BIRMINGHAM — Boyd Duckett became the first angler in Bassmaster Classic history to win the title in his home state, taking the $500,000 top prize by 6 ounces Sunday with a three-day total of 48 pounds, 10 ounces.
The 46-year-old Duckett, from Demopolis, had the final round's biggest five-bass limit — 17 pounds, 13 ounces — to climb from fourth place at Lay Lake.
"I'm so proud I brought the Classic title to my home state," Duckett said. "It's every angler's dream to be able to get here and to win it is just fantastic."
Skeet Reese of Aubun, Calif., finished second.
"Second hurts. It really does," Reese said.
Duckett began his tournament fishing career in the 1970s as a teenager. He fished club tournaments and open events for more than 20 years.
In 2002, Duckett started fishing BASS events. He made waves in the fishing world with a tour event win on Pickwick Lake on the Tennessee River in 2003, basically fishing as a part-time angler. To put into perspective what an accomplishment that is, the year Gerald Swindle won BASS Angler of the Year, he didn't win a single tour event.
Fishing the tour this year, he finished fifth in the Northern division and third in the Southern division to make it to the Bassmaster Classic and qualify for the Elite 100 next year.