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  • Updated: 08/03/02

  • PWT Pro Gary Parsons Takes Slim Lead on Lake Oahe at Mobridge, SD

        Mobridge, South Dakota.....²Fishing in the trees is tough, takes
    persistence and lots of tackle,² said tournament leader Gary Parsons.  The
    Glidden, Wis. pro knows the value of hard work, and has claimed two
    In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail (PWT) victories on Lake Oahe, in
    1994 and 1998.

        Fishing from Mobridge in the northern reaches of South Dakota¹s Lake
    Oahe, the Realtree/Optima Batteries Western Pro-Am anglers found walleyes
    throughout the system.  The best fishing method proved to be trolling
    crankbaits right over the tree-tops, which are cottonwoods that lined the
    Missouri River channel prior to flooding more than 50 years ago.  Some
    anglers were live bait rigging and jigging, also.

        Parsons is the only two-time PWT Angler of the Year.  He has cashed
    checks in two-thirds of the PWT events fished, averaging nearly $4,000 per
    tournament.  He leads the Western Pro-Am with 22.23 pounds.  Close behind is
    another two-time PWT winner Scott Fairbairn, Hager City, Wis.  He is only
    five one-hundredths of a pound back.  A new face in the top ranks is Ulm,
    Montana pro Dale Gilbert with 21.61 pounds.  Day one leader Keith Kavajecz,
    Kaukauna, Wis. slipped to sixth place.

        The big fish seemed to vacate the system, but Parsons said, ³I think
    they¹re not far away, because every practice day they were biting.  Maybe
    they dropped down deeper into the trees.²  The trees topped out about 30
    feet below the surface in 60 to 70 feet of water.  The day two Miller Big
    Fish award went to pro Jim Klick, White Bear Lake, Minn., and amateur
    partner Dave Evert, Minneapolis, Minn.  Their $1,000 walleye weighed 3.34
    pounds.  Many stories were told on stage about big fish hitting, then diving
    into the trees to safety.

        Top amateur Dave Tuthill, Sandy Lake, Penn., holds a three pound
    advantage over Luke Stout, Ashland, Wis.  Stout won earlier this year on the
    Mississippi River.  The top amateur tows home a Lund/Mercury 17-foot walleye
    boat valued at $15,000.  The total prize package approaches the $300,000
    mark, with the first place pro winning $63,000.  All prizes will be awarded
    immediately following Friday¹s weigh-in at the Bay Resort just west of
    Mobridge on Highway 12.  Festivities begin at 3 p.m., with awards concluded
    by 6 p.m.

        ³The walleye fans are great and they should be rewarded at Friday¹s
    ceremonies with lots of information about fishing spots and methods,²
    Parsons said as he encouraged people to enjoy the fun.  The PWT pro anglers
    parade in front of the spectators in their boats, unloading their catches at
    the stage.  ³It¹s like a mini-Championship,² he said.

        After Friday¹s fishing, the top 10 pro anglers from the Dee Zee western
    division will be invited to fish the world¹s most prestigious walleye event,
    the Mercury Championship, set for September in Michigan¹s Upper Peninsula.
    Another 10 from the east division will be named after the August tournament,
    along with 30 from the field fishing all six PWT tournaments.

        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

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