Duckett Perspective – Records Will Fall

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DuckettBlogI’ve heard a lot of folks around the Classic speculating that long-time records are going to be broken on Guntersville this weekend.

They’re right.

The record for most weight by a champion. Gone.

The record for combined weight by the field. It’s gone, too.

The single-day weight record. Kiss that one goodbye, too.

This is going to be a smash-‘em tournament on Guntersville.

It’s been the strangest weather around here that I’ve ever seen. We had the coldest winter going that I can ever remember. We’ve had snow, ice and cold, cold weather.

I even wrote a column recently about how the polar vortex ruined by January.

But now we’ve got this unbelievable warming trend going. Seventy and sunny is the norm, and the water temperature went from the mid 30’s to around 50. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the water warm up so fast.

Clouds and some wind have slowed down the warming some, but it’s happening.

By the third week of February, the fish should be on the banks. But it hasn’t quite happened yet. That process has been held back.

But they’ll flock to the banks, and guys are going to figure that out.

Seasoned anglers are going to have an advantage, because they’re going to see the trends happening and make the right adjustments. In this event more than any other, experience counts.

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Here are my top five. They won’t come as any big surprise, because all of them are experienced anglers. I’ll take:

  • Kevin VanDam – Never pick against Kevin in a big event. He’ll know what’s happening.
  • Aaron Martens – Aaron sees the changes and always has a great feel of what they fish are doing.
  • Gary Klein – It’s time for Gary to win one. He will make the right decisions.
  • Terry Scroggins – It’s just a feeling. He’ll do well.
  • Chris Lane – It’s his home lake, and he obviously knows how to win a big event.

Everyone reminds me that I’m the only angler to win the Classic on home water. They make a big deal out of the fact that it almost never happens.

But I’m telling you that being on home water is a good thing. There are no negatives to it. The angler on home water does have an advantage. I sure had an advantage the year I won at Lay Lake.

That’s why I’d like to mention three other anglers.

Randall Tharp knows this lake better than anyone. He could win.

But I have two other picks. They’re not exactly darkhorse picks. But if you asked me to add two more picks to that list above, they would be Randy Howell and Gerald Swindle.

They are terrific anglers. And they know this lake.

It’s been hard writing this column. Since I moved to Guntersville and built a house on the lake, I wanted nothing more than to fish this Classic.

But I missed it.

During the early practice period, Kevin, Gary, Terry and Dean Rojas stayed here at the house.  I’ve been walking getting them tackle, seeing if they need water, helping them get their stuff together. I’ve been a water boy, to tell you the truth.

I’ve also had the privilege of sitting on the back deck and watching them drive their boats by the house. They wave when they pass. I can’t stand it.

I’m not gonna miss the next one.