Every tournament angler heads out in the morning with some semblance of a strategy. Whether it’s to fish a certain area at a specific time or to only target a certain species or depth, each pro has an outline in their mind of how they want to go about their day on the water.
Edwin Evers’ strategy last Sunday during the Bassmaster Elite Series All-Star final against Aaron Martens centered around accessing the same water in the Sangamon River that produced for him the previous day when he beat Gerald Swindle in the semifinal round. He had it to himself and felt it gave him the best shot at winning.
There was one hitch, though. There was an extremely shallow stretch that made navigation from Lake Decatur into the river a challenge, especially as water levels dropped through the day. So part of his strategy was to lighten the load in his boat the best he could. Instead of filling his fuel tank right to the top, he opted to leave it where it was after the semifinals. Risky? Of course. Strategic? Definitely.
To make a long story short, as he tried to exit the river Sunday afternoon, he got hung up in the shallows and in the process of trying to plow over and/or through the shoal – you guessed it – he ran out of fuel or clogged his intake with debris to the point his engine quit.
A backup boat was dispatched so Evers could finish the competition and he ultimately lost by a little more than a pound – his second straight runner-up finish in the All-Star event.
Now, the question is: Should have he been forced to live with the consequences of his strategy/mechanical failure, or was B.A.S.S. okay to allow Evers to hop in a backup boat and finish the day?
I’m aware the Elite Series rules give tournament director Trip Weldon a fair amount of latitude in interpreting what’s deemed an emergency, and I’m also aware this was the final round of a season-ending All-Star event, so maybe the regular Elite rules were more loosely applied. I may be way off base here, but this is a slippery slope, no?
Either way, it wouldn’t have looked good for emcee Dave Mercer to take the stage and after Martens weighed his catch, inform the crowd that Evers had incurred a late penalty because he ran out of gas and took a zero for the day. Where’s the drama in that?
But what if Evers had jumped in the backup boat, stuck a 3-pounder and overtaken Martens for the win? If he’d left his flipping rods or box of lipless crankbaits in his truck, would someone have brought them to him? Probably not, but what we do know is he made a decision based on strategy, and it backfired on him.
– Todd Ceisner
– BassFan Editor
Snapcasts are brief opinion pieces produced by BassFan staff members. The views presented are the author's alone.