Edwin Evers wins Alabama River Charge - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Edwin Evers wins Alabama River Charge

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"Man, you've got me," Brent Chapman said to Edwin Evers.

Evers was already in Sunday's final-round hot seat of the Alabama River Charge presented by Star brite. Chapman, the leader for the two previous days, was the last of the 12 finalists to weigh in. He climbed the stage steps already knowing it was over for him.

No one in the crowd under Montgomery's historic Union Station Train Shed heard Chapman's remark on stage. But that's how Evers later told the story.

"I didn't realize until he said ‘you've got me' that I had a chance," Evers said after he'd hoisted the eighth trophy of his Bassmaster career and claimed his second regular-season Elite Series win. "I'm so happy. I can't believe it."

Evers of Talala, Okla., got the best of Chapman by 1 pound, 12 ounces. Evers took home $100,000 and a win-you're-in berth for the 2014 Bassmaster Classic.

He took over the Charge by weighing four limits of spotted bass for a total of 75-13. The Charge was the first time, Evers said, that he'd won on spotted bass alone. He also hit a career high by weighing 22 pounds, 6 ounces of spotted bass on Saturday, the largest sack of that species he's ever caught.

To win in Montgomery was special for another reason, he said. In the 2010 and 2011 postseason events out of Montgomery on the river, he ended up second to Kevin VanDam in the tournaments and in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year races.

Evers began the tournament in fifth place, then rose into third place. After Day Three, heading into Championship Sunday, he was in second place, behind Chapman by 1-3.

Evers said sticking to his game plan — and keeping a sweet spot in Cooter's Pond in reserve until the final hours — "saved" him Sunday, when he weighed 17 pounds, 12 ounces.

"I pulled up to that spot that I've been saving all week, and they were on fire," Evers said.

Chapman of Lake Quivira, Kan., said he chalked up his second-place finish to being too conservative.

"I didn't run up to my best spot Sunday," Chapman said. "I saw Steve Kennedy and David Walker go up, and I should have tried. You don't get that many opportunities to win. I don't know if I could have by going up there, but I would have felt a lot better finishing second if I'd at least have gone up there to fish my good spot."

His "good spot" was about 1/4 mile below Jordan Dam in the Coosa River. To reach it, he had to shoot the rapids over rocks. Chapman went up there other days, but decided he should not risk it Sunday after the water dropped 7 feet. Several other Elite pros ran the whitewater successfully in their bass boats during the Charge, but several tried and struck rocks, damaged their boats or got stuck, even in higher water.

Evers' win in the Charge helped him beef up his lead in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year points race. But instead of Kevin VanDam, now Skeet Reese is hot on Evers' heals. The leader going into the Charge by just six points over VanDam, Evers now has a 25-point lead over Reese. VanDam trails Evers now by 37 points.

"We're a long way from the end, nobody's out of this AOY thing yet," Evers said. "I'm just trying to finish each event as high as I can."

Eight regular-season events determine the AOY winner. Pros earn points at each event according to their finishes, and the pro with the highest number of points is declared the winner of the title that Reese says is the most important to him in the sport of bass fishing.

Evers is after his first AOY title. VanDam has won it seven times. Reese was the AOY of 2007.

ESPN2 will air coverage of the Alabama River Charge presented by Star brite on June 2 from 8-9 a.m. ET on The Bassmasters TV show.

Courtesy: Deb Johnson

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