To boat or not to boat, that is the question

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To boat or not to boat, that is the question

Postby berudd » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:38 pm

So, I am trying to decide if I want to get a jon boat for duck hunting for next season. I have been wading in around Jordan and Falls. As a kid, we hunted from a boat but that was in KY in the backwater of the Ohio River. So, I wonder what options a boat would open for me. I have heard of some of the spread on Harris where you have to get there yesterday and set out an insane number of decoys. Not sure I want to bother with that. Is their viable hunting on the local rivers? I thought about running upstream out of Falls and see what happens. I might consider heading toward this coast as well but don't plan to buy a boat that would be safe to take very far from shore. More of an inshore affair. This won't be a fancy or expensive boat so I am willing to bang it off of stuff to get to a good spot. Jumping beaver damns in the pre-dawn darkness was often the high point of the day growing up.
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Re: To boat or not to boat, that is the question

Postby nscochrane1009 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:59 am

Get one. I got mine last year and it was an amazing decision. We do quite a bit of river hunting around the central part of the state where I am with some decent success. On the major river I am close to, there are many back canals that connect to swamps. I have a 14 ft Gamefisher with a trolling motor and a 5 hp johnson. Nothing fancy, 1200 rig total and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Looking into building a blind for it during the offseason. As far as harris is concerned, don't waste your time there. We hunted opening day there and got to the boat ramp at 1 AM and there were already 6 trucks there. We got back to our scouted spot and people had been camping there for a day or two (illegal to camp on game lands). What they did was they would sleep in their boat anchored 3 ft off the shoreline. Its ridiculous. All those guys need to get jobs. I can't take off Thursday and Friday to hunt on Saturday. Especially at Harris. Don't get me wrong, we have had some success there. But definitely not in the normal area most people go to and the "guide of harris" goes to.
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Re: To boat or not to boat, that is the question

Postby ncfreediver » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:27 am

I'm gonna get a jon boat for next season as well. If nothing else, you can get to and explore new grounds that you couldn't before. It's also gonna be nice scouting sitting on my ass cruising around in a boat instead of wading around cottonmouths, skeeters, and gators. They're not that expensive, and you can just sell it if ya don't like using it. I plan on using it for flounder gigging as well. :beer:
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Re: To boat or not to boat, that is the question

Postby bdollar03 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:10 pm

I got a 14ft Jon Boat this past summer off craig's list. It's an old beater, we camo'd it up and have a trolling motor. It serves the purpose, was cheap, and if it gets dinged up here or there its ok. Still looking for a decent deal on a small 5 to 9 hp to go on it, but for now its perfect. Until I do I'm limited to smaller lakes or slow moving creeks, but I use it to go fishing and we used it for a couple hunts this year. Built a blind for it, but most of the areas we hunted this year we ended up wading into for some passing shots at woodies, so the blind wasn't really necessary as we weren't in the boat. Maybe after I get motor on it that will change.
The one thing I would say if you do go the craigslist route is try and find a seller with a title. It just makes your life easier if they have one.

Best of luck and enjoy it!
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Re: To boat or not to boat, that is the question

Postby nscochrane1009 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:38 pm

Absolutely, make sure you have a title so you can register it. It is a scam by the NCWRC, but if you don't then you are opening yourself up for ticket. Go ahead and get a box and put all your safety equipment in it too so you are safe there.
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Re: To boat or not to boat, that is the question

Postby berudd » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:41 pm

Thanks for the ideas guys. I appreciate the feedback.
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