Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

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

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Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

Postby squidooster » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:13 pm

I am very new to duck hunting in general, I went out 20 years ago with others and loved it, but never had a chance to get into it until now. I have two daughters that I want to expose to the outdoors and other than tagging along spring turkey hunting, they don't care for deer, or other forms. A good day for me would be watching the sun come up over the lake and getting more time outdoors with them, and of course some ducks would help.

In December I went out 6 times around Presque Isle and gave it my best rookie shot with 12 old mallard dekes I had. I was mostly just studying, checking out different blinds, sets and trying to see what other hunters were doing - but there weren't many hunters out there and I didn't want to intrude. My daughters really enjoyed it, even in 5 degree weather :) So now I am going full bore, reading everything I can, duck books, this awesome forum, etc. I have 6 friends that are excited to learn this and we are each going in for a blind draw next season. We all hunt together already but 5 of the 6 have never waterfowl hunted.

My gear so far...

Puddle
- 24 mallards, 6 drake, 6 hen
- 6 black - 4 drake, 2 hen
- 6 wood - 4 drake, 2 hen
- 1 mallard winduk

4 Geese

Diving
- 6 oversize buffleheads - drakes
- 6 oversize blue bill - drakes
- 6 overside canvas back - drakes
- 1 bluebill winduk

I have been buying Texas rigs for most of them, 6 oz, 48" drops, but now I am unsure about how to rig the diving & sea ducks. Although I plan on hunting from blinds to start, I have a 21' boat and may eventually want to try that with long lines (once I get a layout boat). If I don't get a blind, I will still want to get out there. I also travel quite a bit and may hit Sandusky, Long Point and maybe someday Chesapeake Bay. I am planning on joining the NW PA Duck Association, attending the fund raiser and hopefully meeting some folks that can show me the ropes.

Sorry for all the background, probably not all necessary. This leads to my questions.

Should I just buy more Texas Rigs for diving duck hunting from the blinds? Or should I invest in long lines and have the option of using them some day for layout shooting? Or just wait until I really need them.

Do people use long lines from blinds in shallow water?

Should I get 90', 120' or 140' long main lines'? From what I read 20' each end is for water depth, right?

How long should the drops be? I have a friend in Ohio with a dog who may go with me, so should I get 36" to help the dog get around things?

How does my gear setup look? I am out of budget but not sure if I did OK or not? Any major changes?

Thanks in advance - every time I search for a question, it points me back to this forum!
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Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

Postby Nelliboy2 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:20 am

Depends on what depth of water you are hunting. I wanted to be able to rig my decoys to hunt in 4' or less water individually or long line if deeper than 4'. I bought a bundle of precut 400# line from snl corp. I then bought gang clips and crimped them on.

I then bought told of long lines, I mixed my lengths some are 150' some are a 100' long. Rig'em right has some good lines and so does doctori. Keep them on an electrical spool. I had a hard time getting heavy enough weights for Erie so I bough a lead melter and went to the scrap yard. I used mini muffin pans to make the individual weights and standard sized muffin pans for the larger long line weights. Window weights work well also for long line weights if you can get your hands on them.

Decoys wise you are off to a good start. Down side to plastics is the paint doesn't last. For the number of decoys you have and the size boat you are running it might help if you got slotted bags to keep them looking good longer. Goldeneye and buffie decoys are all you really need as you can pull just about any diver with them.


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Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

Postby psuduckhunter33 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:42 pm

squidooster,
Im from Erie and would be happy to point you in the right direction for for next season, so far you are on the right track :thumbsup:
long lines and slotted bags are the way to go if you ever think you wanna use a layout.... I hunt layout , out of the boat and blinds as well ... This past season was a banner year for us, we were able to shoot all sorts of species of ducks from bluebills and redheads to scoters and old squaws. Anyway... if you have any questions at all let me know, i check this site just about everyday, I would be happy to help any way i can.
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Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

Postby squidooster » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:39 pm

paduckhunter33, thank you!

So can you tell me why slotted bags are better for long lines, do the prevent tangles when you are deploying them? I have been cheaping out with the big bags.

Should I get 90', 120' or 140' long main lines'? From what I read 20' each end is for water depth, right?

I was looking at these http://doctarilonglines.com/ but someone told me you want a main line and the drop lines should detach so you can wrap them around the anchors? What do you do?

Do I get 6 lb anchors or less?

How long should the drops be? I have a friend in Ohio with a dog who may go with me, so should I get 36" to help the dog get around things?
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Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

Postby squidooster » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:31 pm

Nelliboy, thank you for your help! Very helpful, I didn't want to buy both long lines and drops. But I think to get into this sport, I need to buy a lead melter and do what works and that would keep the cost down. I like to make my own stuff anyway.

>> I used mini muffin pans to make the individual weights and standard sized muffin pans for the larger long line weights.

A standard pan is about 3 1/2 ounces. I have been buying 4 & 6 oz Texas rigs for my puddle ducks. So are you saying 3 1/2 is enough for Erie in deeper water? Or are you just putting more weights on each end, like 5 or 6 of the muffin weights depending on the conditions?

Do you put out several long lines and then drop singles around to make it look better?

>> Goldeneye and buffie decoys are all you really need as you can pull just about any diver with them.

I read somewhere that the buffies should not be on a long line? Does that make any sense?

Given that I have 6 Buffies, 6 Canvasback and 6 Bluebills - What you you do, intermix them the same line? Intermix the Canvas and Blues, separate lines? I have no idea. If I got another dozen, what would you buy - Goldeneyes?

>>For the number of decoys you have and the size boat you are running it might help if you got slotted bags to keep them looking good longer.

Thanks, they cost a lot more and I was wondering why, I thought it was more about long lines getting tangled. Never thought about the paint issue. I bought those Avian-X decoys black ducks and honkers (http://www.rogerssportinggoods.com/avia ... 18784.html) They are like velvet, not just plastic, I can't imagine how they will hold up, they look great but not ready to get dirty.
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Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

Postby Nelliboy2 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:44 pm

squidooster wrote:paduckhunter33, thank you!

So can you tell me why slotted bags are better for long lines, do the prevent tangles when you are deploying them? I have been cheaping out with the big bags.

Should I get 90', 120' or 140' long main lines'? From what I read 20' each end is for water depth, right?

I was looking at these http://doctarilonglines.com/ but someone told me you want a main line and the drop lines should detach so you can wrap them around the anchors? What do you do?

Do I get 6 lb anchors or less?

How long should the drops be? I have a friend in Ohio with a dog who may go with me, so should I get 36" to help the dog get around things?


36" is good. I run 48" myself, unless there is a strong under tow or heavy chop you shouldn't have to worry about the dog. Just me, I let the birds drift out then send the dog just so I don't have to find out.

I use electrical wire spoils to wrap lines when they are not in use. I have a couple of spoils of longer lines (140-150') along with a few shorter line (90 and 60) i like running a mix lengths in the spread to keep it from looking boxy.

As far as droppers it solely depends on how deep of water you will be hunting....50' deep you will need 60' or each end. Good all around depth to have is 25-30' droppers.

Weight: I always go heavier say 6-10 pounds just so they don't move.

The only reason I recommend slotted bags is for 2 reasons. 1) you don't have many so space isn't that big of a deal. 2) it will protect your plastics and keep the paint looking better longer.

I personally have 200 or so blocks in my boat at all times. I have big coated nylon bags that I use.

Word of caution.....doctori decoy lines (36" you are talking about) are nylon. They don't rot but they do tangle. I would recommend going to snl corp (Google it) and purchase the 4' precut bundle of of 400# mono it comes with crimps and a crimp tool. This will not tangle and can save some time. You can buy doctori gang clips and just crimp them on....I highly recommend this.


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Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

Postby Nelliboy2 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:46 pm

This will help you a bit I think.



https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid= ... y=CKeG7aML


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Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

Postby squidooster » Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:58 pm

psuduckhunter33 & nelliboy2 - you guys rock, so much to learn. I will take all your advice and try the snl, slotted bags, etc.

Nelliboy2, that Layout guide link is awesome, guess what I am doing tonight :)

Wish I could pay you back, I really appreciate all of your time and knowledge - a sincere thank you!
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Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

Postby Nelliboy2 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:33 pm

squidooster wrote:Nelliboy, thank you for your help! Very helpful, I didn't want to buy both long lines and drops. But I think to get into this sport, I need to buy a lead melter and do what works and that would keep the cost down. I like to make my own stuff anyway.

>> I used mini muffin pans to make the individual weights and standard sized muffin pans for the larger long line weights.

A standard pan is about 3 1/2 ounces. I have been buying 4 & 6 oz Texas rigs for my puddle ducks. So are you saying 3 1/2 is enough for Erie in deeper water? Or are you just putting more weights on each end, like 5 or 6 of the muffin weights depending on the conditions?

Do you put out several long lines and then drop singles around to make it look better?

>> Goldeneye and buffie decoys are all you really need as you can pull just about any diver with them.

I read somewhere that the buffies should not be on a long line? Does that make any sense?

Given that I have 6 Buffies, 6 Canvasback and 6 Bluebills - What you you do, intermix them the same line? Intermix the Canvas and Blues, separate lines? I have no idea. If I got another dozen, what would you buy - Goldeneyes?

>>For the number of decoys you have and the size boat you are running it might help if you got slotted bags to keep them looking good longer.

Thanks, they cost a lot more and I was wondering why, I thought it was more about long lines getting tangled. Never thought about the paint issue. I bought those Avian-X decoys black ducks and honkers (http://www.rogerssportinggoods.com/avia ... 18784.html) They are like velvet, not just plastic, I can't imagine how they will hold up, they look great but not ready to get dirty.

I didn't see this when I posted earlier. The up side to running the 400# mono is that you will be able to clip your individual weights on and run them in swallow water. Simply unclipping the lighter weights and clipping the decoys onto your long lines....allows you to hunt a lot more areas with your rig.

In terms of weight I will add a couple of those mini muffins if I run singles in a chop. Lines I run a few pounds worth of weight. I have a 5 gallon bucket full of weighs in my boat so I can simply grab more depending on the wind.

I have found very little to no difference with running lines and singles. Divers: I normally in deeper water only run lines. Holding your fingers out in front of you is a good spread to start with. Once you get better at running lines start making a U shape with them.

Mallards I run lines also, really the only time I run individual long lines on singles in deep water is when I have layouts out, I will spread the singles out around the boats.

Here's the scoop with buffies, they LOVE to sit with their own. If you run a short line of them or simply put them all on the down wind end of your line be fully prepared for them to sit there. It doesn't matter about being on a line in my experience.

I would run either a couple of short lines.....90' the first three on your line make sure they are buffies. Space them about 5-6' then leave a little space and mix cans and bills leaving a few feet in between them. Same thing with the second line. Place them about 10-15 yards apart running straight up and down the wind assuming you are layout boat hunting. If and when you buy another dozen assuming you want to kill goldeneyes I would buy a dozen of them. They are bright, highly visible and just about every diver will come into them

. ****NOTE**** goldeneyes are extremely racist,you will get the best performance out of those decoys to separate them about 20-30 yards and running a pod or a line of only GE. They will light right there and they will bank hard when they do.

****note**** you have two options with those slotted bags. If you plan on long lining a lot you can set you lines up in the yard. Space your decoys out and place them in the 12 slot attached to the master lines. If you like this idea make sure the bags you buy have a pocket on them so you can put your weights and 25' dropper sections in it. Hope that makes sense. When you are ready to set you want to be able to drop one weight simply grab each decoy in order and pitch it put, proceed to drag the weight that still in the boat and position the lines.

If you plan on hunting say 70% wade able water and 30% deep water the only benefit you will get out of slotted bags is that you will save your paint of your decoys. I personally don't worry about it and bag them in large bags. When we pull up to start lining we will unwrap decoys stacking them on the up wind side of the boat (as we drift) make sure you toss the clips in the water than then it's as simple as clipping and tossing, until I drag it into position.

There's a lot of information for you, most you will probably never remember but feel free to pm if you have any more in the future as I hunt Erie also.


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Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

Postby squidooster » Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:46 pm

That is great info Nelliboy, thanks again for taking the time. You really cleared up a lot of things for me! I am going to start making my lines and weights per your suggestions.

I keep my boat at Walnut and I have house on the beach on the East side of Presque below Waldemeer Park - so I really wanted to learn how to deep water hunt. Just need to save up for all the gear and a layout boat (and a present for my wife so she doesn't kill me ;)

Maybe I can buy you & psuduckhunter33 a drink sometime.
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Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

Postby Nelliboy2 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:43 pm

oh one thing that I may not have been clear on. when I said place the lines 10-15 yards apart, I ment beside each other and leave a gap in-between of 10-15 yards.

I looked over that and thought I may have came across as if I ran both lines more or less like this to the wind.

Wind----->

lines:



---------***

--------***

^correct form

*= buffies and ---- = cans/bills

Hope that made a little more sense for you.
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Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

Postby squidooster » Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:06 pm

Thanks, I just got done reading "Hunting Diving & Seas Ducks by Gary Kramer", a very good book IMO and explained sets well regarding distances but not so much on the types of ducks. So I knew what you meant. Thank you for the clarification.

I can't believe how much layout boats are and I don't seem to see any used ones. And to make it worse I would want a 2 person so I can take one of my daughters or a friend. People told me this was an expensive sport....going from puddle ducks to diving/sea ducks is a whole different story for sure.

Is it a waste of time to hunt out of a regular boat (camo of course) near the dekes? Or do you really need a layout boat? Not looking to be a killing machine, just want some success to start.
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Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

Postby Nelliboy2 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:04 pm

squidooster wrote:Thanks, I just got done reading "Hunting Diving & Seas Ducks by Gary Kramer", a very good book IMO and explained sets well regarding distances but not so much on the types of ducks. So I knew what you meant. Thank you for the clarification.

I can't believe how much layout boats are and I don't seem to see any used ones. And to make it worse I would want a 2 person so I can take one of my daughters or a friend. People told me this was an expensive sport....going from puddle ducks to diving/sea ducks is a whole different story for sure.

Is it a waste of time to hunt out of a regular boat (camo of course) near the dekes? Or do you really need a layout boat? Not looking to be a killing machine, just want some success to start.

I assume you me in open water? YouTube Jeff coats and or pit boss ( same guy). He hunts out of a 25' banks and does well on sea duck. Granted sea ducks are not very smart.

You will not find any used boats until spring and summer as they are being used right now. Really if your going to go that route you will need to decide which style of boat you want (1 man or a 2 man). I personally like running two one mans as I can move them around in the spread to better shoot. Or I can place them close (within a few feet) so that each gunner can talk to one another and it is much easier seeing birds. I also have the option if I can only find one other guy that I can take one boat and still hunt just as affectively. Personal preference really.

I would highly recommend you sitting in different models of layout out boats to see which you like. Profile is one of the biggest things that makes a good layout, right up there is how safe it is when it gets rough. I would say 95% of my hunting is done out of two lake bonnievilles. Don't buy a layout that has wood in it, just a rule of thumb because it can rot. Stay with a 100% glass boats and they will last you a lifetime if you take care of it.

When I see one for sale I'll pass on the info to you. Feel free to pick my brain down the road about any layouts you find and I'll will do my best you point you in the right direction.




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Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

Postby zippyduck » Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:48 pm

I hunt erie from the blinds a lot. I run 3 dozen bills, a dozen buffs, 12 goldies, 2 dozen coots, 6 reds, 6 cans, and a dozen ringies. early in the season I will run 2 dozen mixed puddles at the right blinds. Some of the blinds don't see puddle ducks at all.
being as you are limited for space or you will be in front of the next blind keep your deeks closer together with a couple slots for landing zones.

deek setup


x-x ---------------------------x-x-x----------------------------x-x
-x-x--------------------------x-x-x----------------------------x-x
--x-x------------------------x-x-x-x-------------------------x-x
- --x-x-----------------------x-x-x-x-----------------------x-x
----x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x
-------x--x--x--x---x--x--x--x--x--x--x--x--x--x--x--x--x
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Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

Postby squidooster » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:31 pm

Thanks zippy duck! 2 dozen coots, that's a new one for me. Seems to make sense. I am even more convinced I need more bills too. I like the spread layout, make sense with most of the blinds pretty close together, I was wondering about that.

I did some homework and created a spreadsheet that lists the blinds and their pick order over the last 3 years. Then I visited a bunch of them on a Sunday to try to learn why some were better than others. I can see why some may not get any puddle ducks. (I would be glad to share the spreadsheet if anyone wants it, just message me.)

Thanks for the help!

nelliboy2, Per your advice I picked up a dozen goldeneyes. I have been sanding my aluminum boat getting it ready for camo paint when the weather turns. My plan is to load my boat with all my gear and tow it around. I got my long lines all rigged, just need to get my anchors and decoy bags now.



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Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

Postby Nelliboy2 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:42 pm

Good for you! Let me know if you have any other questions.


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Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

Postby zippyduck » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:30 pm

In the blinds I personally shot 14 bills, 8 buffs could have shot more but try not to shoot hens, 2 reds, 1 can, 2 gwt.
We also bagged a gadwall, a goose, and a ringie. we usually shoot more ringers but the rest of the totals are close to normal. Scaup and buffs are the mainstay in the park.

a rig of bills, buffs, and coots is all that is needed to shoot all the divers except goldies they are very picky. If you put the goldie deeks too close to the rest they will flair, they are loners and late comers to the party in my experience.
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Re: Re: Presque Isle, Erie PA: diver duck rigging for newbie

Postby wizardofwizdom » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:23 pm

I'm also from Erie. If you can wait until Pymatuning in sept, these two guys come every year. Their name escapes me, but they will custom make you a long line set right there. They also have clips, line, and pre made kits if you want them. I agree with all of the guys before. Ring necks might not be worth putting out depending on where on pi you hunt. I was able to shoot some the past season. and while I do put them out, I'd be more inclined to learn more heavily towards bills and coots. I've seen 6 coots suck in every bird in the area before. I'm also part of the nwpa duck hunters assoc. If you have any questions, shoot me a message.
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