By John Johnson
BassFan Senior Editor
Winning both major titles (Angler of the Year and the Redcrest Championship) in the inaugural season of the Bass Pro Tour has resulted in a busy offseason for Edwin Evers. He's had a bevy of sponsorship and other business-related obligations to attend to throughout the fall and not until last week was he able to settle back into his Oklahoma home, begin the process of harvesting 100 acres of pecans and start thinking about the 2020 campaign.
Does he like the look of next year's schedule?
"How can you not?" he asked. "That's a hammer schedule. It's going to be a fun run of tournaments – Eufaula, Okeechobee, Raleigh ... I'm really looking forward to Winnebago (Wis.) because I was frustrated with how I did there.
"A couple of the events, because of where they are on the calendar, are kind of unknown to me and I like events that are unknown. They all look good, though, and I'm just going to take them one at a time."
What's undisputable was his dominance of a 2019 slate that had to be quickly cobbled together after the announcement of the circuit in late 2018. Also, due to flooding in his home state of Oklahoma, the derby at Grand Lake (where he won the 2016 Bassmaster Classic) was eliminated and replaced with a second event at Table Rock Lake.
His ledger included a regular-season win at Conroe in addition to his Redcrest triumph on the Mississippi River, plus four other top-10 finishes. The worst he placed in the 80-angler field over eight events was 42nd (twice).
"I've had other years where I felt like I fished that good, but there was always one bad event that kept me from getting that trophy," he said. "I didn't have that this year."
All the Right Moves
Like all AOY campaigns, Evers' season was full of good decisions. Those started in the first event at Florida's Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, where he finished as the runner-up.
"On the second day at 10 o'clock I only had a couple of fish and I locked down into Toho and just made a great run," he said. "It took me way up the leaderboard, from almost last place to well inside the cutline.
"It was similar at Conroe – my first day wasn't good, but then I made a big adjustment the second day and moved way up in the standings. Then at Chickamauga, after the first period on the first day I was in 39th place (out of 40 anglers competing that day). I moved to another part of the lake and went to another technique and it just worked out.
"I could go on and on," he continued, "but those were the ones that were the most drastic. I made a lot of good adjustments on the water and I fished fearlessly. I never had to regret where I was or what I was doing."
Hard Act to Follow
Naturally, Evers will be hard-pressed to duplicate the success he enjoyed this year. He's eagerly looking forward to the quest, however.
"I'd sure like to go out there and back it up," he said. "I'm not saying I can accomplish those things again, but I'd sure like to try. Those are good goals to set – I've always been a believer in setting your goals as high as you reasonably can."
In the shorter term, he's got his pecan harvest (2,700 trees) to occupy him, along with some deer hunting with 10-year-old son Cade.
As of late last week, he'd spent three days in the orchards under rainy, muddy and at times even frozen conditions. He'll need another four or five days to complete the haul.
"I enjoy it a lot," he said. "Probably the best days are the ones when I come home after working really hard and I'm just dead tired."