In his latest “how-to” video, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Edwin Evers can be seen tossing a crankbait high into a tree and snagging a limb so firmly that you can hear the drag slipping on his reel.
It happens to every angler at some point.
But they’re rarely excited about it, and they certainly never do it intentionally.
Evers made this particular cast in jest to demonstrate his “new fishing technique” for harvesting pecans from the sprawling orchard he and his wife, Tuesday, operate just nine miles from their home in Talala, Okla.
The operation is a stress reliever for Evers during the fall and winter months when he’s away from the pressured-packed Elite Series. It’s also a family passion and a money-maker that he considers his retirement plan.
"Edwin Evers Pecans is not just a company that I’ve put my name on,” said Evers, who has qualified for 14 Bassmaster Classics, including the upcoming 2015 event on Lake Hartwell. “This is my family farm. My wife and I handle most of the tree grafting and transplanting, so the trees are a little bit like children to us.”
The spread spans 160 acres, and 40 of those acres were already covered with pecan trees when Evers purchased the property four years ago. He’s since added another 40 acres of trees with many more on the way.
Edwin and Tuesday have already grafted more than 2,000 trees and transplanted 850 to bring their total numbers to 470 mature trees, 850 newly planted trees and more than 1,200 juvenile trees waiting for a permanent home in the orchard.
Though the operation is still in its early stages, they’re already producing 25,000 pounds of pecans per season – and with the massive irrigation system he’s added, Evers hopes to someday produce as many as 1,500 pounds per planted acre.
But does he really harvest all of those pecans with a crankbait?
“No,” Evers said, laughing. “You’ve got a shaker that goes up next to the tree that’s mounted on the back of a tractor, and it just shakes them. If you’re standing 50 feet from the tree when that shaker is going off, it’s shaking the ground. I’ve never experienced an earthquake, but I imagine that’s what it feels like.
“Taking them out one by one with a crankbait would be a pretty big job.”
Still, the finished product deserves “catch of the day” status.
Edwin Evers Pecans offers a little bit of everything, including milk chocolate- and white chocolate-coated pecans, honey-roasted pecans, crème brûlée-covered pecans and the old holiday stand-by, farm-shelled pecans.
“You could call me a pecan nut because I’ve loved them all of my life,” Evers said. “And what a lot of people don’t know about them is that they’re really good for you.”
Pecans are a good source of manganese, protein and unsaturated fats. They're also rich in beneficial Omega-6 fatty acids, and some scientists believe they even delay age-related muscle nerve degeneration.
“I actually took a class at Oklahoma State to learn about all of this, and I’m still learning,” Evers said. “Come January, I’ll flip a switch and start fishing two or three days a week again to get ready for the season. But for right now, it’s all about pecans.”
For more information about the eight-time B.A.S.S. tournament winner’s lucrative side venture, visit edwineverspecans.com.