I know puddle ducks will eat snails, worms, insects etc.... but never in my life have I seen this. My kids thought it was cool. The mouth of this teal was overflowing with worms that it had been eating. As I looked deeper into the throat of this teal I found a ton of small seeds (wild millet maybe) too. Anyway, this teal made a bad decision by flying into our spread with a full belly after feasting.
The second split came to a close for me yesterday. Heading to the dome today for the Saints game... Who Dat!!! Although I am still shooting plenty of ducks, my observation is the numbers are way down at the end of this split compared to previous first splits in years past. We have very few gadwalls in the area, but can still manage limits of teal. Personally I think with a lot of the high water we have had during the first split it displaces the ducks. Another consideration is this is the second year in a row with no storms so perhaps there is abundant feed through out SE LA spreading the ducks out thin. All in all, I still love this sport. Geaux Saints!!!!
We had a little Thanksgiving bonus today. Low flying goose right over the decoys.
We had to end our hunt early today. My dog went to retrieve a duck that fell about 150 yards into the grass this morning shortly after daylight in the fog. He never came back and would not respond to my calls or whistle so we had to go look for him as at this point I realized he got turned around and was lost. After about 3 hours of looking for him, a fisherman called me who found my dog. He was about 3 miles away from where we were hunting. I cannot thank this fisherman enough. THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS.... My boys were happy to get their pup back...
The boys continued to whack em' and stack em' for the opening weekend. We had a blast!
We had one hen mallard. My oldest son is still trying to kill his first drake green head.....
Always a blast to watch kids and video them shooting ducks on the youth duck hunt weekends. I'm honored to be able to insure the future of our sport by introducing young ones to duck hunting. It was a good weekend with some mighty fine shooting by these kids.
My 8 year old son shot this hen ruddy duck today. Sure wish it was a drake as I would have mounted it for him. We had 2 hens come into the dekes. First ruddy duck my blind has shot since the 80's.
This is just my opinion, but based on Larry Reynolds aerial survey last week and my hunting logs over the last decade, the 2nd split opener is always better than the first split opener, hence I firmly believe we always have more ducks in South LA in mid December than we do in early to mid November. With that said, I still think the coastal zone opens too early. I still would like to see duck season for south LA open in mid November (or even the Saturday before Thanksgiving) and close on the last Sunday in January. Also, I find it strange that the West Zone which now extends up to NW LA closes in mid January and not the last Sunday in January. When I use to hunt Red River and Toledo Bend our best hunts with the mallards was always late January. Same thing held true for hunting in Monroe, LA and in Mississippi around Jackson and Vicksburg. The layout of the three zones seems weird too. It seems political to me to give hunters more than 60 days to hunt by hunting multiple zones. Why dont we just have a north and south zone and if we did maybe the south zone border should extend a little further north above Hwy 90 so that areas like Big Branch, Bayou Savage, Manchac etc are in the south zone too. Perhaps Interstate 12 from MS to Interstate 12 in Baton Rouge could be the border for south and north zones. We could just have a statewide season too with no zones. This is just my two cents. Comments are welcomed as I do know Larry Reynolds does read these posts.
The second split opener of the coastal zone opened with a bang with 4 man limits on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday we shot mostly green wing teal, however on Sunday we shot mostly gadwall and only two teal. It's weird what a difference a day makes. My boys and their friend had a blast with a lot of shooting for the kiddos.... I think these boys are now addicted to quack.
So far this season has been hit and miss for most. It seems that we just don't have the numbers of ducks we typically have, despite all the feed in the ponds. The extreme high water is spreading the ducks thin and far. I hate hunting high water. Bring on the mud flats and super low water... It's crazy that the coastal zone opened on Nov 9th when Kansas just opened this weekend. Our season opens way too early. I would love to see the season close on Jan 31st regardless if it closes on a Sunday or not (can't go into February I know) with it opening on the Saturday before Thanksgiving with a split a week or two before Christmas. Limits or near limits have been the norm for most hunts but for one hunt when we only shot 4. We have to hunt late sometimes to fill the limit especially on cloudy, mild days. Blue bird cold days with strong North winds are the best days seeing the most activity. My boys and I shot 18 today from 7:30am to 9:30am setting up late. Cloudy days with south winds are the slower days. I made a hunt a couple of weeks from 9am to 12pm to shoot a 2 man limit on a cold blue bird day with strong north winds. If you hunt salt marsh, the birds are feeding on low tide so hunt the tides if you can. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hunting......
It's all about making memories and passing on a tradition and that's exactly what we did this past weekend. It should be a good season.
Wow, what a great fishing trip this past Saturday with my youngest boy. We started off fishing for trout on the ICW and the bite was slow with a slack tide only landing 6 keeper trout on plastics so we decided to cross Lake Borgne to the Biloxi Marsh to go look for some reds. One stop, one pond and it was on! We limited out catching our 10 reds within an hour then played catch and release. It was so much fun teaching my son how to sight cast to red fish. He is getting the hang of it now. I might have a fishing partner for life as he is hooked on sight casting now. The water was crystal clear and we saw many schools of reds cruising the shore lines. All reds caught on red fish magic spinner baits.
I am no scientist, however considering that Larry's (LDWF) teal count last week for early teal season is the lowest on record could the teal be changing their migration pattern in SE LA? The reason I ask this or possibly think it is because over the last decade (from Katrina on to Isaac) it seems that SE LA has had a tropical storm or hurricane pushing HIGH water into the area when the teal move through on their early migration. We all know teal prefer very shallow water to feed in. If the water is high then it displaces the teal pushing them into to the rice fields in SW LA and elsewhere unless they can find feed like wild millet seeds etc growing in the brackish waters in our SE marshes in the high water. Even without a storm in the gulf this past week we still have above normal tides with the SE winds creating high water. So my thinking is the teal are learning that SE LA always has high water this time of the year and they are shifting their migration more to the west to SW LA and Texas. What do you think Larry? What about others out there. Chip in your two cents.
I had a great time this past Saturday teaching these boys how to sight cast for red fish in the Biloxi Marsh. All fish caught on spinner baits. Getting them hooked at a young age is what it's all about.
My 8 year old wants to go fishing tomorrow afternoon with a few of his friends for his birthday. Any one know where I can put them on some sheepshead, flounder, black drum or reds fishing with dead or live shrimp? I figure it will be too rough with 10-15 knot winds to fish the trestles in the afternoon.
Just wanted to thank the guys at BFC Marine/Gator Trax in Springfield, LA for outstanding customer service. My Briggs & Stratton mud motor has over 500 hours on her now and with the harsh salt water environment I hunt in I have had a few minor electrical problems this year. I guess it's like when you put 200k miles on a truck, things will start to go out. Each time I brought my boat & motor to them, they got it fixed in no time and had me back on the water in time not to interfere with me missing any hunting. Most of the time they fixed it while I waited. That's the kind of customer service one appeciates especially when you have a problem in the middle of duck season. Thank You!
I'm anxious to get back in the marsh this weekend. The sky high water levels will change the game plan. Unfortunately the high water will push the teal out, but I know where to find the gray ducks in high water.
It is very easy to make and delicious. Grays and teal in the pot with onions, mushrooms, garlic, cream of mushroom soup, carrots and seasoning. Will serve over rice once done this evening. Yum, yum good...
Any reports from Venice in the 2nd split? A buddy of mine wants me to head down there to his camp this weekend for a fathers/sons fishing and hunting weekend, but I haven't heard of anyone doing that well down there. In Venice I normally hunt the Baptise and Red Pass areas as well as some private leases nearby that area.
Made a huge batch (4-5 gallons) of duck, andouille and chicken gumbo along with grilled bacon wrapped ducks for NY's Eve last night... Man was it good............