Target Walleye/Ice email

WTHeck is tightlining, Target biggest crappies, Melons of the week

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Today’s Top 5

Slush melons of the week!

John Hoyer ended his open-water season with 30-inches of bang! She lunch-boxed a “prototype Berkley shad bait” in southern MN. Let me know when you wanna leak the deets on that secret bait….promise not to tell anyone ’bout it 😉

New PB alert! Christian Fournier wrassled in this 14-lb buttah hawg on the Bay of Quinte. Caught downrigging a Livetarget Rainbow Smelt Jerkbait in 30′:

Sean Moncur cracked this 32.5″ gravel lizard while soakin’ a sucker minnow in southern MN:

Joel Alvestad stuck this slush melon dropping a Northland Buck-Shot Spoon through 6″ of ice — on the Winnipeg River system — where he was trolling for trophy muskies just 2 weeks earlier:

What’s all the hype about tightlining?

If you’re a panfish guy and have never heard of “tightlining,” it’s time to check into this filthy-good technique. It’s no coincidence that most all of the top ice-tourney anglers are doing it. Here’s how avid ice-nut and NAIFC tourney angler Anthony Rodriguez describes it:

> “Tightlining is a style of detecting your bites by watching the coils in your line as you pound the jig — watching as far down the hole as you can see on finicky days.

> “When you think you have a bite, drop the tip of the rod to see if the line floats…if it does, set the hook!!!”

Gotta watch Anthony’s vid to really understand what the bite looks like:

He prefers a shorter 18″ to 22″ rod to be able to sit closer to the hole, and chooses one that’s: “Stiff enough to pound the jig — yet soft enough to not lose crappie.”

Having a good 2- to 4-lb high-vis line is key. A couple of fan favorites are hi-vis gold Stren and neon orange Sufix Ice Magic.

Heard it’s a tough technique to master, can you handle it?

Check these chompers.

Insta user @gxgiroux staring down the barrel of a loaded razorback! Guys were out mining Bay of Quinte gold, pulling Off Shore Tackle Planer Boards in their Lund tiller. Running a tiller time of year = serious dedication. #diehards

@burbotbros have been whackin’ bigs off from the bank — Red River, Manitoba style. Lookit THOSE colors [heart-eyes emoji]:

Guess big-bluegill connoisseur Bruce Condello has a soft spot for toothy critters:

Brian Shelley’s Lunkerhunt Sushi 110 Jerkbait got t-boned while being trolled behind a 3-oz snap weight:

How to catch the biggest crappies in the school.

Most like to downsize when fishing in a crowd, but BASS pro and ice-fishing nut Dave Lefebre does the opposite — he targets the biggest slabs in the school using lipless cranks like the Rapala Slab Rap. For sure not going to catch as many, but the ones you do will be donkeys:

Works for open-water “donkeys” too:

Ever caught a banded walleye?

Waterfowl hunters aren’t the only ones who get to chase bling:

Here’s an actual photo of how it’s done:


1. MB: Winnipeg and Red River ice fishing workshop.

Happening this Saturday in Selkirk. Learn to catch #greenbacks

2. MN: Lake of the Woods has some ice.

Has a ways to go, but some are getting out in shallow, back bays. Both setting tip-ups and slingin’ a spear. Wyatt Erickson got himself one for the wall last week:

3. ON: Anglers fined for smuggling leeches ‘cross border.

Cost one guy $800 for trying to sneak over 1 dozen leeches — suddenly local bait shop prices don’t sound half bad lol.

4. ND: Devils Lake ice report.

My man Tanner Cherney is starting to pace the shorelines (can relate!):

5. Favorite Rods school fishing program.

> As a high school or college angler, FAVORITE wants to be in your hand and support you and your team! If you have a letter from your coach, high school, team leader in college, or the FLW as a registered angler, FAVORITE will provide equipment for you at discount.

> We’ll also provide free decals, and promotional stuff for all anglers…[and] put all of your team members on our website, social media, and help promote you as anglers in your hunt to be on the big stage! #Stout

How cool is that? Check their stuff here.

6. MN: “Super bowl of ice shows” happenin’ NOW…

…in St. Paul. I’m (Brett) here trying not to drool on all the new ice-fishing schtuff.

7. Is this how Okuma named their…

Cold Water Line Counters? Hope Mick Broughton has a good pair of gloves:

8. Big-Nasty Tackle for sale.

Not the baits, the biz — excited to see who snipes ’em up. They make the killer Trout-N-Pout Spoons that catch burbot that’ll even impress Lady Gaga:

9. DC: Great Lakes senators want Asian carp plan done.

> The Army Corps’ proposed plan calls for $275 million worth of construction at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam along the Des Plaines River in Joliet, a step it says would reduce the risk of Asian carp getting into the Great Lakes from 36% to about 15%.

So there’s no carp-proof option….

10. Didja enter yet?Still time to get in on the Garmin Panoptix Ice Fishing Bundle giveaway! That $1,800 unit could be yours in time for Christmas! Just enter your email addy, then share the link you get for more chances to win. Good luck!!!

Tip of the Day

> A great early-ice pattern on lakes with clear water is fishing shoreline-connected flats with green, standing weeds. The weeds can be cabbage, coontail, American milfoil or a mixture of all.> Hard bottom areas with some gravel and broken rock, chara-covered sand flats, and areas with multiple kinds of standing weeds are usually better than areas with one bottom type and sparse weeds.

> Most standing weeds in lakes with clear water have an inside edge between 5-6′ and an outside edge in 10-14′ (depending on water clarity).

> One of the big fish locations for shallow walleyes is a hump or rise in the weed flats that are just a little shallower than the inside weed edge, providing a bald top surrounded by standing weeds.

> Clumps of weeds with distinct edges also can be good, with either the inside edge or the outside edge of the weeds being potential spots for walleyes. Northern pike, perch, bluegills and bass often use many of the same areas early in the ice-fishing season.

> I like to use a wider spoon for walleyes when fishing in shallow water…[they] get more movement out to the side of the hole. UV color and rattles are also good features in shallow-water spoons for walleyes.

> Can’t wait to fish the Northland Glo-Shot Spoons after using the prototypes last winter with great success. The replaceable glow stick gives anglers more glow than would be possible with glow paint alone.

> Work the lures aggressively higher in the water column for the fish to see from a distance through the weeds

> After a couple of sharp pumps…drop the rod tip towards the ice to get the spoon to shoot out to the side of the hole. Then let it flutter back into the hole down to just a couple of inches off the bottom.

> I repeat this action doing different numbers of pumps on the rod until I see a fish on sonar. The closing move is usually shaking the rod tip while slightly moving the lure up and down.

> Sometimes it helps to use down viewing with my Aqua- Vu Micro 5 camera to see exactly how the fish react whent hey get close to the lure.

Keep reading the full write-up here.

Meme of the Day

So if you could just stop complaining about the lack of ice that would be great, mmmk…

Today’s ‘Eye Candy

Groggy, low-light conditions + Tundra Tackle Co FireFly Spoon = lightin’ it up:

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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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