Duckett Perspective – LaCrosse Scorecard

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DuckettBlogI fished a bad tournament at LaCrosse. The good news is that, as bad as I fished, I almost made the cut. That means I haven’t had any terrible (I mean 75th place or worse) tournaments this year.

The even-better news is that I’m 26th in Angler of the Year point standings.

But that doesn’t mean I’m happy with the way I fished in Wisconsin. It was really a horrible effort, to tell you the truth. In fact, looks like it’s the worst Scorecard rating I’ve had all year.

This time, it all goes back to practice. I should said that, AGAIN, the problem goes back to practice.

I guess you reap what you sew.

I relied way too much on the way the river fished last year when we were there, and that’s no way to prepare for a tournament.

In practice, I concentrated on the shallow water about 15 miles up above the Lake Onalaska, which is north of LaCrosse. And I definitely found fish. Ike and I were in a creek together that was so narrow you could hardly turn your boat around. There was a 100-yard stretch in there, and I’ll bet I caught probably 100 bass right in that area, so I definitely found fish. But they weren’t big enough to get me where I needed to be.

The problem was that this year the guys that were leading were throwing jigs in deeper water. I knew that by the second day, so I started out that day below LaCrosse and went looking for them. But it was too late..

By 11 o’clock I had zero fish. Then a monsoon came through, so it was time to leave.

It was a long run back upriver, but I had to do it to go get a limit. My limit was good enough to get me to 55th place. If I had been trying to win the tournament, I would have fished it differently, but the idea was to get under the cut line. I didn’t make it.

When we started this season, I was trying to make every cut. Not many people do that. I’ve made all but two this season, and I was pretty close on those two. If I don’t have horrible tournaments the next two events, I’ll lock in a Classic berth, which is everybody’s first goal. But I’ve got to be careful.

I still hate the effort at this event, though. The scores below will indicate that.

 

FINISH POSITION – Scorecard Rating: 4

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 55th-place (tie) finish equals 4.

 

DECISION-MAKING – Scorecard Rating: 8

I made pretty good decisions with what I had to work with. Even though I didn’t catch anything, I considered it a good decision to go down to lower pool (below LaCrosse) on the second day. I don’t regret any decisions I made on the water. The problems were elsewhere. The fact that I was in the upper water the first day meant that I was culling early and often. That takes a lot of time.

 

FOCUS AND COMPOSURE – Scorecard Rating: 7

This was another area that wasn’t the problem. I never lost focus. I did what I had to do, but since I wasn’t in the tournament the third day, I penalized myself.

 

PREPARATION – Scorecard Rating: 4

I usually don’t penalize myself here, because I don’t to pre-fish, and I try to do as much homework as possible. And I usually learn what I need to learn. But I obviously missed a lot this time. I was pretty certain I could work mostly off what I knew from last year and that was a bad mistake.

 

PRACTICE – Scorecard Rating: 2

Practice was horrible, horrible, horrible. I wasted more than half my time. Like with my preparation, I got caught up in how they caught them last year. I hoped they were going to be there because they were last year. I missed the whole river bite. I actually spent some time on the river and caught one three-to-four pounder, but I caught only one. Still, I should have known that’s where they were going to be.

 

MISSISSIPPI RIVER/LACROSSE SATURDAY SCORECARD RATING – 25

 

Previous Saturday Scorecards

Sabine River: Finish: 48th…. Scorecard Rating: 27

Falcon Lake: Finish: 35th …. Scorecard Rating: 30

Bull Shoals: Finish 35th …. Scorecard Rating: 37

West Point Lake: Finish 58th …. Scorecard Rating: 23

Alabama River: Finish: 14th …. Scorecard Rating: 29

Mississippi River (LaCrosse): Finish: 55th … Scorecard Rating: 25