Pro Chase Parsons of Brillion, Wis., and co-angler Christopher Hanson of New Hope, Minn., caught five walleyes weighing 18 pounds, 5 ounces to win the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour tournament on Lake Oahe. Parsons had a three-day catch of 15 walleyes weighing 53-2. He won by 3-pounds,14-ounces over his closest competitor in an event featuring anglers from 18 states and Canada. Parsons took home $52,000 for his efforts.
“Aside from the birth of my son and my wedding day this is the greatest day of my life,” said Parsons, who won his first ever major walleye tournament. “I’ve been close a lot of times, including on this body of water. I have a bunch of seconds, a bunch of thirds and a ton of fifths – fifth is my number. And to have Keith (Kavajecz, Parsons uncle) come in second and Kemos third is just so special. The only thing I would have wished for is that dad (Gary Parsons) would have had better luck getting his fish in the right order the first two days, but he didn’t and that is probably what cost him standing on the stage with me today.”
“I know a lot of guys were trolling tree lines. I was pulling spinners through the trees. I lost a lot of bait and about a dozen fish over the course of the tournament, but man were the fish biting,” Parsons went on to say. “I only fished a total of nine hours over the three days, I was done by 11:30 each day.
“The early bite was on fire for me. I caught all of my overs within a half hour of hitting my spot. I was fishing Peoria Flats. Today in one pass we got a 19-inch, 19 ½-inch, and then a 19 7/8-inch all in a half hour! You can’t ask for anything better than that.
“I have had an incredible year and I hope that in 20 years my son (who is 10 weeks old) will be in this exact spot I am in and I will be where my dad is.”
Fishing in another tournament in two weeks Parsons was still hesitant to reveal too much of how he was trolling spinners through the trees. He did say that it will revolutionize the walleye world. He indicated that he was fishing in several depths; 32 to 35 feet for the overs and about 18 feet for the slots.
Rounding out the top 10 pros are:
2nd: Keith Kavajecz, Kaukauna, Wis., 15 walleyes, 54-2, $15,000
3rd: Tom Kemos, Oconomowoc, Wis., 15 walleyes, 54-0, $10,000 plus $1,000 bonus
4th: Tommy Skarlis, Waukon, Iowa, 15 walleyes, 52-3, $8,000 plus $3,500
5th: Tom Keenan, Hatley, Wis., 15 walleyes, 49-8, $7,000 plus $2,500
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
A complete list of results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com
Christopher Hanson of New Hope, Minn., earned the victory in the Co-angler Division and took home $6,000. His three-day weight totaled 53 pounds, 2 ounces. He fished with pros Gary Maher, Menoken, N.D., Paul Meleen, Isle, Minn., and Chase Parsons over the course of the tournament.
“This is unbelievable,” said Hanson, who also won his first FLW Walleye Tour tournament. “I never thought it could really happen to me, this is just incredible. I had three great partners and couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are:
2nd: Dave Keyser, Oak Lawn, Ill., 15 walleyes, 51-6, $3,000
3rd: Dale Janota, Gillette, Wyo., 15 walleyes, 49-3, $1,800
4th: Gary Kafka, Pierre, S.D., 15 walleyes, 48-10, $1,200
5th: Jerry Chwierut, Lake Villa, Ill., 15 walleyes, 47-4, $1,000
6th: Flo Swank, Pierre, S.D., 15 walleyes, 46-14, $900
7th: Russell Somsen, Pierre, S.D., 13 walleyes, 44-2, $800
8th: Chad Resel, Wessington, S.D., 14 walleyes, 43-12, $700
9th: Chad Wilz, Appleton, Wis., 14 walleyes, 41-2, $600
10th: Dave Smith, Saint Joseph, Minn., 15 walleyes, 39-4, $500
Overall there were 46 walleyes weighing 141 pounds, 4 ounces caught by 10 boats Saturday. The catch included seven five-walleye limits.
Tom Keenan won his third National Guard FLW Walleye Tour Angler of the Year title. Along with the coveted trophy, Keenan took home $10,000 for his efforts during the 2012 season. Boyd Strissel of Billings, Mont. won the Angler of the Year title in the Co-angler division along with $2,500 for his efforts.