Today’s TW is going to be a little quicker.... And sorry for the later-than-usual sends, I’ve been on the water chasing some last-chance MN walleyes. Please consider this next pic my doctor’s note excusing the tardiness lol:

Cameras are rolling and will have some new video content coming to the Target Walleye YouTube channel soon! 👊

Reminder: If your email program cuts off the bottom of this email, click "View this email in your browser" up top to see the whole thing. Sorry about that – email programs keep changing stuff.
Today's Top 5

In case you need a little extra motivation to get that ice-fishing gear dusted off...

Here’s one of the biggest hardwater crappies ever caught in MN. 🙌

Panfish enthusiast Wyatt Williams caught and released this slab of a lifetime fishing metro MN waters in Feb ‘22. She measured 17.75” long (mouth closed) with a 15” girth and weighed just over 3 lbs

Little background info from Wyatt:

> Way too many fishless nights, and multiple 100-hole days have gone into the past 7 yrs of trying to find a fish of this caliber. When I say [Bobby Beattie] and I have worked ourselves to death to see a fish like this, it is truly meant. All it took was luck and a high-pressure bluebird sky day to land this giant metro 17.75”, 3-lb 1-oz black crappie.

> We watched this fish on LiveScope vapor trail through a pack of smaller fish and slam a spoon with no bait, doubling over my @w2customrods Noodle. She went on 3 drag screaming pike-like runs before that giant noggin scraped up an 8″ hole.

> Huge thanks to [Bobby] for sticking to the grind with me, playing auger boy, and landing the fish that’s been keeping this dream alive.

We’ve mentioned this naked spoon before = a gold 1/16-oz Clam Jointed Pinhead Mino. They catch!

Few other shots thrown in the evidence locker:

Seriously can’t even imagine. That fish could go on the Keto diet...lose a pound...and still be considered obese:

Congrats again on the fish of a lifetime, man!

Btw the current MN state-record crappie is one that’ll likely never (ever!) be broken.... A 5-lber (21”) caught from the Vermilion River back in 1940.

I haven’t been able to find a picture of it, and some folks think “it’s possible the fish was poorly identified and actually was a hybrid between a black and white crappie.” Guess we’ll never know....

Some of the wildest ice-fishing videos I’ve seen. 🫣

Gonna take a little trip down memory lane and share 3 of the wildest ice-fishing videos I’ve seen the past few seasons...because where else are you going to see them?! 👊

1. Remember THIS terrifying ice-fishing video?

From when a fisherman accidentally drags his buddy – and their shelter – across the ice after forgetting to unhook the flip-over from the back of the snowmobile before zipping back to pick up another friend on shore. It has definitely earned every bit of the 2.6 MILLION views:

Sheesh – glad no one was hurt! That bloody-curdling “AAAAAAAGGGHHHH!” sounded like something out of a movie.

I’m actually kind of surprised it doesn’t happen more often....

2. The best (almost) save ever!!!

Can’t even tell you how many times I’ve watched this video from Zach Schultz now...but it’s a lot, and worth it every time:

Dude was moving!

Zach got his rod back an hour later and 100′ away…no fish attached though, dangit!

3. Probably the sketchiest ice video I have EVER seen.

Apparently this Myles Rounds video shows what happens when “harsh WY wind blows across the ice and causes it to roll like waves.”

Never have I ever seen anything like it. 🙅‍♂️ #HardPass #NoThanks #CheckMeDrawers

I’ll take “Things you’ll never catch me doing” for $1 million, Alex. 😳

Look at this masterpiece...

...that Julia Anna carved using “sharpened clay-carving tools.” 🤯 Said it took her just 3-4 hours, which is basically how long it takes me to do a normal scrubby one lol.

Just incredible. Talk about talent! 👏👏👏

How fast do fish actually grow? 🤔

Came across this super interesting write-up from MN DNR fisheries specialist Steve Kubeny that I thought others might like to see, too. First a little background from Steve:

> Fish grow at different rates depending on which part of the country and what type of lake they’re living in. In general, fish in the southern parts of the country grow much faster than fish living in the northern part of the country. The growing season or the length of time that water temperatures are ideal for fish growth are longer the farther south a fish lives. There is even a difference in growth rates between southern and northern MN fish.

> In Otter Tail County [MN], fish typically only grow during 3 months of the year, Jun, July and Aug. Once water temps begin to decline in Sep, fish growth stops and excess calories are preserved as fat for the long winter ahead instead of continued growth. In the spring, energy is spent on spawning instead of growth. With such a short window of opportunity for fish to grow, many anglers are surprised to find out how long it takes to produce a “keeper” sized fish.

> The type of lake a fish lives in also determines how fast it may grow. Shallow, fertile bodies of water tend to warm quicker in the spring and have more productive food chains. Growth rates tend to be faster in these types of lakes. Deep, less fertile lakes take longer to warm in the spring and have less productive food chains, which leads to slower growth rates.

Now, here’s Steve outlining the average growth rates for the more-popular species in MN’s Otter Tail County. Keep in mind that most gamefish species sexually mature at about the same age as anglers consider them keepers:

> Walleye: Typically about 6” in length after their first year of growth. On average, a 14-15” walleye (1 lb) is 4-5 yrs of age. A 20” walleye (3 lbs) is usually 7-8 yrs of age. Walleyes in excess of 20 yrs of age have been documented in Otter Tail County.

> Bluegills: In most lakes, bluegills don’t reach a “keeper” size of 7-8” until they’re 6-8 yrs of age.

> Black crappies: Most anglers consider a 10” crappie a “keeper” and on average, a fish that long would be 5-6 yrs of age.

> Bass: A 14-15” bass (2 lbs) is on average 5-6 yrs of age. A 20” bass (5 lbs) is approximately 10-12 yrs of age.

> Northern pike: Typically reach an average length of 25” (4 lbs) at 4-5 yrs of age. A 34” pike (10 lbs) is 8-10 yrs of age.

> Muskies: Can reach lengths of 50” or more, which typically takes 15-20 yrs.

> Lake sturgeon: Don’t sexually mature until they’re 20-25 yrs of age, and will have attained a length of 50-60” or greater at that point.

If this stuff interests you like it does me, here’s some more info on how DNR biologists age fish. Thanks Steve!

Sometimes the river taketh...

...and sometimes the river giveth.... This time Dan Glaesner would like to thank everyone for their donations lol:

Looks like the river has also been giveth-ing to Muddy Waters Guide Service. Thick!


1. New “Top 5” video coming in hot! 🥵

Just kicked 'er out on our YT channel:

2. MN: Invasive “signal crayfish” found in MN lake for first time.

> “...DNR has confirmed the presence of the signal crayfish, an invasive non-native species, in Lake Winona, adjacent to Alexandria in Douglas County. This is the first confirmation of signal crayfish in MN waters.

> “Signal crayfish are larger and more aggressive than MN crayfish and the invasive rusty crayfish. They eat aquatic plants, detritus, fish eggs, smaller crayfish species and other beneficial native invertebrates. Signal crayfish might outcompete native species for food and habitat. Signal crayfish can spread between connected waterways or be transported by people. They can also crawl over land at night and during wet weather.”

3. The Minn Kota Ultrex QUEST is now shipping.

4. Lund Boats launches 2024 Adventure Series.

5. GSM Outdoors gets Cuda tools.

Reminder that GSM Fishing is Bill Lewis, Yamamoto, Buckeye and more.

6. Z-Man is expanding into 5 new countries.

Will soon be adding Sweden, Germany, France, Mexico and South Africa to its export markets.

7. Yamaha Marine awards scholarship to...

...high-performing Manatee Technical College students.

8. MN: Zeebz confirmed in 3 Itasca County lakes.

9. MN: Fishing to End Hunger registration is now open.

Next year's big Gull Lake derby will be on Oct 5.

10. VMC added some fish-sexxy new colors... their Tungsten Mongo Jigs and Tungsten Tubby Jigs:

> Now available in four new colors – Glow Juicy Lucy, Glow Metallic Rainbow, Glow Metallic Red, and Glow Black Wonderbread. ...feature VMC’s exclusive Ultra Glow finish that allows the Mongo and Tubby jig heads to be seen even in the darkest of waters....

And hot dang do they ever look delicious. Check the “glow metallic rainbow” color. 😍

Few Highlights

> SD record walleye caught, People are ice fishing, Top hardwater pet peeves

> Freak of the week, Storm drain walleye, Top fishing superstitions

> Late-fall cranking tips, Pontoon walleye fishing, Giant cisco eaters

Note: The FishUSA links in this email are affiliate links, meaning if you go through them to make a purchase we might earn a no cost to you. Click here if you want to learn a little more about links in TW.

What's 🔥 on Target Walleye's YouTube 🎥

Smacking walleyes in a pontoon! (Premier Sunsation Angler)

CRUSHING shallow fall walleye on jigs and minnows

Dropshot tricks for fall walleye fishing

The ultimate reaction bite for fall walleye (Rapala Jigging Raps)

Drop a comment on our YouTube channel to let us know what you wanna see next!

Tip of the Day

River rats: Try “hovering” jigs late-fall into winter.

Sometimes less is more...especially when that sometimes is veryyyy cold water. 🥶

> Fishing 411 TV: “In the late-fall and winter months when river temperatures are icy cold, a jig technique known as ‘hovering”‘produces best on walleye, sauger and saugeye. Hovering is essentially tightlining the jig near bottom and letting the natural drifting motion of the boat swim the jig downstream. Very little lifting and dropping is employed to keep the jig in the strike zone and create an irresistible presentation for lethargic fish.”

Video is in loving memory of the late Mike Hanson. 🙏✝️ RIP fishing brother.

Meme of the Day

Saw a hilarious truck meme on Sea Foam’s Instagram page and had to snipe it. Anyone have a Lund they consider their first born? Lol:

Always a sad day when they need to be tucked in for their loooong winter nap...but I’m still trying to keep mine up past its bedtime here in central MN....

Today's 'Eye Candy

For some reason this @berkleyfishing shot makes me wanna crush candy like my kid just brought her trick-or-treat bucket home:

But then I see the paunchy gut on this bullgill – that ate 1 too many PowerBait Ice Mayflies and Whipworms – and realize I should probably back off on the treats:

Whether you're heading to the lake, or to hop in a deer stand, good luck and safe travels this weekend!!!

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Who is Target Walleye

Target Walleye – walleye during open water and all species during hardwater – is brought to you by Al Lindner, Jim Kalkofen, Jay Kumar, Brett McComas and other diehard fish-heads like you!
Brett McComas is the main man for Target Walleye 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

To send us walleye pics, ice shots or whatever, just respond to this email or click here to email us. Or post it on the Target Walleye Facebook page.
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