Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation

Evers brings charity tour to Grand Lake

Grove Sun & Delaware County Journal
Christian Favalora

One professional angler has flipped his skills with a rod and reel into a booming charity for U.S. Military veterans, and he’s bringing his tour to Grand Lake this week.

Edwin Evers, a 16-year veteran of the Bassmaster Elite series, will bring the Healing Heroes in Action Tour to Grand Lake on Thursday, May 28 for the third stop of this fishing season.

Evers has paired with OPTIMA Batteries and the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation (WWIA), a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to offering world-class outdoor sporting events to combat-wounded veterans.

“Bassmasters has shown so much interest in this event,” Evers said. “They came up to me and said they want to stream it live for everyone to watch.”

Healing Heroes in Action Tour gifts a military veteran with a day on the lake fishing alongside Evers.

WWIA pays for an entire day of fishing with the Elite pro, including a $100 Bass Pro gift card, War Eagle baits, an outfitted tackle bag and several other items.

Together, Evers and his veteran partner fish against another team of fishing enthusiasts who bid for an opportunity to compete in the one-day event.

“All the money goes directly into the Wounded Warriors in Action,” Evers said. “All that money goes straight to them, those guys in return for their top donation, they get a Lowrance deck finder, tackle bags, Wylie X gift packages and two $200 gift cards.”

The auction is hosted on Evers’ Facebook page and it serves as a fundraiser for WWIA.

In addition to being the two-man team to fish against an Elite pro and his veteran partner, the winners of this auction will also receive a $2,000 value prize pack and a chance for their friends to watch them live online.

Bassmasters will have a camera in each boat and stream the footage exclusively on its website.

The last time Evers went out on this tour, on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville, he and his partner veteran cleaned the lake out.

“We caught 52 fish that day, it was unbelievable,” Evers said. “I get messages all the time, people thanking me for doing this and asking how they can be a part of it.”

Evers’ response is tell fellow anglers to simply take someone fishing. He gets calls from sponsors but redirects them to WWIA, saying his goal is not to make a personal profit, but to further the efforts of the organization.

Evers coordinates the trips along with his schedule on the Elite series. When he travels to a lake to begin practicing for a tournament, he scouts a location for the next event, and then arranges for the prize packages and the boats to take the fishermen out.

This week, Evers, a native of Talala, will fish with Air Force veteran Mark Broda from Indiana, launching from Grove’s Wolf Creek Park on Thursday morning.

Broda served two tours in the Middle East before 9/11, serving as a survival equipment specialist. He was injured during an attack in Saudi Arabia in 1996 and is a lifetime member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

“I’ve stayed in touch with the last guy I got to fish with, we talk all the time,” Evers said. “I just get so many people who say they want to fish with me or fish against me all the time, well this is a pretty good way to take care of that.”

This season on the Elite tour, Evers sits in the top-30 on the angler rankings despite a rough start. He has eight all-time wins on the tour and has qualified for the Bassmaster Classic 13 times.