‘Their’ tactics work on ‘our’ lakes
In advance of the Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship on Lake Mille Lacs earlier this month, I had the opportunity to spend a little time on Gull Lake with Elite Series pro Edwin Evers, of Oklahoma, who was putting on his annual Healing Heroes in Action event. It was a cool deal in which three Purple Heart recipients spent the day fishing with an Elite Series pro (in addition to Evers, Texas pro Todd Faircloth and California pro Ish Monroe attended).
Anyone who reads my stuff on a semi-regular basis knows I’ve got a soft spot for bass-fishing tournaments, so in addition to writing about Evers’ event, I was excited to just sit back and watch him attack Gull Lake, a body of water on which his only experience amounted to an hour or two the day before.
Evers, who won the 2016 Bassmaster Classic, began the day by throwing a topwater frog into a prominent reed bed. When there were no takers after a few minutes, he moved into deeper water and began flipping a plastic creature bait with a heavy weight, making dozens upon dozens of short flips into submerged vegetation. Then it was off to a series of docks, and then a small bay. Not long after that, he was back to where he started, working the reeds again before moving out to the submerged vegetation.
By the end of the event, Evers and his veteran partner had five bass in the livewell that weighed in excess of 15 pounds. Not too bad for going out and pretty much just winging it.
After watching Evers fish, and keeping in mind that his livelihood depends on his ability to catch bass, I took away a few things:
- There was little finesse to his approach. Whereas I likely would have tied on a mushroom-head jig with a 4-inch worm, Evers used heavy weights and big baits. What he may have sacrificed in quantity he made up for in quality.
- He moved quickly and covered water, basically leaving his bait in one spot only long enough to let it hit bottom and shake it a time of two. He worked his topwater frog quickly, too. But when he got a bite from a spot, he worked it thoroughly, believing there would be more than one fish there.
- His casts were precise. He skipped baits far underneath docks, never once (that I saw, anyway) making an errant cast. Certainly a case of practice making perfect.
- He tried a bunch of good-looking spots, but didn’t spend too much time at any of them if the fish weren’t biting. However, he’d revisit throughout the day the ones he thought held the most potential.
- There were a couple of spots where trees had fallen into the water, and Evers cast his baits into the thickest part of the fallen timber. There was the risk of getting snagged and losing a lure, but the potential for coaxing a strike outweighed the risk.