Duck hunting for diver species like Canvasbacks, Redheads, Ringnecks, Eiders, Goldeneye and other diver ducks.
Moderators: jamesmc, Dep6, crewchief252, LayedOut
If hunting in a bay off of a large river, would you set up in the slick water sheltered from the wind or set up in the rougher water exposed to the wind?
I'm hunting out of a 19 ft southern skimmer skiff. Wondering whether to set my blind up in the open water (aprox. 75 yards from the shoreline) or not to keep the boat profile as low as possible. Hunting mostly bluebills with a few redheads mixed in and a few scoters around.
Thanks in advance
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I would start out in the slick water with maybe a jerk cord to keep some water stirred, and see if they come in and if not move out to open water.
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I have good luck hunting in the rougher water. It keeps the birds stirred up and flying. Against my own advice I set up on the sheltered shoreline and had birds raft up and not really flying.
We moved around to some rougher water and had birds in the air all afternoon. Hunted saturdsaturday in open water in some really rough stuff and had our best shoot in yrs
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I look for points that have the crease where slack water and rough water meet. Pod up a bunch of deeks resting in the slack, then have your lines out in the rough water....
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You should be out on the water looking for where the birds are rather than posting here! Set up where you see the birds. It will vary day to day depending on weather.
When we run layouts, most of the time we spend from first light sometimes over an hour determining where the birds want to be. A diver hunt can be over extremely quick if you're in the right spot! Another thing to remember is not to be afraid to pack up and change locations. No point in wasting time sitting in an area where there's no birds when you could be out looking or already be set up in another area that's loaded. Mobility is key.
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I agree there's no substitute for scouting if you can set up between two rafts of divers that's usually pretty good in my experience. I can also tell you that the divers are perfectly happy in water rougher than you'd feel comfortable being in a boat in. I live right on the Bay of Green Bay and am lucky enough to have rafts of bluebills that I can see from my living room and they will be happy ,feeding resting and rolling over on there backs preening in 2 foot waves with whitecaps.
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