Team Triton Pro Duckett scores wire-to-wire win
2002/03 Alabama CITGO BASSMASTER Southern Open
B.A.S.S. Communications — Oct. 26, 2002
Team Triton Pro Boyd Duckett won the pro division and Chuck Thurlow was victorious in the amateur category. FLORENCE, Ala. — Boyd Duckett put the finishing touches on a wire-to-wire victory Saturday in his home state at the $320,950 Alabama CITGO BASSMASTER Southern Open presented by Busch Beer on Pickwick and Wilson lakes.
Duckett, a 42-year-old owner of a tank-trailer leasing company, recorded his smallest catch of the week Saturday — three bass weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces. But that catch and a sizeable lead coming into the final round paved the way to his first CITGO BASSMASTER victory with a three-day total of 33-8.
Fellow Alabamian and Team Triton Pro Randy Howell finished second with 28-11, followed by Tennessee's Wesley Strader (25-8) and Chris Baumgardner of North Carolina (23-12). Arkansas angler Mark Rose rounded out the top-five with 21-8.
"This is just tremendous," said Duckett, who earned $50,000. "This is the highlight of my career. I'm real proud of this."
Randy Howell placed second at the Alabama Open. Duckett's success centered around fishing a flat near the river channel in Wilson Lake with a Lucky Craft Sammy topwater bait and a Normark Shad rap crankbait. His 12 bass were all largemouths.
"I caught most of my fish on the Sammy, but today they weren't pulling current and I had to back off and fish the crankbait," he said. "With the time of year and conditions and the 15-inch (minimum length) limit working against us, the fishing was really tough. I feel fortunate to catch what I caught."
Howell, a 29-year-old four-time CITGO BASSMASTERS Classic qualifier, fished near Duckett in the shadow of the Logan Martin dam. His catch came on a soft-plastic jerkbait and a Hawg Caller three-bladed spinnerbait.
"I would have loved to have won, but I have to be happy with finishing second," said Howell, who took home $40,000. "But this was Boyd's week. He was fishing what is pretty much a community hole, but surprisingly nobody made him share his water. So he was meant to win it."
Strader, 30, remained in third place throughout the tournament on the strength of a Lake Fork Trophy Tackle tube and a Flat Shad crankbait.
The final tournament in the three-event CITGO BASSMASTER Southern Open series is set Nov. 21-23 on Alabama's Lake Martin. The tournament will determine the final point standings for the year.
Duckett dominated throughout the contest. The top five anglers in the Southern division win a spot in the CITGO BASSMASTERS Classic presented by Busch Beer, set for August 2003 in New Orleans, La., and the top 15 anglers qualify to fish on the CITGO BASSMASTER Tour beginning in January on the Harris Chain of Lakes in Florida.