Since the coast was in the split this past weekend I thought I'd make the best of it and learn a new area (I've hunted LA and now TX coast all my life). Ventured a couple hours north to make my first attempt to hunt a reservoir. Learned a lot and I'm sure I'll try it again when the conditions are right. I made the most of it and took Friday off to scout. Learned right away the significance of a reservoir being "full". I knew going in that it's currently at 85-88% but did not really know what that would mean. It means the first launch or two you try may not have water to launch. It means no flooded vegetation and mud flats in places. Didn't give up. Did not find tons of birds BUT I did manage to find one finger that was holding a decent number of birds, mostly gadwall. With the prediction of no wind and blue sky for Saturday I decided to wait until Sunday to hunt. I pulled up at the launch Sunday morning somewhat baffled to be the only one there (and the only one to use it that morning). I'm used to lines of trucks waiting to go. It was interesting to hunt somewhere that I could see and hear someone sneeze from their back porch a few hundred yards away. As I pulled the trigger on my first mallard of the year I found myself wondering who I might be awakening as my blasts rang out. Had several groups of greys work afterward but decide to land in various other locations of the finger I was in. Did I mention I learned a lot? I'll be hunting there again if we get another serious cold surge, freeze up, or a super strong north wind. And I'd love to see the place with those conditions when the water level is up. There was some primo duck habitat begging for water. I know there's a lot of reservoir hunters on here...what's the season been like for you guys? Did I do okay for my first time or are you falling out of your chairs laughing? Tips and pointers for the future are appreciated.
I'm trying to learn about lake hunting, but thinking you need a boat to really be able to do it.
I have a 15ft flat with a 23hp long tail that I used to scout. The spot I hunted I was actually able to use my pirogue to paddle into and didn't have to bring the bigger boat. Having some type of boat greatly improves your access and ability to find birds, but it seems like plenty of guys have success walking-in as well. It's worth reading up on the rules and regs for whatever water you want to hunt. If it's managed by a river authority vs. the corps it varies about what exactly is legal.
We hunt on marsh stools or out of our kayaks. Many places we are able to walk in; however, most reservoirs require at least a kayak to scout or better yet a boat. We've scouted from kayaks but the range a boat provides is a big help.
No matter how high a duck flies a hammer still breaks a window.