Bay Flats Lodge on San Antonio Bay
By Captain Chris Martin
January 15, 2016
Great duck hunters are always looking for ways to distant themselves from the rest of the pack. Hunting location and proper concealment are certainly important factors to keep in mind here, but there is one major thing that hunters can do differently in order to get ahead of everyone else. Look to new ways of making your decoy spread more effective, as nothing else can aid you more in improving your odds of shooting more birds. To do so means you will be required to try to closely match the authenticity of that of the immediate and natural surroundings with your spread, so keep that thought in mind as you setup your decoys prior to your hunt. Also, duck decoys have been around for more than a century now, and there are countless varieties and styles of decoys to choose from for probably every species of duck out there. So, it is extremely important that you get the right decoys for your hunting area. Ducks and geese have very keen eyesight, especially when they happen to be within shooting range, so your spread of decoys must be credible to the birds.
With regards to buying decoys, one of the more common traps that novice hunters fall into is their common selection of a large quantity of greenhead mallard decoys – one of the more stereotypical decoys. This is probably because a lot of people think of mallards whenever they think of ducks. Once again, based upon your hunting location, this is a small detail that a lot of hunters can accidentally overlook as being of any importance. Here along the Texas coast, it is normal for us to receive flight after flight of mallards each season, so you’ll see hunters using a small number of mallard decoys, and they typically work just great. However, you should never over-compensate your spread with mallard decoys because our coast also hosts several other duck species that require an equal amount of your attention as you attempt to get the birds to choose your spread over that of the next guy’s.
If you’re new to the area where you’re hunting, learn to watch the skies while scouting or hunting and make sure to take mental notes as to the different species of ducks that you see in the air that you don’t have in your spread. Some nice additions to your spread along our coastal regions might be gadwall, canvasback, teal, redhead, pintail, and widgeon decoys. Remember that it is always going to be more appealing to passing ducks if they happen upon your spread that contains certain species of ducks that are more commonly found in your particular hunting location. You might (as an experiment) even consider eliminating mallards from your spread so as to give the ducks an altogether different look at your decoys.
You may also want to think about enhancing the effectiveness of your spread by including a few assurance decoys – species of other birds that live in, or that commonly visit, your hunting location. Some good examples of such decoys might be goose, sandhill crane, blue heron, or coot decoys, or your specific hunting area might require completely different species. This is yet another great way for you to differentiate your spread from that of others. Just throw a couple of these decoys into your mix and the ducks will typically always consider giving your spread a much closer look. Good luck out there!
Don’t forget to take advantage of the upcoming 2016 February Fishing Special, the new March Madness Spring Break Special, and some of the other “SPECIALS” currently being offered to Bay Flats Lodge guests. These deals represent times in the year when you, your family and your friends can enjoy the full extent of the Lodge at greatly reduced prices. Click on the link below for more information:
Three-Day Weather Forecast
Friday 80 % Precip. / 0.22 in
Abundant sunshine. High 71F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.
Friday Night 10 % Precip. / 0.0 in
Clear skies. Low 49F. Winds light and variable.
Saturday 10 % Precip. / 0.0 in
Showers and scattered thunderstorms. High around 65F. E winds shifting to N at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 80%.
Saturday Night 0 % Precip. / 0.0 in
Clear. Low 39F. Winds NNW at 10 to 20 mph.
Sunday 50 % Precip. / 0.04 in
Sunny. High 58F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
Sunday Night 0 % Precip. / 0.0 in
Partly cloudy. Low around 45F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
Weak east flow this evening will result in sea fog developing along the middle Texas coast. Winds will become more southwesterly by late tonight allowing for fog to mix out at that time. A weak to moderate offshore flow is then forecast to occur Friday. High pressure builds back Friday night shifting winds back to an onshore direction. An upper level disturbance will move across the region Saturday bringing a stronger cold front through the area and provide a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Onshore flow will transition to northwest and strengthen through Saturday evening as high pressure builds into the region. Wind gusts to gale force will be possible over the gulf waters Saturday night. Drier conditions are expected on Sunday along with subsiding winds and seas. A weak northeast to east wind is expected Sunday night and Monday then turn to onshore Monday night as the high pressure ridge moves east.
Coastal Water Temperature:
Rockport 57.9 degrees
Seadrift 60.1 degrees
Port Aransas 59.0 degrees
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