Boyd Duckett's Keys to Winning Bass Tournaments
Making the Commitment
Editor’s Note: At the end of August, 2007, the 2007 Bassmaster Classic champion, Boyd Duckett of Demopolis, Alabama, won the B.A.S.S. Legends tournament and $250,000 at Arkansas’ Lake Dardanelle, bringing his total winnings in bass tournaments during 2007 to nearly $1 million. Never before has a tournament bass fisherman won as much money in as short a time on the B.A.S.S. circuit as Duckett. Besides finishing in the top-10 in eight, 2007 B.A.S.S. tournaments, Duckett also won the Ultimate Match Fishing Tournament, earning $76,000, and the Bassmaster Classic, earning $500,000. “I’ve won about another $115,000 this year in Bassmaster Tour Elite events,” Duckett says. At this writing, Duckett has won a total of $961,000 for 2007 and still has one tournament left to fish before the end of the year to possiblybreak the $1 million mark in one year from tournament winnings. He’s also currently in 10th place for Angler of the Year, which will pay about $20,000.
Question: Boyd, what do you think about having won so much money and been so successful in the sport of bass fishing?
Duckett: It’s a lot of fun.
Question: Did you ever in your wildest dreams believe you could do this?
Duckett: I’m actually not as surprised by my good fortune as someone else in my position might be. I had several factors working in my favor. First, bass fishing wasn’t really new for me. I started traveling and tournament fishing in 1977, when I was 17-years old. However, I’d never been able to fish the Bassmaster Tour fulltime until 2-years ago.
There are 15 events, and you’re away from home 20 to25 weeks a year, which is a huge time commitment. My entire life, I’ve been building businesses, so I haven’t been able to afford to commit that much of my time to tournaments. Right now, I own Southern Tank Leasing, which leases chemical tank trailers. Southern Tank Leasing makes about $30 million revenue each year, and I have seven terminals and about 65 employees.
I’d always taken some time to fish and compete, but not until 2006 did I make the decision to really commit myself and see just how good I could be at tournament bass fishing. As the fourth-oldest competitor on the circuit, I decided that if I didn’t go for being the best tournament bass fisherman I could be, before too long, I’d see that dream become an impossible regret. I fished a lot of B.A.S.S. Tour Events, which qualified me for the Elite Series in 2007. I was lucky enough that in my first year of fishing the Elite Series I qualified for the Bassmaster Classic. The Classic was at Lay Lake, just outside of Birmingham, Alabama, and I won it. Too, I had a great season on the Elite Series Tour in 2007. I’m finally living the dream I’ve always had, since I was only a teenager.
Tomorrow: Balancing Family and Business