Related stories: Sooners running the BASS show.

Sooner Run Notebook: It’s hot, hot, hot.


THERE'S NO explaining it. It was just meant to be.

Two men from a spot on the northeast Oklahoma map called Talala, near a lake called Oologah, are among the top anglers in the world.

Coming into the season-finale Bassmaster Elite Series Sooner Run tournament, set in their home state this week, brothers-in-law Terry Butcher and Edwin Evers stood at No. 2 and No. 6.

Final placements will be announced Sunday, but they have secured positions in the top 12 for postseason competition in July for Bassmaster Angler of the Year. They are among the top of a select set of 93 others who have the credentials, know-how and sponsorships to manage a position in the best recognized fishing league in the world.

"I think about that sometimes," Butcher said. "People around here probably watch it on ESPN and see two guys from Talala and think, 'That's in Oklahoma? Where's that at?' "

Likewise, he guesses people who don't know Oklahoma must think it's a big city to produce two guys in such an elite group. The population of Talala is about 300. "It's a gas station, a feed store and a post office, that's all we got," Butcher said. "We live out in the country."

Longtime BASS fans can cite other family connections on tour over the years, but none can remember two at the top of the toughest series, much less a pair that lives in the same town. Heck, they all live on the same road where Butcher's grandfather owned a 2,000-acre ranch.

Terry and Kandase Butcher were high-school sweethearts, have been married 18 years and have two girls, Jessie, 15, and Josie 10. Edwin and Tuesday Evers have been married five years and have a daughter, Kylee, 11, and son Kade, 16 months.

With Terry's and Tuesday's parents, Terry Gene and Coeta Butcher, they make one big happy country family.

"It's mom and dad up here, Edwin and Tuesday a half-mile from there and me and Candase a half-mile more down the road," Terry Butcher said.

Edwin said, "We're a close-knit family, and we've been friends a long time; he's really a brother to me."

Terry set up Edwin on a blind date with his sister, whose first husband died of cancer just months after Kylee was born.

Neither one wanted to go on that date.

"I wasn't crazy about it, but what do you say?" Edwin said. "I figured I lived four hours away so I had an escape."

And Tuesday? "I said 'absolutely not,' " she said. "I told Terry there was no way I'd have anything in common with his friends."

Terry said, "Something clicked because they were married just about six months later." (To be clear, Candase Butcher is the one who takes credit for the idea. Terry just did the legwork with his fishin' buddy.)

Family gatherings have been fun with both men doing so well this year, Candase said. Terry has had his tough seasons, and last year Edwin missed the cut to compete in the Bassmaster Classic for the first time in six years, while Terry qualified for his first shot at what is known as the Super Bowl of bass fishing.

"Sometimes you're happy, but you kind of feel like you need watch what you say because you don't want to hurt the other one's feelings," Tuesday said.

"It's definitely more fun when you can celebrate for two."

When the men are touring, their wives and children are together and supporting each other. The kids play together daily, and when they are home, Terry and Edwin pal around and hunt. Edwin recently got Terry involved in bow hunting for deer.

Terry credits Edwin and Madisonville, Texas, pro Matt Reed for his own growth as a more versatile angler.

Edwin said he has more time on the tour, but the benefit is mutual. "We've learned from each other," Edwin said. "Terry's strength is shallow-water, power-fishin'; he's very, very good at it. He's helped me with shallow-water stuff, and I've helped him with reading electronics and deep-water stuff, so it's been a give-give situation."

And they also compete. "If I'm going to get beat, I'd just as soon it was by him," Terry said of his brother-in-law.

But what if Terry edged out the veteran for a victory in the Bassmaster Classic? "Well, as long as I'd won one first," Edwin said with a grin.

The woman who links these two top anglers, Tuesday Evers, really had nothing to do with bass fishing, even though her father had competed in local tournaments since she was a little girl and her brother was a touring pro.

"The first weigh-in I ever went to was in Dallas for Edwin," Tuesday said.

So a woman who grew up in a tiny northeast Oklahoma town ignoring all the bass fishing happening all around her, this year traveled the nation to watch her husband and her brother weigh-in to a reach positions near the pinnacle in the world of bass fishing competition.

She has no logical explanation for where she ended up or how.

"It was just meant to be," she said.


Sooner Run

Through Sunday

Weigh-in: 3:30 p.m. Sunday, at Three Forks Harbor, Muskogee

tulsaworld.com/muskogeebass


Results

Top 12 compete Sunday; Number in parenthesis is number of fish caught

Angler (Hometown) Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Total
1. Tommy Biffle (Wagoner) 19-11 (5) 18-09 (5) 17-04 (5) 55-08 (15) 315
2. Pat Golden (High Point, NC) 18-15 (5) 17-00 (5) 18-13 (5) 54-12 (15) 295
3. Rick Morris (Virginia Beach, VA) 15-00 (5) 18-06 (5) 20-00 (5) 53-06 (15) 290
4. Skeet Reese (Auburn, CA) 15-11 (5) 17-05 (5) 19-15 (5) 52-15 (15) 285
5. Kevin VanDam (Kalamazoo, MI) 17-10 (5) 16-15 (5) 18-02 (5) 52-11 (15) 280
6. Matt Herren (Trussville, AL) 18-03 (5) 14-13 (5) 19-09 (5) 52-09 (15) 276
7. Cliff Pace (Petal, MS) 14-04 (5) 19-15 (5) 16-14 (5) 51-01 (15) 272
8. Gary Klein (Weatherford, TX) 16-00 (5) 17-10 (5) 17-01 (5) 50-11 (15) 268
9. Russ Lane (Prattville, AL) 19-10 (5) 14-06 (5) 15-11 (5) 49-11 (15) 264
10. Boyd Duckett (Demopolis, AL) 16-09 (5) 14-04 (5) 18-05 (5) 49-02 (15) 260
11. Mike McClelland (Bella Vista, AR) 19-08 (5) 13-05 (5) 15-07 (5) 48-04 (15) 257
12. Davy Hite (Ninety Six, SC) 16-05 (5) 16-07 (5) 14-04 (5) 47-00 (15) 254
13. Edwin Evers (Talala) $10,000.00 13-03 (5) 13-11 (5) 18-14 (5) 45-12 (15) 251
14. Scott Rook (Little Rock, AR) 45-07 (15) 248 15-08 (5) 12-14 (5) 17-01 (5)
15. Mark Davis (Mount Ida, AR) 45-05 (15) 245 16-01 (5) 13-14 (5) 15-06 (5)
16. Paul Elias (Laurel, MS) 45-00 (15) 243 15-00 (5) 15-04 (5) 14-12 (5)
17. Keith Poche (Troy, AL) 44-13 (15) 241 14-09 (5) 16-02 (5) 14-02 (5)
18. Greg Hackney (Gonzales, LA) 44-10 (15) 239 15-04 (5) 13-11 (5) 15-11 (5)
19. Kenyon Hill (Norman) 43-09 (15) 237 15-09 (5) 15-01 (5) 12-15 (5)
20. Terry Butcher (Talala) 43-05 (15) 235 13-12 (5) 14-09 (5) 15-00 (5)
21. Jami Fralick (Martin, SD) 42-03 (15) 233 18-04 (5) 11-05 (5) 12-10 (5)
22. Todd Faircloth (Jasper, TX) 41-14 (15) 231 12-13 (5) 16-14 (5) 12-03 (5)
23. Stephen Browning (Hot Springs, AR) 41-13 (15) 229 13-14 (5) 13-07 (5) 14-08 (5)
24. Aaron Martens (Leeds, AL) 41-10 (15) 227 14-05 (5) 15-02 (5) 12-03 (5)
25. Marty Stone (Fayetteville, NC) 41-10 (15) 225 15-01 (5) 15-01 (5) 11-08 (5)
26. Marty Robinson (Lyman, SC) 41-09 (15) 223 10-03 (5) 15-08 (5) 15-14 (5)
27. Grant Goldbeck (Gaithersburg, MD) 41-08 (15) 221 15-14 (5) 11-03 (5) 14-07 (5)
28. Rick Clunn (Ava, MO) 41-07 (15) 219 13-11 (5) 12-12 (5) 15-00 (5)
29. Dustin Wilks (Rocky Mount, NC) 41-04 (15) 217 12-10 (5) 13-12 (5) 14-14 (5)
30. Kevin Short (Mayflower, AR) 41-03 (15) 215 11-10 (5) 15-04 (5) 14-05 (5)
31. Peter E (Thliveros St Augustine, FL) 40-06 (15) 213 15-01 (5) 12-01 (5) 13-04 (5)
32. Chris Lane (Guntersville, AL) 40-02 (15) 211 11-00 (5) 17-08 (5) 11-10 (5)
33. Chad Griffin (Cresson, TX) 39-14 (13) 209 14-11 (5) 18-15 (5) 06-04 (3)
34. Bradley Roy (Lancaster, KY) 39-06 (15) 207 12-12 (5) 15-01 (5) 11-09 (5)
35. Randy Howell (Springville, AL) 39-05 (15) 205 17-00 (5) 10-02 (5) 12-03 (5)
36. Mark Tucker (Saint Louis, MO) 39-00 (15) 203 13-14 (5) 13-08 (5) 11-10 (5)
37. Morizo Shimizu (Osaka JAPAN) 38-13 (15) 201 14-00 (5) 13-06 (5) 11-07 (5)
38. Mark Tyler (Vian) 38-04 (15) 199 13-08 (5) 12-04 (5) 12-08 (5)
39. Timmy Horton (Muscle Shoals, AL) 38-04 (14) 197 13-10 (5) 13-01 (4) 11-09 (5)
40. Jared Lintner (Arroyo Grande, CA) 37-10 (14) 195 18-05 (5) 07-08 (4) 11-13 (5)
41. Steve Kennedy (Auburn, AL) 37-09 (14) 193 17-03 (5) 08-11 (5) 11-11 (4)
42. Pete Ponds (Madison, MS) 36-03 (15) 191 11-06 (5) 14-11 (5) 10-02 (5)
43. Alton Jones (Waco, TX) 35-12 (14) 189 10-06 (5) 15-09 (5) 09-13 (4)
44. Brent Chapman (Lake Quivira, KS) 35-05 (13) 187 16-02 (5) 13-06 (5) 05-13 (3)
45. Vince Fulks (Purcell) 35-02 (13) 185 16-14 (5) 11-11 (5) 06-09 (3)
46. John Crews (Salem, VA) 33-08 (12) 183 06-14 (4) 20-01 (5) 06-09 (3)
47. Derek Remitz (Grant, AL) 33-05 (12) 181 12-13 (5) 17-02 (5) 03-06 (2)

Note: Anglers who placed 13 through 46 earned $10,000 each. Place No. 47 earned $5,000.


Kelly Bostian 581-8357

kelly.bostian@tulsaworld.com SUBHEAD: Talala anglers rise to the top, become family along the way SOONER RUN: EDWIN EVERS AND TERRY BUTCHER