By John Johnson
BassFan Senior Editor
Edwin Evers put together a pretty fair campaign on the 2020 MLF Bass Pro Tour, logging a couple of Top-20 finishes and placing in the bottom half of the 80-angler field on just two occasions. It didn't remotely resemble his 2019 season, when he captured the points title and won the inaugural Redcrest Championship, but years like that don't happen often for anybody – no matter who you are.
"It was a decent year," said the veteran from Oklahoma who finished 28th on this year's points list during a regular season that was contracted from the originally scheduled eight events to five due to the coronavirus. "The game's all about making the right decisions and I had a few bad decisions that didn't lead to the best events."
The two events in Florida were the reason that he qualified for the 2021 Redcrest with only 2 places to spare. He was 47th at Lake Okeechobee in February and 58th at the Kissimmee Chain (Heavy Hitters) in June.
He's had some high finishes in the Sunshine State over the years (including a win at the 2011 St. Johns River Bassmaster Elite Series), but there have been some bombs, too.
"Generally, Florida's been my nemesis," he said. "It either ends up good or bad and a lot of times it's been bad. It's just one of the places where I've struggled throughout my career – those are a different type of fishery. A lot of times I run from crowds because I just don't like to be involved with them and Florida is a place where a lot of stuff happens in crowds."
Buried by the Brush
Evers' lackluster showing at Heavy Hitters necessitated a strong outing in the finale at Sturgeon Bay to get him into the field for next year's Redcrest, which will be held at Grand Lake in his home state (the site of his 2016 Bassmaster Classic triumph). Unlike the Classic, Redcrest doesn't guarantee a berth for the defending champion.
He said his issue at Kissimmee was that he completely missed the predominant brushpile bite.
"My brain was thinking grass- or current-related stuff and I wasn't on the pattern that was really good," he said. "The grass ... there was a lot of people doing it – what little offshore grass there was.
"I didn't event really know (the brushpiles) existed down there."
He said he had a great time interacting with the abundant smallmouth at Sturgeon Bay, where his 14th-place finish was enough to allow him to slip inside the Redcrest cutoff.
"I really enjoyed that event and I caught a lot of fish on a couple of those days. I was close to the elimination line (during the Knockout Round) and then we had the weather delay, and when we got back out there I just never got on them again.
"I thought the big wind and waves would make them bite. I had some fish in a calmer area that I hadn't been to all week, but it would've been a hard run to get there. I thought I could make it happen out there (in the rough stuff) again, but I couldn't."
Good Times on the 'Tube'
Evers says he's thoroughly enjoyed producing the "Project E" videos for his YouTube channel throughout the year. He now has dozens up and running – some just a few minutes long and others much more in-depth.
"I'm trying to help people become better anglers by going to a body of water I've never fished and describing how to break down a new lake or teaching a technique that's good for that particular time of year," he said. "The beauty of it is I can make it really detailed if necessary – it's my schedule and my time and it doesn't have to be about a specific bait. It can be whatever I want it to be about.
"I had one about flipping at Falcon where the fishing was just amazing and one about offhsore cranking at Grand when there were so many catches in such a short amount of time that I couldn't talk enough to keep up. Another time I went out to Grand and caught big one after big one on top with the water temperature in the 80s. Everybody's thinking deep at the end of summer, but it was the exact opposite – they were up shallow."
> Evers said he lost 30 to 40 percent of his pecan crop (he farms 200 acres) to a freeze in April. "The trees bloomed again, but the second blooming is never as strong as the first one," he said.