Boyd Duckett – Thinking About 2013

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DuckettBlogI’ve really appreciated the responses and positive feedback I got about the Duckett Comeback Tour that appeared in BassZone and Advanced Anger during the past year. It was fun (most of the time) to write about, and I think I can honestly say that if I hadn’t forced myself to go through that exercise, I might not have ended up back in the Classic.

I tell you it got tough a couple of times during the year, especially after Elite Series tournament at Toledo Bend, when I finished in the bottom ten. It took some grief from BassZone’s Mark Jeffreys. After Toledo Bend he said we should call it the Duckett “Come Back to the Office” Tour. Of course, it was kind of sweet at the end of the year, after I won at Oneida, to be able to say, “Hey Mark, I’m coming back to the office, and this time I’ve got the hardware.”

But, seriously, I enjoyed talking about a comeback, because it kept me thinking about what I needed to do to turn the worst season in my career, 2011, into a 2012 year that became one of my most rewarding.

So I’ve been thinking about how to go forward in 2013. Specifically, I’m trying to establish what my goals will be next year. If you’ve read much of what I’ve written in the past, you’ll know there’s a theme when it comes to setting goals for a season or a tournament. That theme is: Set realistic goals. Winning the tournament, for example, is seldom a realistic goal.

I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t try to win tournaments. We all want to win, and that’s an ultimate goal. But if you’re fishing a tournament that has 100 anglers, only one person is going to win. Statistically speaking, that’s a 1 in 100 chance. Kevin VanDam is the best angler in the world, and he didn’t win an Elite Series event last year.

The point is, take a moment before you start a tournament and set a realistic goal. For example, if you find you’ve been rushing, your primary goal might be: Today I want to make sure I don’t fish too quick. I’m going to slow down. (That was actually one of my early season goals.) So then maybe you slow down, your focus is better, and as a result you catch them good. Well, that’s gravy. You caught the fish because you met your primary goal.

Last year, my year-long goal with the Duckett Comeback Tour wasn’t to make it to the Classic or to win an event. My goals evolved as the year went along. At the end of the year, I wanted to fish consistently and with focus all tournament long, to string together good fishing days. In other words, I wanted to start fishing in control again and do it consistently.

My secondary goal all year was to start making Top 50’s. On our tour, that means getting a check. I wasn’t shooting for the Classic. I just wanted to get back into the top half of the field first. In the end, I was able to make the Classic. But, I assure you, that wasn’t the step 1 on the comeback trail.
Although I’ve been giving it thought, I haven’t set my 2013 goals. I’ll probably do that in January. I want realistic goals.

You’d think the goal would to move up in the angler-of-the-year standings. Maybe that’s something I should look at. Up to now, my goals have been more about fixing problems that I discovered in my fishing game. My theory is that if you have a great day of fishing and make the right decisions, the weights will come.

So sometime after Christmas I’ll decide what my goals for 2013 will be.

Like most other anglers in the Classic, I’ve had a little time on Grand Lake.
I participated in the Fish & Chips Tournament, a combination bass and poker tournament that is held every year in Oklahoma. As always, it was a fun event.

My partner, my brother Errol, and I finished 10th. After the tournament was over, I stayed for a few days and got a little more familiar with the lake.
It’s good to get some time on water where the Classic will be held, but you’re limited in what you can pick up. The lake will fish entirely different in February. But it least it gave us time to familiarize ourselves with the geography, which is probably the best thing you can do right now.