Five to follow on Championship Sunday

Category: article

 Feb 23rd, 2014 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Feb 23rd, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Key storylines on Championshop Sunday at the Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville, AL:

Edwin Evers, uncrowned royalty: E2 is one of the most successful tournament anglers in the game today, but is lacking the “signature” event in his career. Elite Series victories (six) and Open wins (two) don’t qualify as “signatures”, though – it’s either a Classic win or an Angler of the Year trophy, and Evers has yet to accomplish either of those.

He’s ready for it, though.

“You have a big target on your back when you’re leading this thing,” Evers said. “There’s only one place to go from here, and that’s down. But I’ve been here before, I know what it feels like. I’ve led quite a few events, won a few of those, lost a whole bunch of them. I’m just going to go out there, and it’s me against the fish.”

Game face, Randall. Tharp lurks just 1 ounce off the lead. (Joel Shangle)

Honey Badger lurks: No, we’re not kidding: Randall Tharp is LURKING lurking. The 2013 Forrest Wood Cup champ has been on a tear for months, with either a win or top 5 finish in his last three events. To say that he’s fishing with confidence is a vast understatement:

“I think I can catch 30 pounds and win,” Tharp said. “I’m fishing my favorite lake. I couldn’t think of a better stage or lake to do it.”

Ott under the radar?: Mercury pro Ott Defoe is oddly absent from most conversations about the tournament favorites (we’re sure as heck guilty of that). The amiable Volunteer has as a good a shot at the title as anyone in the top 5, though, especially if he’s able to locate a kicker-size fish (which he’s not been able to do yet).

Christie ready to rally: Dave Mercer dubs Jason Christie “The Most Feared Man in Professional Bass Fishing”, and the three-time 2013 Elite/FLW Tour winner likes his position in fourth place heading into the final day.

“I’d rather be a little bit behind then a little bit ahead,” Christie said. “There’s no pressure on me at all.”

Can Mueller repeat?: Good luck escaping the comparisons to Bryan Kerchal, Mr. Mueller. The B.A.S.S. Nation representative forced weighmaster Trip Weldon to do some heavy lifting on Day 2 as he brought 32-plus pounds to the stage. So which Mueller will we see this afternoon? The Day 1 Mueller – the guy who caught only three fish and weighed in 9 pounds, 10 ounces – or the Day 2 beast who logged the heaviest five-fish limit of the tournament?

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