Boyd Duckett – Comeback Will Happen

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DuckettBlogThis has been a strange year. Honestly, I don’t know what to make of it.
From a competition standpoint, it’s been terrible. Worst ever. I thought I hit rock bottom three years ago when I finished 84th in the Angler-of-the-Year standings and missed the Bassmaster Classic. But I climbed out of that hole, fished pretty well for most of the next two years, and I even won a championship at Oneida.
Now I’ve fallen back into the well again.
So what happens now?
The answer is: I’m working on it – again. I don’t expect miracles. You aren’t bad one day and consistently really good the next. You’ve got to work yourself out of a bad stretch.

I’m willing to face the fact that I sometimes I don’t learn. I stay awfully busy, because I have outside business interests that take a lot of time. But, as I’ve pointed out many times, that’s a lousy excuse for not fishing well.
Everybody is busy, for one thing. For another, I was busy in 2007 when I won the Classsic. I was even busier in 2012 when I won the Oneida event.
So it’s not totally about outside interests. Sometimes it’s about priorities and focus.

The obvious truth is that I need to come out of this tailspin. Better focus is a key. I’ve come back before, and I’ll do it again.
But there is a second immediate truth. It would be a stroke of extremely good fortune if consistently good fishing will start this week at the BASSFest event in Tennessee.
This event is different.

I think the concept of BASSFest is good for the sport. What is happening is that we’ll have a lot of extra anglers competing this week. Guys from the Opens will be with us, which is fine.
The problem will come from how the venue – Chickamauga Lake – is fishing right now.
I like the lake. I’ve fished well in that area in the past, although I admit some of that fishing was a lot of years ago. The fact is that the lake is likely to fish small.
Fish right now are trying to get out on the ledges, and it’s going to be frustrating for a lot of the guys, because there will only be a few really productive places. What few schools there are will be heavily populated.
There could be 10 boats fighting for position on one 40-foot stretch of water. It could be that kind of event.
I look for some hurt feelings and protests, and there will be problems on the second day of event. The reason is that a lot of guys (maybe me included) will know where to go to find the fish, but we might get a bad first-day boat draw. So when the draw reverses on the second day, we’re likely to head right for a place where the leaders fished the day before. And the question will come up: Does the second-day angler have full access to a spot that a leader staked on the first day?
I get it. I don’t think a guy should lose simply because he got a bad draw on the first day. But I’ve certainly led tournaments after the first day, and I know what it’s like to feel like you’ve earned an area.
It will be interesting to see how BASS handles the question this week.

As for me, it doesn’t look like this is the tournament to make corrections to my game. This probably won’t be the first step in a slow, steady rise back toward the top of the field.
This is likely to be a shootout.