September 6, 2007
As if his angling resume wasn’t impressive enough, with the list of numerous tournament wins, awards and accolades, Gary Parsons of Glidden, Wisconsin has added yet another record breaking notch to his already stellar career belt. Parsons, with a sixth place finish in the final PWT (Professional Walleye Trail) Super Pro event of the season on Cass Lake in Minnesota, locked up the coveted PWT – “Angler of the Year” title for a record breaking third time since the PWT’s inception. His two previous titles were back-to-back in 1993 and 1994.
The PWT’s circuit format is made up of six tournaments over the course of the season. Four of those events are Regional Series competitions, basically following an “Open Tournament” format open to 120 anglers made up of seasoned veteran pro anglers, rookie pros, and top local guides. Of those fishing all four of the Regional Series events, the Top 20 are invited to fish the PWT Championship. The remaining two tournaments are designated as Super Pro events, which are in effect 50 boat “Invitational Tournaments” made up of the previous year’s Top 10 Regional Series anglers with the rest being the PWT’s Top Money Winners. Gary Parsons’ 2007 performance landed him in the top spot in not only the over-all Angler of the Year race, but the Regional Series AOY race as well. This has never been done before. The regional title is in itself comparable to winning the AOY award in another four-tournament circuit such as the FLW.
When asked what it was that made him such a dominant figure on this season’s circuit, Gary explained, “When my brother Doug died in a logging accident last year I decided that I would carry a photo of him in my boat. He was my partner when I started this long ago. We finished in the top three in the country every year we fished together. The photo was wrapped in plastic so it wouldn't get wet, and he was holding a big walleye that we'd caught together in Sturgeon Bay. I didn't fish this year alone, although no one could accuse me of having too many people in the boat! I dedicated the year to my brother and brought home the toughest title in tournament fishing...to him. He was my inspiration.”
The sixth place finish at Cass Lake also marked another milestone in professional tournament walleye fishing; it was Gary’s fifth Top-10 finish in the six PWT events held this season. That’s an unprecedented feat considering the level of competition the anglers face these days. “This was a year where all the puzzle pieces just seemed to fall into place at the right time.” Gary said, “As great as those previous titles were (1993 & 1994 AOY), these two latest (Over-All and Regional) are especially satisfying. The competition level on the circuit these days is tougher than it’s ever been.”
As the reigning PWT Angler of the Year, Gary will lead the field in the next PWT Championship to be held next May on Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. It’s a tournament Gary is especially looking forward to, as he has had numerous wins and top 5 finishes on this body of water thru the years.
Gary adds, “I've got great equipment, great sponsors, a fantastic wife, the best traveling partners, with my son Chase and Keith Kavajecz, and I give thanks every day that I can live the life I'm living. It's a dream come true.”
Gary Parsons is sponsored by, Mary Parsons (his wife), Tracker Boats, Bass Pro Shops, Mercury Outboards, MotorGuide Electric Motors, Berkley Soft Baits, Berkley Lines, Berkley Hard Baits, Lowrance Electronics, Mustad Hooks, Off Shore Tackle, Frabill, Coots Lures, Smooth Moves Suspension Seats, and The Next Bite Media.