Target Walleye/Ice email

State bans all fishing, Al’s fave jigging baits, How Roach raps

Today’s Top 4

Few spring jiggin’ setups Al Lindner always has tied on. 

Really not just a spring thing, ‘cuz every time I’ve ever hopped in the boat with Al, these are on his front deck:

> I’m a fan of the VMC Neon Moon Eye Jig. It’s aspirin-shaped, so it falls faster than a ball-head jig and also tends to veer off to the side or roll, which is the kind of triggering action walleyes can’t resist.

> I match it with a 4″ flat-sided split-tail minnow or else a flat-sided boot-tail swimbait since their flatter sides enhance this action. For years, we used curly-tail grubs, but they stabilize your presentation…not what you want in this situation.

> My third option is a new on the scene VMC’s Bucktail Jig — I fish it with the same trailers or by itself. The colors on these jigs are brilliant and bucktail offers a unique action, as it flares when it hits bottom. A 1/4-oz jig generally works best, since you want it to fall fast and pop abruptly.

> Rod and line are important to make long casts, get the best erratic action from a jig, set the hook easily, and land fish. St. Croix’s 6′ 8″ Eyecon Snap Jigging Rod is ideal for this presentation. For line I’ve been spooling 8-lb Sufix Advance Mono, which is thin, strong, and also supple so it casts well and doesn’t snarl.

> These days, many of our lakes are clearer than ever, due to zebra mussels. It’s essential to cast lures out to the side and work them back quickly. I run my Minn Kota at a good pace along the shallows near the breakline or over shoreline-connected flats. These areas are loaded with walleyes at this time of year.

> On a calm sunny day, you can spot schools of 4 to 12 fish swimming along. If they’re spooky, you may only see their white tails, but you know they’re up there and ready to eat. Trigger them to bite with erratic action. If you haven’t fished this way, try it and you’ll be convinced!

Btw there’s 4 new colors out right now in the VMC Neon Moon Eye Jig. Clockwise from the top left we’ve got: blue gill, shad, blue back herring, and black:

WA banned ALL fishing for 2 weeks.

Pretty cool that some states are waiving license requirements to encourage people to “social distance” in the outdoors. Then you have Washington who’s, well…basically doing the opposite (lol). They didn’t just close public accesses…they banned all recreational fishing statewide!

> WA Dept of Fish & Wildlife: “…we’re temporarily closing recreational fishing and shellfishing statewide in response to Gov Jay Inslee’s order directing Washingtonians to stay home and stay healthy to limit the spread of coronavirus.”

> “To go fishing you generally have to load up your car and boat and travel somewhere, often stopping to get gas, snacks, bait and more. This puts you in contact with others, which is what we are trying to prevent.”

> “With public accesses closed, it could also concentrate people in areas of private launches and fishing areas, which defeats the purpose.”


Way it reads where I’m at in MN, we can still sneak out fishing so long as it’s not in a community hole (lol):

How Tony Roach Rippin’ Raps ‘eyes.

Walleyes can be — and usually are — downright stubborn…especially in shallow, clear water. While some guys bust out the slip-bobber, Tony Roach picks up a Rapala Rippin’ Rap and goes to work:

> “I compare it a little to the deadly Jigging Rap, but it falls slower and has more subtle action, which is ideal in spring. …works best when water temps are 50-55°.

> “Rippin’ Raps fall nose-first…a natural-looking posture for walleye prey. We fish the #5, #6, and #7 models, but the #6 (2.5″ and 1/2-oz) gets most play in spring.”

> “Work the lure along the deep side of rock ridges and over depressions where walleyes often hold that time of year. Bottom transitions from sand-to-rock are also key locations….

> “The retrieve is very important and it takes a little getting used to, as you learn the correct cadence. It’s not a fast ripping retrieve…the lure actually moves forward at a moderate pace, but with a lot of up-and-down motion. Walleyes typically bite either on the fall or when the lure first hits bottom, so you want to maximize those situations.

> “As soon as the lure hits bottom after a cast, raise it up off bottom so it can fall again. It should contact bottom for only a split second before rising. After a few hours of doing this you’ll have this cadence down and you won’t have to think much about it.

> “Long casts help you cover a lot of water…. I fish them on thin braided line (6- to 10-lb test) with a fluoro leader of 10- or even 12-lb test. Without a leader, the back hooks of the Rap sometimes snag the braid on a cast, wasting time.

> “The heavier fluoro cuts down on the number of [zebra mussel] break-offs due to its abrasion-resistance. Moreover, a lot of pike are up shallow in spring, and it gives a bit more protection to have a 12-lb leader. And walleyes don’t mind a bit.

> “To fish this way, rod selection is important. I favor a medium-light rod from 6′ 8″  to 7′ 2″. And I like rods with an extra-fast tip section, since you often have to set hooks solidly from a distance. The softer action and length allow you to sweep the lure off bottom cleanly and keep the cadence right.”

As with anything, you’ve gotta get a confidence-building day under your belt to stick with it, but then you won’t wanna put it down.

Craziest underwater burbot footage ever?! #SpawnBall 

Have seen some crazy burb vids before, but this footage is absolute madness. Captures the exact moment a burbot spawn ball went off like a rocket:< /div>


How insane was that?! Some really interesting burboty snippets in this write-up that went with the video.


1. Nuechterlein wins first-ever H2H walleye event.

Jeff Nuechterlein took home a $10K payday and some serious bragging rights after winning the Head2Head Fishing Walleye Opener outta De Pere, WI:

Awesome new 1v1 bracket-format walleye dealio where they live-stream the whole thing:

Can’t wait to see more walleye events added in the future.

2. MI closes guide/charter fishing operations.

3. WI: AIM Fox River event (Apr 5) cancelled.

To make up for it, they’ve plopped in a “replacement” tourney outta Oconto on Sat, July 18. AIM already has a tourney scheduled there the next day (Sun, July 19) but will be two seperate 1-day events. #DoubleHeader

4. Lindner Media’s gotta decked-out Lund for sale.

2018 Lund 1875 Lund Pro Guide w/ 90-hp Merc 4-stroke. Freakin’ deal of the century at $30K [!!!] no doubt it’s gonna be gone FAST:

Comes with a pair of Humminbird Solix MEGA SI GPS units (15″ and 12″), Smooth Moves Ultra seat, 10′ Minn Kota Talon, 112-lb Minn Kota Ultrex w/ i-Pilot Link, 101 Vantage, and more. Full deets here.

5. Episode 2 of the One-Boat Challenge is out now.

And case you didn’t know…they’re giving away a One-Boat Network setup to one grand prize winner =  a Humminbird SOLIX, Minn Kota Ultrex, and Minn Kota Talon package worth over $9K! Full scoop here.

6. Suzuki’s building a tech center in FL.

7. Some braids will be made with different raw material.

Slightly different, but says it “will not have any impact on the fibres’ unique properties and performance characteristics….”

> …will help reduce the environmental impact of its Dyneema fibres, used in some of the world’s top fishing lines.

> The move will see Dyneema transition to bio-based feedstock…. Bio-based Dyneema will be available from April this year.

> Fishing brands licenced to use Dyneema in their lines includes Berkley, Momoi, Daiwa, Spiderwire and Sufix.

8. MN’s testing alternatives to road salt….

…because it could contaminate the water with chloride.

> …to test the environmental effects of an alternative to road salt — potassium acetate, the liquid de-icer often used on airport runways.

> It’s biodegradable, it doesn’t corrode infrastructure, and it works in colder temperatures than salt does. It’s also 7 times more expensive.

9. DC: How the stimulus bill affects the rec. boating industry.

MotorGuide Xi5 Giveaway!!!

Yup, this is real life…we’re giving away another MotorGuide Xi5 wireless bow-mount trolling motor! A walleye-chasin’ machine with Pinpoint GPS to keep you locked RIGHT on the spot — you’re welcome, control freaks….

The winner will get to choose the shaft length, thrust, and voltage that works best for their rig!

Takes just 10 seconds to enter below (click the pic) and can share the link you get for bonus entries. Good luck! Highlights

Tip of the Day

Hardbait selection for all stages of the spawn.

From cap’n Ross Robertson:

> Most anglers think of soft-plastic grubs when it comes to plastics for walleyes. Me? I’m more into hard plastic in spring, because it’s easier to tailor crankbaits and stickbaits to the various stages of the spawn. Here are my go-to lures, as well as the tactics that get them producing trophy walleyes:


> Perch and larger baitfish are the favored meals of the biggest walleyes prior to the spawn — nothing matches these food sources as well as a crankbait. Trolling over deep flats adjacent to spawning grounds is often highly productive.

> Spread lures throughout the water column, giving particular attention to the baits running halfway down, which often get hit more than the others.

> It also pays to run a crank very high in the water column to target any walleyes basking in the warm surface water. Reef Runner’s suspending Skinny Stick is my #1 choice during this period, as it truly suspends and maintains action when trolled at very slow speeds.


> Those in the know may be putting their boats in when most anglers are taking them out to head home. During the spawn, large females often stop feeding by day and get very spooky, making nighttime the right time for shots at these giants.

> Sneaking into shallow areas with a rocky or hard bottom, using just your electric trolling motor, sets you up for epic action after dark. Once in position, fan-cast shallow-diving stickbaits, such as the #12 Rapala Husky Jerk. If you’re not getting bit working slowly, switch to a slightly faster steady retrieve with occasional twitches of the rod.


> Postspawn female walleyes tend to hold deep in the water column, which makes crankbaits the best option right after the spawn…especially since spring runoff often dirties the water. You need lures that dive to depths in excess of 20′ without assistance but don’t need to be trolled quickly to work effectively.

> The Reef Runner 800 is my top pick. Many anglers troll these lures with heavy snap weights, but I’ve found that using the lightest weight you can get away with while still reaching your desired depth catches more fish, as it won’t change the action as drastically.

Meme of the Day

It’s an awkward time of year for most of us…hang in there:

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Cool shot of a “hot perch” color Yo-Zuri Rattl’N Vibe Mini. Is it just me or does the bait sorta look bummed-out about another ice season’s coming to an end?

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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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