Diver Newbie

Duck hunting for diver species like Canvasbacks, Redheads, Ringnecks, Eiders, Goldeneye and other diver ducks.

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Diver Newbie

Postby waterfowler82 » Mon Dec 05, 2005 9:26 pm

I'm very new to the diver persuasion but, having bought my first boat this year, I'm interested in hunting more big water. My boat is a 14' Jon boat with (what I'm guessing is) a 36-40" beam; its pretty narrow (and when the dog moves from one side to the other it feels a little uneasy), but it also has a pretty low profile when equiped with duck gear. Do you think that I'd be able to hunt lakes from this boat, or would I need something wider add stability in rougher water? How about hunting from the bank, is that effective for ducks on small to mid-sized lakes?

I'm interested in layout hunting, but I think I'll introduce myself to big water hunting a little more gradually rather than jumping right into a coffin without any experience on lakes.

Thanks for your help! :thumbsup:
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Postby casey_714 » Mon Dec 05, 2005 11:59 pm

I have the same size boat (maybe a little wider). I take it on a bigger river, but I would be kind of scared to take it when it was really windy, let alone on a big lake. I dont know... mine just sits too low on the water for my comfort.
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Postby ISHOOTDIVERS » Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:42 am

Jon boats are no place for big water IMO, here on Erie I don't like taking out 20' Jons or even War Eagles for that, for me diver hunting consist of nasty weather and big water and the answer for that is Deep V all the way, although I am sure your just hunting smallaer rivers and lakes you could do it on calm days and short runs just watch yourself and don't be silly about it.My big water is a hole lot different than the big water you'll have
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keep the jon on the marsh, not the lake

Postby esq.quackhead » Wed Dec 07, 2005 2:28 pm

i agree with ISHOOTDIVERS. allot of peoples defanition of big water is different than mine and his. i think of lake michigan, which is no place for a jon boat. the wheather changes so fast out there and can get real nasty real fast. i have great jon boat with a mud motor for the marsh, but would never dare to take it out on the big lake. deep hulls are the only way to go. you need to find a hunting partner with a v-hull :salude:
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Postby easternshorehunter » Wed Dec 07, 2005 3:45 pm

i have taken my 12 foot jon boat out in 3 foot waves on the bay. didnt go far...just having some fun trying to jump waves. we did it in the summer in about 4 feet of water just off shore and wouldnt have gone in anything else. i have an 18 footer that is perfect for me. i can take it out into 2 foot waves and it handles fine and is very stable. if you pick your days youll be fine. also, hunting from shore works fine. the only reason i go out in my jon boat and hunt is if i am sea duck hunting. all the other time its from shore.
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Re: Diver Newbie

Postby AK Ducks » Wed Dec 07, 2005 3:48 pm

waterfowler82 wrote:
I'm interested in layout hunting, but I think I'll introduce myself to big water hunting a little more gradually rather than jumping right into a coffin without any experience on lakes.

Thanks for your help! :thumbsup:

very smart move many people don't understand that layout hunting can be very dangerous and if you don't know what your doing you could get yourself killed.
I have a friend with a jon boat like that and I tell you when you get any kind of wave action the boat becomes a death trap. its great for rivers and small lakes or calm days. but other than that I wouldn't ride in them. get a V haul 18-foot skiff and put a blin don it to get started. but good luck on divers they are alot of fun to shoot.
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Postby waterfowler82 » Wed Dec 07, 2005 5:35 pm

Thanks for all of your help, guys. I think that I'll try my hand at hunting divers from shore for starters. Most likely it'll be on relatively small reservoirs (nothing like the great lakes) and I think I'll reserve the boat use for setting and retrieving decoys.

Are there any special considerations when hunting from shore? I'm assuming it's best to set up on a point...what do you guys think?

Thanks again!
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Postby ISHOOTDIVERS » Wed Dec 07, 2005 5:48 pm

Learn the birds learn their flight paths be where they want to be
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Postby 870 » Wed Dec 07, 2005 6:42 pm

I have a 19ft jon boat and I hunt big water, Lake Ontario. Sure there are days I can’t go out if the wind is bad, but on those days, I wouldn’t even go out in a deep V. Your boat in my opinion is too small for big water, 19ft the smallest I’d go. You need room for all your gear, decoys and dog, that 14ft will shrink in big water.

If the wind does come up when you’re out there you can get trapped between two rollers. What happens then is the roller that’s behind you will stuff your bow into the roller that’s in front of you. That’s when become a submarine, after your bow is stuffed, the roller from behind comes over your stern and fills the rest of your boat with water. (NOT FUN)

I’m not trying to scare you off from big water, but out there you need size and power. I know from experience you have to have it, or stay home. Hunting big water is what I live for nothing compares to it. You need the right gear, that starts with the right size boat and motor. Again I’m not trying to scare you off, I just don’t want to see you get your self-killed out there :thumbsup:
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Postby ISHOOTDIVERS » Wed Dec 07, 2005 8:51 pm

870 I still think you're crazy!I have hunted from a 20 or 21' Xpress w/ a 90 Merc and 2 layouts on it, only in a small chop though honestly I'd hate to see that thing in any rough stuff.We regularly go out and hunt on days where the waves are a true 4-5 footers we don't hunt this water but we cross it plenty oh times and I'd never do it in a mod-v or Jon no way.One of my personal favorites is when your in the layout and you go down and see nothing but water and maybe a deke or 2 then you come up and see dekes and waves then go back down, that is better than any roller coaster, Deep V's all the way for me though :yes:
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Postby waterfowler82 » Wed Dec 07, 2005 9:38 pm

I know that what I'd be hunting is a puddle compared to the Great Lakes, but I think that the wisdom is universally applicable: If you don't have a big enough boat for the conditions, you are asking for trouble. I don't think that I have a big enough boat for rough water, even small chop can really get that little boat a rockin' (and not in a good way... :umm: ).

I do want to explore diver hunting and I do want to be safe about it, so I'm going to start from shore. The thing that always seemed intimidating to me was that, when I saw divers on the water, they were always in the middle of the lake. Just sitting out there in a big flock. I figured that there wouldn't be any way to draw them in close enough to shoot, but perhaps my opinion will change if I set up a spread and have them flying over.
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Postby AK Ducks » Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:22 pm

don't worry Imostly hunt from shore and we get our share of divers they come in. if your in the right spot. Its all abot where the ducks want to be.
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Postby 870 » Thu Dec 08, 2005 4:08 pm

ISD, No doubt I’m crazy, to get up at 4:30 travel across 30 min or more of open water in the dark that’s just above freezing. Hoping there’s no one else around for miles, knowing help, if you cn get it is 45min to an hour away. Your life jackets aren’t to save your lives but only to make the body recovery easer. You can count on only one person to get you there and home again, and that’s you. So that’s why it’s important to know the weather the water and most importantly your gear.

Am I crazy hell ya, :toofunny: I’m the happiest at night after a great hunt and riding those waves home in the dark. God help me I love it, to look around at all that water and see no one, and to know I’m not afraid and in my element. That is a rush, how I hunt I know is not for most, but it works for me.
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Postby ISHOOTDIVERS » Thu Dec 08, 2005 4:28 pm

870 Thus why we are a breed apart, I introduced a buddy to layout gunning this year, he was a bit timid to say teh least heck we didn't like being in the 18' Deep V on the way out in the 2-3 foot chope and we kept going out and out and out he's asking I don't see any birds and waaa laaaa 8,000 divers kick up in a flight of white and black fury only to circle around a few times and set back down.I had an experience a few years ago I moved out west nothing but gunning potholes, fields, and cricks, man did I miss my big water, I got home at 6PM, at 4AM the next day I was out shooting bills with my brother.I'd have it no other way, I feel more at home on the water than I do in my truck. :salude:

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Postby 870 » Thu Dec 08, 2005 8:26 pm

ISD, We’re a breed apart all right, noooo doubt about that. :salude: I’ve already started drawing up plans on a new layout for next season. :getdown: Kick butt and take names on your second season, later man :thumbsup:
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Postby ISHOOTDIVERS » Fri Dec 09, 2005 8:34 am

Are you looking to build your own, also I assume if you are glass and wood or just glass?Let me know
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Postby CLUTCHfan » Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:14 pm

What I've found is if you've got any doubt about if your boat can handle a certain body of water when it gets rough, then don't do it. Most of the time the waves don't look as bad from shore, but when you get out in them you get to see how big they really are. The more you are out in bigger water, the more experience you'll get, and you'll be able to make good descisions, until then try not to take chances. I know exactly what I can handle in my boat, and there are days where I stood on the launch, looked at the lake, and had to turn around. If you are out by yourself, and you start to get scared or nervous, you're feeling that way for a reason, and you should head for shore.
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Postby 870 » Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:17 pm

Definitely build it my self; I’ve been building them for some time now. I start with sunfish hulls, wood ribs, deck boards, cockpit and I use plywood for my decks. Then I glass the whole thing. I have my last one that I built in Sep over on the boat & motor page, under “870s last minute layout”.

My next one, I is going to look somewhat similar to a pumpkin seed, the big difference will be that you can row it. Later man

Oh by the way I got into the GEs between plowing today :thumbsup:
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Postby CLUTCHfan » Sat Dec 10, 2005 3:16 pm

870, did you use a manufacturer's plans, or did you draw them up yourself?
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Postby 870 » Sat Dec 10, 2005 4:58 pm

clutchfan, that boat came out of the old gray matter. What i do first is think of where I will use the boat, then come up with what I think will work for a shape or style.

My next boat I'm looking to use in shallow water, I mean inches on flat rocks wiht some big rocks and gravel. This place I have in mind is loaded with Blacks and Malllards.

It will have two runners to keep it off the rocks, and pumpkin seed sides to let the water work around it making it look like the rocks.

I will also be able to row it. The stern will look like pumpkin seed as well
the front will look somewhat different though. :thumbsup:
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Postby ISHOOTDIVERS » Sat Dec 10, 2005 6:13 pm

870 I'll have to check your boat out, I have seen a guy on the MLB forum that made a layout pumpkin style that he can oar around looked easy enough.I have shot from 3 different homemade boats one being made in 1948, kind of cool to me also 2 of those were made from steel, a bit heavy but the stealthiest layout you've ever seen in your life!I got into some geese today, we aren't aloud divers :pissed:
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Postby 870 » Sat Dec 10, 2005 6:44 pm

ISD, about us being a breed apart, How about the feeling you get when they just dropped you off in the layout. It's well into Dec, the sun isn't up yet, and your all alone just inch's off of the water. Oh those thoughts and feeling that we have. God I love it :salude:

My boats on page two I think :thumbsup:
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Postby ISHOOTDIVERS » Sat Dec 10, 2005 6:59 pm

870 I know what you mean, and the thoughts going through your mind what's the first bird gonna be that committs today I just love being able to look to my side and look a deke in the eye :yes: I checked the boat out, how deep is your cockpit on that bad boy, good looking boat, I actually started to throw around the idea for a boat somewhat of that style but to be propelled by oar, something low profile sturdy, light and made for 1 man and dekes, something like a brant or sneak box style boat, might have to build one before next season
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Postby 870 » Sat Dec 10, 2005 7:22 pm

ISD, total depth is 16” at the front of the cock pit around 8” at your feet. What’s nice about this style is first the long lines in the bow it rows fast. If you’re on the trail of a cripple you can catch it in no time, spin the boat around and with the up swept stern you can row as fast in reverse. The stern has the shape of a Jon-boat if you will, your not plowing water, like in a standard boat.
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Postby ISHOOTDIVERS » Sat Dec 10, 2005 7:45 pm

870 ya lost me, are you reffering to the boat your building or the other?Also how much time roughly do you think in hours you have into that boat on the page?I'm very curious might even like to sneek a look at some plans if avaliable to get some ideas and what not :yes:
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