(May 17, 2016 - Birmingham, AL)
Mike Shurley, a police officer from Diboll, Texas, will get to share a boat with the reigning Bassmaster Classic champion next month as the winner of the Fish with Edwin Evers Sweepstakes.
“I still can’t believe this happened to me,” said Shurley. “If it weren’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have much luck at all! But then I won this!”
Shurley doesn’t enter many contests, and he only buys a few lotto tickets when the pot gets really high. But this particular sweepstakes attracted him.
“Edwin Evers just seems like a genuinely nice guy,” said Shurley, “and after I entered the first time, it literally took me 30 seconds to do it every other time. I did it almost every day, but I was never really expecting to win. I just figured, why not enter?”
Then, when he got the email saying he had won, he thought it was a trick.
“As a police officer, I’m naturally skeptical of everything,” he said. “I figured it was just a way for somebody to try to sell me something. I called the number and the first thing I asked was, ‘Is this legit?’ And it was.”
Shurley will fish with Evers in Oklahoma once the Bassmaster Elite Series event, BASSfest, is over, but he doesn’t know exactly where he and the reigning Classic champ will fish. He says he’s not too worried about it.
“It might be Texoma, but there are a couple of lakes around there,” he said. “I’m game for anything.”
As part of the sweepstakes, Shurley won a 2016 Nitro Z-18 — equipped with a 150 L Mercury OptiMax motor and a trailer — a boat nearly 30 years newer than the one he currently owns.
“I had just finished fixing up my old boat,” said Shurley. “I figured I’d have it for a long time. I’ve got two stepchildren already grown, a daughter who just finished college and another daughter who will be starting college in a year. So I didn’t think I’d have the money for a new boat any time soon.
“And then this happened! I picked up the new boat on a Wednesday and had it out on Sam Rayburn on that Friday. It’s super-nice. Now my old boat is for sale.”
Shurley’s prize package doesn’t end there. In fact, it includes so much that the UPS truck was delivering something new to his home nearly every day for a week.
“It was like Christmas here for a little while,” said Shurley.
Among his deliveries were a Lowrance HDS-9 Gen3 Insight, an Optima Boat and Truck Battery Plus charger, four General Tires, a prize pack from wildlife nutrition manufacturer Antler King, sunglasses from Wiley X, soft plastics from Zoom, a prize pack from Megabass, spinnerbaits from War Eagle Spinnerbaits and a set of assorted Mustad hooks.
Shurley’s wife joked that he would be depressed after all the goodies arrived because he wouldn’t have any more reasons to watch the driveway for new packages.
“I could definitely get spoiled that way,” Shurley said.
Shurley is ready to get back out on Sam Rayburn with his new boat to try and top his personal best largemouth bass there, an 8 1/2-pounder. And his fishing partner, Mark Gorman, is almost as excited as Shurley is to enjoy that new ride.
BASSfest is set for Lake Texoma in Oklahoma June 8-12, and Shurley and Evers will go out for a full day once the event has concluded.
“I’m really looking forward to it. Even now, it’s still kind of hard to believe.”
Fans who would like to experience the same run of good luck Shurley has enjoyed can enter now for the Fish with Randy Howell Sweepstakes, which includes a prize package worth $30,000. Users can enter every day until Aug. 1 at Bassmaster.com/Sweepstakes.
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