By BassFan Staff

For much of this season it seemed as if Boyd Duckett couldn't catch a mid-teens bag from an outdoors-show aquarium filled with starving 4-pounders. Today he boxed one on a fishery where a stringer half that size is considered a good day's work.

The former Bassmaster Classic champion, who's buried at No. 105 on the points list with four finishes in the 90s on his ledger, weighed an eye-popping 16-12 stringer on day 1 of the Delaware River Bassmaster Elite Series in Philadelphia. That was 4 3/4 pounds more than anyone else managed on an unfamiliar venue that's not exactly teeming with brutes – or bass of any size, for that matter.

"I'm just trying to key on some stuff where I might be able to catch a bigger fish," he said. "I got some big bites in practice, just not very many of them, and that's common here.

"I've got some offshore grass locations and I'm outside of those, and I haven't had anybody else competing for those fish. There are boats in those areas, but they're not fishing where I am."

Japanese veteran Morizo Shimizu was a distant 2nd with 12-02. Next was second-year Oklahoma pro James Elam, who's logged no placement better than 59th this year, with 11-12.

Noted "river rat" Kevin Short was 4th with 11-06. Fred Roumbanis, also no stranger to catching fish from shallow, moving water, completed the Top 5 with 11-05.

Here's a look at the initial Top 12, with deficit margins indicated by red numbers in parentheses:

1. Boyd Duckett: 16-14
2. Morizo Shimizu: 12-02 (4-12)
3. James Elam: 11-12 (5-02)
4. Kevin Short: 11-06 (5-08)
5. Fred Roumbanis: 11-05 (5-09)
6. Chad Pipkens: 11-04 (5-10)
7. Bill Lowen: 11-01 (5-13)
8. Scott Rook: 10-15 (5-15)
9. Chris Lane: 10-09 (6-05)
10. Byron Velvick: 10-05 (6-09)
11. Kota Kiriyama: 10-04 (6-10)
12. Andy Montgomery: 9-14 (7-00)

Almost as stunning as Duckett's massive haul was the fact that seven-time Angler of the Year (AOY) Kevin VanDam was among half a dozen competitors who zeroed – that list also included his nephew Jonathan, along with Charlie Hartley, Jamie Horton, Michael Simonton and Dave Smith. It was the first time KVD had come in fish-less since day 3 of the Mississippi River event in Iowa in 2009. He hadn't blanked on day 1 since the derby at Florida's Harris Chain of Lakes in '03.

Others who struggled included AOY leaders Mark Davis and Greg Hackney, who came in separated by just a single point. Davis (two fish, 3-12) opened in 67th place and Hackney (two, 4-00) was in 64th.

The weather forecast for day 2 calls for sunny skies, a high temperature of 85 degrees and a light breeze out of the northwest. The tide will be more favorable than today, as the field will get an extra hour of the optimal outgoing flow.

The field will be cut to the Top 50 after the weigh-in. Only the Top 12 will advance to Sunday, with the winner will be determined based on highest cumulative weight.

Momentum Shift for Duckett

> Day 1: 5, 16-12

Duckett spoke earlier this summer about how he needed readjust his expectations for the remaining events in the wake of his miserable start to the campaign. He talked of surviving the initial cut at BASSFest (where he finished 22nd despite more than 12 pounds in penalties) and then perhaps making a Top 12 before the end of the season.

Now, following his best day on the water since he won at Oneida Lake to conclude the 2012 season, he's laid a strong foundation for the victory that would get him back to the Classic.

"If I get a little closer, I'll definitely start thinking about that," he said. "If I'm still in the hunt after the second day, then I'll be as aggressive as I can the rest of the way. But you have to stay in it to win it."

He boated six keepers on day 1, the best of which weighed 3-13. The smallest one he brought to the scale was right around 3 pounds.

"It's an all-day deal – it's a long time between bites. The one fish I culled out was only about a pound and a quarter, but I didn't catch any short fish. I've only caught a couple of those since I've been here."

B.A.S.S./Gary Tramontina
Photo: B.A.S.S./Gary Tramontina

James Elam pulled off his best stretch of water after securing a limit.

3rd: Elam Quit after 5

> Day 1: 5, 11-12

Elam worked a 10-mile section of the river to catch his five keepers during the first half of the day and then departed that locale.

"I really don't know if there are any more there or not," he said. "I thought I could go somewhere else and catch some more, but I never got another keeper bite.

His biggest fish was a 3-03. Getting that one into the boat was an adventure.

"When it pulled me down I knew it was a big one. When I got it to the top it was tangled up in a bunch of red line and I had to go over and grab it to get it out, and then I had to (sort) through all that line to get my bait out of there."

He might mix up his rotation on day 2 in light of the tide shift.

"I want to start somewhere different because it'll be dead-low in the morning," he said. "I've got a place where I caught two 3-pounders in practice, and hopefully I can be there at the right time and get lucky and catch one of them."

4th: Short All Alone

> Day 1: 5, 11-06

Short made a long run before making his first cast and said he didn't see another tournament boat all day.

"I had a pretty good practice and I found one area that I think's got a few fish in it," he said. "It's a matter of being there at the right time, I think.

"If you're there at the right time they're pretty aggressive. If you're there at the wrong time it's like there's not a fish within miles.

He handled six keepers and didn't lose any. His best fish was a 3 1/2-pounder.

"I'll go back there (on day 2) and see if I can catch five more. This feels like one of those deals where a guy who catches five a day is going to have a real good chance, even if they're not five big ones."

5th: Roumbanis Started Over

> Day 1: 5, 11-05

Roumbanis had a horrible practice and pretty much had to start from scratch today.

"I kind of just tried something different," he said. "I put the trolling motor on high and threw reaction baits most of the time and it worked out really well.

"There were other boats around, but I don't think they were doing the same thing I was. They might've been, but I really wasn't paying attention."

He boated seven keepers, including a 3-pounder. That one would've weighed another quarter-pound or so if it hadn't spit up a bluegill in his livewell.

"I fished really clean today, surprisingly. I knew it was going to be tough and that actually made me kind of relax. I caught one early and once I had that one I knew I wasn't going to blank.

"I may fish new water (on day 2), but other than that it'll be the same thing. I don't know if I left much behind today – it was really skinny water."

101st (tie): Nothing for VanDam

> Day 1: 0, 0-00

Kevin VanDam got only two bites on day 1 – one from a short fish and the other from a trash fish.

"I had an okay practice, but it wasn't great," he said. "Still, I thought I'd catch a few today, but that's the way it goes. It's not the first time it's happened and it'll probably happen again.

"I ran around a lot following the tide. I fished what I thought was a lot of good water but I just didn't make it happen. The good thing is I have a real short memory and I'll be back out there again tomorrow."

He said he'd do some things differently on day 2, but wouldn't dramatically alter his program.

"You kind of have to go with what you know. Hopefully the results change a lot."

Notable

> Day 1 stats – 106 anglers, 23 limits, 18 fours, 17 threes, 22 twos, 20 ones, 6 zeroes.

Weather Forecast

> Fri., Aug. 8 – Sunny - 85°/68°
- Wind: From the NW at 6 mph

> Sat., Aug. 9 – Mostly Sunny - 86°/69°
- Wind: From the ESE at 6 mph

> Sun., Aug. 10 – Partly Cloudy - 85°/65°
- Wind: From the E at 9 mph

Day 1 Standings

1. Boyd Duckett -- Guntersville, AL -- 5, 16-14 -- 100
Day 1: 5, 16-14

2. Morizo Shimizu -- Osaka, Japan -- 5, 12-02 -- 99
Day 1: 5, 12-02

3. James Elam -- Tulsa, OK -- 5, 11-12 -- 98
Day 1: 5, 11-12

4. Kevin Short -- Mayflower, AR -- 5, 11-06 -- 97
Day 1: 5, 11-06

5. Fred Roumbanis -- Bixby, OK -- 5, 11-05 -- 96
Day 1: 5, 11-05

6. Chad Pipkens -- Holt, MI -- 5, 11-04 -- 95
Day 1: 5, 11-04

7. Bill Lowen -- Brookville, IN -- 5, 11-01 -- 94
Day 1: 5, 11-01

8. Scott Rook -- Little Rock, AR -- 5, 10-15 -- 93
Day 1: 5, 10-15

9. Chris Lane -- Guntersville, AL -- 5, 10-09 -- 92
Day 1: 5, 10-09

10. Byron Velvick -- Boenre, TX -- 4, 10-05 -- 91
Day 1: 4, 10-05

11. Kotaro Kiriyama -- Moody, AL -- 5, 10-04 -- 90
Day 1: 5, 10-04

12. Andy Montgomery -- Blacksburg, SC -- 4, 09-14 -- 89
Day 1: 4, 09-14

13. John Crews Jr -- Salem, VA -- 5, 09-13 -- 88
Day 1: 5, 09-13

14. Jason Christie -- Park Hill, OK -- 5, 09-12 -- 87
Day 1: 5, 09-12

14. Justin Lucas -- Guntersville, AL -- 5, 09-12 -- 87
Day 1: 5, 09-12

16. Steve Kennedy -- Auburn, AL -- 4, 09-12 -- 85
Day 1: 4, 09-12

17. Casey Ashley -- Donalds, SC -- 4, 09-06 -- 84
Day 1: 4, 09-06

18. Cliff Crochet -- Pierre Part, LA -- 5, 09-04 -- 83
Day 1: 5, 09-04

19. James Niggemeyer -- Van, TX -- 4, 09-03 -- 82
Day 1: 4, 09-03

20. Terry Scroggins -- San Mateo, FL -- 3, 09-03 -- 81
Day 1: 3, 09-03

21. Michael Iaconelli -- Pittsgrove, NJ -- 5, 09-02 -- 80
Day 1: 5, 09-02

21. Britt Myers -- Lake Wylie, SC -- 5, 09-02 -- 80
Day 1: 5, 09-02

23. Kevin Hawk -- Guntersville, AL -- 5, 08-15 -- 78
Day 1: 5, 08-15

24. Ott DeFoe -- Knoxville, TN -- 4, 08-15 -- 77
Day 1: 4, 08-15

25. Keith Combs -- Huntington, TX -- 5, 08-13 -- 76
Day 1: 5, 08-13

26. Todd Faircloth -- Jasper, TX -- 4, 08-10 -- 75
Day 1: 4, 08-10

27. Jared Lintner -- Arroyo Grande, CA -- 5, 08-09 -- 74
Day 1: 5, 08-09

28. Dean Rojas -- Lake Havasu City, AZ -- 3, 08-01 -- 73
Day 1: 3, 08-01

29. Brian Snowden -- Reeds Spring, MO -- 5, 08-00 -- 72
Day 1: 5, 08-00

30. Derek Remitz -- Grant, AL -- 3, 07-15 -- 71
Day 1: 3, 07-15

31. Aaron Martens -- Leeds, AL -- 3, 07-12 -- 70
Day 1: 3, 07-12

32. Skeet Reese -- Auburn, CA -- 4, 07-09 -- 69
Day 1: 4, 07-09

33. Yusuke Miyazaki -- Forney, TX -- 4, 07-08 -- 68
Day 1: 4, 07-08

34. Fletcher Shryock -- New Philadelphia, OH -- 5, 07-06 -- 67
Day 1: 5, 07-06

35. Kenyon Hill -- Norman, OK -- 4, 07-06 -- 66
Day 1: 4, 07-06

36. Paul Elias -- Laurel, MS -- 3, 07-05 -- 65
Day 1: 3, 07-05

37. Alton Jones -- Lorena, TX -- 4, 07-04 -- 64
Day 1: 4, 07-04

38. Gerald Swindle -- Warrior, AL -- 4, 07-03 -- 63
Day 1: 4, 07-03

39. Brett Hite -- Phoenix, AZ -- 5, 07-02 -- 62
Day 1: 5, 07-02

40. Bobby Lane -- Lakeland, FL -- 4, 06-14 -- 61
Day 1: 4, 06-14

41. Marty Robinson -- Lyman, SC -- 3, 06-14 -- 60
Day 1: 3, 06-14

42. Brandon Card -- Caryville, TN -- 2, 06-14 -- 59
Day 1: 2, 06-14

43. Jeff Kriet -- Ardmore, OK -- 3, 06-11 -- 58
Day 1: 3, 06-11

44. Matt Herren -- Ashville, AL -- 2, 06-10 -- 57
Day 1: 2, 06-10

45. Edwin Evers -- Talala, OK -- 4, 06-09 -- 56
Day 1: 4, 06-09

46. Randy Howell -- Springville, AL -- 5, 06-08 -- 55
Day 1: 5, 06-08

47. Stephen Browning -- Hot Springs, AR -- 3, 06-07 -- 54
Day 1: 3, 06-07

48. Mike Kernan -- Wylie, TX -- 4, 06-04 -- 53
Day 1: 4, 06-04

49. Brandon Lester -- Fayetteville, TN -- 3, 06-04 -- 52
Day 1: 3, 06-04

50. Bernie Schultz -- Gainesville, FL -- 4, 05-14 -- 51
Day 1: 4, 05-14

51. Ish Monroe -- Hughson, CA -- 3, 05-13 -- 50
Day 1: 3, 05-13

52. Cliff Prince -- Palatka, FL -- 3, 05-08 -- 49
Day 1: 3, 05-08

53. Matt Reed -- Madisonville, TX -- 4, 05-06 -- 48
Day 1: 4, 05-06

54. Zell Rowland -- Montgomery, TX -- 3, 05-03 -- 47
Day 1: 3, 05-03

55. Brandon Palaniuk -- Hayden, ID -- 2, 05-02 -- 46
Day 1: 2, 05-02

56. Tracy Adams -- Wilkesboro, NC -- 3, 04-13 -- 45
Day 1: 3, 04-13

57. Kelley Jaye -- Dadeville, AL -- 4, 04-08 -- 44
Day 1: 4, 04-08

58. Scott Ashmore -- Broken Arrow, OK -- 2, 04-05 -- 43
Day 1: 2, 04-05

59. Nate Wellman -- Newaygo, MI -- 3, 04-04 -- 42
Day 1: 3, 04-04

60. Shaw Grigsby Jr. -- Gainesville, FL -- 3, 04-02 -- 41
Day 1: 3, 04-02

61. Clifford Pirch -- Payson, AZ -- 2, 04-01 -- 40
Day 1: 2, 04-01

61. Jacob Powroznik -- Port Haywood, VA -- 2, 04-01 -- 40
Day 1: 2, 04-01

61. Randall Tharp -- Port Saint Joe, FL -- 2, 04-01 -- 40
Day 1: 2, 04-01

64. Greg Hackney -- Gonzales, LA -- 2, 04-00 -- 37
Day 1: 2, 04-00

64. Jared Miller -- Norman, OK -- 2, 04-00 -- 37
Day 1: 2, 04-00

64. John Murray -- Phoenix, AZ -- 2, 04-00 -- 37
Day 1: 2, 04-00

67. Mark Davis -- Mount Ida, AR -- 2, 03-12 -- 34
Day 1: 2, 03-12

67. Greg Vinson -- Wetumpka, AL -- 2, 03-12 -- 34
Day 1: 2, 03-12

69. Billy McCaghren -- Mayflower, AR -- 3, 03-10 -- 32
Day 1: 3, 03-10

70. Chad Morgenthaler -- Coulterville, IL -- 2, 03-09 -- 31
Day 1: 2, 03-09

71. Takahiro Omori -- Emory, TX -- 2, 03-08 -- 30
Day 1: 2, 03-08

72. Rick Morris -- Lake Gaston, VA -- 2, 03-03 -- 29
Day 1: 2, 03-03

73. Boo Woods -- Oneida, KY -- 3, 03-02 -- 28
Day 1: 3, 03-02

74. Keith Poche -- Pike Road, AL -- 2, 02-15 -- 27
Day 1: 2, 02-15

75. Grant Goldbeck -- Boerne, TX -- 1, 02-15 -- 26
Day 1: 1, 02-15

75. Jeremy Starks -- Scott Depot, WV -- 1, 02-15 -- 26
Day 1: 1, 02-15

77. Joel Baker -- Talala, OK -- 2, 02-11 -- 24
Day 1: 2, 02-11

78. Rick Clunn -- Ava, MO -- 1, 02-11 -- 23
Day 1: 1, 02-11

79. Brent Chapman -- Lake Quivira, KS -- 2, 02-10 -- 22
Day 1: 2, 02-10

79. Bradley Roy -- Lancaster, KY -- 2, 02-10 -- 22
Day 1: 2, 02-10

81. Dennis Tietje -- Roanoke, LA -- 2, 02-07 -- 20
Day 1: 2, 02-07

82. Tim Horton -- Muscle Shoals, AL -- 2, 02-06 -- 19
Day 1: 2, 02-06

83. Josh Bertrand -- Gilbert, AZ -- 1, 02-06 -- 18
Day 1: 1, 02-06

83. Jason Williamson -- Aiken, SC -- 1, 02-06 -- 18
Day 1: 1, 02-06

85. J Todd Tucker -- Moultrie, GA -- 2, 02-05 -- 16
Day 1: 2, 02-05

86. Trevor Romans -- Plano, TX -- 1, 02-05 -- 15
Day 1: 1, 02-05

87. David Walker -- Sevierville, TN -- 1, 02-02 -- 14
Day 1: 1, 02-02

88. Casey Scanlon -- Lanexa, KS -- 1, 02-01 -- 13
Day 1: 1, 02-01

89. Gary Klein -- Weatherford, TX -- 1, 02-00 -- 12
Day 1: 1, 02-00

90. Chris Zaldain -- San Jose, CA -- 1, 01-12 -- 11
Day 1: 1, 01-12

91. Glenn Browne -- Ocala, FL -- 1, 01-08 -- 10
Day 1: 1, 01-08

91. Davy Hite -- Ninety Six, SC -- 1, 01-08 -- 10
Day 1: 1, 01-08

91. Pete Ponds -- Madison, MS -- 1, 01-08 -- 10
Day 1: 1, 01-08

94. David Mullins -- Mt Carmel, TN -- 1, 01-06 -- 7
Day 1: 1, 01-06

94. Joseph Sancho -- New Windsor, NY -- 1, 01-06 -- 7
Day 1: 1, 01-06

96. Kelly Jordon -- Palestine, TX -- 1, 01-05 -- 5
Day 1: 1, 01-05

97. Hank Cherry Jr -- Maiden, NC -- 1, 01-03 -- 4
Day 1: 1, 01-03

97. Mike McClelland -- Bella Vista, AR -- 1, 01-03 -- 4
Day 1: 1, 01-03

99. Kurt Dove -- Del Rio, TX -- 1, 01-01 -- 2
Day 1: 1, 01-01

99. Russ Lane -- Prattville, AL -- 1, 01-01 -- 2
Day 1: 1, 01-01

101. Charlie Hartley -- Grove City, OH -- 0, 00-00 -- 0
Day 1: 0, 00-00

101. Jamie Horton -- Centerville, AL -- 0, 00-00 -- 0
Day 1: 0, 00-00

101. Michael Simonton -- Fremont, OH -- 0, 00-00 -- 0
Day 1: 0, 00-00

101. David Smith -- Del City, OK -- 0, 00-00 -- 0
Day 1: 0, 00-00

101. Jonathon VanDam -- Kalamazoo, MI -- 0, 00-00 -- 0
Day 1: 0, 00-00

101. Kevin VanDam -- Kalamazoo, MI -- 0, 00-00 -- 0
Day 1: 0, 00-00