Target Walleye/Ice email

Special Issue: Multi-species mayhem in Manitoba

I just crawled in the door at 0:dark:30 last night, fresh off a 7-day multi-species trip in Manitoba — what an experience! Had cameras running the whole time, but have only had time to unpack my toothbrush and crank out this Target Walleye/Ice email! More to come fish-heads!!

Have a great weekend and thx so much for reading!

Today’s Top 5

“Pictoword” of the day.

Believe it or not, these 6 things have a lot more in common than you’d think. Can you sound this one out?

If you guessed: “Cold, phishy Frosted Flakes are for the birds” you were a bit off (lol).

A less wrong answer would be: “Ice fishing tiger trout near Roblin, Manitoba.”

Our first stop of the trip was Twin Lake in Manitoba’s Parkland Region where we were chasing tiger trout, a brookie-brownie hybrid that’s FREAKIN’ gorgeous.

Check the patterns on this pair iced by big-fish junkies Robert Karpiak (@robertkarpiak) and Robyn Grant (@robyn_grant_) last season:

Only thing better than catching a tiger trout is watching ’em come in and work the bait…reminds me of a wolf tracking down its next set of backstraps….

Here’s Robert cuttin’ himself a massive sight-fishing hole at the crack o’ dawn — funny lookin’ auger, eh?

Robert’s currently sitting at #67 on Manitoba’s Top 100 Master Anglers list, so it’s only right that he kicked off our trip with a Master Angler tiger trout breaking the 22″ mark. Congrats on the new PB, man!

He stuck that one ^ while Nick Lindner and I were still setting up our shack, though I’ll be the first to admit we were taking our own sweet time with the interior decorating.

My favorite wall hanging was the Catch Cover Rattlesnake Reel we zip-tied in the corner of our Clam hub shack for an out-of-the-way deadstick. #DinnerBell

Did get to hear her ring once, but I dropped the ball trout.

Not sure I’ve ever been on an ice-fishing trip when there wasn’t a massive cold front pushing through (lol) so of course the bite shut right down as we got there.

We ended up seeing 16 tiger trout swim through our sight-fishing holes — including a massive one pushing 28″ — but Robert was the only one able to put one topside.

Makes sense considering the guy has chased just about every species of anything that Canada has to offer…including narwhal [!] in Nunavut — check the tusk!

And yes, you can obtain ’em ^ with a permit in Canada…pretty sure down here in “the States” they’d lock ya up forever just fer lookin’ at one (lol). Like Robert says, “Canada is cold and awesome.”

Side note: Does it blow anyone else’s mind that narwhals are an actual thing?! And not just some made-up creature from a sci-fi movie?!? Case you’ve never seen one, here’s why they call ’em the “unicorn of the sea”:

Lake Manitoba is making a HUGE comeback!

Heard from locals that Lake Manitoba fell off the fishin’ map years ago as its walleye and perch populations crashed? I don’t know much about the history of the fishery, but can tell you this: There’s a PILE of “fat and sassy” #razorbacks in there RIGHT NOW, and it gets almost zero fishing pressure:

We met up with local stick Chris Chorney and plucked a pile of “prairie gold” outta just 5-8′! Stuck all mine on a LiveTarget Golden Shiner Rattlebait, and yuuuge flutter spoons like the Clam Peg Spoon and PK Flutterfish. Does it get any better than that?!

Here’s the colors I was using:

Lake Manitoba’s average size walldawg is rather outrageous, with some of the 20-21″ fish pushin’ 4 lbs! Seriously. No doubt they’re eatin’ good.

Word is the lake’s home to some giant burbot as well, and that sticking fish of THIS caliber can be a daily occurrence. #BonusBurbs

Craziest part of it all: We fished 8 hours on Manitoba’s third largest lake without ever seeing another angler…just a few empty hardhouses scattered along the break.

Gotta say it’s easy to catch fish when someone else does the hard part = finding ’em. So big shoutout to Chris Chorney for making it happen during what he calls a “tough bite” and what I’d call an “I-don’t-ever-want-to-leave bite” lol:

Can’t thank Chorney enough for showing us the ropes on an overlooked Manitoba gem. Guy’s the type o’ fish-head who sleeps in a hub house fer dayzzzz without ever going back to shore. #Diehard #Aggressive

And he doesn’t just camp out ‘cuz he’s hiding from other obligations (lol)…Lake Manitoba has a solid evening/night bite thanks to its clearer water. Now you know.

Yo, Visual Learners!

Had cameras running the whole time, check the full Lake Manitoba Vlog here:

Lake Winnipeg is still kicking out the BIGS!

Of course we can’t drive passed Lake Winnipeg and not swing out for a rip. This time we were rolling in style thanks to Todd Longley’s “Ice Ridge Reaper.” #HoneyBadger

We were more than glad to leave our sleds parked on shore seeing as it could’ve been 50+ degrees warmer and the lake would still be making ice:

Those frosty temps (all dang day!) sure made hole-hopping fun…luckily we had a toasty-warm base camp set up where Todd cooked us some jalapeno cheddar hot links and TX beef brisket [!] from Bigg Smoak BBQ. #LunchIsServed

What makes Lake Winnipeg aka “Big Windy” a world-class walleye fishery is that even on a crazy tough cold-front bite, it still kicks out fish of a lifetime….

And wouldn’t you know, Eric Labaupa stuffed himself a 28″ finned-out greenback — rippin’ a Glo-Pro soft bodied rattlebait in 13′ — just as we were about to pack up:

About a quarter mile to our west, my good friend Chanda Gebhardt crushed her new PB walldawg twice [!] with this pair of monster greenies going 29″ (left) and 26.5″ (right). She said both inhaled a “super-glo redfish” color Northland Buck-Shot Flutter Spoon tipped with a frozen shiner. Huge congrats, Chanda!!!

Lights, Camera, Hook-set!

Check the full Lake Winnipeg Vlog here:

Fish-flop Friday is here…

…and it’s only funny when it happens to someone else:

Btw – whitefish do occasionally hold still for a pic…thx for the shots, Robert!

We made a quick pit stop at Manitoba’s Clear Lake to chase super shallow whitefish…I’m talkin’ sight fishing ’em in just 2′ to 4′ [!] after a short walk from shore.

Yup, that’s us lookin’ like crazies with our faces in the hole. #WorthIt

Watching whitefish come in and crush the spoon — over and over again — was an experience I’ll never forget. Was giggling like a little kid.

We whacked a pile of ’em once Robert let us in on a little secret: Pound bottom with the spoon to stir things up, then lift the bait up and hold it in place = boom. Big thx for dialing us in, dude!

Will definitely be back to target those shallow-water whiteys, or the massive northern pike that were chasing ’em. Stopped and got our licenses at a place right on Clear Lake called Elkhorn Resort — saw they had a huge outdoor hot tub and spa, so know where I’ll be staying lol.

Life of the traveling angler summarized.

And this is just cart 1 of 17 LOL:

That got to be an all too familiar sight after hitting 6 different fisheries in 6 days.

A lack of sleep + a ton of windshield time = an incredible experience meeting new lifelong friends and crossing another bite off the fishing bucket list.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Wouldn’t be a fishing trip without a cliche sunset pic to end the day lol. Via Eric “the fishing paparazzi” Labaupa:

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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
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