|Poised to join the Elites Series|
Big deal? Hell yea! Parker isn't taking a short cut, she is competing and qualifying just like everyone else trying to make it to bass fishing's highest level. Unlike Kim Bain-Moore who qualified for the Bassmaster Classic a few years ago through the now defunct WBT, Parker is fishing in a male dominated sport through an entire season.
Parker's season includes a sixth place at the ultra tough Lake Lewisville event, besting more than ten current Elite Series anglers. Then on the Arkansas River Parker opted for an aluminum rig with a jet motor and made the same run as eventual winner Tommy Biffle everyday to notch a solid tenth place finish, again beating more than ten Elite anglers in the process. This isn't a publicity stunt, Parker is competing with and beating some of the best anglers on the planet and earning her way to the highest level.
This year we've had a series of negative stories; flooding and high water canceled or moved tournaments, the Wellman fines and suspension, massive chemical spills in Louisiana and the never ending "bad economy" affecting the boating and fishing industry. Parker's story stands out, a great story of an angler chasing a dream and coming closer than anyone else has. Parker estimates a top 50 finish will give her the birth into the 2012 Elite series, she ready with a corporate wrapped boat and has schedule that keeps her on the road over 40 weeks of the year. "If I can get that eligibility, I want to fish the Elites, I want to make history as the first female." Parker said
Professional fishing needs a story like Parker's. It brings positive media attention and could draw average people to the sport. Michelle Wie and Danika Patrick drew mainstream media focus to the PGA and Auto Racing. Unlike Wie and Patrick, Parker is competing and out performing her male counter parts making her story more compelling and more important.
Janet Parker is ready for the Elite series but is she ready for the media attention qualification will bring? Bain-Moore was deluged by the media, between TV, radio and internet Bain-Moore had little time to prepare for the Classic and her 47th place finished was a result. Parker has quietly made her way to second place year to date, the media has started to pay attention and an Elite qualification will increase the spotlight. How she handles that attention will determine her success on tour as much a her ability as an angler.
In a year of negative stories and bad decisions Professional Fishing needs a story Like Janet Parker's.
Janet Parker will appear on Tournament Fishing Radio, September 19, 2011. Hear the interview live on KGMY 1400 in Springfield, MO @ 5:30 pm or on line @ www.espn1400.com or on iTunes.