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Wounded warrior fishes with Evers

One minute James Holbrook was reeling in a 2-pound bass caught on his first cast of the day. The next minute he had a crankbait and Bassmaster Elite Series pro Dennis Tietje's face in, uh, an unfortunate place – Holbrook's crotch. Blood was spilled, which is nothing new for Holbrook. He survived an AK-47 round to the helmet and suffered shrapnel wounds in his forehead and both knees in 2007, while serving as a Navy Hospital Corpsmen in Afghanistan's Korangal Valley. From a distance, it looked as if rabbi Tietje was performing some Bassmaster version of a bris as he went to work on Holbrook's crotch, where one treble hook was buried in one side of the angler's pants and one hook was snagged in the other, very near where the inseams meet. "Hold on, dude," said Tietje, trying to suppress laughter, as he clipped off the hook barbs with pliers. The blood (only a bit) came from Holbrook's hand that got hooked momentarily when he initially tried to remove the crankbait from his pants. There was no more bloodshed, but the smiles and fish catches continued well into the afternoon Saturday in southwest Louisiana. Holbrook, 29, of San Antonio, Texas, and Tyson Scott, 29, of Houston, Texas, were the first two participants in Elite Series angler Edwin Evers' "Healing Heroes In Action" campaign. Combined with one of Evers' major sponsors, OPTIMA Batteries, there will be four more events this season where combat-wounded Purple Heart veterans from the Wounded Warriors In Action (WWIA) Foundation participate.
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Four Elite pros prepare together

Edwin Evers and Dennis Tietje While Evers and Tietje spent their day hosting two Wounded Warriors, each indicated there were small clues you just pick up, pointing to trends in water temps that should be similar to those they will start practice with. The anglers were guarded about what they felt like a day of relaxing fishing provided in terms of how it could help them once they venture out to tougher waters. “You don’t really want to discuss those things,” Evers said. “But whenever I can, I always try to go somewhere near the tournament waters in hopes of getting a little more dialed in. When we go to Guntersville, I’ll try and spend a day on Wheeler. “Those days can be invaluable.”

Disappointment on the Sabine

I'm more upset about my performance on the Sabine River (94th at last week's Bassmaster Elite Series event) than I have been in a long time. To set the stage a little, I had a good practice. I really thought I was on the fish to win the tournament, and that doesn't happen very often. You hear a lot about how tough it is to win an Elite event, and it's true. When you think you have that kind of opportunity, it's exciting and you want to take advantage of it. Unfortunately, things didn't work out so well. On the first day, I managed just two keepers weighing 4 pounds, 8 ounces to put me in 72nd place. I was on a pretty good pattern with a Zoom Horny Toad and had quite a few bites, but I couldn't get them in the boat. I'd get them about halfway in before they came off. It was frustrating, and I couldn't get enough bites to compensate for all the fish I was losing. I should have had about 12 pounds in the opening round and been on a pace to make the finals. Instead I dug a hole for myself and that cost me in a way I didn't anticipate.
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Tuesday Evers On Life With E2

Tuesday Evers, wife of Edwin Evers (E2), make their home in Talala, Oklahoma with their two children Kaylee and Kade. Much like the other wives, Tuesday wears many different hats, now including a pecan business hat. This is a blessed family who makes sure that they stay connected. According to Edwin, “FaceTime makes travel a lot easier” for him, but nothing is as good as coming home. BS: Tuesday, what roles do you play in Edwin’s fishing career? TE: “I try and take care of the business side of Edwin's fishing career; from contracts, to insurance, scheduling of events, website, etc. Anything to help take the load and pressure off of him a little.” BS: How does it feel being the wife of one of 56 anglers fishing in the 2015 Bassmaster Classic? TE: “It's exciting of course! They work so hard and to see them living out their dream of competing in the Bassmaster Classic is the best. It's an exciting week from the get go and the atmosphere of this tournament is different than all the others.” BS: When you are sitting in the arena and Edwin’s song plays, you see his truck drive in, him sitting in his boat and he starts to step on stage, what goes through your mind? TE: “You can't help but smile and feel a since of pride for him.” BS: How well do you sleep the night before the start of the Classic? How well does Edwin sleep? TE: “We both laughed at this question. We tend to go to bed really early all the time and the night before the Classic is no exception. Our 16 year old daughter makes fun of us all the time at how early we go to bed.” BS: Tell readers about the Edwin Evers you know….

Megabass to support Edwin Evers "Healing Heroes in Action Tour"

Bassmaster Elite Series pro Edwin Evers and performance automotive and marine battery manufacturer OPTIMA® Batteries are launching a new effort to raise awareness and funds for America’s combat-wounded Purple Heart veterans and their needs, as well as heal their physical and emotional wounds. Together with the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation (WWIA), Evers and OPTIMA Batteries will kick off the “Healing Heroes in Action Tour” on March 14, 2015, before the official practice period for the Sabine River Bassmaster Elite Series event in Orange, Texas. The tour will continue with four more events coinciding with Evers’s travels on the tournament trail. At each event, Evers will partner with a combat-wounded Purple Heart veteran identified by WWIA to compete in a head-to-head fishing contest. The two-man challenger team will be selected by an online auction held on Evers’s Facebook page. Tour stops include the following dates

The Classic from my perspective

As you certainly know by now, the 2015 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro was a disappointment for me. The problem started at Media Day — the day before competition began — when it was announced that we'd be starting late. You see, my best pattern involved fishing deep early in the morning. The late start meant that my key bite would be over by the time we launched. That was very bad news, and I wasn't happy about it. Unfortunately, I made things even worse by not adjusting once we were on the water. I had three pretty solid patterns going in — a crankbait pattern, a deep water pattern and a boat dock pattern. After losing a couple of hours due to the late start, I never gave any of them enough time or enough of a chance to catch a decent bag. I hurried when I needed to slow down. Instead of trying to maximize the time available, I tried to cram a full eight-hour tournament day into less than six hours. It didn't work … and it got worse from there. There was a dock where I just knew I could catch a 5 pounder. I had seen her in practice, and I felt like I could make her bite on the first cast. At the end of the day, I decided to run to the dock, catch the 5 pounder (a game changer on Hartwell) and hurry to check-in. When I got to the dock, she didn't bite on the first cast … or the second … or the third. Now I was running out of time, and there were several bridges with no-wake zones between me and check-in. I ran as fast as I could, but I didn't give myself enough time and ended up a minute and 15 seconds late. That translated into a 2 pound penalty. Instead of weighing 9-4, my small limit weighed 7-4. It was a disastrous start. I still thought I could get back into the hunt … maybe a top 10 finish. All I needed was a strong Day 2. I decided I was going to fish my best pattern — the dock pattern — and try to salvage my Classic.
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The Classic from my perspective

As you certainly know by now, the 2015 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro was a disappointment for me. The problem started at Media Day — the day before competition began — when it was announced that we'd be starting late. You see, my best pattern involved fishing deep early in the morning. The late start meant that my key bite would be over by the time we launched. That was very bad news, and I wasn't happy about it. Unfortunately, I made things even worse by not adjusting once we were on the water. I had three pretty solid patterns going in — a crankbait pattern, a deep water pattern and a boat dock pattern. After losing a couple of hours due to the late start, I never gave any of them enough time or enough of a chance to catch a decent bag. I hurried when I needed to slow down. Instead of trying to maximize the time available, I tried to cram a full eight-hour tournament day into less than six hours. It didn't work … and it got worse from there. There was a dock where I just knew I could catch a 5 pounder. I had seen her in practice, and I felt like I could make her bite on the first cast. At the end of the day, I decided to run to the dock, catch the 5 pounder (a game changer on Hartwell) and hurry to check-in. When I got to the dock, she didn't bite on the first cast … or the second … or the third. Now I was running out of time, and there were several bridges with no-wake zones between me and check-in. I ran as fast as I could, but I didn't give myself enough time and ended up a minute and 15 seconds late. That translated into a 2 pound penalty. Instead of weighing 9-4, my small limit weighed 7-4. It was a disastrous start.
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Casey Ashley wins hometown Classic with dad's homemade baits

On Sunday evening at Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Casey Ashley completed a journey that began more than three decades ago and seemed to drag on forever these past few weeks. The 31-year-old South Carolina native, who has lived just a few miles from Lake Hartwell all his life, caught five bass that weighed 20 pounds, 3 ounces to cap a moving victory in the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro on his home waters with a three-day total of 50-1. The weight was enough to help Ashley past Florida pro Bobby Lane, Jr., who finished second with 46-15, and Texas angler Takahiro Omori who placed third with 44-3. The end of the weigh-in meant Ashley could finally take a deep breath after seven weeks when the lake was mostly off-limits due to B.A.S.S. rules and when virtually everyone he saw wanted to talk about him being the favorite to win. “I worked a show in Greenville at the TD Convention Center (in mid-January), and I bet I thought about the Classic 50,000 times while I was standing there,” said Ashley, who won the event on his sixth try. “My first Classic was here (in 2008), and ever since then I’ve been saying I’d like to have that one back. “I wanted to win so bad here at home, and I had a long time to think about it. It was pretty rough.”
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Expo: Day 3 photos

Expo: Day 3 photos
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Evers, Mustad join forces

When Edwin Evers hits the water in the Bassmaster Elite Series this year he will be fishing as a member of Team Mustad. Heading into his 16th professional season, Evers is one of the most successful and popular anglers in Bassmaster Elite Series and will compete in his 14th Bassmaster Classic this week. “We are extremely excited to have Edwin join our team," said Mustad sales manager Steve Tagami. “He has built a great career and following with a record of accomplishment that speaks for itself. His personal reputation is top notch, and there is a tremendous amount of mutual respect and appreciation between Edwin and his fan base. He loves to educate and it really shows in the quality of his seminars, articles, and videos. Edwin just gets it done.”
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