When you think about it, tournament bass fishing can be one of the most frustrating sports in the world. Most of our casts go untouched. Even the best anglers only win a very small percentage of the tournaments they enter, and it’s easy to get fixated on the stuff that goes wrong rather than on the things that go right.
It would be easy to fall into a very negative outlook about such things, but I try hard to be positive and to think that all of the things that don’t work out are really just endless opportunities to learn. If you don't take that approach, it could drive you crazy.
In 2013, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic was on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees (just as it is this year). It was the closest the Classic had ever come to my home in Oklahoma, and I had high expectations for myself. I truly thought it could be “my tournament to win.”
I finished 25th – inside the cut, but well out of contention. It was very disappointing, but I learned a lot and hope to use what I learned to help me have a much better Classic in 2016 … maybe even win it.
I think my biggest surprise in 2013 was the amount of media coverage and the media demands that were placed on me because I was fishing close to home and wound up on a lot of people’s short lists to do well. The attention was flattering, but it was also extremely distracting and took up a lot of time.
I know what to expect this year, and I can’t let the media attention take my eyes off the ball again.
Anyone who knows me knows how important my family is to me. In 2013, because the Classic was here in Oklahoma where a lot of my family lives, I had aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws and a lot of other people near and dear to me converging on the event. Many of them had never been to a bass tournament before. Lots of them stayed at our home. During practice and even during competition I tried to have dinner with them and spend time with them. It was actually a lot of fun for me.
But do you know how tough it is to get a party of 18 or 20 seated at a restaurant for dinner? Do you know how much time that takes or how much time it takes away from tournament preparation … in the Bassmaster Classic?!
And that doesn’t even factor in the pressure I felt to do well and make a good showing in front of my family. I didn’t want to disappoint them. It’s not often they all gather to watch a tournament. The least I could do is win, right?
Well, this year I hope that everyone understands I won't be able to join them for dinner – at least not during competition. I’m thrilled that family is coming out for me and supporting me, but I’ll do them a lot prouder if I can treat the Classic like a regular tournament and save the family reunion for our regular summertime get together.
With his win at the Evan Williams Bourbon Bassmaster Elite Series event on the St Lawrence River, Edwin Evers reached a pair of historic milestones.
For one, he became the first angler in the history of the Elite Series to win back-to-back tournaments. In 87 events, it had never happened before, though a few anglers — notably Aaron Martens, Derek Remitz and Kevin VanDam — came close.
For another, Evers claimed his 10th career B.A.S.S. victory, a double-digit milestone that only Kevin VanDam (with 20), Roland Martin (19), Denny Brauer (17), Rick Clunn (14) and Larry Nixon (13) have reached.
Undeniably the most accomplished angler in B.A.S.S. history who has yet to win a major title (Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year or the GEICO Bassmaster Classic), in 2007 Evers became the youngest ever to earn $1 million in B.A.S.S. prize money (his record was broken by Casey Ashley earlier this year), and he's the only angler ever to win B.A.S.S. events with catches of all largemouth bass (several times), all smallmouth bass (Lake Erie in 2007 and the St. Lawrence River in 2015) and all spotted bass (Alabama River in 2013).
But we're not talking about a guy who's fading into the sunset. At 40 years old, Evers is in his prime.