It was, however, more casting than blasting, as my partner Jeremy Taschuk and I didn’t do too well in the waterfowl category but really put a hurt on the big crappie along with a few nice walleye. Arriving at the cabin around mid-day, we tried to bag a few geese but found that we’re not as sneaky quiet as we should have been with eight honkers immediately spotting us and taking flight, squawking all the way. It didn’t matter, as we would be out on the water at first light for an early morning of duck hunting.
Saturday morning came as quickly as the northwest winds were blowing. Seemingly good “duck weather” didn’t pan out. Yes, plenty of ducks were seen but most were “high flyers” uninterested in our decoy spread. We did have a number of them take notice, flying overhead a time or two, but for whatever reason wouldn’t come close enough for a shot. This plays on your mind, making one wonder what is wrong. Is it the decoy set-up? Is the boat not camo’d enough and spooking them? One just never knows. In years past I’ve had them landing next to us several times while putting out decoys. They’d look around for a few seconds, realize something wasn’t right, and take off again.
Jer’ and I had our opportunities but came to the conclusion that we must be the worst shots on all of Rainy Lake. A box of shells doesn’t last long under these circumstances. Laughing, we’d reload and wait for the next safe target. We only ended up with one duck before heading back to the cabin for breakfast. After that, it was time to check on the geese, which never did come back. If they’d only known what poor shots we were they surely would have come back to taunt us a time or two.
Trying to fish out of a small duck boat is a bit risky when it’s windy out. Although, we were able to catch a few nice crappies and a large walleye before coming to our senses and heading back to the duck blinds. The wind howled all weekend and air temperatures were cooling down, giving hopes of a good shoot. As a matter-of-fact, it snowed briefly on Saturday night. This happening had me feeling like a child waiting for Christmas morning. I could hardly wait to get up and peek outside but was totally disappointed when I did, as no snow was in sight. The winds, however, were still gusting for all they were worth.
Sunday morning’s duck hunting was worse than the day before and after relocating a couple of times to change our luck we opted to go crappie fishing, which is something we’re a lot better at. Using jigs and plastics, we caught some real beauties, with some pushing the 15” mark. It was a real challenge staying over fish, as the wind was still present and even stronger than the day before. Needless-to-say, the ride back to camp, head-long into whitecaps, was invigorating, especially for Jer’ who was soaked by the time we got there.
Ontario’s deer hunt begins this weekend and runs through mid-December for residents. My brother Joel and I are going to give it a “shot” but not on opening weekend. I think we’ll wait for a week or so to let things cool down. The season for non-residents goes until mid-November.
In the meantime I’ll be fishing Minnesota crappie and if the weather looks “ducky” be heading back up north for more fun.