Evers Charges To Top

Evers Charges To Top
Edwin Evers hauls in a spotted bass from the Alabama River. (Darren Jacobson photo)

Oklahoman wins Elite event, beefs up lead in AOY race

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — “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 berth into 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, he was in second place 1-3 behind Chapman.

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 was 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 Hawg Jr. and various crankbaits. His flipping line was a Bass Pro Shops braid with 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 today,” 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.”

Eight regular-season events determine the AOY winner. Pros earn points at each event according to their finishes, and the pro with the highest number of points is declared the winner of the title that Reese says is the most important to him in the sport of bass fishing.

Evers is after his first AOY title. VanDam has won it seven times. Reese was the AOY of 2007.

Bonuses Elite pros earned at the Charge:

* Carhartt Big Bass of the tournament, worth $1,000 plus another $500 for wearing Carhartt apparel: Kelly Jordon of Palestine, Texas, for his 6-4 weighed on Day One.

* Berkley Heavyweight Award of $500 for the best five-fish limit: Chapman for his Day Two bag of 23-5.

* Toyota’s $1,000 bonus to the leader in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year points race: Evers. This is the third consecutive time he’s been No. 1 in the AOY standings. 

* Luck “E” Strike Comeback Award of $500: Chapman, who achieved the biggest jump in the AOY standings, from 83rd to 26th place.

* Power-Pole Captain’s Cash award of $500 to the highest finisher equipped with Power-Poles: Evers.

* Livingston Lures Leader Award of $500 for heading up the leaderboard on the second day: Chapman.

The Elite Series’ competition out of Montgomery marked a return to the birthplace of B.A.S.S., founded by Ray Scott here in 1968.

ESPN2 will air coverage of the Alabama River Charge presented by Star brite on June 2 from 8-9 a.m. ET on TV show.

Next up on the Elite Series schedule is the June 20-23 Mississippi River Rumble presented by Power-Pole in La Crosse, Wis. The Elite Series was last on the Mississippi out of La Crosse in June 2012, when Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas, won with 62-4.

Check in at Bassmaster.com for details.

Recommended for You

Adam Heggenstaller takes over after 14 years with NRA Publications. News

Game & Fish Magazine Names New Editorial Director

G&F Online Staff - May 23, 2019

Adam Heggenstaller takes over after 14 years with NRA Publications.

Memorial Day sale offers 15 percent off everything website-wide. Gear

Get Ready for Summer with Cordova Coolers

May 23, 2019

Memorial Day sale offers 15 percent off everything website-wide.

Try these tips to improve your wild boar hunting skill set. Hogs

Quick Tips: How to Spot and Stalk a Hog

Ian Nance - May 28, 2019

Try these tips to improve your wild boar hunting skill set.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Lowrance Enters Trolling-Motor Market with Ghost

Lowrance Enters Trolling-Motor Market with Ghost

Lowrance's Lucas Steward shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead what all of the fuss is about in the brand new Ghost trolling motor being brought to market by the Tulsa, Okla.-based fishing equipment manufacturer.

Lure Lock Tackle Cases: No-Spill, No-Scent

Lure Lock Tackle Cases: No-Spill, No-Scent

Glenn Walker talks us through the soy-based technology that makes Lure Lock cases spill-proof and scent-proof. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Berkley

Berkley's Surge Shad

Major League Fishing pro Scott Suggs has relied on the Berkley Surge Shad lure concept for years, using similar designs to capture MLF titles and a $1 million dollar FLW Forrest Cup win. With new features in the Surge Shad, Suggs tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead that even he can find success out on the water!

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

 Veteran bass anglers often dismiss urban fishing opportunities as Bass

Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You

Dan Anderson - February 13, 2018

Veteran bass anglers often dismiss urban fishing opportunities as "kid's fishing ponds," but...

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the biggest pike come from Europe. Records

Top 10 Biggest Pike World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - August 19, 2015

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the...

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some strategies. Catfish

Understanding Catfish Spawning

Keith Sutton - June 06, 2006

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×