TRACKER Pro Gary Parsons Wins Optima Top Gun Title
Gary Parsons Wins Optima Top Gun Title
Claiming yet another In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail title, Gary Parsons was honored as the Optima Top Gun. The northern Wisconsin pro is widely recognized as one of the best all-around walleye leaders, innovators, promoters and teachers. But, what he really enjoys is being at the top of his fishing game.
For the past PWT season and starting 2008, he has excelled with an enviable and record-setting performance. Parsons scored top 10-place finishes in seven of the eight tournaments enroute to the Optima Top Gun Award. During the 2007 season, he won on Lake Winnebago (his original home lake in central Wisconsin), scored a sixth at Minnesota’s Cass Lake, an eighth at Ontario’s Wabigoon Lake, two ninth place finishes on the Missouri River in Chamberlain, SD, and Bay de Noc at Escanaba, Michigan, and a 10th place at the recent Mercury Championship, presented by The Dow Chemical Company in Bay City, Michigan.
No other angler in PWT history has had that many top 10 finishes during such a short span. His total top 10 finishes rank second to the PWT record holder in that category Mike Gofron. Parsons has 29; Gofron 34. The PWT began in 1989, and since the first Championship, Parsons has fished all but two of these prestigious events. With the $5,000 Optima Top Gun award, he increased his total PWT winnings to $601,706, and is ranked second overall in the “money-won” standings.
The Optima Top Gun is a ranking system that averages finishes, Angler of the Year standing (Parsons won that trophy and $25,000 from Johnsonville Brats and $10,000 from Mercury), and Championship finish. “I still don’t know what happened, but my brother was killed in an accident the year before, and I posted his photo in my boat and thought about him often. I dedicated the year to him,” Parsons said. Parsons now has three PWT Angler of the Year titles, more than any other pro.
Since statistics often tell the story, Parsons has won an average of $5,372 for every PWT tournament fished (a total of 112). He has cashed checks in 60 percent of events fished. He has won three times on South Dakota’s Lake Oahe and once on Lake Winnebago. His 2007 record of five top-10 finishes stands as the mark to beat. He has been inducted into the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame as a Legendary Angler.
He travels the country in the off-season conducting seminars and working closely with sponsors and dealers. He is owner of a TV fishing series, “The Next Bite,” and the walleye web site of the same name. Parsons works closely with these companies: Tracker Boats, Mercury Outboards, Bass Pro Shops, MotorGuide, Berkley, Lowrance Electronics, Off-Shore, Mustad, Frabill, Smooth Moves Seat Mounts, Fin-Tech, Coot’s and the Next Bite.
Parsons is competing in the 2008 PWT season with the next stop in Bull Shoals, Arkansas, June 25-27. The tour will see him in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, Sept. 11-13, and Hudson,Wisconsin, Oct. 15-17, followed by the PWT Championship Shootout on Oct. 18. He is also the captain of the United States Team, competing in the first-ever PWT Can-Am in Dryden, Ontario, Aug. 13-15. The Can-Am will also be the first artificials-only major walleye tournament.
More PWT news, photos, standings, daily results, contestant updates and future plans are available on the web site: www.professionalwalleyetrail.com. The PWT sponsor partners include Optima Batteries. Their deep cycle batteries with patented spiral cell technology provide extremely high power for constant performance quality, last up to two times longer than conventional batteries in many applications, are non-spillable and maintenance free, and are over 15 times more resistant to jarring and vibration than traditional flooded batteries.
The PWT is an integral element of the In-Fisherman Communications Network headquartered in Baxter, Minnesota, and InterMedia, America's leading producer of targeted media. PWT promotional partners include: Berkley, Lowrance Electronics, Optima Batteries, Minn Kota, Realtree, Outdoor Channel, Starcraft Marine, Northland Fishing Tackle, The Dow Chemical Company, Fin-Tech Tackle, StowMaster, Reef Runner,Yo-Zuri Quality Lures, Smooth Moves Seat Mounts, Kwik Pfyt Mud Flaps,Yellow Bird Planer Boards, Live Target, Allstar Graphics, Ram Mounts, Element Edge, Pflueger, Plano Tackle Systems, E-Cell, Cannon and Do-It Molds.