Boyd Duckett – Guntersville is Upside Down

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DuckettBlogI finished my Elite Series event at Guntersville today. I caught 18 pounds, six ounces and finished tied for 63rd out of 113 anglers. I missed the cut.

You might think 18-6 is a good bag, but it’s really not. Not on Guntersville in the spring. Twenty-five pounds is a good bag.

I looked at the leader board at the end of today, and here’s what caught my eye. I tied with Randy Howell, so he missed the cut, too. Aaron Martens finished lower than I did. Chris Lane finished 81st. Timmy Horton and Gerald Swindle and Justin Lucas made the cut – but just barely.

So what’s special about that group?

Well, that’s the hometown crew. Those are the guys that live close to Guntersville. And we had no advantage at all being on water that we know. None.

The only exception was Derek Remitz, who’s in sixth place. He was probably smart enough to go sight fishing. Apparently none of the rest of the home-water delegation figured that out in time.

It’s funny. You’d think you’d have an advantage on your home water. I live on this lake, so why didn’t I do better?

I think the answer to that is that the lake if fishing upside down right now. Nothing is where it ought to be. All of us home-water guys probably went to places that we know should be holding fish, and they just weren’t there. We know where the fish SHOULD be, and it didn’t do us a bit of good. We know all the drain holes where they congregate and the points where they gather, but the fish weren’t there this week. As a result, a guy from California had just as good a chance to catch a big bag on Guntersville as us hometown guys did. In fact, the guy from California actually had a better chance than I did.

It’s hard to say exactly why things are upside down. What I think is that the lake is going through a complete major change. We’ve had so much cold weather that it’s changed the growing cycle. The frozen weather probably literally killed most of the hydrilla. The hydrilla just cant’ take the kind of weather we’ve had. Now we have eelgrass.

We still have milfoil in the backs of some of the creeks -but not much.

This time of year we usually have grass all over the lake, but not now.

Now that I’ve said all that, I’ll also say that it’s our fault – well, it’s certainly my fault – for not having enough sense to just take what the lake was giving. But we’re on our home lake, and we think we should go out and catch 25 pounds. We think we know how to do it.

But when the lake is upside down, you’ve got to change. It’s not your home lake anymore.

And here’s another funny thing. Now we’re off to California.