Target Walleye/Ice email

Tom Boley’s fall transition tips, Turnover explained, New PB walleye

The best walleye and ice fishing pics, tips, gear hacks, and news year round
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Today’s Top 5

If you’re going to catch your biggest MN walleye ever…

…might as well do it on game day! 👀🤯 My buddy Christian Hoffman and I were fishing in the Walleye Wackers TOC on Gull Lake near Brainerd, MN last weekend when I hooked up with an absolute unit….


I swore it was a muskie or big pike the way it was peeling drag, but then a few feet from the boat it finally turned into the right species (lol). A dirty-30” walleye!

Caught her poking around the edge of shallow 10-11’ weed clumps with a 3/16-oz VMC Ned Rig Jig (green pumpkin) and ‘crawler. I was slinging it on one of my absolute favorite walleye rods = the butter-smooth Elliott Identity ‘Rig & Jig’ (7’4” ML fast) with 6-lb Sufix Performance Braid (casts further) and an 8-lb fluorocarbon leader.


Overall it was a super tough bite for us. That giant paired with a couple of ‘unders’ Hoffman caught while dragging chubs landed us in 3rd place and ‘big fish’.


We scrambled all over for the last 4.5 hours of the day and just could NOT get another keeper walleye in the boat. Ended up being just 1.12 lbs out of 1st…and I think we can blame at least one of those missed opportunities on this dang zebra mussel 😅🤦‍♂️ can’t make that stuff up lol:

Big props to Adam Mord and Brady Sykora on grinding out the win and becoming back-to-back champs. 💪 Those guys can catch ‘em!

Btw since I had a few people asking: We ran that 30” behemoth straight into shore to have it weighed and released at about 10am. It only came out of 10-11’ of water and was super healthy. Splashed me in the face while she was waving goodbye lol.


I decided to reach out to Erik Frank of Angler’s Touch Fish Art & Taxidermy to have him do-up a replica for the wall. I’ve never personally had a fish done by him, but have been following him on social media for quite some time and his work looks absolutely incredible. Few examples:

Cannot wait to get ‘er back!

You can keep your pumpkin spice….

Because this fatty right here is the definition of fall! (no offense, Bobby 😅)

That’s Capt. Bobby Greene of Meals On Reelz Charters running WNC Reapers for insanely paunchy Lake Erie walleye on the western basin. 🤯 That fish is on a whole ‘nother level!

Understand the fall turnover! 🔄

And I’m not talking about these kind of turn-overs:

We’re talking what happens when water temps start to drop in the fall.

Info is from this Rick Olson write-up that’s deeeeep within the Walleye Central archives. It’s not happening yet, but it’s coming…make sure you understand it!


> “As water temps reach their summer high, a layering process occurs…an upper warmer layer and a lower cooler layer – separated by a quickly changing narrow band known as the thermocline.


> “This deeper, cooler, bottom layer can quickly become totally void of oxygen…. …dead water can be a complete waste of time. …concentrate your efforts at the thermocline and shallower.


> “Fish-finders display density of objects…. The upper warmer layer is less dense than the cooler bottom layer – it’s this change in density that will show up on a graph…looks like a constant narrow band.


> “Some lakes are so shallow and windswept that they may never thermocline, like Mille Lacs…. The big lake circulates every time you get a decent wind, and the temperature remains relatively consistent from top to bottom….


> “It’s not just the fact that a lake will turn over that causes tough fishing conditions…more likely due to the rapidly-dropping water temps. The body temperature of a fish is subject to its environment – rapid changes in water temp can shut fish down…it may take some time for their body to adjust.”

> “The turnover usually coincides with the first hard frost of fall, but not always. Some years the change is so gradual that it becomes difficult to pin down. One of the indicators to look for is water temperature.


> “When surface temps drop into the lower 60s and upper 50s, you can figure you’re in the turnover zone. Walleye activity can range from bad to good depending on how quickly water temps cool off. A gradual slide can make for better fishing….


> “Late summer and early fall can be one of the best times to work the shallow rocks with Rapala Shad Raps. …the most effective crankbait for working shallow structure there is. …perfect fish-attracting wiggle and some great fall colors like ‘fire tiger’ and ‘crawdad.’


> “Another option, would be avoiding the negative effects of the turnover by trying to find a lake that hasn’t turned yet, or one that already has and had a week or 2 to settle down. The first ones to go are the shallow lakes as they have less mass and cool quicker…. There may be as much as 2 weeks difference – or more – as to when it all begins and ends.”

Tom Boley’s 2 favorite early-fall walleye locations.

Tombo Slice breaks down a couple of his favorite early-fall patterns on small, natural lakes. And it’s pretty cool that it’s two very different scenarios:

  1. Pitching Kalins Pendu Jigs on shallow flats, and
  2. Dunking Acme Hyper-Rattles and 1/2-oz Kastmaster spoons 🤫 on deep, hard-bottom areas.

Watching his videos makes me want to drop everything I’m doing and go fishing:

Folks rarely seem to talk about the how/where/when/why…usually we just get the what. So props to Tom Boley on taking the time to help others catch more fish. 👊

Wild sonar shot of the day!

I came across this pic on Humminbird’s Instagram of a crazy find from Alberto Bresciani on Lake Garda in Italy. Probably hitting the marketplace near you with that “everything worked great the last time we used it” line…. 😅🙄

​​Judging by Alberto’s Instagram, he was probably scanning around for some mondo European pike – you have got to see some of these amazing patterns he’s shared on his page:


1. ND: Bense/Schumann dominate Lake Sakakawea AIM.


Dennis Bense and Roger Schumann had a 2-day total of 65.22 lbs which bested 2nd place by over 12 lbs. 👀💣

There never seems to be much info out there (for any walleye tournament series) on the specific type of structure, depth, etc the top bags come from…but it does sound like it was won on a 1-2 punch that’s pretty tough to beat anywhere in the fall:


> “We caught about half throwing Jigging Rap styles and about half on chubs…caught a couple on ‘crawlers when we got desperate.”


I do love when folks share the scorecard from CPR events so we can see what kind of fish it takes to add up to those weights. Their day-2 bag was stacked with quality:

Congrats fellas!


2. National Hunting and Fishing Day is Sat, Sept 23.


Sounds like a great day to hunt for some walleyes.


3. CO: Rusty crayfish found in Lake Granby.


Buy stock in orange-ish baits!


4. WI: DNR is hosting open houses at…


…two fish hatcheries and two fish spawning facilities over the next month-ish.


5. AR: 476K threadfin shad stocked in Greers Ferry Lake.


And they also stocked the lake with more…WEEDS! Which is the first time I’ve ever heard of something like that. Adding more bait + habitat to help the current population of predators to thrive.

They must be trying to grow another 22-lb 11-oz walleye….


6. You asked for it…


…and StrikeMaster now has a 10” Lazer Lite Drill designed to be used with their Lithium 40v powerhead:

7. The Next Bite TV + X2Power Batteries = 🤝


8. Daiwa launches “significantly changed” FUEGO.


This is already a ton of folks’ favorite mid-priced reel, and Daiwa gave it a bunch of upgrades:


> …we went to a true ZAION V carbon-fiber body, not a nylon-based plastic that you see in other manufacturers’ reels at this price. The new FUEGO stands alone in the marketplace at this price. You get some weight reduction because of this material design change. We also went to an AIRDRIVE ROTOR that reduces weight, too, and incorporated a solid AIRDRIVE BAIL versus a tubular design. The reason for that is the metal we’re using is very strong, rigid, and doesn’t bend – yet, it’s thinner and lighter. Our goal was to reduce the weight of the rotation, which decreases the weight of the reel as well. It also makes it easier to turn the handle. We’re making the performance better and better with each generation of FUEGO.”


9. WY: Speas Hatchery is getting an expansion.


> …will provide the ability to rear cool-warm water game fish such as walleye and channel catfish in Wyoming.


10. Walmart CEO says inflation is here.


Obviously. 🤷‍♂️


> “Inflation and higher prices are kind of with us.”


> Walmart’s prices will likely be slightly lower in 2024 than this year but higher than 2 years ago….


11. Sportsman’s Warehouse appoints Steven W. Sansom to its BOD.


12. Humminbird is running a MEGA Live rebate.


> Get a $500 rebate when you buy a qualifying MEGA Live ICE Bundle or Conversion Kit between now and Sept 30, 2023.


13. UT: Native roundtail chub making a comeback.


I guess this little bugger is one of the reasons they want walleye out of the Colorado River Basin:

That thing would look mighty fine on a Lindy Rig….


14. MN: I’m pretty sure Pequot Lakes…


…is home to the biggest bobber in the world. 😅 Pretty dang cool!

They should put a 45-ft sucker minnow under it this fall and see if the Hayward, WI muskie tracks it down:

15. 10 items to make any wheelhouse more fishable. 🥶


16. I just came across a crazy ice-fishing giveaway…


…posted on Striker’s Instagram page. Striker teamed-up with Garmin and Otter to put together an insane prize package including a Garmin LiveScope+ Ice Fishing Bundle Li, Otter Vortex Pro Resort Hub, Striker Apex Series bibs and jacket, plus more. 😳

Entering is easy if you’re a little Instagram savvy. If you’re not…maybe now is a good time to learn hahaha.

They’ll be randomly choosing a winner from someone who:

  • Follows their 3 accounts on IG,
  • Likes the post and tags 3 friends,
  • And shares the post to their IG story.

Get after it here.

Tip of the Day

Fish-house windows glazed over?


Pretty cool fix from The Short Rod Show on FB:


> “Pretty amazing what 4 yrs of abuse can do to ice-shelter windows! Luckily Meguiars PlastX restored them back to like new. Now we can see who’s trying to sneak up on us to get our spots!”


Here’s the before-and-after shot:

Should be easier to see those flags pop this year!

Meme of the Day

Friendly reminder to charge the batteries on all of your ice electronics throughout the off season – monthly if possible – to get the most out of ’em. Same goes for your electric ice augers. Yup, I usually forget too!

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Awesome shot of fish-head Blake Tollefson catching some WI gold on some “to-be-released items” walleye snacks that Eurotackle has coming down the pipeline. 🤫

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