Classic Contenders Flock to Louisiana for Valuable Red River Scouting Time
Category: press release
Dec 9th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Dec 9th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
Many 2009 Bassmaster Classic qualifiers are in Shreveport-Bossier City, La., this week, checking out the Red River before the off-limits period goes into effect Dec. 15. After the cutoff, their next look at the water will be the official Classic practice days, Feb. 13-15. Competitors will have a final look at the Classic waters on Feb. 18.
The 2007 Classic champion, Boyd Duckett, is one of the 2009 Classic competitors looking for hints this week at how the Red River will fish on the Classic competition days of Feb. 20-22.
“This is my first trip here. It seems to fish very similarly to the Tombigbee, the river where I live,” said Duckett, who is from Demopolis, Ala. “And I’m seeing some really good-looking February stuff.”
By that Duckett means he’s found areas he believes will produce when the Classic competition plays out. Duckett is figuring in February that the river level likely will be higher – the river’s very low now, he said – and the bass probably will be in pre-spawn mode.
Duckett, who was the first angler to win a Classic in his home state when he won on Alabama’s Lay Lake in February 2007, said he has been surprised by the quality of the bass he’s found in the Red River. He predicted that the winning weight of the Red River Classic will approach 60 pounds. The record for the heaviest three-day weight (based on a five-fish limit) caught in a Classic is held by Luke Clausen, who boated 56 pounds, 2 ounces, in 2006 on Florida’s Lake Tohopekaliga.
“There are bigger fish here than I realized,” Duckett said. “I thought it would be a 13- to 14-pound-a-day tournament. Now I think the leader’s going to have one or two big bites a day that will help them into that 19- or 20-pound-a-day range.”
Weather and water temperatures will be key, he said, but cold or no cold, he still expects hefty bags each day.
“The third week in February, that’s early spring in Louisiana. If we get just a little bit warmer weather, and the water temperature gets to 54, 55 degrees, that will run the pre-spawn fish up toward the banks. But even if we get some really cold weather, I’m still betting there will be some anglers who will figure out how to catch those big pre-spawners. But it’ll be an unbelievable tournament if we get some warm weather.”