Illinois Outdoors at
RulesIllinois Outdoors at

Prairie State Outdoors Categories

Top Story :: Opinion :: Illinois Outdoor News :: Fishing News :: Hunting News :: Birding News :: Nature Stories :: Miscellaneous News :: Fishing :: Big Fish Fridays :: Big Fish Stories :: State Fishing Reports :: Other Fishing Reports :: Fishing Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Fish :: Fishing Calendar :: Hunting :: Hunting Reports :: Hunting Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Hunt :: Tales from the Timber :: Turkey Tales :: Hunting Calendar :: Big Game Stories :: Nature and Birding :: Birding Bits :: Nature Newsbits :: Critter Corner :: Birding Calendar :: Stargazing :: In the Wild :: Miscellaneous Reports and Shorts :: Links :: Hunting Links :: Birding Links :: Video ::

Big Buck Stories

1960s :: 1980s :: 1991-92 :: 1992-93 :: 1993-94 :: 1994-95 :: 1995-96 :: 1997-98 :: 1998-99 :: 1999-2000 :: 2000-01 :: 2001-02 :: 2003-04 :: 2004-05 :: 2005-06 :: 2006-07 :: 2007-08 :: 2008-09 :: 2009-10 :: 2010-11 :: 2011-12 :: 2012-13 ::


Flathead's Picture of the Week :: Big bucks :: Birdwatching :: Cougars :: Dogs :: Critters :: Fishing :: Asian carp :: Bass :: Catfish :: Crappie :: Ice :: Muskie :: Humor :: Hunting :: Deer :: Ducks :: Geese :: Turkey :: Upland game :: Misc. :: Mushrooms :: Open Blog Thursday :: Picture A Day 2010 :: Plants and trees :: Politics :: Prairie :: Scattershooting :: Tales from the Trail Cams :: Wild Things ::


Tough times call for creative fishing

December 18, 2008 at 03:46 PM

The Duckett Exchange

This is the first installment of the The Duckett Exchange, a monthly column about competitive fishing written by Boyd Duckett, a former Bassmaster Classic champion and one of the most popular anglers in the country. In 2007, Duckett set an all-time BASS single-season earnings record. Duckett is also a successful businessman - the owner of Southern Tank Leasing, an Alabama-based company with terminals all over the Southeast and Midwest – and a sought-after public speaker. Click here to read his blog.


First of all, let me state right up front that you probably don’t need to read an article from a pro fisherman to tell you that our economy - top to bottom - is not balanced. You know it. I know it. And we’re all trying to work our way through some tough times.

I watch the dips in the stock market. Day after day, it seems to be the same story. Being a pro angler - a person whose career has been helped by corporate sponsors – one story particularly jumped at me. GM dropped Tiger Woods as a sponsor. If you’re a major U.S. company and you’ve got the best golfer in the world on your team … and you drop him? That’s amazing. That’s corporate America doing what we do every day: cutting costs in a painful way.

It’s sad to say that fishing is not immune. I would like to think that we could all escape our troubles for a few hours every week by heading for the lake and fishing. Fishing is a way that a lot of Americans keep their minds off other troubles. Fishing is psychological relief.

Fishing is different than any other sport I’ve ever known. I can pull up to any boat ramp in America and if my tires spin, another fisherman will stop what he’s doing and help.

If the truck pulling my bass boat breaks down on an interstate, I’m not the least bit concerned because somebody that owns a bass boat will be stopping soon to help me. The just the way anglers are.

Nothing against other sports. I like golf, for example. I still occasionally play golf. But if I’m broken down on the road and lean a set of clubs against my fender, I’m not convinced that a golfer will automatically stop to help me.

The point is, there’s an emotional tie to fishing and the fishing industry that all anglers share. We’re a family. And right now the whole the family is struggling because our economy is in trouble.

I think a lot of people don’t realize that fishing, according to ESPN, is a $66 billion industry. That’s the amount of money we spend on our sport.

Everybody in the sport is affected. We’re mirroring what’s happening across the country. The companies at the top – the boat and engine manufacturers and the bait companies - are struggling, so are the mom-and-pop bait shops. Fishing is a recreational endeavor, and, unfortunately, buying recreational products comes last.

I’m fortunate enough to compete at the highest level of our sport, but we’ll struggle this year the same way weekend anglers will struggle. If one of the largest corporations in the world drops Tiger Woods, do you think we, the anglers on the Elite Series tour, aren’t concerned about whether corporate America will invest in our sport?

So at a time when even that simple act of escaping to the lake for a few hours is tough financially, what are we going to do to get through this? How can we survive economically and still keep the benefits we get from fishing? And for those of you who want to keep competing, what’s next?
I’d like to make a few simple, common-sense suggestions for serious anglers:

  1. Don’t give up. Keep fishing - if you can. Don’t toss the rod and reel in the corner of the garage and give up the sport. …. For those of us that fish, it’s the thing that keeps us going the most.
  2. When you fish, minimize travel trips. Go as time will allow, but think about fuel consumption. Instead of putting your boat in at your favorite ramp and running all over the lake, take your boat to a ramp as close as possible to your “spot,” and save as much fuel as you can. ….. I was in Louisiana on the Red River recently, practicing for the Bassmaster Classic, which will be held on that water in February. I noticed that Rick Clunn, one of the top names in our business, dropped his boat in at three different ramps. It took a little time, but it made sense.
  3. Don’t run 75 miles per hour this year. Most engines will gain 50 to 75 percent more fuel efficiency at 4500 RPM instead of 6000.
  4. Save money on tackle. You can do this because you’ve probably got what you need in your boat. Anglers are the worst people in the world about becoming “specialists.” An angler will become a specialist on spinnerbait or jigs, and he or she won’t throw anything else for than a few minutes a time. I think if I have a primary strength it would be the fact that I’m pretty versatile. The reason is that when I wanted to learn how to use a frog, I went to the river with a frog only. That meant I was either going to catch them on a frog or go home unhappy. … So I learned how to use a frog. The point is you’ve a year’s worth of fishing in your boat right. Read, learn, study, then go to the lake and throw what you can’t throw. This is the time to do it.
  5. The last thing I’d suggest is that you should decide something: the next time you fish, don’t fish a single location you’ve ever fished before. Golfers who shoot 85 their whole lives, do it because they don’t expand their game. They’re satisfied with 85. Bass fishermen are often like that. They get a certain weight and they’re happy because they don’t go further. They know where their favorite holes are and they don’t spend time finding other places. When pros go to a lake for a tournament, all the local anglers watch them because they know where the fish are. But invariably, the winner doesn’t get the fish in the way or from the places the locals expect.

As I said, you don’t need a pro angler to tell you times are tough. So all I can offer is this: when times are tough, it’s a good time to try something different.
Good luck.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Comment Area Pool Rules

  1. Read our Terms of Service.
  2. You must be a member. :: Register here :: Log In
  3. Keep it clean.
  4. Stay on topic.
  5. Be civil, honest and accurate.
  6. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Log In

Register as a new member

Next entry: Iowa fishing report

Previous entry: Illinois ice fishing heats up

Log Out

RSS & Atom Feeds

Prairie State Outdoors
PSO on Facebook
Promote Your Page Too

News Archives

February 2020
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Copyright © 2007-2014 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Some Rights Reserved
Original content available for non-commercial use
under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.
Creative Commons