HomeblogsDuckett Perspective – I’m Fishing Better It’s been awhile since I could say this, but I’m fishing good right now. With the exception of a little bad luck at my next-to-last Elite Series tournament, which was at Chickamauga, I’m really happy with the way the last two tournaments played out. Battery trouble two days in a row knocked me out of a Top 12 at Chickamauga. In fact, the weight I caught through Saturday was good enough for fourth place. But the penalties I received because I couldn’t get back to the launch area in time knocked me out of fishing on Sunday. At the Delaware River, I gave myself a chance to win. I did get to fish on Sunday in that one. Before I mention what happened to me, let me say that it’s nice to know that some things are predictable. I knew going into the Delaware River event that it would be almost impossible to beat Mike Iaconelli – and it was. Ike won the event, and he won because he was by far the best angler on that body of water. You know, when you get a really strong angler – and Ike is all that and more – on his home river, it’s hard to beat him. A good river fisherman knows things about his water that we will never know. For example, I promise you that if you brought the Elite Series field to the Demopolis River, I would take them to the woodshed. I’ve fished that river too many years not to have an advantage. I can go on that river today and run right to 200 spots where I know I can catch bass. When you get on a river, there might be a stretch with 50 rocks. The home river guy knows that there will always be a fish on Rock #17. So all of that meant that it would take a strike of lightning to beat Ike. And on the first day I got it. I was in business. Ike had told me there were quality bass in the river, but he said the big ones were three to three-and-a-half pounds. He was right. Here’s how the four days went: Day 1: I took a high-risk pattern. I worked the river some, but I also went into a couple of pockets where I felt I could find some big fish. I followed the tides in, and I worked a long time to catch bigger ones. In fact, I only got six fish all day. I used a little bigger bait than most of the guys. I culled a two-pounder toward the end of the day and wound up with 16 pounds, 14 ounces and a four-and-a-half pound lead. It was almost a perfect day of fishing. I had four quality bites, and I caught them all. Day 2: This was a different story. I felt like any day on the Delaware River that I could get three quality bites would be good. I had gotten four on the first day and caught them all. On the second day, I dumped two three-pounders. By the end of the day I had gotten the three quality bites I was looking for, but I lost two of them. I ended up with about 6-8. That was still good enough for second place. Day 3: Going into the third day, I knew that Ike had caught 15 pounds the day before. So I thought I needed 12 or 13 pounds to stay within striking distance of him for Sunday. I knew what I tried on Friday was not going to be good for any more than six or seven pounds again, so I had to “swing for the fences,” as we all say when we decide to quit fishing conservatively. I ran the lake. I looked for big ones. I ground it all day, and I caught one fish. In retrospect, I would do the same thing again because I was trying to win the event. I needed to take a chance, and I took it. It just didn’t work. Day 4: I knew the reality. I was too far behind Ike to catch him, so I decided to set a personal goal. I wanted to move from 12th place, where I started the day, into the Top 10. I finished eighth. On a completely different subject, in case you missed this, we had some great news at Duckett Fishing recently. Our MicroMagic rods were voted Best of Show at ICAST. That was a great honor, and it was a nice reward for the work of our operations manager, Sean Schuyler, and for everybody associated with Duckett Fishing. We’ve come a long way in five years, and I’m really grateful to the industry representatives and the writers for their recognition and appreciation of our rods. Now, if I can use one of those Duckett Fishing rods to win our Elite Series finale at Cayuga Lake or one our Major League Fishing events later this year, I’ll be even happier.