UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Grand Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Parsons takes over lead on Oahe

Parsons takes over lead on Oahe
Pro Chase Parsons (left) of Brillion, Wis., and co-angler Flo Swank of Pierre, S.D., caught five walleyes weighing 22 pounds, 8 ounces Friday to give Parsons the lead at the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour tournament on Lake Oahe. Swank also made the top-10 cut.

PIERRE, S.D. - Those who follow professional walleye fishing know the name Parsons: It is associated with great tournament finishes on bodies of water stretching from Lake Erie in the east to Keweenaw Waterway up north to as far south as Bull Shoals Lake and westward to Oahe. Usually the name in front of it in people's minds is Gary, but on Friday his son Chase Parsons proved once again that he is a force to be reckoned with in his own right.

Fishing his first year as a pro on the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour, Chase Parsons entered the Oahe tourney ranked No. 4 among all pros after strong finishes on Lake Erie, Green Bay and Leech Lake earlier this season. After he weighed a stunning five-walleye limit Friday for 22 1/2 pounds (the heaviest sack so far this tournament), he positioned himself to improve on an already impressive tour debut with a two-day weight of 39-11 and first place heading into the final day.

"We're south from (Spring Creek) where a lot of guys are fishing," Parsons said. "I'm trolling over trees, but we're doing something a little bit different than the rest of the guys."

Parsons travels with his father, Gary (21st place), his uncle by marriage Keith Kavajecz (2nd) and Tom Walleye pros, from left to right, Gary Parsons, his son, Chase Parsons, and his brother-in-law Keith Kavajecz all did well this week on Oahe. They are all live in Wisconsin and travel together to FLW Walleye Tour events.Kemos (6th) - all fellow walleye pros and Wiscosonites. The 27-year-old Parsons, who lives in Brillion, led the pack today, catching about 20 keepers and finishing his fishing day by 11 a.m.

"I'm confident this pattern will hold out," said Parsons, who fished with local co-angler Flo Swank, who also made Friday's top-10 cut. "If it gets slow for us, it'll get slow for the others. We've just got to get the right bites in the right order; that'll be the challenge tomorrow."

Parsons is trolling crankbaits over trees like many other pros, but said his presentation is a bit "off the wall." Otherwise, he credits his success today to managing his catches (a pro and co-angler may keep eight walleyes, weighing their best five, all of which must measure longer than 14 inches, but only two of which can measure over 20 inches; upgrading is not allowed, so a decision on whether to keep a walleye must be made right when it is caught).

"Yesterday, I had to throw some bigger ones back," he said. "Today there were no decisions to be made. They came in the right order."

Pro Keith Kavajecz of Kaukauna, Wis., is in second on Oahe with 10 walleyes, 38 pounds, 12 ounces.Kavajecz second

Kavajecz was outfished by his nephew today, but not by much. His five best walleyes weighed 21-2 for a two-day total of 38-12 and second place, just less than a pound out of the lead.

"We're trolling over timber," he said. "Trolling was a little slower today, but the fish were bigger."

Kavajecz was fishing with a glut of competitors today near Peoria Flats, "bangin' the trees" with crankbaits, and later near Sully's. The Kaukauna, Wis., resident found his trees on his depth finder in water about 18 or 19 feet deep with the treetops about 5 feet below the surface.

"The biggest thing separating us from the rest right now is we are literally going through about 10 overs (walleyes over 20 inches) a day, so we're really being patient," he said. "We picked up some really good slots today too. We'll stay patient tomorrow."

Unless their patience in managing fish catches wears thin, either Parsons or Kavajecz could be difficult to beat tomorrow.

Pro Darrell Peters of Slayton, Minn., 10 walleyes, 36-6, third.Peters stays in the hunt

The competitor who has the best shot at surpassing the top two Wisconsin walleye pros is Slayton, Minnesota's Darrell Peters who guides on Lake Oahe in the summer. Today he couldn't match his impressive 21-9 sack from day one that gave him the early lead, but he managed to weigh five walleyes at 14-13 for a total weight of 36-6 and third place.

"Today was absolutely horrible compared to yesterday," said Peters, who finished second on day one on Oahe last year only to falter on day two. "We didn't see a single slot fish (over 14 inches, but under 20) all day, so we settled for some 15-inchers ... about 50 gallons of gas later."

Yesterday Peters could do no wrong on a few of his spots between Okobojo Point and Little Bend, but when he stopped this morning at the spot where he caught his overs Thursday, there was nothing there. He went to his backup spot - nothing. Then he motored north about 20 miles to "a suspending spot" where he had targeted slot fish in practice, but still he came up empty.

After visiting a fifth spot, he finally caught a 21-incher sometime before 11 a.m. Then he followed it with another 21-incher, but he decided to gamble on a larger over to come later and threw it back. He then went looking for slot fish in three different areas he had marked, but only caught 14- and 15-inchers, which he threw back, before trying two more areas near Little Bend to little avail.

When he finally went back south to his primary area that hadn't produced in the morning, he started catching fish on crankbaits right about the time the wind changed and started blowing from the south.

"We went back and my partner reeled in a 28-incher ... saved my day," Peters said, adding that they had to throw back a few more overs after that.

Pro Tommy Skarlis of Waukon, Iowa, 10 walleyes, 35-9, fourth.Peters is hopeful he can recapture some of his day-one magic in the finals tomorrow if the wind blows from the south.

Skarlis also drops two slots

Like Peters, pro Tommy Skarlis was displaced by the top two angler today, falling from second to fourth after weighing a 16-1 sack today for a two-day total of 35-9.

"I was fishing around a lot of these guys today (near Peoria Flats)," Skarlis said, "getting decent slots out of there today."

Skarlis said he kept a 22-incher early in the day, a move that proved a bit too conservative as the day wore on.

"I found something late in the game out there in the middle ... a couple different areas and I'm fishing them differently," he said. "But they were a little late in coming, and I got a little spooked."

Yesterday he reported catching all of his fish trolling a variety of crankbaits over trees like many of the other tournament leaders. However, today he thinks he learned something about what the bigger walleyes are keying on regarding submerged trees.

"You've got to move around to figure out where they are at," he said. "But I firmly believe they move in on a group of trees - a certain kind."

Skarlis is trolling fast, using his large Evinrude outboard and putting down his Minn Kota trolling motor for drag. Despite getting a little nervous about his pattern Friday, he is confident about his chances tomorrow.

"I feel blessed to be fishing," he said.

McCartin fifth

Another Wisconsin pro to make the cut today (one of six), Joe McCartin of Land O Lakes remained consistent, adding a five-fish limit weighing 17 1/2 pounds to his 17-6 from day one for a two-day total of 34-14 and fifth place.

McCartin was trolling crankbaits over trees just south of Spring Creek.

"I'm fishing with the pack, doing something a little different," he said.

He is "ticking the tops of the trees" with his crankbaits, and he has lost about 200 in doing so over the last two days. He is using Berkley FireLine to help pull the walleyes from the trees without breaking off and because it allows him to get his baits down deeper.

The key to his day-two success was catching "perfect slots." McCartin said he is confident he can do well tomorrow if he catches his slot fish in the right order again.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros who fish in the finals of the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour event on Lake Oahe:

6th: Tom Kemos, Oconomowoc, Wis., 10 walleyes, 34-14
7th: Dean Arnoldussen, Appleton, Wis., 10 walleyes, 33-9
8th: Lynn Jurrens, Watertown, S.D., 10 walleyes, 33-9
9th: Tom Keenan, Hatley, Wis., 10 walleyes, 33-6
10th: Pete Harsh, Sauk Centre, Minn., 10 walleyes, 32-11
Longtime FLW Walleye Tour pro Tom Keenan of Hatley, Wis., parlayed a top-10 finish on Oahe into his third Angler of the Year title, earning $10,000 from the National Guard.
Keenan earns third AOY title

Solidifying his reputation as one of the best walleye pros of all time and as the most consistent pro in the history of the FLW Walleye Tour, Keenan's ninth-place finish Friday paved the way to his third Angler of the Year title. For his National Guard-sponsored AOY win, he earned $10,000 and an automatic berth into the 2012 FLW Walleye Tour Championship. In addition to his AOY trophies, Keenan now boasts nearly $650,000 in earnings, 16 top-10 finishes and two wins in FLW competition.

"I'm a little light on words right now," Keenan said after sealing the title with his top-10 finish. "It means a ton."

Keenan said he set the goal of winning the 2011 National Guard FLW Walleye Tour Angler of the Year title after the second tourney of the year, and "it came true."

"Realistically, I've been here for eight days and fished about 12 hours a day ... sometimes I was the first guy to put in and the last to leave," Keenan went on to say of the hard work that he puts into each tournament, helping him earn his third AOY title. "I've had great co-anglers and worked them all hard."

Christopher Hanson of New Hope, Minn., leads the Co-angler Division on Lake Oahe with 10 walleyes weighing 34-13.Hanson heads up Co-angler Division

Christopher Hanson of New Hope, Minn., leads the Co-angler Division with a two-day weight of 34 pounds, 13 ounces. He fished with pro Gary Maher on Thursday for a 18-10 sack and followed that up with a five-walleye weight of 16-3 today while fishing with pro Paul Meleen, the 2010 Walleye Tour Angler of the Year.

"This is my fourth event this year, and it's been a pretty down year for me," Hanson said. "After placing third yesterday with Gary, I didn't want to count my chickens before they hatched. But I've fished with Paul before ... and he's so intense and usually on the fish ... I knew he could put me on fish."

Hanson fished both south and north of Spring Creek yesterday, but focused on water to the north with Meleen today (Meleen finished the event in 14th place). They trolled shorelines, making multiple passes at speeds of up to 2.7 mph.

"We were cranking all day today ... a little of everything," he said of their bait choices, which included Berkley Flicker Shads and Rapala Shad Raps.

Local co-angler in second, third

Pierre, S.D., co-angler Gary Kafka was in second place with a two-day total of 33-4 by the end of the day-two weigh-in. He registered a hefty 17-13 weight today after fishing with Walmart pro Dean Arnoldussen (7th).

"He is the most outstanding guy to fish with there is," Kafka said of his day-two partner, with whom he trolled crankbaits over the tops of trees near Peoria Flats.

Also a local, Russell Somsen of Pierre ended the day in third place with a total weight of 32-12. He fished with fifth-place pro McCartin today for five walleyes weighing 17 1/2 pounds.

"Yesterday I had a real great day fishing with another local (Paul Steffen) who I've known all my life ... and today Joe put me over the top, so it's been some great draws," Somsen said.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 co-angler who will fish the final day of the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour event on Lake Oahe:

4th: Dale Janota, Gillette, Wyo., 10 walleyes, 32-9
5th: Chad Resel, Wessington, S.D., 10 walleyes, 32-8
6th: Dave Keyser, Oak Lawn, Ill., 10 walleyes, 32-4
7th: Flo Swank, Pierre, S.D., 10 walleyes, 31-15
8th: Chad Wilz, Appleton, Wis., 10 walleyes, 31-7
9th: Jerry Chwierut, Lake Villa, Ill., 10 walleyes, 31-2
10th: Dave Smith, Saint Joseph, Minn., 10 walleyes, 30-13

FLW Walleye Tour action resumes Saturday when the top 10 pros and 10 co-anglers take off from Spring Creek Resort & Deep Water Marina located at 28229 Spring Creek Place in Pierre at 7 a.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart located at 1730 N. Garfield in Pierre beginning at 4 p.m. Prior to the final weigh-in, FLW Outdoors, in conjunction with the NPAA, will host a free Family Fishing Clinic, where children can receive free rod and reels plus other great giveaways. Fans will have the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, ride a Ranger boat simulator, enjoy interactive games and activities, and learn more about the sport of fishing. All activities are free and open to the public.

This week's tournament is hosted by the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce.

For complete tournament details and updated information regarding associated events, visit Walleye Tour at Lake Oahe home.

Tags: patrick-baker  headline-story  2011-08-25-lake-oahe 

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

The Drury University duo of Cole Breeden of Eldridge, Missouri and Cameron Smith, of Nixa, Missouri, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Panthers’ bass club $2,650 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is no stranger to the victory circle with FLW, having previously won a BFL as a boater to go with two FLW Tour victories as a co-angler and two more as a co-angler in Costa FLW Series competition. But, his latest win at the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes is the realization of his long-time goal to qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

A severe storm backed up the tides and drained many of the best areas on the Potomac. Adjusting to the unusual conditions and grinding out daily limits were the keys to success in the BFL Regional. READ MORE »

New Dominates Seminole Regional

New Dominates Seminole Regional

Belmont, N.C., angler Bryan New, who’s regularly one of FLW’s top performers in the grassroots ranks, had established a dominant pace. New weighed in 22 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and added 20-2 on day two to carry a lead of 6 pounds, 15 ounces into the finals. A roughly 7-pound margin isn’t necessarily a sure thing on Seminole, but the fall bite was a bit slower than what the lake can produce, and it was obvious New was cruising. READ MORE »

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude was no walk in the park for the top 10 pros. With a cold front passing through at the start of the event, a high-pressure system settled in for the final round of fishing. While most struggled, Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Ark., sacked up 14 pounds, 6 ounces today – the biggest limit brought in during the final day – and finally was able to wrangle his first FLW title. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude is fixing to get fun based on what’s already happened today and what could happen. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Sure enough, with conditions changing from rain and clouds to sun and wind, the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks, which is presented by Evinrude, has made it tough on guys. Of course, day-two leader James Watson predicted that some of the biggest bags of the event would come in today despite the conditions, and he was right. READ MORE »

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Weather has been the storyline leading up to the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude. With storms and rain blowing through yesterday ahead of a cold front, the cooler weather set in today making fishing tough on some, but others took advantage of the change. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

A cold front that brought temperatures in the 40s, rain and wind has the bass in a funk on day two of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Even some of the best locals were driving the struggle bus all day trying to find ways to adapt to fish that moved thanks to the heavy storms. Yet, some guys did adapt well, with the best being Ladd Shannon and his 19-pound, 6-ounce tournament-leading bag. READ MORE »

Shannon Leads the Ozark Charge

Shannon Leads the Ozark Charge

After losing over an hour of fishing time due to a massive thunderstorm that rolled through the area early this morning causing a lightning delay, day one of the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks looked to be a grinder of an event. The tournament, which is presented by Evinrude, saw plenty of fish catching by midday, but no size to speak of. Ladd Shannon of Atkins, Ark., managed to scrape up a limit worth 19 pounds, 6 ounces by the end of the day and sits in first by 1-11 over FLW pro Greg Bohannan. READ MORE »

Rampey Stays Red Hot on Hartwell

Rampey Stays Red Hot on Hartwell

After winning a T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournament on Lake Hartwell a few weeks ago, Jayme Rampey of Liberty, S.C., was certainly one of the favorites heading into the BFL Regional on the same pond this past weekend. Lo and behold, he wouldn’t disappoint, and notched his 11th career BFL win – five of which have come on Hartwell – and won a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower motor, plus $20,000 cash for his efforts. READ MORE »

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Curt Warren was a paragon of consistency over three days at Grand Lake, and the result was a victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Warren turned in limits of 14-5 on day one and 16-9 on day two, but it was his day-three limit of 15-9 that was the most impressive – no other pro even cracked the 13-pound mark battling the tough post-frontal conditions Grand had to offer on day three. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

When conditions changed, Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas completely scrapped his day-one pattern, caught a limit that weighed 13-11 and took over the lead of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event, presented by T-H Marine, with a two-day total of 32-14. Here’s what the rest of the top five was up to on day two. READ MORE »

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

After his sizzling day-one pattern fizzled, Cody Bird adjusted his focus to a completely different scenario and sacked up a limit of 13-11 on day two to take over the lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, with a two day total of 32-14. Going into Saturday’s final round, Bird holds a 7-ounce lead over day-one leader and Grand Lake stick Jason Christie. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., leveraged his intimate understanding of Grand Lake’s tendencies to catch a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces to take the lead on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event Presented by T-H Marine. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Oklahoma stick Jason Christie overcame the unsettling effects of a passing cold front to sack up a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces for the day one lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

After several weeks of hot, sunny conditions, anglers launched with cloudy skies, stout winds and air temperatures in the low 60s. By midday, the temperature rose into the mid to upper 60s and the wind started to subside, however, the first couple of hours saw Grand Lake’s temperamental side. READ MORE »

Beavers Focused on Bluebacks

Beavers Focused on Bluebacks

FLW Tour pro Bradford Beavers of Summerville, South Carolina, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 28 pounds, 1 ounce, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division super-tournament on Lake Hartwell Sunday. Beavers earned $6,345 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Sac State Wins on the Delta

Sac State Wins on the Delta

The Sacramento State University duo of Ilya Guryanov of West Sacramento and Will Karnthong, of Antioch, California, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on the California Delta presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 7 ounces. The victory earned the Hornets’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »