Americana Outdoors E-Magazine - August 2022

Korey Sprengel, known by many as the Green Bay GOAT, finished second with a two-day total of 61.27 pounds. On day one, the Berkley pro caught 30.14 pounds, and today he improved slightly to 31.13. Sprengel dominated the 2020 and 2013 NWT events on Green Bay, his home pond. In 2020, he won the event by over 17 pounds. This week, however, he was content with second. “For the first time and maybe the only time, I’m happy with second,” said the Beaver Dam, Wis., native. “Dewey just put it out of reach. I’m glad he crushed them or there would’ve been a lot of things I wished I did differently.” On the final morning, Sprengel debated a mega run north. It was a gamble, and he ultimately opt ed against it. While he still ventured north, he only went roughly 20 miles from Marinette. “Part of me really wanted to swing for it this morning, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t do it. I knew it was a tougher bite, and I knew in these other areas I could catch fish.” Sprengel’s pattern was essentially the opposite of Hjelm’s. Instead of casting glide baits, he trolled standard crawler harnesses. “I trolled the whole time. The thing with glide baits is that you lose about half the fish that bite. In a tough-bite tournament, that’s everything. I know with a crawler harness, my odds of losing them are a lot slimmer.” Sprengel said his harness setup was an octopus hook up front and a treble below. Golds, purples and chartreuses in both Colorado and willow blades produced. “To be honest, there was nothing that stuck out this week. It’s just what I have confidence in. It’s the presentation that kind of made my career. I can manipulate depths, up and down, deep and shallow, to trigger a bite.”

Sprengel’s speeds were 1 to 1.5 mph. He wanted the crawlers near the bottom in 15 to 20 feet.

“It’s a fine line. You want to be close to the bot tom, but you can’t touch it or it’s over with the moss, zebras and gobies down there. Some were rock breaklines. Some were just big-boulder spots. On these tough bites, I key on short pass es and fish the high-percentage spots. Some of these passes were as short as 200 yards. Right now, they’re so full of alewives, so it’s tough. With a tough bite, sometimes curiosity wins. You pull a crawler harness slow enough, it’s going to follow it, smell it and then eventually eat it.” Side Imaging helped Sprengel identify the struc ture. His vessel itself also assisted with fine-tun ing his trolling program. “I had to go sideways through the wind, but my Ranger tracked straight, and it didn’t swing around with that deep keel. It’s one thing a lot of people overlook, but it made a big difference.” Sprengel will head to the year-end championship fourth in the points, seven behind Hjelm.


The biggest move of the day belonged to local Fond du Lac, Wis., fisherman Josh Wiesner. Af ter catching four quality walleyes on day one that weighed 24.46 pounds, Wiesner caught four giants Friday that weighed 36.52 pounds. Despite

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