It’s must-see TV, this weekend’s shows of the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro on ESPN2.
That’s the word from the crew who have chronicled the story of Edwin Evers’ victory. The Talala, Okla., pro plied the Elk River for 29 pounds, 3 ounces on March 6 in what was described as a magical day.
“It was like he landed on another lake on the last day,” Bassmaster TV host Mark Zona said. “Here’s why I say that. This is a tournament where a 13- to 15-pound bag had you in contention in the top 5. A 20-pound bag and you did something incredible.
“What he did the last day -- the best way to put it and we said it in the show -- he landed on the pot of gold, literally landed on the pot of gold and was on his own world on the final day.”
Tommy Sanders said that final day rally didn’t tell the entire story -- what Evers did on Day 2 was almost more important to his story. Evers had caught only four fish on Day 1, and his second day started as damage control, Sanders said.
Evers opted to go up the Neosho River to an area he hadn’t fished in 2 years. He said that 99 out of 100 times you’re not going to win out of that river, but he just wanted to get a bite. He got more than that -- he got back in the derby as he cut Jason Christie’s lead to 6-5.
Zona agreed with Sanders that Evers’ 30 pounds on Championship Sunday certainly won it, but Day 2 played a larger role than most might imagine.
“The day that needs to be glorified is Day 2, absolutely,” Zona said. “Evers made the comment to me that Day 3 was phenomenal and magical, but Day 2 was the most critical decision he had made in his career.”
The Bassmaster.com promotion for the Classic shows, which air this weekend on ESPN2 from 7 a.m.-10 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-noon Sunday, are quite the tease. Ever sets the hook on a fish and immediately calls “big’un,” before changing his mind.
“Naw, maybe not … oh yeah,” he said as if to change his mind again, then sitting down on the passenger side. “Oh, it’s a big-un.”
The camera man is standing right over his left shoulder, and as Evers begins to grab the fish, the screen dims.
“Oh my goodness, look at that one,” his voice rising in the grey. “Wooohooohoo!!!”
Then he stated, matter of factly, “That’s the tournament right there.”