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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Parsons earns first win on Oahe

Parsons earns first win on Oahe
Pro Chase Parsons of Brillion, Wis., won the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour tournament on Lake Oahe, earning $52,000 for his efforts.

PIERRE, S.D. - He's been chasing down a win since going pro seven years ago, and he got it today on Lake Oahe. Chase Parsons, son of legendary fisherman Gary Parsons, asserted himself Saturday as a pro of the highest caliber in his own right with a three-day total of 15 walleyes for 58 pounds and a National Guard FLW Walleye Tour win.

"Other than the birth of my child (10-week-old son, Logan) and marrying my wife, it was probably the greatest day of my life," Parsons said of the $50,000 victory (plus a $1,500 Mercury bonus and $500 MotorGuide bonus). "I told my wife, Bridget, before I came here that I was going to win. She probably thought I was just being cocky."

The Mercury pro from Brillion, Wis., has been close many times before; in fact, he's placed fifth so many times in major walleye tourneys that he said "five is my number." But today that number got upgraded to the highest order, and nobody was more proud than his dad, a member of the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.

Moments after his son was announced as the official winner, Gary Parsons said, "This is the best tournament day I've ever had - seriously."

Though Parsons' pattern gave him incredible confidence throughout the three-day event that closed out the Walleye Tour's regular season, he had to fend off his uncle Keith Kavajecz, another Hall of Famer who ended the tournament as the runner-up.

"Usually we're the jaw-jackers in our group," Parsons, 27, said of his uncle, "but we didn't really say that much to each other last night. Let's face it: We both wanted to win."

This week on Oahe was a Parsons family affair, including a third-place finish for an honorary member in traveling partner and fellow pro Tom Kemos, and they all employed a special technique that will be revealed during an episode of "The Next Bite" next year on the World Fishing Network. The Wisconsin contingent fished at Peoria Flats like nearly everybody else in the top 10, but their modified spinner technique was an aggressive method of trolling to trigger reaction strikes.

Pro Chase Parsons of Brillion, Wis., and co-angler Christopher Hanson of New Hope, Minn., caught five walleyes weighing 18 pounds, 5 ounces on the final day of the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour tournament on Lake Oahe and each won their division."I think most of the guys here were trolling crankbaits over the trees," Parsons said. "I would say I was trolling through the trees. We were pulling spinners ... luckily I never had to leave my one spot."

Parsons described it as "a huge spot" with two different stretches. He'd fish for his large walleyes - over 20 inches - in a deep stretch of trees in about 33 to 35 feet of water and then move up shallower on top of the flat for his slot fish - over 14 but under 20 inches - that came from trees or brush in about 16 to 19 feet. He said anglers have been hammering walleyes at Peoria Flats on Oahe for several weeks now, but the fish have "seen a million crankbaits go by," so pulling the modified spinners through the trees offered something different.

"It was just crazy," he said. "I had my overs pretty much right away every day."

The fishing was so good for Parsons that he was done by 11 a.m. or shortly thereafter each day, including today when the start of the final day today was delayed by at least one hour due to severe weather. He registered five-walleye tourney limits each day, weighing 17-3, 22-8 and 18-5, respectively. And Parsons said his slot fish were a dream come true today at 19, 19 ¼ and just under 20 inches in length, all coming in about a half-hour in "about as good a pass as you could have."

"I've always been confident, even without a win," Parsons said in a moment of reflection. "I suppose that's because of my dad and Keith. It's been great to learn everything I know from them."

Kavajecz runner-up

Pro Keith Kavajecz of Kaukauna, Wis., placed second on Oahe with 15 walleyes, 54-2, $15,000.Kavajecz had to settle for second place today with a three-day weight of 54-2 worth $15,000, but it was easy to see that he was nonetheless pleased with his nephew's victory.

The Mercury pro from Kaukauna, Wis., brought in limits each day weighing 17-10, 21-2 and finally 15-6 despite losing his kicker motor early Saturday. The first two days of the tourney the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Famer trolled with his kicker and steered with his front electronic trolling motor.

"I let the wind blow me today, and I steered with my front one," he said, proving that he is not only an innovator of baits and presentations, but also able to adjust on the fly. "We were covering a lot of water, moving 2.2 to 2.4 mph in those trees."

Kavajecz said the special technique used by the traveling partners from Wisconsin at Peoria Flats "actually came out of Nebraska," but that after hearing about it, he figured it would work well on Oahe. The crew ordered $1,400 worth of baits to try it out this week, and clearly it was an outstanding decision.

"We were trolling for those aggressive fish to come up out of the trees after the spinners," he said. "It was a reactionary strike more than a feeding strike."

Trolling as fast as they were, there was no need to set the hook, but angler reaction time was still crucial as far as getting the rod out of the holder to reel the fish in because the walleyes wanted to pull the bait back down into the trees immediately.

As far as more specifics on this different spinner-trolling technique, Kavajecz said "The Next Bite" will devote a whole show to it next year, but it's possible more about it will go public after they compete in an AIM Pro Walleye Series event in a couple weeks.

Kemos rounds out Wisconsin traveling contingent
Pro Tom Kemos of Oconomowoc, Wis., placed third with 15 walleyes, 54 pounds, $10,000 plus $1,000 bonus.
Mercury pro Tom Kemos of Oconomowoc, Wis., also used the secret spinner technique at Peoria Flats to string together tourney limits each day that weighed 17-7, 17-7 and 19-2 for a three-day total weight of 54 pounds worth $10,000 and a $1,000 Ranger bonus.

"We went out there today, and the wind was just raging," he said. "We overcame adversity and were able to put together a great bag today."

Kemos said finding the big walleyes on a big lake like Oahe is critical to tournament success, and he said his Lowrance down-scan and side-scan imaging units have been indispensable in that respect.

"You can see the fish in the trees without even fishing them sometimes," he said of parsing tournament waters during practice. "You can just roam around and fish."

Skarlis settles in at fourth

After a second-place finish on the opening day, Evinrude pro Tommy Skarlis of Waukon, Iowa, settled into fourth place, where he finished today with a three-day total of 52-3 worth $8,000 plus a $2,500 Evinrude bonus and a $1,000 Ranger bonus.

"I found some really good fish in practice rigging (with live bait) after I ran into an Iowa buddy angler (walleye pro Dale Dykes) and fished with him," Skarlis said. "I wanted to try something different. I said, `I want to go outside the trees.'"

Skarlis described his pattern as old-school, saying he trolled crankbaits "a little deeper than most" on Trilene XT 10-pound-test monofilament line and used four planer boards to catch his overs. Then he would go on the inside on the flats and fish "an old shoreline lip," trolling with his Evinrude E-TEC at high speeds of about 3.3 to 3.6 mph for his slot fish.

"That speed was triggering those fish," he said, adding that he fished a wide variety of crankbaits, including Berkley Flicker Shads, "good ol'" Rapalas like a Husky Jerk Glass Minnow and Jointed Shad Rap. "I had a dog from about every village when I went out fishing."

Keenan earns fifth, Angler of the Year

Longtime FLW Walleye Tour pro Tom Keenan of Hatley, Wis., had a big week on Oahe, earning both a fifth-place finish and the 2011 FLW Walleye Tour Angler of the Year award sponsored by the National Guard (as reported in yesterday's coverage; also read AOY press release). For his Oahe finish he earned $7,000 along with a $1,500 Evinrude bonus and a $1,000 Ranger bonus, and his AOY title brought him $10,000 and an automatic berth into the 2012 FLW Walleye Tour Championship.

Keenan earned his first Walleye Tour AOY title in 2006, was named the Eastern Division AOY in 2010 (when the Walleye Tour split into two divisions for a season) and then reeled in his third points title this season (the Walleye Tour is no longer split into divisions).

The Gander Mountain retail store manager paved the way to this year's AOY honor via a second-place finish on Lake Erie, a 14th-place showing at Leech Lake, a sixth-place finish at Green Bay and fifth place this week on Oahe. Keenan is the all-time leading money winner on the FLW Walleye Tour with $656,355 spread across 16 top-10 finishes including two wins.

Keenan sacked 16-4, 17-2 and 16-2 limits over three days to amass a total weight of 48 1/2 pounds. He may have been in the same general area as many of the pros today, but reported that he was not fishing right alongside much of the pack and that he moved around for his fish, including runs up to the Little Bend and Cheyenne River areas. He used Rapala Rattling Shad Raps to catch most of his fish and used Sufix braided fishing line to "yank `em out of the trees," after triggering bites by knocking his planer boards into the timber.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pro finalists in the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour event on Lake Oahe:

6th: Walmart pro Dean Arnoldussen, Appleton, Wis., 15 walleyes, 48-8, $6,000 plus $2,500 bonus
7th: Darrell Peters, Slayton, Minn., 13 walleyes, 47-12, $5,000
8th: Joe McCartin, Land O Lakes, Wis., 14 walleyes, 46-2, $4,000 plus $2,500 bonus
9th: Lynn Jurrens, Watertown, S.D., 14 walleyes, 43-4, $3,500 plus $1,000 bonus
10th: Pete Harsh, Sauk Centre, Minn., 15 walleyes, 41-2, $3,000 plus $2,500 bonus

The National Guard FLW Walleye Tour Championship will take place Sept. 22-25 on the Missouri River at Bismarck, N.D., to close out the 2011 season.

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 »