B.A.S.S. Nation Northern Regional heading to Wisconsin's Lake Winnebago

Anglers fishing the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Northern Regional at Lake Winnebago June 28-30 will likely find both smallmouth and largemouth in a mostly post-spawn stage and 2022 Dakota Lithium Bassmaster Rookie of the Year Jay Przekurat of Stevens Point, Wis., believes finding some bigger bites will be the key to success.

The Northern Regional will feature teams from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Anglers will take off starting at 6 a.m. CT from the Jefferson Park Boat Ramp and weigh-in will be back at the park beginning at 2 p.m. Full coverage will be available on Bassmaster.com.

At the end of the tournament, the top boater and top nonboater from each state will qualify for the 2023 TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship on legendary Lake Hartwell Oct. 18-20. The winner of the Nation Championship will be crowned “Nation’s Best” and will earn a spot in the 2024 Bassmaster Elite Series field along with the use of a fully-rigged Toyota Tundra and Nitro boat.

The Top 3 anglers from the Nation Championship will also punch their ticket to the 2024 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Toyota in Tulsa, Okla.

To unlock Winnebago, anglers will need to decipher how each section of the system sets up, Przekurat said.

“That particular system, you have a lot of options,” he said. “You can fish Winnebago, which is more lake-based and wind-driven. Especially with the way the dirty water moves and the wind pushes it. There are smallmouth that get offshore on Winnebago on some of the rock structures. You kind of have to play your cards right there because they aren’t always where they are supposed to be.”

The largemouth will be up close to shore and in the canals on Winnebago and Lake Butte des Morts, as well as in some of the milfoil patches off the bank. Moving west, Lake Poygan has less rock structure but has more opportunities for largemouth with plenty of canals and shallow cover.

For Przekurat, the Wolf River provides some of the better opportunities to win.

“This time of the year, the fish up the river should be getting to their summertime areas,” he said. “They like to run up the tributaries and start to find cooler water. Especially when they get done spawning, they like to feed up on the baitfish that live up those rivers. On the lake, they start to group up and find the right wind areas. I would say the river is more consistent than Winnebago.”

The Winnebago system is also one of the only Northern fisheries with shad.

For largemouth, there will be plenty of opportunities to flip, frog and throw moving baits like a bladed jig and a swim jig around grassy areas. The system has milfoil, eelgrass and duckweed. They will also hang around docks.

The smallmouth love to eat a tube and a Ned rig around rocks, current breaks with wood, cut banks and even docks. Wind will be a major player when targeting the brown fish.

This will be the first visit to Lake Winnebago for the B.A.S.S. Nation since the 2008 season.

The tournament is being hosted by the Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau.