Target Walleye/Ice email

World record walleye, Make your own baits, Fish-flop Friday

Today’s Top 5

Can you even imagine a 25-lb (41″) walleye?!

Mabry Harper’s 1960 world record walldawg was a 41″ [!] behemoth that weighed 25 lbs!!!! Plucked outta Old Hickory Lake, TN (reservoir formed by the Old Hickory Lock and Dam, located on the Cumberland River) while fishing for catfish with 75-lb test:

Apparently it’s controversial ‘cuz many think the fish doesn’t look 25 lbs in the original pic…. Gotta remember that back in the day they didn’t have wide-angle lenses (Go-Pros, etc) and maybe didn’t “long arm” as hard as today’s average Joe/Joette.

Here’s a couple other angles that maybe show just how big that freak o’ nature was — held up like a boss by Mabry’s wife:

Get this: They ate it for supper! Every bit of it ‘cept its head:

If you’ve got some time to kill, this is a super interesting write-up talking about how the fish was removed from the record books ‘cuz people thought there’s no way the fish could be 41″ long (based on Mabry’s hands in the pic). Was eventually reinstated when more evidence came forward backing the fish’s size.

Ever try making your own jigheads?

Can easily see this becoming an addiction…maybe obsession?

Fish-head Jake Hendrickson is one of those hands-on fisherpeople who likes to make his own baits. Said he started pouring jigs roughly 10-ish years ago and hasn’t stopped since! Jake breaks down some of his favorite tricks and components in this awesome Do-It Molds blog post. Few excerpts below:

> Jake: Tackle crafting has turned into a fun and rewarding hobby that keeps me experimenting with colors, and styles…lets you create whatever you want. It gives me great satisfaction to catch fish on jigs and plastics that I make myself.

> Teardrop Mold: Hands down my favorite to use. I fish a lot on the Mississippi River and the jig style does very good cutting through current. I’ve modified my mold at the eye of the jig — and near the bottom — to accommodate a long-shank VMC 2/0 hook.

> I started using this hook because it gives me a better hookup percentage with the bigger plastics I throw on a daily basis. Have also “smoked” each cavity to help with the jig releasing easier from the mold, and to give a cleaner finish to the lead.

> Vinyl Paint: There’s multiple techniques to give your jigheads some color: airbrush, powder paint, and vinyl paint. I prefer the vinyl “dip and drip” method to finish off my jigheads…start with dipping each jig into a white base coat and hang them on my wooden rack to drip.

> Usually 1 or 2 dabs onto the cardboard (to stop the dripping) and are left to dry. From there I either move to a second color, or recently I’ve been using spray paint to give my jig a 2-tone look.

> Jig eyes: Sticker or paint? I’ve gone both ways with this. Started off using the 5/32″ and 1/4″ sticker eyes to accent the jigs…have recently moved to paint…because it can be quicker and no chance of the sticker peeling off. I use different-sized wood dowels to create my eyes.

> Final touch: To finish off the jig and give it a nice hard finish, I end with dipping it into CS Paint UV Blast Seal Coat. I’ve found this seal coat to give the jig an extremely hard finish, and prevent the gooey mess you sometimes get from the plastics and jigs being in contact for too long.

Father’s Day is comin’ up…. [*cough* subtle hint *cough*]

Walleye engagement.

TW fan Mike Oley landed himself the catch of a lifetime on the Detroit River, MI. Looks like one expensive bait though. Lol 😉

Couldn’t help myself…had to memeify this next pic…. Only ‘cuz I had a similar situation on Mille Lacs a few years back — was the longest 4 seconds of my life ’til she realized I wasn’t just talkin’ to myself back there:

Lol! So cool — BIG congrats you two!!

Gravel lizards of the week!

How ’bout Erik Lennartz (Tactical Angling) dishin’ out free Eagle Claw lip piercings somewhere in the cheese state?! If those were bookends, there wouldn’t be any room for books on that shelf:

Travis Wentworth (@traviswentworth_fishing) snatched up this sowbelly on a “gold chrome” color #6 Rapala Rippin’ Rap:

This egg-wagon [!] was legit busting at the seams. Caught and released by the @BaitCloud crew so she could dump off those 300K+ eggs someplace safe:

Dog days of summer spring.

So this is how Ryan Busche (@ryan_busche) got equal parts fish slime + yellow lab drool on his Simms bibs. Caught pitchin’ a 1/4-oz VMC Neon Moon Eye Jig with a paddletail. Awesome shot:

@ifishdamenkerley took a “bully” out fishin’ and they tried to steal his catch:

Finally someone willing to lend a helping hand paw cleaning Bret Alexander’s fish:

Capt Jake Kaprelian (@epicguideservice) and Cameryn’s fur baby helped dial ’em in — ran cranks to locate the fish then Shiver’d ’em up:

Hope you get to hit the water with wo(man’s) best friend this weekend!


1. OH: Lake Erie water levels near record highs.

Guess it’s 2.5′ above May’s long-term average, and expected to peak in June.

Came across this pic posted by Lake Erie guide Ross Robertson:

Heard the water level temporarily dropped by 3″ when Ross pulled this one out for a pic (lol):

2. WI: EPA approves water quality improvement plan…

…in Wisconsin River basin to “reduce phosphorus in…more than 9,100 sq mi.”

3. OK’s oldest fishin’ tourney is for walleyes??

The 52nd annual Canton Lake Walleye Rodeo. Case you slept through 4th grade geography (I had to double check too lol) OK borders TX to the north, and even touches NM. Crazy to think about ’em catching big walleyes, but they do. The state record is even pushin’ 13 lbs!

4. MI: Detroit River muskie egg collection underway.

Think I saw how that movie ended:

5. MI spending $8.35 mil on dam removal/repair.

> MI has more than 2,600 dams on its rivers and streams, and the condition of many dams is deteriorating to the point where it threatens public safety and the habitats of fish and other aquatic species.

6. MN still battling “starry stonewort.”

That’s an invasive algae, not a Harry Potter character….

7. Tom Neustrom joins the St. Croix fam.


9. I finally had the chance to…

…get in the boat with Matt Jensen — marketing honcho at Rapala — awesome guy! Thought he was crazy for tying on a Slab Rap (known as an ice fishing bait) but he stuck a smallie on his first cast in 6-8′ rocks. Followed that up with a walleye a few casts later:

Let’s do it again sometime soon, man!

10. Has Sea Foam lost their mind?

Told you ’bout their Boat Sweepstakes in the last TW email — just found out they’re giving away a Silverado too?! Decked-out by the Truck Tech TV crew:

Target Walleye survey/giveaway!


Please take just a couple minutes to fill out this survey and have a shot at winning a little pile o’ fishing lures! Click here to take the survey. Thanks for doing it and thank YOU for reading!

Tip of the Day

Slow twitch current seams for early-season ‘eyes.

Quick hitter from Timothy Reszler:

> During the early-season here on Green Bay tributaries, one technique I rely on to put big walleyes in the boat is casting suspending crankbaits like the Hardcore Minnow Flat on current seams. This can be done during the day or at night.

> I like to position the boat in 7-9′ just inside the current break so the boat is on the edge of slack water. Cast the suspending cranks out into the current perpendicular to the boat.

> With the rod tip down at a 45-degree angle, make small 8-10″ slow pulls, then pause for 5-10 seconds. The bite will almost always come at the pause.

> The key here is to let the bait sweep in the current. Keep it in the strike zone as long as possible and don’t over work it.

> I prefer a medium-light rod with a fast tip for this application…spooled with 10-lb super braid and a fluorocarbon leader to absorb the big head shakes.

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Dan Card (@fishhunter_mb) found that out first hand with this wascally wabbit Manitowba gweenback:

Don’t have to wait ’til ice to catch yerself Manitoba “greenback” walleyes:

Btw — check out #FishFlopFriday over on the Instagrammy if you ever need a laugh…it’s trout heavy, but the facial expressions are priceless.

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