Duckett competes in Bassmaster Classic

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 30, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &045; The city of Demopolis will be represented at the biggest bass fishing tournament in the country, if not the world.

Angler Boyd Duckett, a local businessman, has qualified for the Bassmaster Classic.

The Bass Master Classic has been called the super bowl of fishing and the event will be held in Birmingham, which was recently voted, as America’s bass capital by Bassmaster magazine readers, will host the CITGO Bassmaster Classic on Feb. 23-25.

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Boyd fished on the Bassmaster tour last year. He fished both the northern and the southern tour, which was a total of ten events. The top three qualifiers in those events earned a spot in the Classic, the top five would make it to ESPN Elite100 Series.

He qualified both tours and will fish in the Elite 100 Series.

The Bassmaster Classic’s field of 50 anglers will compete for a total prize purse of nearly $1.2 million, including a top prize of $500,000.

Duckett has entered 34 tournaments since 2002 and has been in the money 22 times. His career earnings have reached more than $123,000.

The North Carolina native finished first in the 2002 Alabama Southern Pro, where he cached in $50,000 in winnings. He has had a third place finish, five top 10 finishes, and 11 top 20 finishes.

Duckett has fished since the 70’s and says it has always been a passion for him.

Duckett currently has six sponsors for this event. They are Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Motorguide, Airrus Rods, L&M marine, and North River Baits.

There are eight qualifiers from the state of Alabama, which is the most from any state, and that’s unusual according to Duckett. No one has ever won the Classic from the host state.

Anglers will fish on the 12,000-acre Lay Lake, site of both the 1996 and 2002 Bassmaster Classics. The 48-mile-long fishery, which was impounded in 1914, gave up a winning three-day tournament weight of 45 pounds, 13 ounces (Jay Yelas) in the 2002 Classic and 31 pounds, 14 ounces (George Cochran) in 1996. Anglers will weigh in at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center.

Fans who can’t make it to Birmingham to catch bass fishing’s most major event will be able to see it on ESPN2. The network is devoting nearly 12 hours of programming to the Bassmaster Classic, including live, morning weekend shows and same-day coverage of the entire tournament.