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Published: January 15, 2013

Looking for Big Mo at Chautauqua

by Lynn Burkhead

Boyd Duckett is no stranger to fishing success.

Or to having Big Bass Mo - the bass angling version of momentum - riding shotgun in his bass rig. After all, the Alabama pro - one of the co-founders of Major League Fishing, along with Gary Klein - has rocketed to the top of the sport in short order.

How else do you describe winning the 2007 Bassmaster Classic in your first ever appearance in fishing's biggest event?

Duckett comes into the Jack Link's Major League Fishing 2013 General Tire Summit Cup competition at Chautauqua Lake with plenty of Big Mo. In fact, just days before this event began near Jamestown, Duckett prevailed a little further upstate in New York by winning the season ending B.A.S.S. event on Oneida Lake near Syracuse. He did so by putting together a four-day total of 62.6 pounds of smallmouth and largemouth bass.

Can the Alabama pro and premium rod maker keep up the pace and successfully break the code of Chautauqua's smallmouths and largemouths?

"I hope so," said Duckett. "You want it to (keep going). In our sport, momentum is everything. You'll see guys in our sport - in all sports really - where they get on a roll and their confidence level is high and they start to do the things they are supposed to do (to win)."

Duckett knows that just as easily, Big Mo can jump off an angler's boat and hitch a ride with someone else.

"It's the same way where you might see a guy get in a little slump, maybe even a season long slump (even though) he's a great angler," he said.

Meaning that momentum is a fickle thing in angling and an angler must do all that they can do to seize it, manage it, keep it on their side, and ride the crest of the wave as long as possible.

Duckett stresses that since wins in professional angling are so rare - few anglers ever get into double digit wins during their career - a dominant season isn't always measured by marks in the win column.

"It's always great to have a win and just good tournaments," he said. "You don't have to necessarily win to get that momentum."

Duckett should know, having ridden the crest of momentum's wave to a stellar 2012 season on the Bassmaster Elite Series circuit.

Along with his win at Oneida - his fourth on the B.A.S.S. circuit - Duckett finished in the money a total of five times on the 2012 tour as he pocketed nearly $150,000 to boost his career earnings total to $1.39 million dollars.

The most recent deposits into the bank came thanks to Duckett's 2012 tournament finishes of first (Oneida); 22nd (Lake Michigan); 24th (Bull Shoals); 28th (Mississippi River); and 49th (Douglas).

That stellar season was good enough to give Duckett his sixth trip to the Bassmaster Classic scheduled for February 2013 at Oklahoma's Grand Lake.

"My last four or five tournaments have been good," said Duckett. "I've had some great fishing days and ended the season with a win. So I feel really good and I hope it carries over here.

"I feel like I'm on top of my game and that's a good feeling."

A good feeling for Duckett, but, perhaps not so good a feeling for the other 23 Major League Fishing pros hoping to claim top prize, the Summit Cup.