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Early problems hamper Duckett

Boyd Duckett’s hopes for a Homecoming repeat as Bassmaster champion were all but dashed on Day 1 of last weekend’s event.

The Demopolis angler and 2007 Bassmaster Classic champion was an early favorite to bring home the title again as the event returned to Alabama’s Lay Lake.

However, fortune never shined on Duckett.

“Needless to say, having my boat blow up on the first trip up the river wasn’t in my Bassmaster Classic gameplan,” Duckett penned on his blog. “But that’s what happened (Friday).”

Duckett said he was using a new engine, which — in hindsight — he may have pushed beyond its limits in the cold fishing conditions.

“I was running a new Mercury engine, and I’d used it through my practice days,” he said. “But this morning, right off the bat, I ran it hard for 30 miles in the cold. I really pushed the engine, and it was just too much for the conditions.

“The lesson for all of us is you’ve got to make sure an engine’s good and broken in. I put too much pressure on it and paid for it.”

Several trailing spectators offered use of their boats to Duckett, which would allow him to finish Day 1 on the water. After a ruling from BASS that gave him approval, Duckett jumped into his brother Errol’s boat, who was there to watch Boyd fish.

Duckett’s Day 1 catch was forgettable: a 1 pound, 2 ounce bass that landed him in 38th place.

However, as bad as Day 1 was, Day 2 wasn’t much better.

“…I had one of the worst days of my career. In fact, I can’t remember one any worse,” Duckett blogged after the conclusion of the Day 2. “I fished all day today and didn’t get a single bite. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, it might be more than disappointment. I feel frustrated and put out. I ran all over the lake. I flipped on shorelines and in channels that had worked in the past and I suspected would bring bites today. Not so much as a nibble.”

Duckett’s 1 pound, 2 ounce overall weight was not enough to place him in the Top 25 cutoff to fish in Sunday’s finals.

“So here’s my four-year scorecard at the Classic. Great first year at Lay Lake. Bad execution and a bad showing in my second year (Hartwell). Strong third year with a pretty good finish at the Red River. Then there was this year, and it was terrible.”

Kevin VanDam went on to win the event with a total of 51 pounds, 6 ounces.