Target Walleye/Ice email

Vertical trolling cranks, How Al targets walleyes now, Hawgbellies of the week

Today’s Top 4

How Al Lindner targets summertime walleyes.

Doesn’t matter if you’re using live bait or artificials, walleyes can be tough to catch this time of year. According to Al there’s 3 types of bites — all happening at the same time — on walleye factories across the upper Midwest: a shallow weed bite, a structure bite and a suspended bite…

> Al: “Not every walleye in the lake is always doing the same thing at the same depth. There’s a lot of fish that do a lot of different things. And that holds true all the time.”


1. Weed Bite

In most larger lakes known as go-to walleye destinations, there’s always an active population of weed walleyes:

> “Day in, day out, you can catch ’em in the middle of any weeds sparse enough to be fishable and pull a bait through.

> “That population of fish is active earlier and late in the day. They get out of the denser weeds and they’ll come up near the surface, rise high in the weeds, and come out to the edges.”

Al’s favorite way to catch ’em: Rip jigging a VMC Neon Moon Eye Jig (typically 1/4-oz) with a boot-tail or split-tail — targeting weeds in 8-12′ during low-light periods.


2. Structure Bite

An entirely separate population of walleyes are fish that spend the summer tight to deep structure:

> “On a lot of these lakes, those structure fish are around 25′, but I’ve heard of bites going as deep as 40′ already — that’s astounding.”

When walldawgs are hugging bottom that deep, Al’s fav is snappin’ a Jigging Rap ‘cuz he says “nothing can trigger those fish faster and better:”

> “Not every area of 25-40′ will hold a population of active walleyes. This bite requires a good sonar/GPS unit. Navigate to reefs or humps surrounded by deeper water that top out between 25-40′ and only fish where you see schools of fish or bait on the screen.

> “If you hunt for them with your electronics, you’ll find them — they stick out when they’re there.”


3. Suspended Bite

A third population of walleyes spend most of the summer suspended over deep basins chasing baitfish:

> “Forget what you know about structure and throw a #9 Shad Rap over the back of the boat, stick your rod in a rod holder, leave a lot of line out and just start trolling in the middle of nowhere.

> “You don’t go out there and catch too many ‘eaters’ doing this…it’s a big-fish bite. The big ones are generally eating tullibee, smelt or whitefish.”

If Al sees baitfish breaking on the surface in the evening, he’ll reel in his Shad Rap and troll a #11 Rapala Original Floater on a planer board at 10′ or shallower in basins as deep as 40-100′.

> “You would be amazed at what you catch doing this for a couple hours in the evening. In the last 5 years, a lot of anglers have been tuning into this.”

Who let these pigs out?

The Kalamazoo River, MI kicked out this massive 12.7-lber (32″) for @sbsoutdooraction earlier this spring — caught using a Wobble Glo to keep the bait up off bottom. Said he took measurements to get a replica, then released the freak to get even more bigger-er:

> “Getting to see a big mama like that swim away to live and spawn another day is the best reward.”

Way to go, dude!


Scott Brimner (@abovethesurfaceoutdoors) wrassled in this 30″ Saskatchewan prairie dawg chucking a big “firetiger” Rapala Husky Jerk from the bank:


David Grosulak (@dg_fishin) cracked this Mississippi River goliath dragging a 3/8-oz jig with a “black shad” Keitech Swing Impact in a backwater current seam:


Ryan Harrenstein (@ryan_harrenstein) got his dad on an Escanaba, MI biggun casting Moonshine Shiver Minnows and pulling crawler harnesses over 18-24′ rock humps:


John Schelling (@johnschelling) has stuck a 28+ incher on each of his last 9 outings! Slip-bobber and leech’d this one into biting — smile says it all:

Rock on man! There’s only one way to celebrate a streak like that…NET GUITAR:

New ‘vertizontal’ bait design coming.

Can guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it before:


Called the Salmo Rail Shad. Few details:

> …features and industry first sliding head rail…allows the bait to sink vertically at incredible speeds, and with one twitch of the rod, the lure transitions to a horizontal presentation.

> For ice fishing or open water…can be vertical-jigged or cast out and worked back. The unbreakable polycarbonate lip gives the lure an erratic darting action and the feathered tail draws fish in.

What it looks like from a walleye’s perspective:


Believe it’s gonna be available this Oct. More info in Salmo’s vid below:

How long should you fish a spot before moving?

Of course a lot of different factors come into play, but Joel Nelson does a great job of explaining how he approaches things in this AnglingBuzz video. Talks his general rule of thumb along with a few scenarios that adjust the clock:


1. MN: Body recovered on Gull Lake.

A 62-yr-old Sartell man. Happened on Wednesday — no other details at this time. RIP fishing brother.

2. Still can’t believe THIS happened.

Seriously never thought I’d get to hop in the boat with Al Lindner — let alone film an episode of Lindner’s Fishing Edge TV with him — but dreams really do come true. Hope you enjoy(ed) the show!

3. MI: Another 900K ‘eyes stocked in July.

St. Marys River, Bay de Noc, Epoufette Bay, St. Martin Bay and the Lower Cheboygan River.

Same program also stocked 1 mil walleye fry this spring, and 500K each in the lower Tahquamenon River and Millecoquins Lake near Engadine.

4. John Hoyer’s fave new Berkley walleye stuff at ICAST.

He’s coming off back-to-back 1st and 2nd place finishes in the National Walleye Tour…so no doubt John Hoyer has already been putting this stuff to good use:

Thx for the walk through, man!

5. Garmin had record Q2 revenue.

Marine segment alone grew 13%.

6. DC: New Coast Guard bill would require using kill switches…

…for all boats under 26′. Actually surprised most states don’t require one be worn, like some do seat-belts. Never want to wear either, until you need ’em….

Reminded me of that company called FELL Marine who released a wireless kill switch a couple years back at ICAST:

Know anyone who’s tried one yet?

Headline of the Day

MN: Will an increase in walleye harvest be in sight?

Interesting read talking about the always-controversial Mille Lacs.

Tip of the Day

Jason Mitchell uses snap-weights to troll tight structure.

No matter how good boat control you have, if there’s a lot of line out, lures don’t necessarily take the same path as the boat…they cut corners. Snap-weights are a great way to troll cranks tight to specific structure or contour lines. Full Jason Mitchell write-up here, few excerpts below:

> [I’ve been] trolling small tight locations by using the bow-mount trolling motor [and] heavy snap-weights that fish straight below the boat as deep as 40′.

> The key is to use enough weight (5-6 oz) and the lead between the lure and the snap-weight only needs to be a rod length. Use a longer lead and monofilament when the water is extremely clear [thx zebra mussels].

> The heavy snap-weight system allows you to put the lures right below the boat so they stick tight to the contour. You can fish through locations fast and turn around faster after you find fish, [even] doing figure 8s over the school.

> Traditional trolling speed might range around 2 mph…with snap-weights a slightly slower speed can be extremely effective where I often move at about 1.5 mph, but the lures speed up and stall with every turn.

> Where this system has been productive for me is deep rock structure when the fish will tightly hold on one specific ledge or depth range. Following the sharp edges of reefs or deep primary points is simple and fast.

Jason’s from NoDak, so the only other weights he’s ever needed were:

Quote of the Day

“We could grow 2 trophy bucks in the time it takes to grow a trophy bluegill….”

– That quote from Dave Weitzel (Grand Rapids, MN area fisheries supervisor) is talking about how sunfish grow sloooow — maybe only 1″ per year — yet for decades no one thought twice about keeping the biggest ones from the batch.

Could (finally!) be seeing some possible reg changes coming to help make bluegill fishing great again:

> Without a management change, it’s likely sunfish size will continue to decline, largely because of the influence we as anglers exert on their populations.

> Some angling groups have been asking the DNR for several years to consider modifying the 20-fish bag limit for sunfish and adding length restrictions, but angler survey data show apprehension over a statewide bag limit reduction or length restrictions.

> In response, the DNR is seeking to identify individual lakes that have the right biological characteristics, and local angler support, to benefit from reducing the sunfish bag limit.

> Through the DNR’s Quality Bluegill Initiative, fisheries managers aim to increase the number of special regulation lakes for sunfish from about 60 to between 200 and 250 lakes statewide by the year 2023.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Check out the backdrop on Julian Pinney’s (@iriekanakz808) 31.5″ UT gravel lizard! Yup, Utah — some killer ‘eyes there!

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