoors power couple is for you. 🔥 Public MN water giants from a pair of great people = sign me up:

7. IA: Ice shelters must be removed by Feb 20.

If you’re not already fishing in a boat….

8. NY: Three Mile Bay ice derby called off.

9. WI: Green Bay northern pike and perch mgmt meeting, Feb 12.

10. This tool holder is legit. 💯

I’ve played with probably a half dozen different retractable lanyards now, and at one point or another either they fall off or the tool falls off. But this Rapala Magnetic Release hasn’t failed me yet:

Has a VERY powerful magnet that lets you pop the tool off so you’re not bound by a short leash. I keep it on my ice-fishing bibs with a Glow Pick (for poking out hooks and lighting up baits) or a small forceps:

11. AK: Fish and Game sponsors annual student ice fishing event.

> The event saw about 450 student participants [!!!] over the course of two days. While students learned new fishing techniques, biologists hope this one of a kind field trip will ignite a passion for the wintertime sport.

12. Check all the movement + flash of the Eurotackle Spade Blade.

It looks incredible underwater in this short IG video:

The Spade Blade was born from a collaboration between Travis Krousie from J&S Custom Jigs and Eurotackle. More info here, but a few details below:

> “The Spade Blade was developed in correlation with Travis Krousie,” says Ben Vnh, owner of Eurotackle. “When it comes to creative lure options, Travis is truly a genius.” Krousie is the original designer of the Demon Tongue spoon, which is now known as the Dinner Bell spoon.

> The ‘Spade’ combines aspects of a variety of spoons to make the ultimate package. The spoon starts off with a metal base which is formed in a distinctive spade design. The distinctive design causes the spoon to flutter with every drop. “It’s a really unique flutter too…this isn’t your standard flutter spoon.”

> …also combines aspects of attracting spoons with the addition of internal rattles and micro blades. The internal rattle chamber is placed centrally so it doesn’t impact the fluttering action, but still helps to call fish in…. The micro blades also have their own fish-drawing power. “Obviously, the external blades add some additional sound attraction, but they also aid in visual attraction. The blades are designed to complement the overall color patterns of the individual spoons, while maintaining some contrast from the spoon itself.”

> …premium quality Mustad treble hooks [and] is offered in two sizes (1/16 oz and 1/4 oz). The 7 color schemes include some familiar options, as well as some new options that have never before been seen in the Eurotackle lineup.

Looks like FishUSA has ‘em in stock. 👀

13. KY: New CEO of FINS Braids is Mike Sheehan.

Came from the apparel business. FINS is owned by Elvisridge Capital, which also owns BlackFin Rods and Glacier Glove.

14. Reminder: Our LiveScope giveaway ends Monday!

One lucky Target Walleye subscriber is going to take home the goods!

On right now…

📲 Airplane ice shack, Tom Boley’s secret basin bite, Dirty-30 club

📲 Rattlebait breakdown, Community hole probz, Jigging Raps bite back

📲 Golden burbot caught, Fishing TSA probz, Cheap wheelhouse hack

Note: The FishUSA links in this email are affiliate links, meaning if you go through them to make a purchase we might earn a commission…at no cost to you. Click here if you want to learn a little more about links in TW.


How to spool a spinning reel perfect every time.

Bunch of spooling tips (from start to finish) that’ll help prevent line twist ad a few other common problems:


Love me some walleye fishing [!] but it’s getting to be that time of year and folks are already catching…. #BurbotSZN


Props to diehard fishergal @nicolelynn_outdoors on sticking her new personal-best crappie AND also for including details on the catch:

> Nicole: “I was on a small spring-fed lake in northwest WI. I was fishing a 25’ deep basin that was loaded with a bunch of crappie and bluegill. This fish came in through the school about 15’ down when it ate.”

> “Watched this big mark creep through the school on my Garmin LiveScope. I missed the first bite, but thankfully it gave me a second chance!

> “I had my Tuned Up Custom Rods Precision Noodle with a Eurotackle ESR Nano Tungsten Jig Head [specifically designed to show up better on your sonar] and Eurogrub Jr. plastic and it all handled this big fish perfectly!”

Awesome fish and thanks for actually including details on the catch! Congrats again!!

Have a great + SAFE weekend! 👊 Hope you catch your PB this weekend, too.

Sign up another fish-head!

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National Professional Anglers Assoc.



Target Walleye – walleye during open water and all species during hardwater – is brought to you by Al Lindner, Jay Kumar, Chris Philen, Brett McComas and other diehard fish-heads like you!

Brett McComas is the main man for Target Walleye 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

To send us walleye pics, ice shots or whatever, just respond to this email or click here to email us. Or post it on the Target Walleye Facebook page.

Target Walleye LLC

422 Laurel Street

P.O. BOX 541

Brainerd, MN 56401

 (218) 824 5026

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