Second-split Louisiana duck hunters were greeted by a neurotic Mother Nature this weekend, with relatively warm conditions and south winds on Saturday morning — followed by rain, lightning and howling north winds on Sunday morning.
But all in all, most hunters reported seeing quite a few birds and relatively successful hunts as the second split opened statewide Saturday morning.
The season wraps up on Jan. 22 for coastal and west zone hunters, while the east zone finishes on Jan. 29.
“It opened up great — lots of ducks with some good dumb birds,” Capt. Cody Obiol, with Cajun Fishing Adventures in Buras, said Monday morning. “It opened up with a bang, and we just killed our limit this morning pretty quick.
“Saturday was good, but Sunday sucked because of the weather. It was pretty rough with that wind and rain and that cold front coming through.”
Hunters were able to kill limits out of Buras, even if conditions weren’t ideal, he said.
“We killed limits Saturday and Sunday, but not a lot of big ducks. We had a bunch of teal,” he said. “From what I could tell, the big ducks kind of showed up today.”
In agriculture fields on the west side of the state, David Faul with Bin There Hunting in Welsh said his clients shot 32 ducks and nine geese on Saturday, 21 ducks and 11 geese on Sunday and five teal Monday morning.
“It was kind of crazy. Ducks have been few and far between, but we did alright,” Faul said. “The wind was blowing so hard on Saturday it was hard to catch up to them. There weren’t too many second chances — if you didn’t get on them with that first pass, you weren’t getting them.”
Up at Catahoula Lake, Brett Herring with Shell Shocked Guide Service summed up the action in one word.
“Phenomenal. It was phenomenal,” Herring said. “That’s about all I could tell you. This morning we shot a limit on ag land of mallards, pintail and specklebellies.
“Every group has limited out ever day since opening day.”
Over in the Caernarvon area, Jared Serigné said four hunters shot limits on Saturday
“It wasn’t steady, but we hunted until 10:30 and got our limit,” Serigné said. “I didn’t feel like it was a new group of birds — I thought it was kind of the same ones that had been there. But they did seem to decoy a little bit better because they had two weeks of no hunting.”
Serigné attempted to go out in Sunday morning’s weather, but got caught in the storms and endured a rough boat ride back in the stinging rain for his efforts.
Over in Pecan Island, Chris Champagne of New Iberia reported continued slow going on his lease.
“We hunted on Saturday and Sunday,” Champagne said. “We shot five ducks Saturday, and one duck on Sunday, so I don’t know what’s going on. I talked to a few other people that are hunting down there and aren’t having much luck, then I talk to others who are slaughtering them.
“Maybe it’s something to do with our lease. It looks like we have the feed we normally have — we’re just not getting the birds.”
Capt. Nick Poe, with Big Lake Guide Service, said action was solid in the marshes near Sweet Lake in Cameron Parish.
“Saturday and Sunday were excellent,” Poe said Monday. “We kept our birds and had teal all weekend like mosquitoes.
“But we lost them today. We had a few big ducks today, but no teal.”
On Saturday, his group bagged 15 teal, two gray ducks and a mallard, and on Sunday they downed 19 teal and five mallards.
Poe said they shot five mallards, two geese and some ring-necked ducks today— but he’s optimistic on what the future holds for the second split.
“It looks good. I’m pretty excited about it,” he said. “After this front passes through and this wind dies down a little bit — I think that was my main issue today. It was blowing so hard they couldn’t even hear me call.
“I feel like it’s going to be pretty good if we keep getting some fronts like this. There’s plenty more feed down here, so we should have some birds.”