Marsh boat question

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Marsh boat question

Postby greatwhite » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:59 pm

Do any of yall that hunt out of a marsh/sneak boat use it in the open water? I am considering getting something like a momarsh or aquapod. Majority of the time I will be using it for it's designed purpose tucked up in the marsh. However, as I watch ducks land out in the open water I begin to wonder if you could use a marsh boat in the open water. Would ducks come in if you grassed the boat up really well and hunted it out in the open water, or would they just flare? Just thinking out loud here and seeing if anyone has any experience trying this. Also, feel free to brag about your particular model sneak boat.
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Re: Marsh boat question

Postby ScaupHunter » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:26 pm

It works the same as a layout boat. Don't grass it up at all. Paint it OD Green or battle ship gray. Double anchor with an easy release system. Put the pod in the upwind side of the decoys. It doesn't hurt to have them placed thick around the pod and a few on it. Stay very still until time to shoot.

Now for the most important part. Do not roll the dice with your life! Pods don't handle waves particularly well. Leave some slack and run long front and rear anchor lines so the pod can rise with boat wakes and small waves. Watch the weather. I mean every minute and know what to expect for the day. Check it hourly on your phone. If it even begins to look like you might get moderate wind and serious waves bail early. Leave the decoys if you have to! If you get a pod buy the spray skirt they sell. It will make a lot of difference in how seaworthy the pod is. I will be doing a lot of layout hunting in an Aqua Pod in big waters in my area. The sled or shore will always be within 100 yards of my position. If you want to have a safe escape further away than that, only pick very calm days. Buy a decoy sled from Cabelas or online to tow your decoys and extra stuff behind you. Keep the pod clear of excess weight. Make sure to idiot cord the gun off to the pod. Do the same with your paddle. You start playing with big water in small boats and sooner or later you are going to get wet. Be careless and it can be wet and dead.

Make no mistake, I pod the Columbia River. Big dangerous water by anyones definition. The key is that I stay behind Islands. Anchor on shallow sand flats where I can stand up and walk to shore if the boat tips. I stay in areas without a lot of barge and ship traffic or sheltered behind sand spits from their wakes, etc..... I have put over 50 miles of paddling in with the pod this season scouting new areas. The few areas where I plan to layout hunt deeper water are either close to shore, or the sled will be an easy paddle away.

Buy an inflatable lifejacket system. The ones with the CO2 canister. They come in Camo colors. You want to actual inflatable part to be bright yellow or orange so you are easy to see in the water. Make sure to have a flare, some matches in a waterproof container, and some tinder in with them on your person. A medium sized knife is also good to have on your person. I have been wet on very cold days a few times. You look kinda silly standing next to a roaring fire on a cold day drying your clothes in your underwear. You are also toasty warm and not in danger of freezing to death. One trick I added to my bag of them is to use a dry bag for white water rafting as my back rest when layout hunting. If I go in the water it acts as an extra floatation device. It also means I have a dry set of clothes when I reach shore. I can strip down and change to dry clothes. Thus avoiding hypothermia onset while gathering wood and starting the fire.
Last edited by ScaupHunter on Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Marsh boat question

Postby brokerbyduck » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:12 pm

The aqua pod is a march boat, not an open water boat. The spray skirt should help but you'll have the same profile as a marshrat with that thing on it. Of the two, the fiberglass rat is a much better option than the pod for what you are describing. I have them both and they both have their strengths and weaknesses. The downside to the rat is it's higher profile. The same lip that keeps waves out hurts your ability to hide in open water. I sat in a UFO layout last year and looked back to where my rat was anchored up. I could clearly see it from a few hundred yards away at water level. I could not see the UFO from my rat.

If you want to open water hunt, you'll need a tender nearby or you'll want something more seaworthy than an aquapod. I've never seen a momarsh up close but from the pics, it's not what I'd like to be out in if it's choppy at all.

I hunted probably 10 times or more last year solo while sea duck hunting out of my fiberglass rat. I don't recommend it, if one thing goes wrong (and it can very quickly) you could easily make the news. A pfd may make it easier for the coast guard to find your body but your chances of out swimming a current and making it to shore in time are slim, even if you are a very strong swimmer. It's the cold that will kill.

Yes, I realize I'm being a hypocrite here :biggrin: I've never seen a duck I was willing to die for, not even a fully mature old squaw. Be careful out there.
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Re: Marsh boat question

Postby greatwhite » Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:48 am

Thanks for the advice. I guess I should clarify, by open water I just mean 100 yards off the shore. It is still a protected marsh area, but birds are starting to group up out away from the cover. I will definitely watch the weather though, I have seen how quick it can change even in the protected areas.
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Re: Marsh boat question

Postby crazyquacked » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:06 pm

I DO have a Momarsh DP. It is way more seaworthy than either the Rat or the Aquapod. It will handle worse conditions than I am comfortable with. It is not as light or compact as the others mentioned, but it is a real boat........ Still have to be careful and pick your days.
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Re: Marsh boat question

Postby brokerbyduck » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:10 pm

crazyquacked wrote:I DO have a Momarsh DP. It is way more seaworthy than either the Rat or the Aquapod. It will handle worse conditions than I am comfortable with. It is not as light or compact as the others mentioned, but it is a real boat........ Still have to be careful and pick your days.

How does that thing handle chop and small whitecaps? Have you taken any water into the cockpit?
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Re: Marsh boat question

Postby crazyquacked » Sat Dec 07, 2013 9:32 pm

No water in the cockpit yet. I wont go out in it in whitecaps. Duck hunting is supposed to be fun. I was in 10mph winds and chop the other day, short little rollers, no whitecaps. Guy I bought my first original Fatboy from hunted the Great Lakes. He said he got caught in a storm, 3 foot waves. There was 2 of them. One boat got rolled, the other made it through to shore, and was able to pull the other guy in. Not for me.

I dont own a Marshrat, but have been in one. I dont own an Aquapod anymore, but had a 10 footer. They all work within their limits, but I would sooner hunt big water from the Momarsh than the other two.
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