The National Walleye Tour’s first stop of 2019 was supposed to be on Pool 4 of the Mississippi River — now they’re heading back to Oshkosh, WI (Lake Winnebago). Same dealio happened last year due to flood-level waters and lots o’ floating debris.
The tourney’s still a couple months out (May 2-3)…assuming they caught wind of National Weather Service’s prediction that spring flooding could be the worst the area has seen in years.
Bummer, but always gotta respect a decision that’s thinking safety first. Least it’s ’nuff of a heads-up that guys/gals haven’t already been pre-fishing for weeks….
Know one person that’s probably excited about the change…. Korey “hot stick” Sprengel who took home the ‘dubyah’ at last spring’s NWT Lake Winnebago qualifier. His 2-day bag of 35.33 lbs landed him an $82,635 [!!] payday. #ChaChing
Last year Korey spent most of his time fishing up in Butte Des Morts ‘cuz the fish “were further along in their post-spawn migration” = few extra days of recovering, feeding and bulking up. Guy is incredibly fish-smart:
> Korey: “I prefished this event for 6 days and never fished the main lake. I wasn’t going to get suckered into fishing the main lake and catching skinny walleyes. A lot of people were catching limits of 18-20” fish there, but they’d only weigh 13-14 lbs…those same fish in the upper lakes weighed 16-17 lbs.
> “I targeted shallow, active fish in 3′ or less. I was fishing weeds [curly-leaf pondweed], cane beds and rockpiles. The amount of flow we had from the snow and rain really set the fish up in certain areas. My practice wasn’t a lot of fishing…it was a lot of looking at new weedbeds and rock piles.”
Caught most of his fish throwing a “chameleon pearl” color Berkley Cutter 90 Shallow into the wind — bait is just 3.5″ long but weighs 3/8-oz. Said he chose that color because “Winnebago has a tannic color, and white baits really stand out and pop.”
> Korey: “On Winnebago, you know real quick if it’s going to happen. I would spend 10 min on each spot and then move if they weren’t there. I threw back a lot of 18- and 19-inchers. I threw back skinny 20s just to get a fat 19-incher.”
That’s how you win these things folks! He ran 20 spots on day 1 and 15 spots on day 2…in the pouring rain, 20mph E winds and 39° temps. Best way to stay warm on days like that? Catching these: