Greg Hackney had a solid Sunday on the St. Lawrence River — he turned in the heaviest sack of the Top 12 — but it wasn’t enough to catch Edwin Evers, who became the first angler in the 10-year history of the Elite Series to win back-to-back tournaments.
Hackney put together a five-fish, 19-pound bag for a four-day total of 72-11, about 5 pounds behind Evers’ winning weight. Texas angler Alton Jones caught 16-7 on Sunday to finish in second place with 73-15.
Evers, who won at BASSfest and followed it up with a winning weight of 77 pounds, 10 ounces on the St. Lawrence, caught his fish drifting shallow areas where he could see smallmouth feeding in the glass-clear water. He said he probably used 20 different lures, and even the ones that didn’t produce bites often helped him locate fish that chased the lures back to the boat.
His top producer was a wacky-rigged Zoom Fluke Stick in a green pumpkin color. He also used a Megabass Spark Shad swimbait in ayu, a Zoom called a Z-Drop worm, a Megabass X80 jerkbait, a white/silver/gold War Eagle spinnerbait, a small hair jig and a Zoom Speed Craw.
He fished all of the baits on the lightest line possible, using 6- and 8-pound braid all week.
“I could probably name three or four more baits that I caught good fish on this week,” Evers said. “I’m serious when I say I probably had 20 rods laid across the front of my boat, and they all helped me in some way.”
The swimbait often paved the way for him to land fish on the Fluke Stick.
“There were times when I’d throw that swimbait out there, and the fish just wouldn’t commit to it,” Evers said. “But when they’d follow it back to the boat, I would know they were there and I could really go to work on them.”
Sunday’s catch of 17-8 marked the second straight day that Evers failed to break the 20-pound mark after topping it his previous six times on the water. But with the rest of the field fading, he still left with the win.
As for becoming the first angler to win back-to-back events on the Elite Series, Evers said it might be next week before it actually sinks in.
“It hasn’t hit home yet,” Evers said. “It’s amazing. I can’t believe it. I know some buddies of mine are going to be really upset with me because I told them I didn’t have a good practice, but I really didn’t.
“It just all came together this week.”
Hackney, of Gonzales, earned $21,000 dollars for his third place finish, and currently is ranked 13th in the Angler of the Year standings.
The next stop on the Elite Series is Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, starting on Aug. 13.