Boyd Duckett – Fishing Well

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DuckettBlogIf you had told me at the start of the season that I would be fishing tournaments as well as I fished the past two BASS Elite Series tournaments, I would be satisfied. I’d also think I’d be in the Bassmaster Classic field.

During the final two days of those two tournaments – at La Crosse and Green Bay, Wisconsin – I fished about as scrappy and smart as I’m capable of fishing. At La Crosse, I improved 56 spots in two days and finished 28th. At Green Bay, I moved up 44 positions and wound up in 22nd place.

I would have taken that in a heartbeat. It means I’m fishing with focus and finishing strong.

But there is an obvious problem with that scenario. It means I started way too far back. And that’s been my problem all year.

The bottom line on my 2012 season is this. With one glaring exception – at Toledo Bend – I’ve fished pretty well during the actual events. My practices, however, have been awful. Every tournament, the first day has seemed like the first day of practice. And that’s no way to reach the Classic field.

In a lot of ways it’s been an unusual year. If you’ve read some of things I’ve written on this Advanced Angler site and on the BassZone web site, you know I put some pressure on myself to do well. I called what I’ve been doing the Duckett Comeback Tour. I needed to a comeback because my 2011 season was so awful that I knew things had to change.

So I’ve changed a lot of things. I’ve reorganized by garage, my truck and my boat. I’ve gotten rid of clutter. I’ve slowed down some of my action on the water. I’ve changed some of my strategies. And in May I even sold my primary business. (I sold Southern Tank Leasing, my tank-trailer business. I didn’t sell Duckett Fishing.) Next year, I’ll actually have more time in my schedule, and that will be the biggest move toward making a true comeback.

The point is that every move I made has helped. Last season, the worst competitive season I ever had, I was lost. This year I’m fishing good.

But that brings me back to one big problem. I’m not finding enough fish in practice. So even though I feel like I’m back on my game, I’m not there yet. If I was truly on my game, I wouldn’t have had to finish strong. I would have found better a better quality of fish in practice, and I wouldn’t have had to spend so much tournament time searching.

I don’t know yet why this is happening. But I’m going to figure it out.