Night Hawk Stories... Entry 16
How To Win A Walleye Tournament
EDITOR'S NOTE: Gary Parsons of Glidden, Wisconsin, a professional walleye fisherman, specializes in tournament fishing, speaking, writing and walleye-fishing promotions. Gary, who has fished in walleye tournaments since 1983, has won Angler-of-the-Year titles on all three pro-walleye circuits: the North American Walleye Anglers in 1995, the Professional Walleye Trail in 1993 and 1994 and the Masters Walleye Circuit in 1988 -- the only angler to accomplish these feats. Parsons and his business partner, Keith Kavajecz, won the Masters Walleye Circuit Team of the Year and World Championship in 1988. Gary and Keith co-host "Bass Pro Shop's Outdoor World," which airs on TNN.
QUESTION: What tips would you give to someone who plans
to fish in a walleye tournament?
TIP 2: Don't be afraid to experiment with plastics. Walleye fishermen inherently rely on live bait quite heavily. They generally use night crawlers, leeches and minnows. In the last couple of years, Berkley has developed a wonderful lineup of plastics. Berkley makes PowerBaits specifically for walleye. Quite often when you fish the Great Lakes or the reservoir systems that have larger, more-aggressive populations of fish, you'll find that plastics will work as good as live bait for walleye in these regions. You won't have as much down time if you'll fish plastics, and the plastics will stay on your hook better. You don't have to constantly replace the plastics like you do live bait on every single snag and each bite. Therefore you can actually end up having more fishing time during the day. Particularly in tournament fishing, every single minute counts. Also, plastics will save you money. Instead of going through 500 night crawlers in two days' time, you may only fish with a couple dozen plastic tails, like Power Jigworms, because you can catch multiple fish on one tail.
Do you favor any particular PowerBait lures?
QUESTION: How would you fish the Power Jigworm or the Power Minnow? ANSWER: You can fish the Power Jig Worm and the Power Minnow two ways. The most popular way uses a jig-tipping feature. Basically you thread the plastic tail onto a jig and fish it exactly like you will live bait. The second scenario, that I think will become a very important part of walleye fishing, uses the Power Minnow on a spinner combination. I like to use a No. 2 spinner blade with a long-shanked hook. I'll thread the Power Minnow onto the long-shanked hook and troll it behind a bottom bouncer, an L-shaped piece of wire with a weight, or behind various other things just like you will a night-crawler harness. However, most anglers use the bottom bouncer. This setup works extremely well on walleye. Anglers just recently have started using it in tournaments. I used it a lot in the Dakota reservoirs alongside a spinner and a real minnow.
Tomorrow: Tips For Using Fluorocarbon Line and Rattles