DECATUR, Ill. — As far as finalist Edwin Evers is concerned, the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind, as Bob Dylan famously sang. The question? Can Evers defeat Aaron Martens in the finals of the Evan Williams Bourbon All-Star Championship at Bassmaster Toyota Trucks All-Star Week?
Evers ran his boat as far as it could possibly go Saturday, up the Sangamon River that feeds Lake Decatur. That's where he caught three of the four bass in his 8-pound, 6-ounce total, and he missed connecting on several other bites there. Martens caught the only five-bass limit among the semifinalists Saturday; it weighed 8-13. And he stayed in the main lake, without all the adventure of guiding a bass boat through skinny water.
The 20-miles-per-hour northwest wind that blew harder as the day went on Saturday made getting out of the Sangamon River tougher for Evers than it was going in. So he will make a decision Sunday based on which direction the wind is blowing.
"If the wind is blowing any direction out of the south, or not blowing at all, I should be able to get in there," said the 37-year-old Talala, Okla., pro who qualified for the finals in last year's All-Star event on the Alabama River. "If it's blowing out of the north, I won't be able to get in."
Thunderstorms and heavy rain that hit here Friday night set up conditions that Evers thought would give him a clear path into Lake Decatur's backwaters. But when the wind started gusting out of the northwest by 10 a.m. Saturday, no amount of runoff could keep up with the one of the simplest, but most powerful forces of nature — the wind. It nearly left Evers high and dry.
Knowing he was going to face more difficulty getting out than he did getting in, Evers left himself plenty of time to get back to Lake Decatur's 3,072-acre main lake pool. And he caught one of the bass he weighed in there.
"I lost one or two and caught a keeper once I got back in the lake, with about 40 minutes to fish," Evers said. "So I can catch some in the lake, if I have to.
"I've just got to see which direction the wind is blowing tomorrow."