Recording Classic history

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Steve Bowman

TULSA, Okla. -- By now, anyone who follows bass fishing knows Edwin Evers won the 2016 Bassmaster Classic with a monster 29-pound, 3-ounce bag on Championship Sunday. He went from 6 pounds, 5 ounces behind at the start of the day to beating second-place Jason Christie by 10 pounds, 5 ounces.

He grabbed the Classic by the throat and literally choked it into submission. This feat reminds me of a grand slam home run in the top of the 9th at the World Series.

Steve Bowman and I had the assignment to cover Evers’ final day from start to finish. Along with our boat driver, retired Marine Sgt. Daniel Standridge, we watched the whole thing unfold from mere yards away. Read on for my synopsis of Evers’ historic day.

Getting the band back together

A little background first: Bowman and I have a history with Evers. We covered him when he won on Kentucky Lake last year, and we covered him when he won at St. Lawrence River in 2015, as well. Maybe we were good luck for him? Evers had joked that we needed to “get the band back together.”  When we did just that, he had, as he put it, “a magical, magical day." On the drive back to Tulsa on Sunday, we called him to suggest perhaps we deserved ten percent of the prize money. Evers thought that was funny, but declined our offer. 

A fast start

On the evening before Day 3, Evers suggested we arrive with a full tank of gas if we were going to follow him. He planned to start the day way up Oklahoma's Elk River, but then might run all the way south to the dam. Turns out the fishing was so good on the Elk he never left.

His day started fast. Evers made two quick stops on the way to his honey hole. After arriving there, he quickly caught two 6-plus pounders. Our heart rates shot through the roof, and we rapidly got down to the business of creating content, with Bowman shooting photos, and me sending updates to the blog. (See Evers' amazing morning photos here.)

Could we actually be witnessing our third Evers victory in nine months?

About this time, a spectator boat pulled up next to us with five young guys in it. Okay, so it turned out one of the guys wasn’t so young after all. He was Terry Butcher, Sr., Evers' father-in-law. He’s also the father of Terry Butcher, Jr., the former Elite Series angler. The other guys in the boat were relatives and friends -- Brennon Agulliard, Walker Roberts, Logan Armstrong, and Hunter Gibson. Perhaps they brought an extra dose of good luck.

Jim Sexton
An extra dose of good luck for Edwin Evers.