John's Journal...

More Keys to Winning Bass Tournaments with Boyd Duckett

Play Chess to Catch Bass

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, Click to enlargeDuckett 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: Do you approach fishing a bass tournament like you doa chess match?

Duckett: Absolutely. Just like in a chess match, when you’re bass fishing, you have to make critical decisions right in the middle of the competition. I know that all the fishermen who fish the Elite Series can find and catch bass. The only real difference in all of us who fish that circuit is which competitor makes the best on-the-water decisions. He’s your tournament winner. Once you accept that fact, then you realize that all the fish you find and catch are just pawns on your water chess board. Therefore, I want to make the best decisions before the other competitors can make their moves. The real secret to success in tournament-bass fishing is not only making the correct decisions, but making them quickly.

Question: Do you think, Boyd, that you can have the same type of wiClick to enlargenning season next year that you’ve had this year?

Duckett: I don’t know. In the last eight events, I’ve fished better than anyone else in the sport of tournament-bass fishing on the B.A.S.S. circuit. If you add up all my points in the last eight events, I’d be in the lead for Angler of the Year. But I’ve had some tournaments before these last eight that I haven’t performed as well in, and that’s why I’m not leading. The question is can I continue to perform at that high level? The answer is probably not. But, I can tClick to enlargeell you this. I’m going to ride this pony as long as it runs. I do think I can take what I’ve learned this season into next year’s season and have a good season. Unfortunately, to win Angler of the Year, you have to perform at this level for 11 events. I did it for eight in 2007. I haven’t done it for 11.

Question: Boyd, you’ve been successful in the music business, the tanker-truck leasing business and now in tournament bass fishing. What do you think is the key ingredient for success in any business?

Duckett: Whatever aspect of your life you decide is the most important will be the one at which you succeed.  So, you have to make the decision that, “No,” isn’t a good answer when you’re talking to yourself. You have to give yourself no excuses to fail. Many people learn to give up on small things, and that makes it easier for them to give up on the big things they actually want from life. For instance, if I decide to build a barn at my house, it doesn’t matter that I’ve never built a barn. I’ll get my buddies together, learn how to build a barn and start building it. Before you know it, I’ve got the nicest barn in the county. Once you decide what you want to do in life, and what you want to become, then the amount of time required to reach that goal can’t matter. When you have that kind of dedication, then anyone can be successful at whatever he or she wants to be. Being what you want to become has to be the most-important thing in life.


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 5