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Water depth??? #8027625 10/28/20 04:22 PM
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HTXdude123 Offline OP
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There are some public areas near me I'm hoping to get out to this upcoming duck season. However, I am not sure the best way to figure out the depth of these ponds/marshes. I have a set of waders but no kayaks. I know people hunt this land without kayaks so I assume they can be waded across. Just want to be sure because I do not want to shoot any birds I could not retrieve. Anyone have suggestions about how to figure out the water depth of ponds to solve an issue like this? Might just have to head out there with my waders soon and see how far in I can go.


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Re: Water depth??? [Re: HTXdude123] #8027644 10/28/20 04:38 PM
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Get a retriever ----------- it will make the hunt 10X more fun.

Re: Water depth??? [Re: HTXdude123] #8027647 10/28/20 04:40 PM
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Fishing pole, some monofilament and a weight. Otherwise, take a walking stick with you.

May also look at getting a collapsible duck retriever pole or a small fishing pole and a zara spook

Re: Water depth??? [Re: HTXdude123] #8028250 10/29/20 12:00 AM
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That’s what this time of year is for, lots of miles on the tires and waders figuring out what’s what. Use the technology at your disposal to see what the water levels are, were and where the creek channels go through if they are present. Little research and a lot of walking will get you there

Re: Water depth??? [Re: HTXdude123] #8028402 10/29/20 01:56 AM
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Do yourself and your loved ones a favor - DON"T ASSUME ANYTHING. Make sure you wear a life jacket if you are not 100% certain of the depth and the bottom. Make sure it is rated to provide buoyancy to account for your waders filling with water. You could always carry a stick/pvc pipe with depths marked on it as well to check in front of you. There are a lot of hidden pot holes and drops you can't see. AS mentioned above, a lot of online resources you can use, but I wouldn't solely depend on them. I've been really close to taking on water not wearing one. It's not fun thinking about how far south that could have gone.

Re: Water depth??? [Re: HTXdude123] #8028440 10/29/20 02:22 AM
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I'd get a kayak for like $100 off craigslist, paint it dark green/brown and use that as your retrieving apparatus.

Perfect https://austin.craigslist.org/boa/d/schulenburg-10-ft-kayak/7221295327.html

Last edited by dk2429; 10/29/20 02:23 AM.
Re: Water depth??? [Re: HTXdude123] #8028873 10/29/20 02:14 PM
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Walk out til water gets about an inch from the top of your waders. Then turn around. Now you now how far you can walk out.


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Re: Water depth??? [Re: HTXdude123] #8029217 10/29/20 06:36 PM
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I'd probably get a cheap kayak or use a topwater bait with treble hooks to try and pull em in. I hunt tanks so I can normally just let the wind push them to the bank if I don't have a dog with me, if not and it's too deep I've used fishing poles and long sticks with success on still days.


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Re: Water depth??? [Re: HTXdude123] #8029292 10/29/20 07:35 PM
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When you are setting out your deeks, see how far you can walkout, and make sure your drop the birds where they can be retrieved. Also make note of wind, if you drop in deep water but you know wind will blow it to a spot you can retrieve then it is safe to drop birds there.

But if you splash them in the deeks you will not have an issue.

Re: Water depth??? [Re: HTXdude123] #8029402 10/29/20 08:56 PM
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Float tube. And a life jacket. Kayak is too much of a PITA to haul around for pothole ponds unless you can drive up to them and drop your kayak off. They make little battery powered inflators. I wouldn't try hunting out of one, but it would be handy for grabbing dead birds if no dog and easy to pack in.

Re: Water depth??? [Re: Cochise] #8029482 10/29/20 10:14 PM
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He is hunting public, you can't be bothered packing float tubs and fishing poles, maybe private you can mess with all that. But fishing poles?? roflmao

Its pretty simple really, when you set up in the morning, scope out where birds are unretrieveable, and pass on shots where you know birds will drop there. Any time you shoot a bird you need to know it will fall in a spot where it can be retrieved. Even if you have a dog, you may not want to send your dog there, so don't take that shot.

Re: Water depth??? [Re: Guy] #8029649 10/30/20 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Guy
He is hunting public, you can't be bothered packing float tubs and fishing poles, maybe private you can mess with all that. But fishing poles?? roflmao

Its pretty simple really, when you set up in the morning, scope out where birds are unretrieveable, and pass on shots where you know birds will drop there. Any time you shoot a bird you need to know it will fall in a spot where it can be retrieved. Even if you have a dog, you may not want to send your dog there, so don't take that shot.


They make fishing poles that fit in a backpack. roflmao

Re: Water depth??? [Re: 68A] #8029688 10/30/20 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 68A
Originally Posted by Guy
He is hunting public, you can't be bothered packing float tubs and fishing poles, maybe private you can mess with all that. But fishing poles?? roflmao

Its pretty simple really, when you set up in the morning, scope out where birds are unretrieveable, and pass on shots where you know birds will drop there. Any time you shoot a bird you need to know it will fall in a spot where it can be retrieved. Even if you have a dog, you may not want to send your dog there, so don't take that shot.


They make fishing poles that fit in a backpack. roflmao

Casting for a bird is a joke, JMO. Have you done it?

Re: Water depth??? [Re: HTXdude123] #8029769 10/30/20 01:38 AM
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Many times. One weekend in particular about 5-6 yrs ago, ice about 1-1.5” thick. Not thick enough to walk on with certainty. Definitely not gonna send a dog out or try to slid across it in a yak. We chopped ice for about an hour that morning for a hole big enough for 6 decoys. Limit in about 15 min but now we’ve got birds littered all over the ice. Fishing pole saved the day. It also helped me on the no wind days. It’s a viable option for someone that’s standing in waist deep water trying to figure out how he’s gonna get the bird that’s 10 yards away.

Re: Water depth??? [Re: HTXdude123] #8029776 10/30/20 01:46 AM
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The older gentleman that got me into duck hunting used one as well. We used to take a row boat up the creeks to the main lake. Rather than drag the row boat out of the brush, he’d toss a top water out and snag them. Broke a lot of ice in that boat, shot a lot of ducks. Simpler times back then. Old beat up decoys, cheap pump shotguns and a camo net. Miss that old man.

Re: Water depth??? [Re: HTXdude123] #8030309 10/30/20 04:04 PM
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I have a DWADR on a cheap Academy catfishin' rod n reel with braid. I don't cast it tho, just release the reel and sling it with my other hand. Works good for when a decoy gets away and hung up in deep water while I'm pond hunting.

Originally Posted by Sinkey
Walk out til water gets about an inch from the top of your waders. Then turn around. Now you now how far you can walk out.

This is your answer, combined with setting up a cross shoot if you are on big water. Gives you some extra time. Preferable if they float up on a bank where you can get them. Part of the math.


Re: Water depth??? [Re: Guy] #8030711 10/30/20 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Guy
Originally Posted by 68A
Originally Posted by Guy
He is hunting public, you can't be bothered packing float tubs and fishing poles, maybe private you can mess with all that. But fishing poles?? roflmao

Its pretty simple really, when you set up in the morning, scope out where birds are unretrieveable, and pass on shots where you know birds will drop there. Any time you shoot a bird you need to know it will fall in a spot where it can be retrieved. Even if you have a dog, you may not want to send your dog there, so don't take that shot.


They make fishing poles that fit in a backpack. roflmao

Casting for a bird is a joke, JMO. Have you done it?

Yes, I’ve retrieved many birds that way, saves me from unloading the kayak. What is your issue with that technique?
You don’t know how to sling a heavy top water lure, it will likely snap your ultra lite crappie gear real quick.


See y’all around the campfire.

Originally Posted by Grizz
Wingshooting is like sex for me - I love doing it but I'm just not that good at it.

Re: Water depth??? [Re: rickym] #8030794 10/30/20 11:17 PM
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I always wondered who bought those Ronco Pocket Fisherman's. roflmao

Re: Water depth??? [Re: Guy] #8030865 10/31/20 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Guy
I always wondered who bought those Ronco Pocket Fisherman's. roflmao

Not me, I carry a Calcutta 200 on a 7’ all star classic rod, want pics little buddy?
I don’t hike to get backup unless I need it.... oh wait, I’m not a real duck hunter. I have private spots also!


See y’all around the campfire.

Originally Posted by Grizz
Wingshooting is like sex for me - I love doing it but I'm just not that good at it.

Re: Water depth??? [Re: HTXdude123] #8030993 10/31/20 01:49 AM
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Fishing rod with a zaraspook works pretty good, make sure to pinch the barbs down on the hooks


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Re: Water depth??? [Re: HTXdude123] #8031212 10/31/20 04:28 AM
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Im reading this post about advising a newbie to duck hunting where he is concerned about going over his waders. OP, wading out till the water is about to top your waders till you think nope, that’s far enough, is what most in your situation do. There are no well experienced duck hunters that don’t have stories about getting wet trying to push their luck. Bring you a dry set of clothes for when it happens. A fish’n pole is a bit of a reach in place of a retriever in most places. It might be better than nothing occasionally, if you are hunting in wide open water, if the bird falls close, and you don’t have a stiff wind at your back, but it is far from a reliable plan. Treble hooks on a Zara Spook in brush or vegetation, in the habitat where most hunt puddle ducks will be a cluster. There is something to why Guy and many more of us take a dog duck hunting instead of a fishing pole. Just use common sense and work things out with what you have to work with.

Last edited by Smokey Bear; 10/31/20 04:32 AM.

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Re: Water depth??? [Re: HTXdude123] #8031676 10/31/20 06:33 PM
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I've used a fish pole many tines for retrieving doves.


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