Edwin Evers fished with was Jake Whipkey from Pennsylvania as part of his Healing Heroes in Action tour, where he will fish with a Wounded Warrior on each Elite stop.
It's springtime, and everyone's excited about warming waters and more active bass. But sometimes that excitement turns to frustration when the fishing's not quite as good as we think it's going to be or should be. Yes, the fish are shallower and more active than they have been all winter. They're eating more and are more susceptible to our lures, but that doesn't mean we're going to get out there and hammer them. At this time of year — like every other — you just never know. But there are a few things you can do to stack the odds in your favor — things a lot of other anglers don't do. Fish faster Unless you're sight fishing and targeting individual fish on beds, this is a great time to speed up your approach, make more presentations and get on a reaction bite. A lot of anglers will get into a rut with their flipping outfits, thinking they need to grind it out in the shallows with precise vertical presentations. But unless you're looking at them or they're chewing the paint off your sinkers and jigheads, a better approach might be to pick up a spinnerbait and get to chunkin' and windin'. It's true that a lot of anglers love a spinnerbait in spring, but probably not the one I'm going to recommend. Most of them are throwing (a) something light they can keep near the surface even on a slow retrieve or (b) something heavier that they can slow roll along the bottom. My choice is a 1/2-ounce War Eagle spinnerbait in chartreuse and white or white. I like one silver blade and one gold blade — a Colorado blade up front and a willow leaf in back — but I want smaller blades than most anglers choose at this time. Instead of the #4 or 4 1/2 blades that typically come on such a spinnerbait, I drop down a size to a #3 1/2 and 4 … or even smaller. The smaller blades give the bait a lot less "lift." That lets me keep it under the surface even on a very fast retrieve. I can cover a lot of water with this bait, fishing it faster than the guys using bigger blades, and I get more reaction strikes because of the speed and because the fish don't get such a good look at my lure. When the water's clear...
What do you get when you combine one of the best bass lakes in the country with an 8-time B.A.S.S. winner and an American military veteran? You get "Healing Heroes in Action Tour," a program devised by the 14-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier to give back to the military veterans who risk their lives to keep the rest of us safe. "It's just my way of telling our military that my family and I are grateful for what they do," Evers said. "At every Bassmaster Elite Series event, with the help of the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation, we're selecting a veteran who suffered injuries during his tour of duty and we're taking him fishing." But it's a lot more than that. Not only is the Oklahoma bass pro taking a deserving veteran fishing on some of the top bass waters in the country, but he and his sponsors are giving the veteran some of the finest gear on the market. And it doesn't stop there. You can get involved, too. If you and a friend would like to be involved and make a tax-deductible donation to Wounded Warriors, just visit Evers' Facebook page and enter a bid in the comments area. The top bidder and a friend will go out on the water (in the bidder's own boat or one arranged for at the site) and compete with Evers and the selected vet on Monday, April 6. You might even beat them! "Our first trip, after the Sabine River tournament, went for about $2,000," Evers explained. "I'm excited about that, and want our bidders to know that the prize pack my sponsors and I have put together is nothing less than amazing! "It includes a Lowrance HD Elite 7, a $200 gift card to Bass Pro Shops, a tackle bag and solar pack (to keep your cell phone charged or your iPod playing) from Wild River, a selection of Megabass, Zoom and War Eagle lures, some Mustad hooks and a pair of Wiley X sunglasses. The prize pack alone would probably retail for around $2,000, but you get a great on-the-water experience, too, plus knowing that you're doing a great thing for our veterans."
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.
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.”
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.
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….
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
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.
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.