Skip to main content

Evers Slams Door on BASSfest Victory, Earns Automatic Classic Berth

Evers Slams Door on BASSfest Victory, Earns Automatic Classic Berth
Evers Slams Door on BASSfest Victory, Earns Automatic Classic Berth

PARIS, Tenn. — After a tough start to the Bassmaster Elite Series season, Edwin Evers said he hasn’t been that much fun for his wife, Tuesday, to live with back home in Talala, Okla.

But things should be more pleasant for both of them now.

Not only did Evers win a first-place check for $100,000 as the champion of Zippo BASSfest at Kentucky Lake presented by A.R.E. Truck Caps, but he earned an automatic berth into the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro. Evers never relinquished the lead after seizing it on Day 2, and he sealed the victory Sunday with a catch of 25 pounds that pushed his four-day total to 97 pounds, 4 ounces.

Michigan pro Kevin VanDam finished second with 94-4.


“My wife’s been about ready to shoot me, because I’ve been in a pretty bad mood most of the season,” said Evers, who claimed his ninth B.A.S.S. victory and first since 2013. “I just have to be at that Classic, so this means the world to me. It’s so important.”


BASSfest is the only tournament on the Elite Series schedule that results in an automatic Classic berth for the winner — and with the 2016 Classic taking place on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees in Evers’ home state of Oklahoma, the 40-year-old pro fished all week like his season was on the line.

He opened Wednesday with a catch of 24-0 and jumped into the lead after catching 27-2 Thursday. After taking Friday off while those who finished out of the Top 50 took part in a Second Chance event on Lake Barkley, Evers held onto the lead with 21-2 Saturday.

Then Sunday, he followed the same pattern he had fished all week to keep VanDam and third-place angler Brett Hite (91-9) from slipping past him.

Like most of the field, Evers fished Kentucky Lake’s famed ledges with a variety of baits. He used a Megabass Deep-Six Crankbait, a swimbait and an E2 Head Turner Stand Up Worm, but it was a homemade bucktail jig that helped him catch his largest bass.




“It’s a 5/8-ounce hair jig that a buddy back home made for me,” Evers said. “He actually shot the deer off my property that he made the bucktails out of. It’s something I catch some fish on back home. I had him make them for me last year before BASSfest (on Lake Chickamauga), and I should have thrown it a whole lot more last year.”

Evers said the bucktail jig worked especially well as a “follow-up” bait.

“Once I had the schools fired up on a crankbait, it was something that really worked for me,” Evers said. “I would do the same thing on each of my spots: I’d start with a crankbait, then I’d go to the swimbait and then the jig.


“Every bait I used was important.”

What helped Evers separate himself from the field was one or two big bites each day. He said most of the big fish he caught, including an 8-0 Thursday and an 8-11 Sunday, came out of one small area.

“They all came within a 5-foot circle, I can promise you,” Evers said. “Every one of them came from the same spot.”

Evers’ consistency also helped him outlast a hard charge from VanDam — a noted ledge-fishing specialist whose star-studded history on Kentucky Lake has included two third-place finishes in B.A.S.S. events, two seconds and two victories.

VanDam caught 23-9 and 24-5 the first two days, but stumbled with only 19-12 Saturday. Despite rebounding with an outstanding catch of 26-10 Sunday, he couldn’t overcome the one bad day.

“Saturday was the difference for me,” VanDam said. “If you’re going to have one bad day on this lake, it has to be at least 22 or 23 pounds. Then you have to have a 27-pound day to make up for that. You just about have to have (an average of) 25 pounds a day here to win.”

VanDam’s selection of lures was as diverse as Evers, with Strike King 6XD, 8XD and 10XD crankbaits leading the way. He said natural color patterns like sexy blueback herring and green gizzard shad worked best, and the silent version of the 6XD helped him to several impressive flurries.

“I don’t know that they’re conditioned to the one with the rattles on this lake, but it seems like that,” VanDam said. “Using the silent one was just night and day. Once you quit catching them on the regular one, you can switch to the silent one and start catching them again.

“I had some unbelievable flurries cranking this week.”

Hite caught 22-14 Sunday to earn his third-place finish with 91-9. Alabama angler Tim Horton only had two fish at 2 p.m. Sunday, but a late flurry helped him weigh in 22-11 and land in fourth place with 88-8. Fred Roumbanis rounded out the Top 5 with 18-7 Sunday for a total of 87-9.

Click here to see the results.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New for 2021: Bear Redemption EKO, Legit RTH Compound Bows

New for 2021: Bear Redemption EKO, Legit RTH Compound Bows

Bear Archery's newest bows - Redemption EKO and Legit RTH - are light, adjustable and fast.

A Bolt Action from Benelli?

A Bolt Action from Benelli?

We know what you're thinking: Isn't Benelli a shotgun company? Of course it is, but decades of shotgun manufacturing actually put Benelli in a unique position to redefine what a hunting rifle should be. Episode 1 reviews some company history to explain how this all came about.

New for 2021: Mathews V3 27 & 31 Bows

New for 2021: Mathews V3 27 & 31 Bows

Bowhunter Editor Curt Wells had an exciting visit with Mark Hayes, design engineer for Mathews, as the pair looked at the new V3 27 and V3 31 bows.

New for 2021: Hoyt RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum 30 and Ventum 33

New for 2021: Hoyt RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum 30 and Ventum 33

ATA 2021 NeDuring this video from the Archery Trade Association's New Product Premiere showcase, Bowhunter's TV Mike Carney visited with Evan Williams, pro staff manager for Hoyt Archery, to learn about the new RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum and Ventum 33 bows.w Product - Hoyt

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Make this venison chorizo recipe and cook it right away or freeze it (cooked or raw) and use it as needed.Venison Chorizo Recipe Wild Game

Venison Chorizo Recipe

Allie Doran - October 30, 2020

Make this venison chorizo recipe and cook it right away or freeze it (cooked or raw) and use...

Want to learn how to cook tasty walleye? This recipe includes three easy methods (on a grill, in a foil packet, and on a stovetop) that are sure to result in a delicious lunch or supper.Grilled Walleye Recipe Fish

Grilled Walleye Recipe

Raschell Rule - August 12, 2014

Want to learn how to cook tasty walleye? This recipe includes three easy methods (on a grill,...

There are plenty of bowhunters who opt for the dependability of fixed-blade designs.New Fixed-Blade Broadheads for 2021 ATA Show

New Fixed-Blade Broadheads for 2021

Lynn Burkhead - January 11, 2021

There are plenty of bowhunters who opt for the dependability of fixed-blade designs.

Refined, durable and well-appointed to provide shooters and hunters with O/U shotguns loaded for performance at affordable prices.New for 2021: Mossberg Reserve Series Over/Under Shotguns SHOT Show

New for 2021: Mossberg Reserve Series Over/Under Shotguns

Game and Fish Staff - January 19, 2021

Refined, durable and well-appointed to provide shooters and hunters with O/U shotguns loaded...

See More Trending Articles

More News

State approves new records for Atlantic bonito and sheepshead.Saltwater State Fishing Records Confirmed in N.Y. Records

Saltwater State Fishing Records Confirmed in N.Y.

Game & Fish Staff - February 10, 2021

State approves new records for Atlantic bonito and sheepshead.

It's the first record blue certified over 100 pounds in the Peach State.Monster Blue Catfish Smashes Georgia Record Records

Monster Blue Catfish Smashes Georgia Record

Game & Fish Staff - October 20, 2020

It's the first record blue certified over 100 pounds in the Peach State.

Fake websites pretending to sell licenses have increased as state DNRs move to online fulfillment.Beware of Internet Hunting and Fishing License Sales Scams News

Beware of Internet Hunting and Fishing License Sales Scams

Andrew McKean - September 15, 2020

Fake websites pretending to sell licenses have increased as state DNRs move to online...

The record hickory shad is the first record of 2021 in Georgia.Angler Targets Crappie, Breaks 25-Year-Old Shad Record Records

Angler Targets Crappie, Breaks 25-Year-Old Shad Record

Game & Fish Staff - February 09, 2021

The record hickory shad is the first record of 2021 in Georgia.

See More News

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

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

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now