Hunted yesterday and the season long trend continued with a lack of greys and teal in our area. The dosgris saved our season and although we can only shoot three per man they are always fun to shoot. Everyone in the club shot three dosgris yesterday with a few redheads in the mix.
As many have posted and I believe all the planets lined up for us to have a bad year. Less ducks in surveys, lots of rain up the line and El Nino in full effect. We also had a late high tide event before the big duck season that wiped out vegetation in our ponds. Despite the conditions we still hunted hard trying different things throughout the season but you have to have ducks to shoot them.
It was not our year but we always have fun with the group of guys we have in the club and cutting up with the other camps on our road. The ducks are a bonus but we do work hard to get them. We will be at it again next year doing what we like to do.
January 2019 Survey
Date Hunted 12/29/2018:
Morning Hunt - Conditions could not have been much worse. We had very high tides for the hunt, threw out decoys with 40' strings and some floated away so had to round them up during the hunt. White caps in the pond had the decoys doing some bobbing and weaving. On the good side the ducks were on the move with the conditions, most I have seen in a while but could not get them close for shots. Ended up with 3 green winged teal and 5 coots.
Forgot to report about the afternoon hunt - Set up off of the regular lease and one good flight of whistling tree ducks came in. Shot two of them on the first pass and they came back and got another. My buddy's gun stopped working at the wrong time so it could have been better. Tree ducks are not real smart so if you get a chance to shoot them hit the duck call again they often come back.
Date Supposed to Hunt 12/30/2018:
Fog rolled in before 9:00 pm Saturday night and did not let up until 10:00 am this morning. No hunt today.
This weekend was tough, did not think it could get much worse but it did. Not ideal circumstances but we hunt on and happy to be able to be in the game.
Date Hunted 12/16/2018:
Had enough of the Dosgris on Saturday and we made a move from one duck lease to another about 10 miles apart. Conditions were ideal for a duck hunt. NW wind about 8 mph, water height just right with overcast skies. Had quite a few teal buzzing the area doing sneak attacks on us and we manged to get some of them. Also had some coots come our way and put it on them too.
Me and rooster were top guns at the camp with 7 blue winged teal - 2 green winged teal - 1 dosgris - 13 coot. Thus the crown in the picture for top guns.
Date Hunted 12/1/2018
I have been reporting for several weeks how slow our duck season has been and I know I am not the Lone Ranger. Despite the slow action most of us in the duck club keep going out in the marsh duck hunting as often as we can with the hopes things will turn around and we might have a hunt that gets the blood going.
I have been duck hunting 42 years. Saturday the duck Gods smiled on me and my buddy Rooster as we tagged team shooting a Mottled duck with a transmitter on its back and a band on the leg. For sure a first-time event for us.
We were sitting there rather bored about 8:30 we see a pair of Mottled ducks pass a good distance to the left side. Hit the duck call which is usually a waste of time they both come towards us one in range on Roosters side he shoots at it and rocks its world but it is still going. It is on my side now he tells me to get it so he doesn't shoot over me and I finished it. We cranked up the boat to go get it and we were shocked at what we saw. Cha Ching!!!
There is a phone number to call on the band and a phone number to call on the transmitter, I will do all of that Monday.
Oddly enough earlier in the hunt Rooster shot a Barrows Golden Eye hen. Zeke shoots a beautiful drake Canvasback that is going on his wall. We ended up with 7 ducks for the day and the and the other blind limited out with a mixed bag.
Date Hunted 12/2/2018:
My blind shot 0 ducks for the day in the same spot as yesterday and another blind shot 3 green winged teal, but after yesterday who cares?
Date Hunted Friday 11/23/2018:
Tide was on the high side with decent winds and overcast skies, ok conditions for a duck hunt. Me and my buddy set up in our blind with 45 ish decoys and 2 spinners ready for hopeful action. We shot 3 dosgris and 1 motled duck for the day.
Date Hunted Saturday 11/24/2018:
Annoyed with the results the day before we made a move from our normal lease to another piece of property we have permission to hunt. It is probably 7 miles from our lease. A mini cool front passed the night before, NW winds about 10 mph and overcast, real nice day for a duck hunt. My sons friend came to meet us, three of hunted together. 3 dozen decoys and 2 spinners. We shot 10 teal and 1 motled duck.
Date Hunted Sunday 11/25/2018:
Overcast skies and wind shifted to NE about 10 MPH water the highest it was all weekend. Decided to go back to the regular lease so we could spread out to see if anything would change. One man in one blind and two in the other. Total for the day 6 dosgris - 1 motled - 1 grey duck.
Overall this was the worst Thanksgiving weekend hunting I have had in 35 years of memory. It is bad as far as the numbers of ducks in the sky, ducks taken and quality. As stated before we are having second split results in the first split where we normally do very well. I suppose many things have aligned this year with rain up the line, agriculture fields wet, loss of vegetation on our lease with the with the tropical depression and less ducks in the DU and Reynolds surveys. Not good!!
One more weekend to go and we will be at it again, I am not expecting results to change.
Picture from Saturday
The second weekend seemed like the middle of the second split as far as the way the ducks are acting. The ducks are already kind of scared of the blind. We had several groups come take a look at the decoy spread only to stay far enough away where we did not get good shots. We do hunt the big water ponds (that is what my lease has) and there is always a chance that could happen. A contributor to what happened over the weekend was zero wind blue bird days both Saturday and Sunday, nothing other than the two spinners was moving. Tide was on the low side both days which usually helps.
I have hunted the same area for many years with similar set ups but this year is off to a different start. We usually do very well in the first split. Very few grey ducks was forecast and is a reality. We are shooting Dosgris earlier than normal, they are fun to shoot but I would prefer other ducks. My blind with two guys shot 8 ducks Saturday and 7 ducks Sunday.
We will keep hunting ducks either way because there is no such thing as a bad day in the marsh, just some better than others. Looking forward to the Thanksgiving day 3 day weekend hunting action for better or worse.
Picture from Saturday.
Date Hunted 11/10/2018:
The cold front passed through Friday afternoon and the winds never let up the entire weekend. Tide was a little on the high side most of the weekend. The hyacinth in our area are making things difficult, the ponds and where we can hunt change day to day depending on wind direction. Very annoying.
Opening day after putting out decoys we pulled up in he blind and my hunting buddy tells me he forgot his gun at the camp. So taking turns we hunted with one gun and shot 11 ducks for the day. 3 greys - 1 motled - 1 drake canvasback - 4 teal - 2 dosgris.
Date hunted 11/11/2018:
Had two guns in the blind today and shot a limit. 2 motled - 7 teal - 3 dosgris.
Overall not seeing a lot of ducks in the sky as forecast particularly a lack of grey ducks we normally see in the first split.
Date Hunted 11/4/2018:
Very nice morning for a duck hunt. This was our 3rd annual youth duck hunt. We set up in the same place as we did for teal season because we had not seen any grey ducks in the area. Decoy spread was the same coots, teal and a few greys with 2 spinners. Expecting teal we were very surprised to get the greys to work us as the video shows and Dane put the hurt on them with some very good shooting.
Overall not a lot of ducks in the area so you have to make it count when you get the shots as Dane did.
We took a boat ride yesterday to the duck lease to see if there was any damage to the marsh and or loss of vegetation in the ponds with the recent high tide event. Everything looks good. While riding around we saw multiple groups of 30 or so blue winged teal get up out of the marsh. Quite a few bunches of under 5. There was a substantial increase in teal compared to the teal season which is good for the upcoming duck season.
Did not see any grey ducks yet, hopefully they will be arriving soon.
Date Hunted 9/29/2018:
Finally had a little breeze in the morning to help make it a little more comfortable hunt. Put out the same decoy spread and mojos as the first two weekends. The action was slow as we shot 4 teal early and then only shot 2 more as the morning went on. Oddly enough we saw quite a few big flocks that were kind of high and wanted no part of the spread or duck call. I have to amend my earlier report; if the flock of teal is above 15 it is hard to get them to turn. Under that there is good chance to get them to come in. 6 teal for the day.
Date hunted 9/30/2018:
Smaller flocks of teal today 3's and 4's made it easier to turn them. We shot 10 today finally getting to double digits.
Overall other than the hot weather it was an average teal season for us. A video of the action I could get on camera will be coming during the week.
Date hunted 9/22/2018:
Saturday was a repeat of the conditions the prior weekend. Hot, no wind and loads of mosquitoes working on us for the first 45 minutes of the hunt as we sit waiting for teal to show up. As I stated last week you really have to want it pretty bad. We had 1 dozen G&H poule d'eaus decoys out with 4 teal mixed in and a mojo in the middle on the right side. Fifteen teal decoys on the left with a mojo similar to the set up last week if you saw my video. We shot 6 teal for the day.
Date hunted 9/23/2018:
Same exact set up as the day before as I left out the decoys out overnight. Lot more action for us today we shot 9 teal with some bad shooting by both of us. We saw more flocks of teal today and they worked well listening to the duck call. Should have limited out but not to be. Most of the teal wanted to be with the poule d'eaus decoys not the teal, so get some for your spread.
A couple things have me scratching me head. The Sunday hunts have been a lot better than Saturday hunts which is the opposite of the big duck season. Next is we have two other boats out on the lease guys in the club hunting not more than 1,000 yards from us and one boat shot 1 duck yesterday the other nothing and today nothing by either boat. Teal being what they are zig and zag all over the marsh prairie and the spot I have is shooting the ducks. Strange how it works sometimes.
Video of opening weekend of teal season 2018. We had average action this weekend with some tough conditions, clear mornings and very little wind and very warm. You had to really want it to do it this weekend. Some of the action we did not get on video but we did get some video along with a good time with friends in the marsh.
We took a boat ride today in Plaquemines parish east bank and we saw 6 teal. One bunch was all we saw. The teal were mixed in with some tree ducks.
This past weekend a friend and I took a boat ride and we passed through Marques Canal on our way to Chef Pass. As we idled navigating the canal there were many people on the bank fishing enjoying the Labor day weekend. There were people of all races and sex there with some kids all doing what they like to do. It was very good to see. Before we passed everyone a Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries truck pulled up and a officer got out and started asking to see their fishing licenses.
My first thought was how disappointing it is the law requires a license to fish in a circumstance as above. Why should there be a deter-ant for people to fish off the bank? It seems we should do all we can to encourage people to enjoy the outdoors, at least fishing anyway. We have the abundant fishing resources in our state and valid residents should have the opportunity to enjoy it.
I am all for enforcement of size and limits of fish taken. And, I suppose the same argument could be made other types of hunting where licenses are required but it seems to me bank fisherman should get a free pass on required licenses.