John's Journal...

Boyd Duckett: The Man Who Won the 2007 Bassmaster Classic and How He Did It

Duckett’s Classic-Winning Pattern

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Boyd Duckett of Demopolis, Alabama, the 46-year-old owner of a tank trailer leasing and repair company and avid bass fisherman, never attended a Bassmasters Classic until the one he won in February, 2007 at Alabama’s Lay Lake near Birmingham. “I made a decision when I started professional bass fishing that I wouldn’t attend a Classic until I could fish in it,” explains Duckett. How did Duckett win the 2007 Bassmaster Classic, and what can we learn from Duckett? We saw other tournament pros use this same tactic that Duckett did – not fish for ghost bass. That’s why Duckett didn’t practice on Lay Lake. Then he wouldn’t try to catch bass in the same places where he’d caught them when and if he pre-fished the lake. Actually Duckett probably spent less time on Lay Lake this year than any other tournament pro who fished in the 2007 Classic. But rather than telling Duckett’s story, let’s let him tell you how, why and where he won with 48 pounds, 10 ounces and took home $500,000, beating out second-place Skeet Reese, who had 48 pounds, 4 ounces anClick to enlarged won $45,000 and third-place Kevin VanDam, who won $40,000 with his 45 pounds, 4 ounces.

Phillips: Boyd, how did you get to the Classic?
Duckett: I’ve been fishing different bass tournament trails since about 1970. Then about two years ago, I set as my goal to compete for the Angler-of-the-Year title on the B.A.S.S. circuit. Now I’ve won the Bassmasters Classic. I think that’s pretty cool. I love bass fishing – both the sport and the competition. I fished both sides of the tour this past year and qualified for the Classic through the Southern Division. I feel really lucky that I made it to the Classic and that it was taking place here in Alabama. Having fished team events all over the state, of course I know Lay Lake, but I don’t consider Lay Lake one of my best lakes. Russ Lane of Prattville, Alabama, picked by many to win this Classic because of his experience with Lay Lake, beat me sClick to enlargeome of the time when we fished team events at Lay Lake. But I was able to put a good pattern together this time and luckily it held up for three days.

Phillips: What pattern did you put together?
Duckett: I had originally found bass in 8 or 9 feet of water using a crankbait, but those bass left that area after practice. So, I told my brother that I was moving every day, and I was going to fish each day as if it was the first day I had ever fished Lay Lake. But I found the bass that were in deep water had moved up to secondary points out of that deep water. They were on a good lipless crankbait pattern, and I was fishing with an orange-and-brown Rat-L-Trap. I was able to catch bass on a lot of places around the lake, although I spent very-little time fishing this way. I felt I could catch 13 to 14 pounds a day using this tactic, but on the first morning of the tournament, I caught my limit quickly on the Rat-L-Trap. Next I started flipping with the Berkley Chigger Craw to try and cull to get a biggClick to enlargeer limit. In practice, I only got two or three big-bass bites flipping. And in the tournament, I was getting only two or three big-bass bites flipping. But those flipping fish are what won the tournament for me. I’d get a limit of bass early with a Rat-L-Trap. Then I’d flip the rest of the day to try and get the big bass to anchor my string. I really felt I had to get one or two big bass every day using the flipping tactic if I wanted to have a chance to win. I had two really-big bites on Day 2 of the Classic, even though I only weighed in 10 pounds, 11 ounces. I missed the two big bass I really needed on the second day. But that’s the pattern I stayed with throughout the tournament. I’d get a limit of bass on the Rat-L-Trap and then try to catch the big bass on the Chigger Craw.

Tomorrow: What Duckett Accomplished

Check back each day this week for more about "Boyd Duckett: The Man Who Won the 2007 Bassmaster Classic and How He Did It"

Day 1: The Boatyard Interview
Day 2: Duckett’s Classic-Winning Pattern
Day 3: What Duckett Accomplished
Day 4: How Duckett Planned to Fish the Classic
Day 5: The Rest of the Classic Details



Entry 394, Day 2