Target Walleye/Ice email

Spinnerbaits on ice, Tungsten openwater jigs, Egg cannons of the week

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Today’s Top 3

Egg-cannons of the week!!!

Doug Wegner’s back with another pre-spawn blimp that chowed a custom-painted Rapala Rippin’ Rap — fish were piled up in 7′ staging to spawn:

Zach popped this Rainy River egg-cannon — fishing a classic jig-and-plastic combo — on the last day of the season. Fish are heavy loaded in the river…should set up for a crazy zander walleye opener:

Another massive gravel lizard coming outta D-Town — this time from the guys at @4seasonoutdoors. Caught fishing a rock ledge in 26′ with a 1-oz jig and B-Fish-N Tackle AuthentX Paddletail. #cityscape

Tungsten OPEN-water jigs are (finally) a thing.

No doubt tungsten’s all the rage on ice and now Clam is bringing it to open-water jigging…’bout time! #HeavyMetal

Called the Drop TG Jig and has a 2x Mustad Ultra Point long-shank hook with welded keeper. Some colors I’ll for sure be picking up:

Of course there’s the whole non-toxic, environmentally-safe side o’ things…but here’s a few fishier reasons why it’s a big deal — pay attention fish-heads:

Heavier and denser

> 30% smaller than the same weight lead jig = better jig control and sensitivity, punches through weeds, plummets fast to deep-water schools and the smaller profile is killer for pressured or finicky fish.

> 1.7x more dense than lead — denser tungsten shows up better on graphs and sonar. #AskGenz

> Less resistance in heavy current or deep water to keep your jig more vertical…keeps curls and kinks out of the line.

Increased sensitivity

> Lead absorbs impact — harder tungsten does not = more “feel” of your jig as you work it through cover. The energy of impact with a rock, sand, mud, wood structure, log or a bite does a better job of transferring through to the line. #thump

Also heard that lead absorbs sound while harder tungsten is noisier…especially when “tinking” off rocks. Something to think about….

Will have more on the Clam Drop TG jig in action soon-ish.

1v1 ice-fishing challenge: Walleyes eat SPINNERBAITS?!

Had couple hours to kill, so Nick Lindner and I had ourselves a little fish-off at Wekusko Falls Lodge, Manitoba. We each got to choose 3 baits the other guy HAD to use…spinnerbaits and Beetle Spins and pickerel rigs, oh my:

Nick cracked a 24-incher on a 3/16-oz BOOYAH Pond Magic spinnerbait with an Impulse Smelt Minnow trailer — caught it in the first minute-ish of jigging!

Could actually see it becoming a thing when wallies are chasing bait…works in open-water! Luckily for me his secret weapon got bit off by a pike soon after.

I didn’t get the chance to put that last fish on the bump-board, but pretty certain she was a “Master Angler” sauger (over 18″). Was shocked to see they grow ’em that big up there — think the next biggest I’ve ever caught is probably about half that size lol.

Here’s a shot of the 29.25-incher my buddy Zach Jackson stuck — using a 1/8-oz Northland Buck-Shot Spoon — while Nick and I were busy playing around with goof-ball ice baits:


1. MI: Bodinger bros win Detroit River MWC…

…for the 3rd time! Steve and Dan Bodinger (from WI) jammed together a 2-day bag for 59-03 to take home $14.7K in cash and prizes:

Caught ’em trolling crankbaits in 15-17′ on Lake Erie and snap-jigging 3/4-oz jigs tipped with soft-plastics in the Detroit River.

> Dan Bodinger: Most of our trolling fish hit baits with a ‘funky monkey’ pattern, custom-painted for us by Rippn-Lips Tackle Company…it’s black and gold with purple lines and pink dots.”

Couldn’t find a pic of the “funky monkey” color on their website, but thinking it must look something like this?

But for real, would love to see the specific bait and color…though it could be under lock and key with results like that. Congrats guys!

2. ND: Devils Lake ice update.

Still about 30″ of ice on Devils Lake, but bridges/current areas are starting to open up. Wonder if Tanner Cherney caught anything (lol):

3. Gill looking for marketing manager.

4. Ned Hobson joins Simms…

…rounding out their senior product team. Word is he’s a diehard fish-head.

5. NH ladies: Some scholarships available…

…for Becoming-an-Outdoors Woman Workshop Sep 7-9.

6. DC: Prez Trump proposes E15 gas year-round.

Also hit China imports with tariffs including some marine products, which the marine industry doesn’t like. #Ouch

7. FishUSA havin’ a walleye sale this weekend.

Some good stuff in there, including: Okuma trolling combos, Bagley Deep Diving Minnow B, Off Shore Tackle Tadpoles and more.

8. Raps doing spring cleaning.

Great time to stock up on Rapala goodies — they’re running 20% off a pile of gear until this Sunday. Includes MarCum units and StrikeMaster augers, but also some open-water Raps in there too. Check the deals here.

Headline of the Day

MN DNR advises people to keep aquarium pets out of state waters.

Also don’t eat those little white packets that come in the shoe box….

Tip of the Day

Sounds goofy, but can be super-effective on ice and open-water. Full Ted Pilgrim write-up here, few excerpts below:

> “Any time I need to put a bait at an exact level and keep it in the fish’s face, a dropshot is priceless. Not only can I cast a dropshot and simply twitch it in place, I can also drag the rig, swim it, troll it or even work it vertically beneath the boat or a hole in the ice.”

> …while shapes like twister-tail grubs excel on a jig, a dropshot activates straight-tail worms, minnows and other subtle shapes. Moreover, many classic softbait shapes traditionally threaded onto 1/8 to 1/64-oz jigheads spring to new life when pinned to a plain hook above a sinker.

> “I use a 4- to 8-lb test braided mainline, joining it to an 18-36″ section of mono or fluorocarbon, using back-to-back Uni knots or an Improved Albright knot.”

> The most critical aspect of the dropshot is tying the Palomar knot so the hook point faces up.

> …an exception to the standard dropshot rig becomes necessary with light-biting fish. “Big bluegills often mouth a softbait like humans taste red-hot food. So it’s sometimes best to rig with a short dropper, or pair of droppers jutting from the mainline, as opposed to pinning the bait to the line with a Palomar.”

Quote of the Day

I have never enjoyed eating a fish as much as I have enjoyed catching.

Quote from a rather-opinionated Mark Hanson write-up talkin’ gill netting in ID.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Eric Labaupa getting his Lake Trout on, Manitoba style. Instead of bringing shacks, these guys built igloo wind-blocks in a matter of minutes. #PackingLight

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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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