Boyd Duckett – Will the Classic be the Keith Combs Open?

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Bassmaster Classic time. No more planning, no more tackle prep. No more speculating. Game on.

This is an interesting Classic. It’s in the fourth biggest city in the country. It will be wall-to-wall people, and I can guarantee it’s going to be slow going tomorrow afternoon getting back from Lake Conroe to the weigh-in. But having this in Houston also means we’re probably going to have huge crowds everywhere, and that’s certainly good for the sport.

Right now it’s the night before, and it’s been a warm week here, which is a big difference from when I was here a while back trying to study the lake. Now it’s changing every day, and you just don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow morning in terms of fish movement.

The first day of practice, last Friday, they were all gone. We were right in the middle of super change. In fact, our three days of practice – Friday, Saturday and Sunday – really might not have been much help.

But now they’re moving offshore. And if they keep moving out, this Classic will be the Keith Combs Open.

Keith is a terrific angler, and he guides on this lake. He knows this lake so much better than anybody in the field that it’s possible he could lap us. Every year at the Classic there are home-lake favorites. And if you check history, the home advantage doesn’t always mean a lot, because there are so many mitigating factors that come into play, especially when conditions are tough.

In fact, speaking of conditions, let me mention one prediction. I think conditions are going to be tough enough that 20 of the 52 anglers in this field won’t catch five fish on Friday. I only hope I’m in the group of 32.

As for me, I found some beds on Sunday that looked really good, but as I said, the bass are moving, so I’m going to have to be flexible and make sound decisions. Still, you have to remember that in this event, first is all that matters.

In practice, I found a deep channel on Wednesday, when we had the half-day practice, and I found some good fish. They were on the banks. I found a seven and a couple of fives. But, again, it’s changing, so that deep channel fishing might be all past.

There’s one last thing that emphasizes how many changes are taking place. We’re now also watching the weather. We could have high winds and thunderstorms, which won’t necessarily hurt the fishing. But you have to ready for it.

Of course, every year I get asked who I think is going to win the Classic. Like plenty of other people, I pick two or three favorites and a couple of dark horses. Not this year.

Who would I pick to win the Classic? … That would be Keith Combs.