2014 Bassmaster Elite at Delaware River Delaware River - Philadelphia, PA, Aug 7 - 10, 2014

Duckett's lead

2:12 pm EDT, Aug 8, 2014 | By Ken Duke

Boyd Duckett leads the Delaware River Elite event by 4 pounds, 12 ounces. That might not sound like a lot, but there are a couple of reasons to believe that his lead is positively huge…and fragile.

 

First let's talk fragile. The Delaware River is a tough fishery—about as tough as anywhere the Elites have been. Success one day is absolutely no guarantee of success the next, so everyone is correct to wonder if Duckett can do it again. If he can, this derby will be all but over before the weekend gets here.

 

Now let's talk about the enormity of his lead, and for reasons I'm about to explain I think it's the biggest Day 1 lead in Elite history.

 

This will probably surprise you, but 4 pounds, 12 ounces is the fourth largest Day 1 lead in Elite history even before we make adjustments for the fishery. That's right. Only three other times has an angler had a bigger margin after the first day. The biggest lead ever was Ish Monroe's 8-12 at Okeechobee in 2012 followed by Aaron Martens's 6-4 at Falcon in 2008 and Byron Velvick's 5-12 at Clear Lake. Boyd Duckett's 4-12 falls right in behind them.

 

But if you were asked to pick which of the four—Okeechobee, Falcon, Clear and the Delaware River—doesn't belong (one of these things is most definitely not like the others), it wouldn't take you long to pick the Delaware. The others are lunker havens. Double digit bass are a possibility on any cast, and 30-pound bags are commonplace.

 

What Duckett did here on the first day was off the charts! He posted a 4-12 lead where merely catching 4-12 would put you near the money. His 4-12 lead is larger than the weight of the first day's biggest bass, and that's never happened in Elite competition before.

 

In fact, Duckett's average bass (3-6) was more than 33 anglers could muster on Day 1. That's a big, big deal.

 

Now let's put it even more in perspective for the fishery. Duckett's catch was 39 percent heavier than second place (Morizo Shimizu with 12-2). That's completely unprecedented in Elite completion. Imagine if this tournament were at Falcon and the second place angler had 35 pounds (which is probably about right, but it could be even more). For the leader to be 39 percent better, he'd need 48-10 which would be a new single-day record.

 

So Duckett's Day 1 catch needs to be regarded as one of the best—if not the best—in Elite history. It was a beatdown of historic magnitude.

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