John's Journal...

Boyd Duckett's Keys to Winning Bass Tournaments

Research Makes the Difference

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: At the end of August, 2007, the 2007 Bassmaster Classic champion, Boyd Duckett of Demopolis, Alabama, won the B.A.S.S. Legends tournament and $250,000 at Arkansas’ Lake Dardanelle, bringing his total winnings in bass tournaments during 2007 to nearly $1 million. Never before has a tournament bass fisherman won as much money in as short a time on the B.A.S.S. circuit as Duckett. Besides finishing in the top-10 in eight, 2007 B.A.S.S. tournaments, Duckett also won the Ultimate Match Fishing Tournament, earning $76,000, and the Bassmaster Classic, earning $500,000. “I’ve won about another $115,000 this year in Bassmaster Tour Elite events,” Duckett says. At this writing, Duckett has won a total of $961,000 for 2007 and still has one tournament left to fish before the end of the year to possibly break the $1 million mark in one year from Click to enlargetournament winnings. He’s also currently in 10th place for Angler of the Year, which will pay about $20,000.

Question: Boyd, how do you make the decision to change locations when you’re fishing an area where you’re catching numbers of bass, but not bass big enough to win? Most people will say that, “If I’m catching bass, surely there’s a big one in that area.” But,you don’t, Boyd. Instead, you leave that region and go to a spot where you’ve never caught a bass before, but believe the bass are there.
Duckett: This decision is one of the most difficult for any fisherman to make. However, I think you learn how to do that based on your maturity level andClick to enlarge experience. You must have enough confidence in yourself and your ability to believe you’re making the right choice, even if that decision seems impractical. But you also have to rely on your database. For instance, when I fished Lake Dardanelle a couple of weeksago, I’d never been to that lake. However, I’d done my homework on the lake and knew what size of bass I had to catch to win. I also knew what a good day of fishing was and wasn’t on that lake.

Before I get to any lake I’m going to fish, I already know the weight of bass that has been required to win before at that time of year, the lures used to win and the water conditions fished in each tournament. I already know how much weight is required to win when the weather’s good, the weather’s bad, the water’s falling, and the water’s rising. I store all that information away in my personal database – my brain.

Question: Where do you get all that information, Boyd?Click to enlarge
Duckett: From the Internet. The Internet has all the information on every lake in America. I go to the entire tournament trail sites, all the B.A.S.S. events held on that lake, BFL (B.A.S.S. Federation League), the FLW (Forrest L. Woods) tour and the EverStart tournament trail. Once I determine the time of year I’ll be fishing a lake, then I total all the winning weights on all the tournaments held at that time of year, on that lake, and I can tell how many pounds of bass I need to catch to win. Next, I average the daily weights of the 5th place contestant in every tournament. Anglers catch a lucky big fish everywhere. If one fisherman catches two, 8 pounders in one tournament, that’s a freak of nature and can happen on any lake. However, those numbers can mess up the average for which you’re looking. But the weights of 2nd to 5th places will tell you what the average-daily catch has to be on a lake at that time of year to have a chance to win. You can’t bet on being lucky in a 4-day event and win consistently. I want to know if I catch 15 pounds of bass each day of the tournament that I should be in 2nd to 4th place in the tournament I’m about to fish. Then I can set up a daily weight goal for the bass I’m trying to catch each day of the tournament before it starts. I know if I catch that average weight that 2nd to 5th places have brought in before, then I can win that tournament. So, I store that information in my database, and that tells me what my goal is for each day I fish a specific lake at a particular time of year.

Next week: “More Keys to Winning Bass Tournaments with Boyd Duckett”

Check back each day this week for more about "Boyd Duckett's Keys to Winning Bass Tournaments"

Day 1: Making the Commitment
Day 2: Balancing Family and Business
Day 3: Set Future Goals
Day 4: Decide to Win
Day 5: Research Makes the Difference



Entry 421, Day 5