Faith, family & friends

I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Edwin Evers, and I'm from Talala, Okla. I'm a husband, a father, a son and a Bassmaster Elite Series pro. To my way of thinking, I'm just about the luckiest guy you'll ever meet. I have a family that I love with all my heart, a career that gives me challenges and rewards (though sometimes more challenges than rewards) and I live in the greatest country on earth.

I have it good.

The things that get me out of bed every morning have changed over the course of my life. A teenage daughter and five-year-old son will do that for you. They make every day an adventure for my wife (Tuesday) and me. Our son is all about animals, Tom & Jerry cartoons, Legos and dinosaurs. (What is it about dinosaurs that fascinates every kid?) Our daughter just wants to drive and hang out with her friends. They bring a lot of joy to our lives.

Providing for a family definitely has pushed me to work and strive at an entirely different level than when I was younger and had fewer responsibilities. I'm grateful to them for that and for the focus they've given me. I hope I can do as much for them.

Another thing I'm passionate about is the outdoors. I tell people that I sometimes feel like a caged animal when I'm inside. It may seem like an exaggeration, but for me it's true. If I'm inside and want to be outside, I start looking at the walls like they're iron bars and searching for any excuse to get out.

My love of the outdoors has shaped my entire life. It led me to a career as a professional angler, it caused us to buy a pecan orchard, it sends me to the woods in the fall to hunt. It's even shaped the relationships in my life and established many of my closest friendships. I am happiest being and doing things outdoors.

That love of the outdoors may have come naturally for me (it seems innate), but it wasn't something I picked up from my family — they don't fish. They're into horses.

I enjoy riding and caring for horses, too, but fishing has always been the thing that made me happy. Luckily, my parents saw that passion and helped me develop it. A lot of parents might have pushed me toward their own interests, but mine let me be my own person, driven by my own interests, and I'll always be grateful for that. It's something I want to do for my own children.

For me, though, there's something special — even magical — about being on the water, watching the sunrise and enjoying the peace of the world as it wakes up. There's also something special about hoping and knowing that things are about to get exciting because you have a rod and reel in your hands and there are fish in the water.

There's nothing better.

Another thing I'm passionate about is giving back to the sport and country that has given so much to me. I'll tell you more about that in another column. I've been working on some ideas that I hope can make a difference in some people's lives.

I wanted to mention all of these things in this first column, not to show you how different or unusual I am, but to point out that you and I are probably very similar — at least if you've stuck with me this far!

You and I may never meet, but we have a connection. Sharing priorities and passions is a big deal. It means something to me. And maybe it means something to you, too.

Thanks for reading. I hope you'll come back for the next installment. And I hope you'll share some of your thoughts and experiences with me. You can comment below … or better yet, in person if we see each other on the water or somewhere down the road.

Until then, I hope you catch a big one.

Keep up with Edwin Evers on Facebook and Twitter.

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