He’s among the most successful anglers on the BASS Elite Series tournament trail. He’s fished all over the world, but Alabama resident Boyd Duckett had never fished in West Virginia, until recently.
"You know I was trying to remember if I have, I don’t think I’ve ever fished in West Virginia now that you mention that,” said Duckett during what we can now proclaim his first ever Mountain State fishing trip.
Duckett spent a June afternoon at Stonewall Jackson Lake after spending the morning as part of a golf Pro-Am event connected to the Nationwide Tour Event at the Pete Dye Golf Club.
"I come up sometimes, my agent lives in Charleston so that’s my excuse to get to West Virginia,” said Duckett. "Golf is my hobby, I really enjoy playing and had an excuse to play in this golf tournament today."
Like most bass anglers, Duckett soaked in the gorgeous atmosphere and ambiance of Stonewall Jackson Lake as he quickly evaluated a new piece of water.
"It kind of looks like the creeks of Cumberland or some of those Kentucky or Tennessee lakes,” said Duckett. "It’s a highland reservoir with really steep banks. I don’t know anything about the fishery or what the fish are doing. I just have to peck around a little bit and see what they’re doing."
Duckett threw his four-inch Berkeley Chigger Craw toward overhanging multi-floral rose as I quizzed him about his life. He agrees his win in the Bassmaster Classic in 2007 was the pinnacle of his career.
"You grow up fishing and the Bassmaster Classic is our Superbowl. It’s such a giant event, nothing compares to that. Most sports don’t have a single event that’s as big as the Classic,” said Duckett. "I was so excited to just qualify for it in my home state of Alabama and then to win the darn thing is just something you always dream about."
Success is familiar territory to Duckett who’s a shrewd businessman with an eye for innovations. He owns a highly successful tank leasing business that has terminals all over the country, including one in the Charleston area. He’s also been a country music manager. However, the fishing industry is one where he’s been able to thrive.
He admits, it’s not for everybody.
"I’m not complaining because it’s a great opportunity to get to go fishing and be paid to do it," said Duckett. "We do have tough days, with a lot of weather. It’s real frustrating to travel across the country and NOT catch them, when you don’t catch them."
Sponsors are the lifeblood of the professional fishing circuit and Duckett has what every company wants, a man who cannot only fish but has a knack for demonstrating and selling a product and an image.
"I love doing the seminars," said Duckett "When I got to these shows I always sign up to do them. I can talk fishing all day."
As of this writing, Duckett looks to be a lock for next year’s Bassmaster Classic with only one even left on the Elite Series. It will be his third time fishing in the championship tournament.