Target Walleye/Ice email

Vertical trolling cranks, Walleye easier than bass, Try dropshotting

Today’s Top 4

Are you too stubborn to dropshot for walleyes?

One of those off-the-wall techniques most walleye guys refuse to try. Can drift, cast or vertically fish it, and it ALWAYS keeps your bait in the strike zone. You’ll wanna check the full Tim Allard write-up here for a ton of great info, few excerpts below:

> Works anywhere a jig does, sometimes better. A dropshot isn’t the best search bait, but it’s a good choice when you know walleyes are around.

> The unweighted bait falls slowly on slack line and moves naturally…[and] there’s little resistance when a walleye initially takes [it].

> Heavy weights don’t impact a bait’s appeal. This allows a 1/2-oz weight (or heavier) to be used to maintain bottom contact in deep water or current. Constant bottom contact sends vibrations up the line…when these change, it’s often a bottom transition.

> Grass, chara [sand grass] and algae grow on sand and soft-bottom flats where walleye hunt perch/baitfish…a dropshot with a long tag end raises the bait above clingy plants and stays visible to fish.

Dropshotting live minnows, leeches or nightcrawlers can be killer, but Tim says he uses artificials about 95% of the time:

> A beefier bait appeals to active walleye. I’ve had success casting and dragging a BFishN Tackle Moxi, which has a fat ringworm body with a long, curly thumper tail.

> Walleye baits work well with 1, 1/0 or 2/0 dropshot hook tied using a palomar knot.

> Nose-hooking has the best action with a finesse plastic. …when walleye are stealing baits, threading 1/4-1/2″ of the bait onto the hook shank (bait must be straight) boosts durability.

> [Don’t overwork it.] Light rod shakes combined with periods of slack line to allow the bait to fall are all it takes to tempt a walleye to bite. It’s even easier when fishing in current: get the rig to bottom and let the flow dance the bait.

> If sonar reveals fish off bottom, start with a tag end around 28″. An 8-18″ tag works for less active fish. Belly-to-bottom walleye typically require a 4-7″ tag.

> A medium-light or medium spinning rod with a soft tip is best. Walleye rods designed for rigging cross over well for dropshotting.

For sure worth a try and something they maybe haven’t seen before. More info here.

Finally cracked my PB!! 

I (Brett) just got back from a family vaca at Manotak Lodge, ON where we landed a: 30, 29, 29, 29, 28.5, 28, and dozens in the 24-27″ range over a few days. Safe to say walleye fishing won’t be the same around home lol:

I’ve caught a few heavier fish through the ice (thanks Winnipeg!), but finally broke that magical 30″ mark with this 30″ x 16.5″ razorback that inhaled a #7 perch Rapala Jigging Rap in 28′ on the bottom edge of a rockpile:

Also caught some quality fish on the newish #4 Rapala Flat Jig, which seems to stay out of the rock crevices a bit better than an original Jigging Rap because of its broad back. Nice and heavy, but a smaller profile that works great deep this time of year.

The “hologram flake anchovy” color looked just like the baitfish our eaters were coughing up in the livewell…this big girl couldn’t tell the difference:

Will post more deets soonish of exactly how we caught ’em on

Alberta walleyes eat the darndest things. 

Seems walleyes will eat anything waaaay up in AB 😉 so fly-tiers have been getting creative with it. Always look forward to those fly guy glamour shots:

@killerk1983 tippet the scales in his favor (#punny) using a saturated clown wig:

Guess that cotton candy comes in blueberry too:

Kyle Gibbons was testing out some “weird ideas” for flies and decided to send a blue maple leaf [?] in after this weedy slaunchback:

Streamer junkie Jordan Resch cracked his PB slinging a lava lamp colored puffball:

Imagine how many they could stick up there with an Original Floater lol.

Is walleye fishing as difficult as bass fishing? 

Not us asking the question…. That’s an actual headline from an ESPN write-up — too hilarious (and serious??) to not have it’s own top spot. Our CliffsNotes version:

> I don’t own a boat but the last couple of years I’ve stepped outside the air conditioning and jumped on my friend’s boat and did some fishing.

> Walleye fishing on his boat consists of the ‘bottom bouncer’ rig. Dropping a line in the water and trolling around waiting for the bite.

> I’ve done my fair share of bass fishing and it always felt to me at least that bass fishing took a little more skill.

> The skill of having to reel and cast a lot more, accompanied with the fact you feel like you aren’t just snagging ’em near the bottom makes it feel more competitive….

> Plus a bass will give you a much more fun time reeling it in than a walleye.

> Now don’t get me wrong, walleye fishing is a blast. More my cup of tea as I don’t have to do as much work to catch as many fish.

Lol! Don’t know where to start. Asked a few guys ’round the office what they thought:


1. MN: Maybe win ya some prizes…

…by signing up for the Fishing Careers Workshop and learning how you can make a living in the fishing industry. Some of the bonus goodies they’re giving away in a drawing if you register before Aug 31. #Dibs

Also announced that children 18 and under are free with a paying adult.

2. SD: Walleye regs could be changing.

Some veeeery interesting statements from SDGFP:

> For 20 years now we have used minimum length limits to manage many of our walleye fisheries…these regs have had little to no measurable impact on the fisheries…[and] may be doing more harm than good.

> Large walleye year-classes develop [and] can deplete the available food resources resulting in slowed/stunted growth.

> Bitter and the 2011 walleye year-class was the most recent example, those fish are now almost 7 years old and barely over 15″. With a normal growth rate they should have crossed that mark at age 3.

> One of those signs is the skinny fish that are very willing to bite an angler’s bait…if anglers are able to catch 40-60 fish/day, there’s a problem with the predator/prey balance and harvest.

> When large year classes are present allowing abundant smaller fish to be harvested may provide more benefit to the fishery than risking collapse of the forage base and the subsequent reduced growth rates.

*cough* Mille Lacs *cough*

3. MN: Fishing to End Hunger charity tourney…

…on Gull Lake is happening Oct 7. Great cause, plus there’s $22.5K paid out to the top 3 spots.

4. NV: Lake Mead has walleyes?

At least a couple anyways. Guess they were stocked a zillion years ago and never really took off. Has to be some natural reproduction since a kid just caught a surprise 17-incher while striper fishing.

So Cousin Eddie knew what he was talking about after all….

5. Power-Pole has a new iPad for your boat.

> This all-in-one touch-screen tablet allows multiple boat accessories to be connected and controlled by one smart device.

Hope it’s waterproof at 1,600 bones…but does sound pretty cool.

6. PRADCO hiring sales rep.

Owns more than 20 brands, the ones you walleye-nuts would be most familiar with are Lindy and Bomber. See if you’re qualified.

7. U.S. anglers up by 1.5 mil?

Youth participation is up 3% to 11 mil. Maybe thanks in part to the high school fishing explosion? Report also said:

> Fishing is still the #2 adult outdoor activity, but it’s gaining ground on jogging.

Jogging?! Hmmmm which would you rather…?

Tip of the Day

> Regardless of how good of boat control you have — if there’s a lot of line out — the lures don’t necessarily take the same path as the boat.

> [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- to 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

I’m not a fish-worshipper either….

Part of what Joel Nelson said in his response to the question: “Are big walleyes sterile and does putting them back help or hurt the population?” Great read if you have a few minutes.

Either way we can guarantee that a walleye caught and killed cannot spawn….

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Ben and Steve Slater showin’ that brotherly love with an almost-matching pair of Ontario ‘eyes. Always good to see pics sent in rockin’ the inflatable PFDs:

#SafetyFirst #FishSecond #MaybeAnEvenTieForFirst

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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 quit sports in high school because they were interfering with his fishing time. Get him at

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