Boyd Duckett – Bull Shoals Saturday Scorecard

Bucks Falcon Mercury

by Boyd Duckett

DuckettBlogIt’s a funny position to be in right now. I’m on the heels of a really good tournament, but I’m worrying about what could be a terrible couple of days coming up.

In other words, Bull Shoals was a good Elite Series event. I fished well. Now we’re about to take on West Point – and I’ve caught exactly one largemouth bass in three days.

I should mention that I’m a little late getting the Saturday Scorecard out for Bull Shoals. My schedule between events has been tough, and the first good opportunity I’ve had to do this is at the end of practice time before we’re starting at West Point. And as you can tell, practice hasn’t been good.

I’m not the only one struggling. Everybody I talk to says the same thing. But you know how these Elite Series events are. Somebody is going to smash them. Maybe several somebodies. All I know is that unless something good happens tomorrow that I’m not expecting, it probably won’t be me.

The clouds and the rain are a problem here. There are new fish coming up, trying to bed. But I don’t see them as well as I used to, and this kind of weather makes it even tougher.

So I hope things get better. And they might. It’s been a good year so far.

The thing that concerns almost all anglers at all levels, though, is that we all know we can have an awful event. And one lousy event can sink your year. It almost happened to me last year at Toledo Bend when I finished 95th.

If I’m not careful and focused and fishing smart, it could happen again.

At any rate, no use complaining. Especially when I can go back and review what turned out to be a good event at Bull Shoals.


FINISH POSITION – Scorecard Rating: 6

The system is: If I win, I get 10 points. If I finish in the top 10 percent of the field, I’ll get 9 points, the top 20 percent equals 8 points, etc. My 35th-place finish (for the second week in a row) equals 6 .


DECISION-MAKING – Scorecard Rating: 8
I mentioned when I started doing these scorecards that one tournament I might have a decent finish without fishing all that well, while another time I might believe I did the best I could and the result wasn’t great. Well, at Falcon Lake I finished 35th and gave myself bad scores in a lot of areas. My scorecard rating was a total of 30.

At Bull Shoals I also finished 35th and brought in less weight than at Falcon – considerably less. But the score is going to be better because I fished consistently. In fact, I caught 15 bedders at Bull Shoals. I took what the tournament gave me and stayed with the program.


FOCUS AND COMPOSURE – Scorecard Rating: 9
Every day was a scramble, and there was only one time that I got frustrated. That was on the second day. I only had three fish, and I had to keep my composure because I felt like my best option was to stay with bedding fish. I caught two fish late in the day. Saved me.


PREPARATION – Scorecard Rating: 7
As I’ve said before, I don’t get many chances to pre-fish, and I didn’t pre-fish here. But I did a lot of research and read what I could. I would rate it a little higher, but maybe I could have spent a little more time. Maybe.


PRACTICE – Scorecard Rating: 7
I found the bedders and the secondary stuff. I didn’t miss any patterns. I would score this higher, but the practice didn’t mean much once the tournament started because the weather system that came through changed everything. As I said, it was the best tournament yet.