Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Former Champion Boyd Duckett Back in Classic

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Former Champion Boyd Duckett Back in Classic

Article excerpt

SYRACUSE, N.Y. | Boyd Duckett of Demopolis used to count on his red shoes as his talisman. Now it seems his two-week-old son is bringing him all the luck he needs.

In pro fishing, it's half-jokingly called "the baby pattern" because pros with new kids have proved to suddenly be more motivated. And that was true for Duckett when he came from behind Aug. 26 to win the Ramada Championship on Oneida Lake by 6 ounces -- snapping up a win that Day 2 and Day 3 leader Randy Howell had hoped might be his.

But Duckett was driven by something else, too. The 2007 Bassmaster Classic champion was determined to qualify for the 2013 Classic, and he knew he'd likely have to do it via the win-you're- in rule. Sitting 53rd in points going into Oneida, he knew that the only way left for that to happen was the Aug. 23-26 Oneida Lake event.

"I came up here to try to make the Classic. I don't know if I'm happier about that or winning," Duckett grinned after he accepted his trophy, the $100,000 prize -- and his 2013 Classic entry.

"The Classic is the biggest event in bass fishing," Duckett said. "You spend your whole life trying to make one. And when you make one, you never want to miss another one. I can't emphasize enough how bad it was last time not to make it."

After winning the Classic in 2007, Duckett qualified for the next four. The 2012 Classic he missed was after a dismal 2011 season -- 84th place in points, he said.

"Last year I had a horrible season. This year, I worked really, really hard to prepare myself with a champion angler's attitude," he said.

Duckett approached Oneida as a Classic quest. He started slowly - - 27th on Day 1, with a middle-of-the-pack catch of 13 pounds, 11 ounces. But on Day 2, he produced a whopping 17-pound, 11-ounce sack and shot to second place. He kept second place on the third day, even though his weight was 14 pounds. On the final day, he pulled another huge sack out of Oneida -- 17 pounds -- and surged past Howell. The score was Duckett, 62 pounds, 6 ounces to Howell's 62 pounds.

Oneida is 20-some miles long and miles wide in spots, but Duckett never saw much of it during the Ramada Championship. He found a sweet mix of largemouth and smallmouth bass in Maple Bay, and milked it for every bass he brought to the scales over four days. …

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