Boyd Duckett – Back in Florida; Ready for a crowd on Lake George

Bucks Skeeter Yamaha

DuckettBlogIf I’ve said this once, I’ve said it 10,000 times: I hate fishing in Florida.

Florida is cruel. Florida is unfair. Florida is only kind to the people that spend a lot of time on her lakes and rivers. Florida is a devil, enticing you to visit those lakes and rivers and catch bags full of 5- and 6- and 8-pound bass. They’re there for the taking. That’s what everyone says.

So you always believe there are fish to be caught. Then you get there and look around, and it’s true. People catch fish. Big fish. And lots of them.

But it was never me catching those big fish.

Yes, I have indeed said it time and time again. I’ve said that I hate fishing in Florida.



It’s been better the past few years. I’ve had respectable finishes in a couple of Elite Series tournaments, and I even did ok with Major League Fishing.

I can’t say with certainty that I’m going to have a really good event in Palatka this weekend. But I can say that my confidence is good. I’m not beaten before we get started. I no longer dread fishing in Florida.

I’d call that psychological progress.


Which brings me to this week’s event.

After practicing for three days, I think it’s pretty evident what’s going to happen. We put in at Palatka, which is about an hour drive west of Gainesville. The majority of the field will take a roughly 30 minutes boat ride south on the St. Johns River to Lake George.

The heaviest concentration of fish seems to be on the western shore of the lake.

There is a point about the size of a Walmart parking lot that on Day 1 will be the Grand Central Station of this tournament. I counted 41 boats – that’s not an exaggeration – on the point Wednesday during practice, and I was in one of them.

If I had a good boat draw, I’d be feeling pretty good right now. I could head straight there and get a head start on the field. But I am No. 104.

I’ll probably head to the point anyway, since I’ve got quite a few waypoints.

Unfortunately, the point will be picked clean on the first day.

Day 2 will be a whole different story.

But for now, I can’t think past the first day.


Oh, by the way, my boat is fine. I mentioned in this column last week that it was involved in a wreck. I feared that I would either have a massive fixup project or maybe not even have a boat.

But everything seems to be working.

For now, at least.