Janet Parker Seeks Elite Series Qualification

Janet Parker
Bass Communications

It may be rhinestone-studded, but Janet Parker has her second top-ten finish under her belt in the 2011 Bassmaster Central Opens. That puts this chick-that-can-fish in second place for Angler of the Year and in serious contention for an Elite series invitation next year. Who knows-perhaps even Angler of Year and a Bassmaster Classic invitation are within reach. The industry is abuzz. If she can do well at Table Rock, the Elite series spot will be hers.

"Earning a spot at that level is quite an accomplishment for anybody," said Jimmy Houston, when asked about Parker's standings. "The fish don't know who is on the end of the line: skinny or fat, black or white, male or female. This is totally about her ability."

Parker finished in sixth place at the first Central Open stop of the season on Lake Lewisville in Texas. Couple in the tenth place finish from the second Bassmaster Central Open in Muskogee, Oklahoma on the Arkansas River and you can see the dots connecting. Janet has the skills to adapt to changing conditions-locating fish and getting them in the boat. Can Parker handle the pressure this puts on her for the third and last stop in the Bassmaster Central Open coming up October 20th through 22nd on Table Rock, just outside Branson, Missouri?

"I can handle it," answers Parker, while driving along the Interstate that intersects Cloud Nine and Euphoria. "I expect it to be hard work. But I've set this as a goal for myself, and when I do that, I always work hard and achieve it."

Parker runs the iconic Aaron's Dream Machine, an Evinrude- powered Ranger Boat. Her sponsors were great when she approached them that she needed a jet boat to get to her spot in Oklahoma, traveling across just inches of water. A nearby Ranger Boat dealer got the Evinrude-powered rig to her to make it happen.

"You have to adapt and make constant changes," continued Parker. "It's me against the conditions and the fish-not me against the guys. I've got the other anglers' respect. They know I can fish." Definitely true.

Janet Parker has proven she can hold her own in strategy and execution, regardless of gender. Having a woman earn her spot, either Angler of the Year, an Elite series invitation or an invitation to the Bassmaster Classic (without coming up through a women's circuit) would be of epic historic importance. Hopefully, Parker has the sponsorships to make an Elite series run, too.

"It's quite a commitment to fish the Elite series, in both time and dollars," continued Jimmy Houston. "It's a big roll of the dice for the big boys," he chuckled and continued. "And I guess we'll have to say big girls, too."

"Evinrude is proud to have Janet running our product," added Krista Heidgerken, tournament coordinator for Evinrude. "She's performing at an exceptionally high level and we'll be very thrilled to have her represent us should she qualify for the Elite series."

Ranger Boats agrees. "Janet is an excellent angler that fully commits to everything she does-both on the water and working hard to promote both her sponsors and the causes that are close to her heart," shared Bart Schad, VP Marketing with Ranger Boats. "She's passionate about helping wounded veterans and their families and with St Jude and other non-profits. She's already a star in our book."

Parker entered the world of professional bass fishing in 2005 after a career in medical science. She won two regional tournaments that first year, and moved up into the Women's Bass Tour. She won her first WBT tournament in April of 2009 on the Ouachita River and moved into the Bassmaster Open series in 2010. She now has five top-ten finishes in the Bassmaster series.

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