Every duck hunting spot has its idiosyncrasies and challenges, and Caddo Lake is no different than the others. Brandon Garner and Todd Hopkins mused over a few of them.
• In late season, bass and crappie fishermen often appear to fish near blinds. Both men agree that they have every right to be there on a public lake and hunters can do little but look at them. Most of the time, they will move on if they see hunters in a blind.
• The greatest scourge that Caddo Lake hunters face is giant salvinia, the floating water plant that will swallow whole decoy spreads, leaving no open water in front of a blind and even making it difficult for hunters to get in their blinds. Salvinia mats shift with the wind and may be there one day and elsewhere the next. The weed is a major problem for hunters in permanent blinds. Some of the blinds in the lake’s backwater areas have been unusable for years.
• Like many Louisiana reservoirs, Caddo Lake was flooded while its trees were still standing. Over the years they have rotted off near average water level, leaving the lake with thousands of stumps, often just below water level. Hunters should use marked boat lanes (boat roads) to travel near the areas they wish to hunt, and then idle in.
• Caddo Lake straddles the border between Louisiana and Texas. Much of its backwaters and shallow areas are on the Texas side of the unmarked line that crosses the lake. The two states do not have a reciprocal agreement to honor each other’s resident hunting licenses, and it is easy to stray across the line. The area hunted by Garner, Hopkins, and Wells is a gunshot from the invisible, but real line.