Duckett First Homestate Angler to Win Classic

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Boyd Duckett accomplished Sunday what no Bassmaster Classic angler had been able to in the 37-year history of the marquee event. The Demopolis, Ala., Bassmaster Elite Series pro became the first homestate angler to win the Classic and the $500,000 top prize.

The 46-year-old brought in the final round’s biggest five-bass limit — 17 pounds, 13 ounces — to climb up from fourth place. His three-day total of 48-10 was enough to hold off California Bassmaster Elite Series angler Skeet Reese by six ounces. ESPN2 aired 10 ½ hours of coverage over the three-day event on Alabama’s Lay Lake.

Reese, who was participating in his seventh Classic, brought in a limit of 15-14, but it was not enough to secure his first Classic championship. He finished with 48-4.

Second-round leader and two-time Classic champion Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich,, fell to third with 45-4. Indiana’s Terry McWilliams, a representative of the BASS Federation Nation, the grassroots organization of BASS, finished fourth with 45-3. Texan Gary Klein rounded out the top five with 44-5.

Duckett sealed his dramatic victory with the Purolator Big Bass of the Day for which he earned a $1,000 premium — a 6-pound, 9-ounce largemouth — caught at 2 p.m.

“I’m so proud I brought the Classic title to my home state,” he said. “It’s every angler’s dream to be able to get here and to win it is just fantastic.”

Duckett was among a contingent of nine Alabama pros in the Classic this week and was one of the pre-Classic favorites because of his extensive experience on Lay Lake. He used a lipless crankbait and flipped a Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw into grass .

Reese, competing in his eighth Classic, was disappointed at his second-place finish.

“Second hurts, it really does,” said Reese, who also caught his limit of bass on a Berkley Chigger Craw. “You don’t get that many opportunities to win a Bassmaster Classic. This was a golden opportunity this week. But I won’t say I let it slip away because I fished the best I could.”

With the third-place finish, VanDam, a three-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year, opened up a larger lead in the BASS all-time money earnings race over Missourri’s Denny Brauer. VanDam, 39, has amassed over $2 million in winnings but lamented the lost opportunity.

“I’ll be honest with you, I’m definitely disappointed,” he said. “But I didn’t leave anything out there. I fished my guts out.”

Extensive Web coverage of the event can be found on and

For related photos of the event, click here.

The 2007 Bassmaster Classic is hosted by the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau. The tournament will receive 11 1/2 hours of television coverage on ESPN2.

Sponsors of the event include Toyota Tundra, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Purolator, Berkley, Advance Auto Parts, Lowrance Electronics and MotorGuide.

BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation Nation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.

BASS stages bass fishing tournaments for every skill level and culminates with the Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry’s widest array of services and support to its nearly 530,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit