We sat down with Korey Sprengel after another strong finish–this time, in the Masters Walleye Circuit event on Lake Winnebago.
How’d you guys finish?
Derek Navis and I finished in 6th place out of 118 boats, with 29lbs 3oz, and won $2,750.
Can you tell us a little bit about the MWC tour and Lake Winnebago?
The Masters Walleye Circuit is a team format tournament and is one of the oldest circuits–it’s been going for 29 years. Lake Winnebago would be considered my home lake, at around 30 minutes from my house, it is the largest lake in Wisconsin. It’s considered a system–made up of four lakes and many rivers–so there are endless areas to cover. It makes for a very diverse tournament!
How was your experience prefishing? What tactics did you use to get prepared for the tournament?
Prefishing was a little tough for me. I caught a ton of walleyes each day (40-50) but many were in the 12-14 inch range. There is an area that I know well, and expected to spend a lot of my tournament time fishing, but I only spent one hour during prefishing in this area so that I could concentrate on locating areas for big fish. I mainly trolled crawler harnesses in golds and purples on mud flats and shoreline breaks. I also casted Berkley Flicker Shads on main lake points and pitched Berkley Ribworms on 1/4 oz jigs in the river.
Did you change your plans for day two or stick with what you did in day one because you had success?
We stuck to our same day-one game plan which was trolling. This was a no cull tournament: we were allowed to keep six fish but we only weigh five, leaving us one fish for insurance. So, we stuck to our same plan and only kept fish over 22in if we caught them before noon. Right away in the morning, we threw back three fish from 18-21 inches and kept one at 24 inches. With strong northeast winds at 15-20 mph, our area got too stirred up and muddy. With 1 1/2 hours left, we gave up on it and just went to get a limit in the box. We started casting main lake points with Flicker Shads in purple tiger and firetiger and caught a 19 inches fish with 15 minutes to go. I told my partner that we needed to get the trolling rods back out and troll for the last 10 minutes, so we put as many baits in the water as we could to try to get a limit. Before we got our last Off-shore Planer Board out, we had a 21-incher on the floor, then another short fish, and then we lost 4-5 more fish! It was just chaos during those last ten minutes! Because we ran it til the last second, the Mercury-powered Ranger was full throttle all the way to check in, and set down with 15 seconds to spare. We used every minute we had that day for 3 fish!
When is your next tournament?
My next stop will be National Walleye Tour at Sturgeon Bay,WI. It’s one of my favorite places–I can’t wait.
Any parting thoughts or words of wisdom?
Always give it your all and use every second you can because it might just pay off. The last two fish in the last 10 min of fishing were worth over a $1000.