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  • Updated: 08/03/02

  • Gary Parsons Claims $63,000 with Third PWT Victory on Lake Oahe

        Mobridge, South Dakota.....Adding yet another star to his walleye trophy
    case, PWT Pro Gary Parsons won the Realtree/Optima Batteries Western Pro-Am
    on Lake Oahe.  This is his third victory on this sprawling Missouri River
    Reservoir.  It paid $63,000.

        The In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail (PWT) anglers experienced
    water about 25 feet lower than a year ago, but quickly reacted to the nature
    of the walleyes.  The ³bite² switched from a predominant live bait bite just
    prior to the tournament to a trolling bite over the submerged tree-tops.
    Shad Raps were the ticket, as long as they ticked the tree tops, which
    proved costly.  The 50-year old cottonwoods ate thousands of crankbaits.

        Parsons, from Glidden, Wis., said, ³Fortunately for me, I stumbled onto
    this pattern early, and was able to fine-tune it.²  This win increased
    Parsons¹ PWT average  winnings to $4,800, for 69 events.  He has 15 top 10
    place finishes and is the only 2-time Angler of the Year.  He fished about
    30 miles south of host-city Mobridge, as did many pro anglers.  Finishing
    second after leading on day one was Parsons¹ tournament and business partner
    (and brother-in-law) Keith Kavajecz, Kaukauna, Wis.  Parsons weighed 31.56
    pounds; Kavajecz won $20,000 for 31.33 pounds, also trolling.

        Third place was a tie between John Butts, Kenora, Ontario, and Scott
    Fairbairn, Hager City, Wis.  They each weighed 31.32 pounds, and won $12,000
    apiece.  Trolling was their top method.  Brad Davis, Jackson, Wis., was
    fifth with 31.05 pounds and he earned $10,000.  A total of nearly $300,000
    was paid to winners, which included a Lund/Mercury 17-foot walleye boat to
    amateur winner Kevin Madigan, Yuma, Arizona.  His prize was valued at more
    than $15,000.  He is moving to Casper, Wyoming, and said, ³There¹re more
    walleye lakes there!² The race was extremely tight due to the Lake Oahe
    ³slot-limit² regulations. Each set of Pro-Am partners could keep four
    walleyes from 15 to 18 inches and two over 18 inches.

        PWT Key Awards for organizing a very successful off-site weigh-in and
    tournament week went to Mobridge chairman Jeff Jackson and Grand River
    Casino and Bay Resort representative Scott Gates.  Other special awards went
    to pro Tommy Skarlis, Walker, Minn. and amateur Joshua Summer, Chokio, Minn,
    for advancing the most places.  Skarlis won $1,000, and Summer $600 for
    their Coleman Cool Under Pressure Awards.

        The Gander Mountain Heavyweight award was split among two sets of
    partners.  Kansas amateurs Mark Conrad, Wellington, and Larry Beuthin,
    Halstead, each won $150.  Their pro partners, Kavajecz and Davis, who
    weighed the biggest daily weight, 12.21 pounds, each won $250.  The Miller
    Big Fish of the tournament was split between amateur Conrad  and pro
    Kavajecz.  Their day one walleye of 5.34 pounds paid each $1,500.  Steve
    Poll, Fond du Lac, Wis., and amateur Matt Fabian, Breezy Point, Minn., split
    $1,000 for their day three 5.20 pounder.

        The Western Pro-Am was the final PWT tournament in the Dee Zee western
    division, and the top 10 pros were invited to the Mercury Championship.
    They will be part of a 51-person contingent fishing for more than $1,500,000
    in prizes.  A million dollar prize from Quantum Performance Tuned rods and
    reels is up for grabs if the Michigan state record walleye, 17.3 pounds, is
    broken.  They will be led by Ross Grothe, Northfield, Minn.  Second is Barry
    Walker, Big Springs, Neb., third is Rich Boggs, Nisswa, Minn., fourth is
    John Butts, Kenora, Ontario, fifth is David Andersen, Amery, Wis., sixth is
    Terry Ryckman, Toledo, Ore., seventh is Myron Sylte, Williston, ND, eighth
    is Jeff Zbasnik, Hazen, ND, ninth is Mark Christianson, Walker, Minn., and
    10th is Dale Gilbert, Ulm, Montana.  The Mercury Championship is set for
    Houghton, Mich., Sept. 12-14.

        The 10 eastern qualifiers will be named after the PWT tournament in
    Escanaba, Mich. Aug. 22-24, where the field will be led by current Angler of
    the Year leader Kavajecz on famed Little and Big Bay de Noc.  The final
    Championship group of 30 pro anglers will be the top contenders of those who
    fished the entire 6-tournament circuit.

        The PWT is an integral element of the In-Fisherman Communications
    Network headquartered in Brainerd, Minnesota, and PRIMEDIA, America's
    leading producer of targeted media. PWT sponsors include: Mercury Marine,
    Lund, Berkley Gulp!, Trilene, PowerBait, Realtree, Miller High-Life, Nissan,
    Frenzy, Lowrance, MinnKota, Optima Batteries, Gander Mountain, Blue Fox,
    Northland Fishing Tackle, Lindy Legendary Fishing Tackle, Coleman, Storm,
    Eagle Trailers, Raymarine, Rapala, Matzuo, Pflueger, Ram rod holders, Drift
    Control, DeeZee, Cotton Cordell, Seal Skinz, Aqua-Vu, IMCO, Plano,
    KeepAlive, Stowmaster.net, Quantum Performance Tuned rods & reels and the
    Mobridge Chamber of Commerce (888-614-3474). 
    eshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.

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