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THOUGHTS WITH THE PEOPLE IN MOORE, OKLAHOMA

What a sad day in the town of Moore, Oklahoma.  The BASS ZONE and BTL, BASS TALK LIVE are based in Moore, Oklahoma and we have spoken with Mark Jeffreys after the tornado destroyed the town of Moore."I have never seen anything  like what I witnessed today,"  said Jeffreys.  "The tornado was coming right toward our house and I was at a basketball meeting on the other side of town.  My oldest son was home alone and as soon as I saw things were getting bad, I rushed home, picked him up and we headed south.  As we got to the first intersection, there it was.  A monster of a tornado and it was headed right for our house.  We kept going south and watched the destruction back to our north.  We had no idea how bad it was until we made our way back home.  What a sad day for the people of Moore, Oklahoma.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people of Moore.""We have no power and there is debris everywhere, said Jeffreys.  "The main path of destruction was less than a mile north of our house.  The streets are full of debris.  So sad.  We are so thankful to be alive.  My family is safe."

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Rankings: Evers ascends

Edwin Evers, winner of the most recent Bassmaster Elite Series event at the Alabama River and the leader in the Angler of the Year race, has climbed to the top of the BassFan World Rankings presented by Livingston Lures. He holds an edge of a little more than 3 points over Todd Faircloth, who held the top slot earlier this year, with previous No. 1 Jason Christie dropping to 3rd.

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Optima Batteries - EDWINAL

20% off today only!The Alabama River Charge was not your typical Bassmaster Elite fishing tournament.  If that wasn't obvious to casual observers, it became apparent when YouTube videos surfaces of tournament anglers running their boats aground in the rapids of the Alabama River, as water levels dropped by several feet from areas where they had plenty of room to operate just the day before.  That left a lot of anglers scrambling and gambling to find the best spots and OPTIMA® sponsored angler, Edwin Evers, saved his best for last.  Edwin had identified a great location at Cooter's Pond earlier in the week, but sat on it for much of the tournament. When he finally went to the spot on Sunday, the strategy paid off, with Evers hauling in 17 pounds and 12 ounces worth of spotted bass. This also marked the first time Evers won an event on spotted bass alone.Evers came into the Alabama River Charge with a narrow lead of just six points, over Kevin VanDam in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings, but Evers' strong performance put some space between he and VanDam, the seven-time AOY, who now trails Evers by 37 points. In fact, Skeet Reese snuck past VanDam in the standings and now trails Evers by 25 points.We think Edwin's victory is a pretty big deal, so we're going to give you a pretty big deal to celebrate! All day Tuesday, BLUETOP® OPTIMA batteries purchased directly from OPTIMABatteries.com will be 20% off when using the promotional code "EDWINAL"

Evers Kept Moving Up Until He Reached The Top

Edwin Evers' ultimate goal this year – as it is every year – is to win the Toyota Tundra B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year award. There's no better way to progress toward that objective than by winning tournaments.He collected his fifth career tour-level victory and extended his edge in the points race Sunday when he outlasted the field at the Alabama River Bassmaster Elite Series. The derby, which was the fifth on the eight-event schedule, was an especially challenging one as extremely high water that receded over the course of the event continually opened up new options while closing down others.Evers was in a tie for 4th place with Bobby Lane after day 1, then moved up one spot each day until he finally reached the top with a 17-12 stringer on day 4. He edged runner-up Brent Chapman, the reigning AOY who'd led the middle 2 days, by 1-12.Below are some details of how his week transpired.PracticeEvers, who'd come close to winning at the Alabama on several occasions in the past but had been unable to close the deal, began the 3-day practice period by traveling up the Coosa River to the Bouldin Dam Canal. He'd never turned a prop in that ditch previously, but knew it had been extremely productive in a 2003 Bassmaster Tour event won by Kenyon Hill (Chapman was 2nd and Evers 3rd).The canal runs for 3 miles or more, never getting more than about 50 yards wide. He found the portion closest to the river to be the most productive."The fish were on clean banks, with smooth clay or rock, in about 6 to 8 feet of water," he said. "My electronics were big – I was able to find some isolated rocks and some little shelves that stuck out."He went in the opposite direction (south of the launch site in Montgomery, Ala.) on the second practice day, and then back up north on the final day."I was able to find a few other things. Overall, my practice was decent, but not great."Competition> Day 1: 5, 17-15 > Day 2: 5, 17-12 > Day 3: 5, 22-06 > Day 4: 5, 17-12 > Total = 20, 75-13Evers came within ounces of the 18-pound mark on each of the first 2 days to put himself in the thick of things at the midway point. There was a critical juncture on day 1, however, when he nearly abandoned the canal.

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Evers has the edge on Elites

For four days, Edwin Evers put a whipping on the fish during the Bassmaster Elite Series Alabama Charge presented by Star brite.On Sunday afternoon, while waiting in line to weigh in his final bag of the tournament, he was busy working on his boat.“I’m taking out my frustrations,” he said, all the while busily cleaning the exterior of his boat.Evers, the Toyota Angler of the Year points leader coming into this tournament, genuinely felt he had no chance to win this tournament — or at least he acted that way.He entered the final day with a three-day total of 58 pounds, 1 ounce and was in second place — only 1 pound, 3 ounces behind reigning Angler of the Year Brent Chapman. Evers said he thought he needed 18 pounds to put himself in position to win and indicated he had at least 3 pounds less than that. He was gracious in what he thought was defeat, though he did have a “hang dog” expression on his face.Well, it turns out he had almost 18 pounds, and it was enough for him to edge out Chapman for the win.Evers, as intense a competitor as there is on tour, wasn’t overly pleased with his performance … before he weighed in, at least. But, from a bystander’s point of view, he certainly worked for every ounce he caught. There was no lack of effort for sure.

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Evers overtakes Chapman in Alabama River Charge

“Man, you’ve got me,” Brent Chapman said to Edwin Evers.Evers was already in Sunday’s final-round hot seat of the Alabama River Charge presented by Star brite. Chapman, the leader for the two previous days, was the last of the 12 finalists to weigh in. He climbed the stage steps already knowing it was over for him.No one in the crowd under Montgomery’s historic Union Station Train Shed heard Chapman’s remark on stage. But that’s how Evers later told the story.“I didn’t realize until he said ‘you’ve got me’ that I had a chance,” Evers said after he’d hoisted the eighth trophy of his Bassmaster career and claimed his second regular-season Elite Series win. “I’m so happy. I can’t believe it.”Evers of Talala, Okla., got the best of Chapman by 1 pound, 12 ounces. Evers took home $100,000 and a win-you’re-in berth for the 2014 Bassmaster Classic.He took over the Charge by weighing four limits of spotted bass for a total of 75-13. The Charge was the first time, Evers said, that he’d won on spotted bass alone. He also hit a career high by weighing 22 pounds, 6 ounces of spotted bass on Saturday, the largest sack of that species he’s ever caught.To win in Montgomery was special for another reason, he said. In the 2010 and 2011 postseason events out of Montgomery on the river, he ended up second to Kevin VanDam in the tournaments and in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year races.Evers began the tournament in fifth place, then rose into third place. After Day Three, heading into Championship Sunday, he was in second place, behind Chapman by 1-3.Evers said sticking to his game plan — and keeping a sweet spot in Cooter’s Pond in reserve until the final hours — “saved” him Sunday, when he weighed 17 pounds, 12 ounces.“I pulled up to that spot that I’ve been saving all week, and they were on fire,” Evers said.Evers said he ran more than 125 miles every day on the river system, hitting areas on the Coosa, Tallapoosa and in the canal that connects the Walter Bouldin Dam tailrace to the Alabama River.“I focused where the current made a direct hit on a vertical wall (bluff or cut in the bank) that was clean,” he said.The biggest challenges of the tournament were adapting to non-stop changes in the current and water level over the event’s four days. By Sunday with the dropping water, he had to relocate fish, finding them in slightly deeper water.Hook-ups with the strong spotted bass that live in the river systems were a big challenge, he added.“They’re so strong. They’re some of the hardest fish to hook. I’m flipping braid on a heavy-action rod and I’ll hit them as hard as I can, and it’s like I didn’t even touch them,” he said.His go-to lures were a War Eagle Spot Remover spinnerbait in a shad color, a Texas-rigged Zoom Z-Hog Jr., and various crankbaits. His flipping line was a Bass Pro Shops braid with a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader.Chapman of Lake Quivira, Kan., said he chalked up his second-place finish to being too conservative.“I didn’t run up to my best spot Sunday,” Chapman said. “I saw Steve Kennedy and David Walker go up, and I should have tried. You don’t get that many opportunities to win. I don’t know if I could have by going up there, but I would have felt a lot better finishing second if I’d at least have gone up there to fish my good spot.”His “good spot” was about 1/4 mile below Jordan Dam in the Coosa River. To reach it, he had to shoot the rapids over rocks. Chapman went up there other days, but decided he should not risk it Sunday after the water dropped 7 feet. Several other Elite pros ran the whitewater successfully in their bass boats during the Charge, but several tried and struck rocks, damaged their boats or got stuck, even in higher water.Evers’ win in the Charge helped him beef up his lead in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year points race. But instead of Kevin VanDam, now Skeet Reese is hot on Evers’ heals. The leader going into the Charge by just six points over VanDam, Evers now has a 25-point lead over Reese. VanDam trails Evers now by 37 points.“We’re a long way from the end, nobody’s out of this AOY thing yet,” Evers said. “I’m just trying to finish each event as high as I can.”

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Day Four with Edwin Evers

Photo GalleryDay Four with Edwin Evers

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EVERS WINS ALABAMA RIVER WITH 75-13

Entering the final day of competition on the Alabama River with a 1-pound, 3-ounce lead over his closest pursuer, reigning Toyota Angler Of the Year, Brent Chapman, knew that he had to turn in a strong performance in order to capture his second Elite Series title in as many years.  It was little secret that Chapman had spent the majority of the tournament milking a small area below the Lake Jordan dam, making the treacherous run through boulders and whitewater each day to reach his spotted bass nirvana.  With rapidly falling water on Saturday, Chapman was wary as to whether or not the area would hold out for another day.  “I was hoping to have more of a cushion going into tomorrow, but it looks like Edwin is going to make things really tough on me,” stated Chapman at the conclusion of Saturday’s weigh-in. Evers did just that on Sunday, bringing in a limit of Coosa River spotted bass weighing 17-12 to push his four day total weight of 20 spotted bass to an impressive 75-13.   For the first time all week, Chapman was unable to crack the 17-pound mark and settled with a limit weighing 14-13 to finish with 74-1 and fall 1-pound, 12-ounces short of Evers’ total.  The Alabama River victory was Evers’ eighth career win with B.A.S.S. and his third Elite Series win, the others on the St. Johns River in 2011 and Lake Erie in 2007.  Evers also maintained his lead in the Toyota Angler Of the Year race, earning the maximum of 100 TAOY points and stretching his lead to 25 points over Skeet Reese with three tournaments remaining in the 2013 Elite Series season.  Alabama’s Steve Kennedy, who, like Chapman, also fished primarily below the Jordan Dam, finished in 3rd place with a total weight of 72-5, and Alton Jones finished in 4th with 71-8. Day One leader, John Murray, rounded out the top five with a total weight of 65-7.The 5 Final Day Facts from the Alabama River:    Tournament: Bassmaster Elite Series (May 9-12)Location:  Alabama River – Montgomery, Alabama   Winner: Edwin Evers (17-15, 17-12, 22-6, 17-12: 75-13)2nd place weight: Brent Chapman (74-1)Total weight separating 1st place from 12th place: 23-13 1st Place: Edwin Evers (17-15, 17-12, 22-6, 17-12: 75-13)What was your primary pattern throughout the week on the Alabama River?  “My morning area was in the canal leading to the Bouldin Dam, and I was keying in on vertical banks that were clean and had a little shelf in eight to 10 feet of water.  It was really important the there wasn’t any grass or bushes under the water.  If there was a little turn in the direction of the bank, it made the area even better.  Basically, I was just looking for areas where the current made a direct hit on a vertical wall that was clean.“Along with fishing in the Bouldin Canal area, I also fished in the Coosa, Tallapoosa River, and Alabama River around the Cooters Pond area. The fish were right up on the bank earlier in the week, but they moved out deeper as the tournament progressed and the water dropped. “

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Chapman Still Leads, But Evers Just 1-03 Back

Brent Chapman retained his lead today at the Alabama River Bassmaster Elite Series, but his advantage is much more precarious than it was a day ago due to a huge bag brought in by Angler of the Year (AOY) leader Edwin Evers.Chapman scaled a strong 18-03 to push his 3-day total to 59-04. But the 4 1/2-pound advantage he enjoyed after day 2 is now just 1-03 after Evers sacked 22-06 for a 58-01 aggregate.Making Chapman's reduced edge even more precarious, he'll be unable to return to the area just below the Jordan Dam on day 4 due to the constantly decreasing flow in the Coosa River. Meanwhile, Evers will have no such issues in the Bouldin Dam canal, where he's resided all week, unless some competitors in need of new water head his way.Steve Kennedy boxed a day-best 23-03 to move up six places to 3rd with 55-00. Alton Jones brought in 17-04 and fell two spots to 4th with 53-14.Bobby Lane held onto the No. 5 position he began the day with as his 16-13 bag gave him a 51-00 total.Here are the totals for the 12 anglers who'll compete on the final day, with red numbers in parentheses indicating deficit margin from the leader:1. Brent Chapman: 59-04 2. Edwin Evers: 58-01 (1-03) 3. Steve Kennedy: 55-00 (4-04) 4. Alton Jones: 53-14 (5-06) 5. Bobby Lane: 51-00 (8-04) 6. David Walker: 50-13 (8-07) 7. (tie) Skeet Reese: 47-00 (12-04) 7. (tie) Aaron Martens: 47-00 (12-04) 9. John Murray: 46-11 (12-09) 10. Tommy Biffle: 45-09 (13-11) 11. Paul Elias: 44-09 (14-11) 12. Randy Howell: 44-01 (15-03)The river continued to run hard today, but not nearly as swiftly as it had on the previous 2 days. Just a single flood gate on the Jordan Dam was open, compared to a dozen or more on days 1 and 2.The reduced current helped some competitors and hindered others. Kennedy, in particular, found the river's big spotted bass to be much more accessible in the narrowed channel.It's anyone's guess what'll occur on day 4 if the flow continues to drop – some feel it could cause the current-loving spotted bass to go off the bite. On the flip side, it could bring the river's largemouth population (which has been virtually ignored this week) to the forefront as those fish will be forced to return to places where anglers can reach them.Reese, the winner last week at Georgia's West Point Lake, moved up 19 places today with a 19-13 stringer. Other newcomers to the Top 12 were Martens (up 12 places with 18-12) and Biffle (up 11 with 17-10). That trio supplanted Scott Ashmore (7th to 16th, 9-07), Greg Vinson (10th to 24th, 9-08) and Davy Hite (11th to 15th, 10-11).PHOTO: B.A.S.S./GARY TRAMONTINAEdwin Evers' bag was about 4 1/2 pounds heaver than the ones he'd caught on days 1 and 2.Tomorrow's forecast for the Montgomery area predicts partly cloudy skies, a high temperature of 76 degrees and a north/northwest wind to 13 mph.Chapman Committed> Day 3: 5, 18-03 (15, 59-04)When Chapman heads north tomorrow morning, he knows he won't be able to get nearly as far up the Coosa as he's gone the past 3 days. Nonetheless, he's committed to going as far as possible."It's my best chance of winning," he said. "I've still got a lot of places I haven't fished, but the biggest ones I know of live up there. I know what I need to do in that river, so that's the plan."(The water level) was 4 or 5 feet down today, so who knows where it's going to be tomorrow. I'll just run as far as I can and then start fishing.He went through 12 keepers today and employed three different baits. He boated one that was just a little under 5 pounds and lost one that he estimated to be in the 4-pound class."The smallest one I weighed in was a 3-pounder, so that definitely hurt."2nd: Evers Bulks Up> Day 3: 5, 22-06 (15, 58-01)Evers had weighed just under 18 pounds on each of the first 2 days, but far exceeded that number today."I figured out another way to catch them today," he said. "I haven't caught a bass in the same place twice, but I'm power-fishing and doing what I like to do."I ought to be able to get to my fish tomorrow, but I'll have to go and catch them."He went through about a dozen keepers and the five he took to the scale all registered between 4 and 5 pounds."I've got three different areas I'm catching them from and I caught one that I weighed in on literally my last stop. They live here, so (another 20-plus pounds on day 4) is always a possibility."

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Edwin Evers Named Champion of the Geico Challenge Cup

WHAT: After watching 24 of the world’s best professional anglers compete in a unique tournament-style bass fishing competition this series, Edwin Evers reeled in the GEICO Challenge Cup Championship title last night on Outdoor Channel’s Jack Link’s Major League Fishing. The final six anglers who competed against Evers in Lake Istokpoga, Florida, included Brent Ehrler, Alton Jones, Ish Monroe, Takahiro Omori and Kevin VanDam.Evers, a Bassmaster Elite Series Pro from Talala, Oklahoma has received top placements in 37 tournaments across the country, including the Bassmaster Classic, Elite Series and Citgo Bassmaster tours. He takes home the GEICO Challenge Cup title after battling some of the world’s top professional anglers through periods of rising tensions and unexpected weather conditions all season.

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