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3 Key Tips To Get You Started Walleye Fishing w/ Chase Parsons

Chase Parsons Walleye Fishing

When your father is Gary Parsons, and your uncle is Keith Kavajecz, both in the freshwater fishing hall of fame, it is no surprise that the family legacy would continue.

Chase Parsons of The Next Bite T.V. and professional walleye series angler began fishing with his dad and uncle as a young teenager. Parsons laughs and states, “When I realized I wasn’t going to be a professional basketball player or golfer, I decided to follow in the steps of my family and follow my passion for walleye fishing.”  With a head start in the fishing industry, Parsons began fishing full-time at nineteen years old. Fast forward twenty years, and he is now in the twentieth season of The Next Bite T.V., has hosted the show, and runs the company business, all while still being a competitor in the top level of the walleye tour events nationwide each year.

After several years of hard work, Parsons explains that one thing he enjoys is being a crucial part of many product designs in the fishing industry. Parson's input and knowledge are used by boat manufacturers and lure companies to help create new products for fishermen to enjoy. He also continues to share his experience and advice in the new Whitewater Fishing line. Parsons says that Whitewater has designed some of the best cold-weather fishing gear he has ever encountered and used in his many years as a pro angler.

Another task that Parsons enjoys as a veteran walleye angler and fishing pro is helping and teaching youth and newcomers to walleye fishing. I recently sat down with Parsons and asked for three key tips to help someone wanting to start walleye fishing.


Trolling Crankbaits

“One of the main things that has changed as far as catching fish is trolling and using crankbaits,” says Parsons. It doesn’t matter if you're fishing in the great lakes, inland lakes, reservoirs, or rivers, understanding the depths the different crankbaits run is critical. Parsons went on to say that there are thousands of different crankbaits, and they all work differently. To ensure you choose the right lure, Parsons explains that your fishing location is key. “For the most part, walleye are bottom and structure-related fish, yet when you go to great lakes, they suspend big time too.” He added that crankbait depths are key; how fast you reel and what crankbait model will determine the exact depth. “Most generally, 1.2 to 2 mph is the zone you want to fish throughout the year, and that will be the right depth to fish overall.”


Keep an Open Mind with Walleye Depths And Patterns

As a beginning walleye angler, it is important to understand that they can be caught in six feet or ninety feet of water. The difference between walleye anglers and fishermen who fish for largemouth bass is that bass fishermen seem to have something that’s working for them, then everyone kind of trends to do the same when something is working,” says Parsons. He added that bass anglers seem to beat the bank or move out to twenty feet until they find what is working at that time; with walleye, you must keep an open mind. “When walleye anglers are catching fish at sixty-feet deep, other anglers are catching them in the shallow simultaneously.” Walleye like vegetation; in the summer, there may be bait in shallow water with a cover, and the walleye will be there to feed. Parsons says walleye are different because you can pattern them, but your pattern may differ from another angler fishing the same system simultaneously. Instead of following what other anglers are doing, find your pattern for success.

Artificial Baits

One of the biggest misconceptions amongst walleye anglers is that you must use live bait to catch a lot of fish. Parsons explains that many artificial baits on the market now look and perform very well. He added that the top-level walleye anglers rarely ever use live bait.

For a long time, many walleye angler pros raved at how you had to use live bait, such as minnows, to be successful. In today's world, Parsons says that as many, or more, are catching walleye on artificial bait when competing in tournaments or fishing for fun. Anglers should match their artificial baits to the bait commonly found in that area, and they will succeed without the hassle of catching, buying, and fishing with live bait. “In northern states, such as Minnesota, many anglers claim that you can only fish with live baits,” says Parson. Even in states like Minnesota, where it has been a way of life, artificial baits are taking over because of the quality and the results that anglers are encountering.


Outdoor Writer & Traeger Grills Outdoor Pro

Heath Wood resides with his wife Faron and their son Carson in Mountain View, Missouri. His writings have been published in many major hunting magazines such as Predator Xtreme, Bowhunting World, Deer and Deer Hunting, Gun Digest, Turkey Country, and Game and Fish. As well as several websites and blogs for over 15 years. His favorite topics include, but are not limited to deer, turkey, and predator hunting. 

Wood is a member of the Mossy Oak pro staff where he can often be found sharing tips and stories through his writings on He has also appeared on Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World TV, Hunters Specialties The Stuff of Legends, Hunters Specialties popular DVD series Cuttin' and Struttin', and NWTF's Turkey Call TV. Heath loves helping introduce newcomers to the sport of hunting and working with the youth in any way possible.