HomeblogsBoyd Duckett – Have to Catch them to Move Up, But the Potomac is Tough We’ve had some down time as far as competing. We haven’t had a full Elite Series event in almost two months. In the meantime, I’ve been to ICAST, and I’ve spent a bunch of energy and time working on my North Alabama businesses. Our latest endeavor, Duckett Marine, has gotten off to a good start. We’ve been open for a few months now and sold more boats that we had projected to sell by this time. That’s a good thing, obviously, but there hasn’t been a lot of time to relax – or to fish. But that’s about to change. The Potomac River Elite Series event is here. Every year I set goals I’d like to reach in BASS competition. I’d like to get some Top 10 finishes. Of course, I’d like to get another win. Just like every other Elite Series angler, though, the first stage of all goals is to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic. All you have to do is miss one – which every angler does, even the great ones – to understand why that has to be the first priority every competitive year. I’ve missed a couple, and it killed me. I missed the Classic on Guntersville. My hometown. Not good. Bur most years since I made it to the Elites nine years ago, I’ve qualified for the Classic. Sometimes I barely qualified, but barely was good enough. The idea is to get there. I say all that because it seems like, more often than not, I come to the end of most seasons needing a strong finish. And this year is no different. I’m entering this event in 48th place in Toyota Angler-of-the-Year standings. It looks as if I’ll need to move up eight to 10 places during the final two (three, if I don’t fall in the standings, because the top 50 will go to the added Angler-of-the-Year tournament) events to qualify for the Classic. I actually feel pretty confident. In the past, I’ve fished well when the late-season pressure is on, and I hope I can do that again. But as I’ve talked about in these columns many times, it’s amazing what a single ounce can mean to a competitive angler. At Cayuga Lake in June I finished in 51st place, one ounce on cut day away from 50th, which would have meant a chance to fish again on Saturday and move up in the standings. One ounce, that’s how close I was. Someone always has to finish 51st. Sucks when it’s you. But that brings us to this week, which right now doesn’t look great. I haven’t talked to anyone who’s catching them. The Potomac is fishing tough. During practice, every place I’ve been able to catch a fish, I’ve been in the middle of a dozen boats. In fact, I haven’t run across any place where someone is actually catching fish without a dozen boats around him. This place is fishing small. This is going to be a grinder. I’d be really happy to get 12 pounds a day. I haven’t done it in practice, but that’s what it’s likely to take to do better than 48th.