Target Walleye/Ice email

Sprengel’s in hot water, Why shorter trolling rods, LiveScope walleyes on the shot

Today’s Top 4

Fish-flop Friday is back…

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

@michellegadd_dm took her Waskesiu Lake, SK camping trip up a notch:


Glad Zak Kmiec (@finaddict95) wasn’t holding on to the business end of that spoon:


Love this snap from Terran Bernhard (@saskkayakangler) — someone better sign this little guy up for the circus with balance like that:


This one refused to sit still for @cleriverfishing — trolling ’em up on Lake Erie:


Pretty rare to see a non-cliche sunset fishing pic (when ya don’t catch ’em lol) but @tombatiuk and his oldest son nailed it on Rainy Lake: is here to prove it happens to the zander crowd too:


This one’s a trout…but I had to include it ‘cuz it’s the first time I’ve ever seen someone brush their teeth with a fish lol. Nicely done, @ladyanglerlentz!


Check out #FishFlopFriday over on the Instagrammy if you ever need a laugh…it’s trout heavy (slippery little buggers!) but the facial expressions are priceless.

Why Korey Sprengel was looking for the warmest water…

…during his blowout win at the Green Bay NWT.

First off: If you don’t know Korey Sprengel’s name by now, where ya been?? Quick factoid on his NWT run in this recent podcast with Chip Leer:

> This NWT win, #5, places Korey in a league of his own with 9 top 10s and 18 top 20s in NWT’s short 29-event history. That’s $450K+ in NWT winnings alone.

Can you even imagine? Asked him what he thought that number would be if it included other tourney winnings, local derbies, etc…and he just smiled:



One thing that really stood out to me [chin-scratch emoji] when Korey was talking about his win in the last Target Walleye email:

> “The fish were relating to the current and warm water. The current was basically putting them there because that’s where the warm water was. This morning the water was over 70 degrees. If I got out of that little stretch, it would change by 3 degrees. If I ran 2 miles, the water would be around 57 degrees. That’s how much it varied.”

I’ll be the first to admit I know zilch about Great Lakes walleyes. Where I’m at (in central MN) I would never think to look for warmer water — everything’s already pushing 80-ish degrees. So had to do some digging on this….

Plucked most of this info from that same podcast Korey did with Chip Leer the other day. Said this event mimicked a lot of the conditions they had at the Sturgeon Bay NWT in 2013:

> Saw the forecast and knew anything learned in practice was about to be completely erased [so only pre-fished one day].

> Huge north blow…brings an influx of cold, clear water/current coming in through the islands from Lake Michigan…it’s a shock to those fish. It’s the middle of summer…they want 70 degree water not 50 degree water.

> Had to adjust…find where there was some warm water left. Found those warmer-water pockets where the fish weren’t as affected. This tournament it was a set of boulders…where fish were hiding out of the [colder] current.

Now you/we know….

Sprengel’s been using SHORT trolling rods for 10 years.

Only runs a 7′ rod, that’s not actually a trolling rod…. It’s a 7′ Fenwick HMG Casting Rod. Here’s why:

> Korey: “I like short rods because I have more control and they’re easier to use. Can stand closer to the side of the boat…when it comes to netting the fish I can see what’s going on — I don’t need to back up. Know when to lift the fish…know when it’s turning…know where it is compared to the net.

> “Can literally stand right over the side of the boat…makes it easier and faster for getting planer board on and off.  …as long as you balance the rod action — limber enough at the tip but some backbone — you can do just as much with a shorter rod.

> “Only downfall is they’re not as high in the rod holders…so I use rod-holder extensions to get those rods propped up so those lines aren’t dragging in front of each other.”

Just one more thing Korey does that goes against what everyone else is saying/doing…but obviously works. Don’t mind me…just feeling absolutely fish-clueless over here lol:

“Not what I was fishing for, but it did put up a pretty good fight.”

– That’s outdoor broadcaster Mike Avery Outdoors getting into a rather tricky situation while running Off Shore Tackle Planer Boards on Saginaw Bay:


Better than getting “skunked” lol.


1. KY: There’s a “southern strain” of walleye?

Pretty common to hear of northern- vs southern-strain fish when talking about largemouth bass, but first I’d ever heard that talk in the walleye world was this interesting write-up in the Northern Kentucky Tribune. Don’t look a whole lot different, but those river fish sure are built:

> “In 1995 KDFWR fishery personnel discovered a surviving population of the original native walleye strain in the Rockcastle River, a 54.8-mile whitewater tributary to the Cumberland River. Brood fish taken from the Rockcastle River were used to start a program to restore the native walleye throughout its former range in KY. Stocking began in 2002.

> “Today, the target production for native walleye at the Minor Clark Fish Hatchery is 90K fingerlings (2.5′ fish). They are stocked in June into 4 rivers and 2 lakes.”

Bunch more interesting info in the full write-up here.

2. MI: Commercial fishermen not happy…

…about several new reg changes potentially coming down the pipe. Some folks are worried “this could be the kind of thing that wipes out people.” Quick summary of the 3 different bills being considered in the MI house of reps:

> “It would add new layers of regulation, including reporting the GPS locations of their nets to the DNR and increasing some fees. …would also bar commercial fishing operations from ever harvesting lake perch, walleye or trout. Currently, those species are only available to recreational anglers and charter fisherman. But the bills would permanently restrict commercial operations from ever fishing them in the future.”

3. New twist swing on the classic ball-head jig.

An ICAST new product release (coming 1/1/21) that’s called the Kalin’s Sling Blade Jig. Adds a “hard tail-shipping action” to your plastics, without having to actually move your bait:

> …patented free-swinging pendulum hook technology. …cut-out swing path allows the hook to freely swing back and forth on a single axis giving the bait maximum movement without moving your bait up and down in the water column. …adds a hard tail-whipping action that no fish has ever witnessed.

For you visual learners:

How cool is that?

4. OH DNR awards $400K+ in grants for Lake Erie projects.

> “This year’s projects include installing an ADA-compliant observation deck, boardwalk and educational panels, 5 connected stormwater/wetlands planters, creek habitat restoration, waterfront planning and a pedestrian bridge that will provide people with better access to Lake Erie and its shoreline.”

5. Berkley FluoroShield wins ICAST’s “best fishing line.”

A fluorocarbon-infused copolymer that’s supposed to be the best of both worlds:

> “The line’s refractive index is like that of fluorocarbon, which makes it less visible to fish. But it’s also similar to monofilament in that it has a near-neutral buoyancy…fishes great and is super manageable….”

7. WV working to grow larger bluegills.

> “There’s this misconception that you can’t over-harvest bluegill, but we are seeing that overfishing can drastically alter the size of fish available to anglers.”

No doubt.

8. MI: Lake Macatawa boat ramp closed.

Thx to record high-water levels putting the piers underwater.

Headline of the Day

Aquatic scientists create Frankenfish.

Accidental hybrid that’s part American paddlefish + part Russian sturgeon = the “sturddlefish” lol: Highlights

Tip of the Day

Technology is CRAZY. Especially love when it meets the fishing world.

Came across this wild video from Wired2Fish’s Kyle Peterson where he’s using his Garmin Panoptix LiveScope System to scan structure and pick off BIG nomadic walleyes. Stays about 30′ from ’em (to not spook the fish) and plops down a dropshot with the leech — using those sticky #6 Berkley Fusion19 Drop Shot Hooks to pin ’em.

Is Garmin Panoptix LiveScope cheating??? Don’t care, want one (lol). The term “game changer” gets thrown around a lot in the fishing biz, but you def gotta see this unit in action:

Meme of the Day

Every. Single. Time.

Good luck this weekend if you’re getting out!

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Lot of negativity out there on social media, but then you come across a shot like this — from Dallas Kirkpatrick (@kirkpatrick14) — get your feel-good on!

What it’s all about, right there!

Sign up another fish-head!

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Who is Target Walleye
Target Walleye — 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 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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