Target Walleye/Ice email

Weedbed bluegill tips, Awesome fishing memes, Bigguns bite first

Today, tomorrow, everyday: How about thanking a veteran for your FREEDOM…to fish, among other things. God bless you and your fams!

If you’re getting this Target Walleye/Ice email for the first time, a friend probably signed you up!

Today’s Top 5

How/where Joel Nelson targets early-ice bluegills in the weeds.

Where you deer hunters at?! Maybe sitting in the stand right now…this one’s for you. Joel Nelson uses the same ideas for picking treestand locations as he does for finding early-ice ‘gill spots: funnels and pinch points:

> “[The spots] typically involve some sort of inside turn pushing up from deep water into the shallows…especially where the shallows lead into another neckdown, lake, or other expansive flat and shallow-water environment.

> “I’m a firm believer that these locations act as funnels, channeling fish movements through a pinch-down area and helping you to get more looks from more fish. Other spots would include major points, or mid-lake humps that have weeds as well.”

J-Nels talks more about the spots and shows his fav early-ice ‘gill bait here:

One thing that stood out to me was that Joel’s VMC Tungsten Tubby Jig lineup was full of the larger/heavier 1/16-oz size, when most everyone else is buyin’ the microscopic stuff.

> Says they let him fish much faster which is great for early ice when the fish are “tuned up” and oxygen levels haven’t dropped (like they do mid-winter) yet.

> Also let him punch those baits down to the base of the weedbeds where lighter jigs would lay on top.

Lots more info here on Joel’s interwebz page — clearly it’s workin’ for him:

Still some diehards hitting the open-water!

Crazy Yankee Sportfishing has been gettin’ after it on Lake Ontario:

> “Tough crew today (!)…30- to 40-mph winds and driving rain…. Bay Rat Lures did very well for us with Off Shore Tackle Guppy Weights and OR12 Planer Boards.”

Any guesses what color was workin’ best? Hint:

Keep killin’ it guys!

Panfish like sour candies?

Check this HSM Outdoors shot of the Clam Snow Drop XL [heart-eyes emoji]:

Looks like straight-up panfish candy, dude! Still trying to figure out how the heck they attach hooks to Sour Skittles…?

Now you know why fish are always doin’ the “pucker” face….

Hardwater-ize any crankbait.

Don’t put away those open-water cranks yet — just need a pack of Clam Crank Weights and you can take ’em ice fishing. Seriously:

For you dudes who are edgy enough to have already tried ’em, send us your pics or let us know what baits worked best for you.

Awesome ice-fishing memes.

In the spirit of hardwater, here’s a few memes that we can relate to RIGHT NOW:

Hang in there:

Maybe this weekend for some of you way north [BE SAFE!]:

All good things must come to an end:

Worth the wait:


1. MB: Small northern lakes locked up.

Those lucky dogs are already crackin’ ’em through the ice in northern Manitoba:


2. MN: Ice forming on Lake of the Woods!

What it looked like 4 days ago at Flag Island Resort in the NW Angle:

Follow the ice conditions here. The bite was hot heading into the freeze, maybe get one of THESE through the ice soon-ish:

3. SD: Dakota Angler Ice Institute happenin’ now.

In Sioux Falls.

4. ON: 2nd annual ladies weekend on Bay of Quinte.

Only ONE spot left, ladies! Chance to get on the bigs with anglin’ gal Ashley Rae fishin’ the Bay of Quinte. Last year they boated a massive 14-lber!

5. Is Garmin Panoptix…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 one:

Tip of the Day

> The biggest fish are often the dominant fish in that particular school. They often eat first and eat the most. The little fish don’t usually get to eat until the big fish are done. Guess who gets caught first?

> Community holes [can be] very difficult to catch the largest fish in unless you get to them first. You see it every winter — the first people on the ice catch some nice fish, and then the size of the fish drops off through the winter.

> If you want to catch the largest panfish beyond first ice, find fish that are not using the community spots. Might mean finding an unassuming lake that doesn’t have a reputation or is difficult to access…look for a secondary basin or figure out the small details like an inside turn or soft-bottom point.

> Don’t overthink fishing…success is often simply leaving the pack and drilling holes over fresh ice. Moving 50 yards away from the crowd can often produce a nicer class of fish. As a rule of thumb, some of the first fish you pull off a location will often be some of the nicest fish.

> Anglers who have a knack for catching bigger panfish through the ice typically have a lone-wolf mentality. They put in the work looking for fish and cycle through fish on fresh spots.

Quote of the Day

Despite being a great sport fish, they just aren’t really welcome here.

– That’s what Idaho Fish & Game’s Andy Dux said, salty ‘cuz the walleye population is doubling each year…and they’re worried how it’ll impact the kokanee (salmon, not beer).

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Ashley Rae thwacked this finned-out razorback on Lake Ontario trolling a #11 Berkley Flicker Minnow (pink Lemonade) along a steep contour break:

Sign up another ice-head!

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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 majored in marketing, only because there was no such thing as a “fishing degree” at the time…. Get him at

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