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Rainy Day Scouting for New Water

Here’s a little banging around on the day after New Years Day. I was hoping recent rains would have flooded some new areas for the ducks, but at this point it still hadn’t runoff enough to flood them. It did rain another 2 inches two days after so another scouting run will be in order after the current freeze thaws.
After all this running around, I found a spot and dropped some decoys and sat in the rain for five hours. No shots fired and all but guarantee the ducks were sitting tight in the timber somewhere.

2014 Season Opener Wood Duck Limit


With as many ducks in the area as ever to open the season, i knew where to go to at least stay busy with wood ducks. Going here pretty much guaranteed that only wood ducks would be shot, but it also guaranteed ducks. I passed up on several easy shots, so many in fact that I almost waited too long. I finally picked out a few and knocked two down and waited for an easy third duck to round out my limit.
A sever lack of water and rain is going to be an issue sooner than later but for now, the gadwall and woodies will have to do.

Chickamauga Lake Crappie Fishing Report

We’re still basically going twice a week these days. The fishing has been consistent, not great but consistent for a couple of weeks now. I took my kayak bass fishing buddy out last night for his first crappie run of the year. It was miserably slow from afternoon until about 10pm or later. I knew the dam was drawing very little water until midnight and just assumed it would be a bad trip altogether. We ended up picking up enough short fish to keep us interested until some keepers came along. Between 11pm and midnight someone let the dogs out and we nearly ran out of minnows in a firestorm of biting crappie. We walked away with 17 keepers and were almost shocked at how much the fishing picked up that last hour.

To be fair, our average catch was closer to 10″ than 14″ but we had a blast trying to keep minnows on hooks.

Surprise!

Aaron and two of the nicer keepers he was catching

Chickamauga Lake Crappie Fishing Report

This weekend was too busy for me to get any fishing done. Ironically, frying fish on Saturday night prevented me from catching fish to eat. As the weekend wound down on Sunday, I made my way to crappie spot and met my neighbor on his way home from the golf course. Our medium shiners were extra large and possibly contributed to the lack of fishing action. I’d picked up some fluorescent submersible lights on Saturday as well as a replacement globe for a donated Coleman lantern. So a full lighting package was employed soon after sunset. We’ve decided that fishing for crappie at night without them is a significant disadvantage. We didn’t catch near as many fish as we did a few days before, but almost every fish caught was a keeper. Larger bait catches larger fish. It would seem like a no brainer, but we look for a balance between catching a bunch of fish and the more boring version like Sunday’s trip that ended up yielding 9 keepers between 8pm and 11pm. We’re still finding plenty of fish with eggs, so we can only assume to be on the first half of the spawn cycle.

Chickamauga Lake Crappie Fishing Report

The third outing for crappie was as promising a trip as we’ve had. After three days of warmer weather we knew the water temperatures would be up. In fact, it was nearly eighty degrees today. Knowing the temps would be back down tomorrow we decided that today was the best day of this week to go sample the staged crappie in our sweet spot. Continue reading »

Post-Hunt Ride in Brent’s Boat

After hunting Sunday morning (not it the rain thankfully) we made another lap around the area and turned the Camera on. I had the camera on the inside of the grab bar this time, to protect it from limbs. The view isn’t as good of the bow from that mounting location, but it’s still pretty cool.

North Alabama Waterfowl Season Opener

I guess it’s a sign that we’re getting old, when even duck season gets here before you know it. I’d done the bare minimum to get ready for the kickoff and ended up spending all day scrambling after filling up of holiday food (remind me to tell you about the kayak ghillie suit). I had the truck locked and loaded by 8:00pm and moved to the SCP (standard couch position) to visualize the unseen nightmares I’d be discovering in the dark on Friday. Before I fell asleep, I got the call to join some old friends hunting a fairly tough to-get-to spot. Although the area isn’t know to hold a ton of early season birds, it seemed a safe bet to be away from the crowds if nothing else.

We were met with heavy fog and surprising amounts of water, but not many ducks. It ended up being a dressed rehearsal, which was just fine with all three of us. Plenty of wood ducks traded all around us for an hour or so. We passed on some easy woodies and of course took some shots at a few more. A single gadwall got popped for spending too much time looking at the decoys, and that was about it. Continue reading »