Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ice in the Hole

"So you don't see this very often?" I asked Frank as we crunched though 1/4 inch of ice with every step.

"Almost never," he said. "I just hope the ducks will still come in."

We were wading into a field-side shooting vantage in the duck swamp at Noxubee Lodge, with plans to wait along the woodline for the ducks to fly. It was a spot where the wood ducks come in thick most mornings, at times with mallards or teal coming in behind them. After I got into place, Frank waded a short distance out and crunched around in circles to create a big opening in the ice, which hopefully would be inviting to the ducks.

Seemingly the strategy was sound because a few ducks gave the hole a hard look before shooting time, and a few of those that came around when we could shoot obviously were eying the spot. Seemingly there was too much ice on the whole swamp, though, because the number of ducks that flew near us was minuscule compared to the norm, according to Frank. I did get a handful of opportunities, but failed to cash in on any, missing a few times and being too slow on the draw to even attempt shots at a couple of others.

While I shot no birds and I know Frank was disappointed by the comparatively small number of birds that we saw, I considered the morning hunt a huge success. I got great photos, learned a bunch and thoroughly enjoyed the adventure of crunching into our spot and then watching the swamp awaken on an icy morning.

Back to bass fishing this afternoon. Maybe a big one will bite!

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