Watch as Edwin Evers explains what it takes to become a professional angler.
Hi, I'm Glenn May with BassResource.com. With me today is Edwin Evers. Edwin, it's great to have you with us.
Edwin Evers: Thank you for having me.
Glenn: Edwin, when you start preparing for a tournament, how far in advance do you start doing that, and what are some of the things you're looking for?
Edwin: I want to just familiarize myself with it as much as possible. So, I'm going to spend some time on the computer, basically looking at aerial photos, seeing how big a body of water it is. Just having my tackle on my boat, just the general things you do for every tournament. It depends on what tournament it is. If it's a body of water that I'm very comfortable with, Rayburn, Toledo Bend, something like that, not so much. You go to a body of water that I've never been to before, like say the St. John's River, or something like here at the Classic that's so big and vast, you do quite a bit more preparation for it.
Glenn: And what are some of the things you do to prep for a tournament?
Edwin: Like I said, just try to learn what I can off that computer--aerial photos, like here at the Classic. I flew over this body of water in a small airplane to just and see as much of it as I could from the air, the water colors, those kinds of things.
Glenn: And once you're on that body of water what are some of the first things you do? Do you motor around a lot, just looking at your graph, or do you just start fishing the areas to see what's there? What are some of the things you do to start taking apart that body of water?
Edwin: I usually try to pick three distinct areas, spend three days fishing in those different areas and try to dissect them.
Glenn: And are you more comfortable fishing deep, or shallow?
Edwin: I've always kind of just really prided myself on being very versatile, you know, winning a tournament on area drop shot in 42 feet of water, and then going and winning a tournament down here at Atchafalaya Basin a year and a half ago flipping two foot of water. So, I'm comfortable. I just like to catch them. I don't care if it's on 6-pound test or 65-pound braid. I like to catch them.
Glenn: Okay. In all these years you've been working to become a much better angler, have you learned any lessons that you've been able to apply to your life outside of fishing?
Edwin: Yeah, that's a good question. Just being open minded. Early on in my career you had so many people just trying to, "Hey, you need to fish here, fish there." I've become more reliant on myself and trusting my own instincts and God-given abilities versus getting all that extra help out there.
Glenn: So, it's more about just going with your gut?
Edwin: Yeah, exactly.
Glenn: Okay. And when you first became a pro, what was one of the most surprising things to you that maybe you weren't expecting?
Edwin: Just the travel--how much you're actually gone, being away from home. It's pretty grueling.
Glenn: You're out like 10, 11 months of the year, right?
Edwin: It seems like it--not quite. But is seems like it.
Glenn: And how does that work for friends and family back home. How do you stay in touch with them?
Edwin: We don't go more than two weeks without seeing my wife and my children. They'll fly in, or I'll fly home; one way or the other. A lot of times that means they're flying into a venue or tournament, but we just stay in touch over the phone, face time on the new cell phones, and make the most of the time when we're together.
Glenn: And what's the best part of being a professional angler?
Edwin: I just love seeing that sunrise every morning. It's one of the coolest things ever. The things that you see out there, wherever it may be, just being out there seeing nature and all the different things, you know. You wish you could capture a lot of those sights in some sort of book of pictures. It would be worth a million.
Glenn: Now, for somebody who's just starting out and wants to become a pro angler, what kind of advice would you give him as he seeks to pursue that career?
Edwin: Right off the bat, get your college education. One, you've got to have one. The sponsors are looking for that on a resume, and it's something to fall back on. It's just very important. Get that college degree, whatever it may be.
Two, do it on your own. You're not going to become a better angler doing something somebody else tells you to do. Go out there and learn it on your own. Go out there and spend time on the water. I just can't stress that enough. The more time on the water, the better you're going to be.
And another is, if you can go and become a co-angler, like in the Bass Opens or become a marshal in the Elites, the amount of information you can learn sitting behind Kevin VanDam, or Rick Clunn, or one of those guys in an 8-hour day is just tremendous. Don't go out there with that attitude that I got to beat them that day. Just go out there with the attitude of I'm going to learn everything I can from that particular angler that you've drawn out with. And your learning curve is just much more steep.
Glenn: It's so competitive right now. A lot of guys really want to make it pro, and there are so many tournaments out there. It's actually kind of hard to win one nowadays. How would someone know at what point they're ready to move up to the next level?
Edwin: That's a great thing about BASS. You've got the weekend series, then you've got the Opens, then you've got the Elites. If you're successful in one, there's another right there above it that you can go try it in. I've always said, some of the best anglers are the ones that you fish against locally, on whatever given body of water it may be--Rayburn, Toledo Bend, Texoma. If you can beat those guys every day, day in and day out, you can take it to the next step.
Glenn: So, it's not necessarily how many tournaments you've won?
Edwin: No, no set number on it at all.
Glenn: It's more or less how confident you are to move up to the next level?
Glenn: You've been a pro for a long time now. When you first started off you may have done things a little bit differently than how you do today. How have you changed? Have you changed professionally or personally?
Edwin: One, I've just become more versatile. Early on in my career I was just very one dimensional--a shallow water fisherman. I didn't like being around a lot of crowds, you know. It's one of those things you've got to become more comfortable being around people.
Glenn: One of the things I want to do right now is called the Shameless Plug Moment. And that is, you can talk about your sponsors, anyway you want to, or if you want to say something to your family or friends, or to your fans out there. What would you like to say?
Edwin: I'm just very blessed and thankful to have the sponsors, the family, all those people behind me. Because without any one of them I couldn't be where I am today. I'm just thankful from top to bottom.
Glenn: Fantastic. Well, there you have it ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Edwin Evers. I'm Glenn May with BassResource.com.