John's Journal...

More Keys to Winning Bass Tournaments with Boyd Duckett

Make Decisions to Make the Cut

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 TournameClick to enlargent, earning $76,000, and the Bassmaster Classic, earning $500,000. “I’ve won about another $115,000 this year in Bassmaster TourElite 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 tournament winnings. He’s also currently in 10th place for Angler of the Year, which will pay about $20,000.

Question: Boyd, now you’ve got the bass figured out, you’ve made the cut to the top-6 anglers, and you should be able to win the tournament, right?

Duckett: That’s exactly what I thought. However, I used that tactic on the first three holes we fished during the last day of competition of staying in deep water and seaClick to enlargerching the bottom for structure that held bass, but I didn’t even get a bite. I didn’t know why the bass left those drop-offs, but they had. I really didn’t know if they left those sites or just didn’t bite. I knew I had to make an adjustment and fish a different way. I started flipping the banks with the usual heavy jigs, and I still couldn’t get a bite. I decided to try a pattern I’d used years before and downsized. I fished with light fluorocarbon line and a 3/16-ounce weight and started flipping a 6-inch PowerWorm. I got bites and caught enough bass to win the tournament. I thoroughly enjoyed this event because the fishing on no two days was alike. I had to find the bass each day and develop a tactic for each day to make the fish bite. It really was a thinking-fisherman’s tournament.Click to enlarge

Question: How did you make those decisions about changing baits, water depths and the type of structure you were fishing during the tournament?

Duckett: I used the process of elimination. My database told me where the bass should have been. I intuitively knew when to move and try a different tactic and lure. There are a certain number of bass that always live on the bank. They don’t always bite, but they’re always there. I’d used this finesse-flipping tactic when I was flipping water willows in Alabama with 6-pound-test line and a 5-inch worm. So, from that experience I’d had in Alabama while growing up, when the idea of finesse flipping came to me, I seized it. I caught my bass on 12-pound-test line using a 7-foot flipping stick to flip the 5-inch worm. But I’d used this technique with 6-pound-test line and a 4-inch worm on Alabama’s Lay Lake around water willows before to catch bass.

Tomorrow: Play Chess to Catch Bass


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

Day 1: Get Mentally Ready
Day 2: Learn Your Weaknesses and Strengths
Day 3: Lesson from the Legends Tournament
Day 4: Make Decisions to Make the Cut
Day 5: Play Chess to Catch Bass



Entry 422, Day 4