DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

EVERS TAKES THE CLASSIC LEAD

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 02/22/2014

Story by Matt Pangrac - Photos by Dave Rush

Birmingham, AL – The 2014 Bassmaster Classic has a new leader after the second day of competition on Lake Guntersville.  After bringing a modest limit to the Classic scales weighing 20-9, Oklahoma’s Edwin Evers overtook Day One leader, Randall Tharp, by a single ounce with a total weight of 47-6.     

Tharp entered Day Two riding high after an impressive 27-8 effort on Day One.   Despite losing over an hour of fishing time due to mechanical issues on Friday, the Florida pro managed a limit weighing 19-13 on Saturday to keep pace with Evers.  

Ott DeFoe quietly finished the day in 3rd after opening round limits weighing 20-10 on Friday and 22-11 on Saturday.  Despite failing to steal headlines with giant limits, DeFoe’s consistency has him just 4-1 out of the lead heading into Championship Sunday.  

Oklahoma’s Jason Christie finished in 4th place after mining Guntersville to the tune of 20-11 on Saturday to boost his total weight to 42-14.  After recording a 7th place finish in the 2013 Classic on Grand Lake, Christie will enter Sunday looking to lift the Classic trophy in only his second attempt.  

Saturday’s showstopper was B.A.S.S. Nation angler Paul Mueller, who shocked the crowd with the heaviest five bass limit to ever cross a Classic stage.  Entering the day in 47th place with 9-10, Mueller weighed in 32-3 on Saturday to jump up to 5th place with a total weight of 41-13.   

1st Place: Edwin Evers (26-13, 20-9: 47-6)
Evers on his slow start to the day:  “I finished my limit out really late (in the day).  I just kept going as hard as I could because I knew that it could happen at any minute.  I felt like the day was going by super slow and I never felt rushed at all.  I kept thinking, ‘Man, I’ve still got time.’ I’m just glad that I got one big one.”  

Edwin EversEvers on how he adjusted on Saturday: “I went looking for them trying to figure out where they went. I think that there are still some fish coming in and I think that there are some fish up on the bank.”  

Evers on managing the Classic crowds watching him on the water:  “99% of the spectator boats out there are great, but there are 1% of them that are out there to fish, and you really can’t blame them. Tomorrow, I have to do better (controlling the observers) than I did today.  It was frustrating today because I tried to fish some of the same lines that I fished yesterday, but by the time I got to the other side of a pocket they (the spectators) would be blown up on my grass and I’d only get to fish about half of my stuff.  Tomorrow, every spot that I approach I’m going to really have to think about where the wind will drift the spectator boats.”

Evers on the number of anglers still with a shot to win the Classic: “I’d say anyone within 10-pounds (of the lead).  I’d say that if you’re more than 10-pounds back, it’s a long shot.  (NOTE: There are 15 anglers within 10-pounds of the lead).   

Evers’ first thoughts after realizing he was leading the Classic on Saturday: “My first thought was just, ‘Wow.’ When I was putting them (the fish) in the (weigh-in) bag, I really wasn’t looking at them because I was doing an interview backstage.  I caught one of the big ones at 7:30 in the morning and two of them in the last hour, so I didn’t really study the fish or think about how much they weighed.”  

Evers on controlling his emotions on Sunday: “Don’t get me wrong, this is a great feeling.  I haven’t won yet.  A month from now or five years from now, nobody is ever going to know that I was in 1st place after the second day of the Classic if I don’t win.”  

2nd Place: Randall Tharp (27-8, 19-13: 47-5)
Tharp on how the Classic is playing out compared to how he thought things would go:  “I’ve been mentally preparing myself for this event.  I qualified in October, and it didn’t set in until around Christmastime when I came here to practice.  That’s when the reality set in that I was going to fish the Bassmaster Classic on one of my favorite lakes.  

"Since then, the Bassmaster Classic is all that I’ve thought about.  I was even really distracted at (the FLW Tour event) on Lake Okeechobee (in early February).  I’m always a favorite on Okeechobee, and I was out there flipping mats and my mind was on this lake and this tournament.  I can distinctly remember thinking about (the Classic) during that event.”    

Tharp on knowing where his bites would come from: “I’m catching fish that I found in December on about half of my places.  They are still there.  The water was 43 degrees when I was here in December, and the fishing was way better. Now, you really have to work to generate a bite.”

Tharp on remaining calm despite missing some fishing time on Saturday due to mechanical issues: “My guess is that from the time that it happened until the time it was fixed it took about 1 hour, 45 minutes.  The linkage in my gear case broke.  I mean, why are you going to get upset about something that you can’t fix yourself?  All I could think about during that time was where I was going to catch my next bass because I knew they were going to get it fixed.  It wouldn’t have done any good to get anxious or upset.  I’m a pretty calm guy and that’s just the way that I am.”  

3rd Place: Ott DeFoe (20-10, 22-11: 43-5)
DeFoe on his key moment on Saturday: “The key moment was definitely catching a giant.  I know that a 7 ½-pounder isn’t a giant for Guntersville, but when you catch a fish like that in the Classic to push your bag up to 22-pounds, it kind of makes your day.  The other fish that I had were all solid, but the kicker really pushed me over the edge.”

DeFoe relives his kicker bite: “I came around a corner and fired a cast across a little point with a crank bait.  Once the bait got down there, it bounced off a couple rocks and the rod just loaded up. I knew that it was a good fish right away, but I wasn’t 100% sure that it was a bass.  It came up fairly close to the boat and when it rolled, I knew that it was one I really wanted.  I wrestled with it at the side of the boat for a while before finally getting a hold of it.”  

4th Place: Jason Christie (22-3, 20-11: 42-14)
Christie on how he feels going into the final day on Guntersville compared to how he felt going into the final day of the 2013 Grand Lake Classic where he was in 5th Place after Day Two: “Things are going good for me right now because I’m only 5-pounds back right now and I’ve been really fortunate to catch what I’ve caught.  I had an OK practice and I’ve put everything in the boat.  

“Last year on Grand, I was really mad after the second day of the tournament was over because I started to fish past history and I knew that I wasted a lot of time.  Here on Guntersville, I may be wasting my time fishing some places that don’t have any fish, but I don’t know that because it isn’t my home lake.  I’m just going out there fishing, and all you can ask for is to have a chance.”  

5th Place: Paul Mueller (9-10, 32-3: 41-13)
Mueller relives the moment he realized he was pushing a 30-pound limit in the Classic: “The first time that I thought I had a 30-pound limit was when I caught my 8-pounder.  I had two over 6-pounds and a two over 3-pounds, so when I boated that big one, I remember thinking, ‘Man, I’ve gotta be getting close to 30.’  With an hour-and-a-half to go, I caught a 6 ½-pounder and that’s when I knew for sure that I was over the 30-pound mark.  

“It wasn’t like it was fast and furious for me today.  To be honest, it didn’t feel like I was fishing in the Bassmaster Classic – it just felt like I was out there fishing for fun.  I really enjoyed it.”     

DAY TWO STANDINGS

PlaceNameDay 1Day 2Total FishTotal Weight
FishWeightFishWeight
1 Edwin Evers 5 26-13 5 20- 9 10 47- 6
2 Randall Tharp 5 27- 8 5 19-13 10 47- 5
3 Ott DeFoe 5 20-10 5 22-11 10 43- 5
4 Jason Christie 5 22- 3 5 20-11 10 42-14
5 Paul Mueller 3 9-10 5 32- 3 8 41-13
6 Casey Ashley 5 23- 2 5 18-10 10 41-12
7 Chad Morgenthaler 5 19- 5 5 21-14 10 41- 3
8 Jonathon VanDam 5 20-11 5 18-10 10 39- 5
9 Adam Wagner 5 14-14 5 24- 3 10 39- 1
10 Terry Scroggins 5 16-15 5 21-13 10 38-12
11 Randy Howell 5 20- 3 5 18- 3 10 38- 6
12 Todd Faircloth 5 16- 6 5 21- 3 10 37- 9
13 Brandon Palaniuk 5 16-11 5 20-14 10 37- 9
14 Jordan Lee 4 13- 7 5 24- 0 9 37- 7
15 Aaron Martens 5 15-10 5 21-11 10 37- 5
16 Dean Rojas 5 20-14 5 15- 7 10 36- 5
17 Morizo Shimizu 5 16-11 5 19- 7 10 36- 2
18 David Kilgore 5 18-15 5 16-11 10 35-10
19 Bobby Lane 5 12-15 5 22- 8 10 35- 7
20 Douglas Thompson 4 12- 7 5 22- 7 9 34-14
21 Fred Roumbanis 5 23- 2 3 11-10 8 34-12
22 Coby Carden 5 22- 4 4 12- 3 9 34- 7
23 Ish Monroe 5 18- 8 4 15-13 9 34- 5
24 David Walker 5 24-13 4 9- 6 9 34- 3
25 Keith Combs 5 20- 3 5 13-15 10 34- 2
26 Kevin VanDam 5 16- 2 5 17- 2 10 33- 4
27 Hank Cherry 5 15- 9 5 17- 7 10 33- 0
28 John Crews 4 18-10 5 14- 2 9 32-12
29 Tommy Biffle 5 20-13 5 11-13 10 32-10
30 Bill Lowen 5 15- 5 5 16- 6 10 31-11
31 Brent Chapman 5 17-11 5 13-15 10 31-10
32 Cliff Crochet 2 7- 5 5 23-15 7 31- 4
33 Patrick Bone 5 15- 7 5 15-13 10 31- 4
34 Rick Morris 4 15- 4 5 14- 0 9 29- 4
35 Jeff Lugar 3 11-10 5 15-14 8 27- 8
36 Chris Lane 5 15- 1 4 12- 5 9 27- 6
37 John Murray 5 13-11 5 13- 1 10 26-12
38 Greg Vinson 5 16-13 3 9-12 8 26- 9
39 Chris M Jones 5 16-10 3 9- 8 8 26- 2
40 Josh Bertrand 5 12-13 5 12- 7 10 25- 4
41 Mark Dove 5 12- 8 4 12- 1 9 24- 9
42 Yusuke Miyazaki 5 17- 5 3 6-10 8 23-15
43 Mark Davis 4 10- 0 5 12-10 9 22-10
44 Stephen Kennedy 5 15- 7 3 6-15 8 22- 6
45 Alton Jones 5 15- 7 3 5-12 8 21- 3
46 Tim Johnston 2 7-10 4 13- 0 6 20-10
47 Michael Iaconelli 4 15- 9 1 4- 6 5 19-15
48 Takahiro Omori 5 14-12 2 4-10 7 19- 6
49 Skeet Reese 2 7-12 4 11- 9 6 19- 5
50 Richard Howes 5 17- 0     5 17- 0
51 Cliff Pirch 2 7- 4 4 8-13 6 16- 1
52 Chris Zaldain 3 9-10 1 1-11 4 11- 5
53 Gerald Swindle 1 2- 1 2 5-15 3 8- 0
54 Stephen Browning 1 3-12 1 3- 7 2 7- 3
55 Gary Klein 1 4- 6 1 2- 6 2 6-12