Opening weekend was a mixed bag for Louisiana’s Coastal Zone duck hunters, with reports of success varying widely by location across the state, according to guides and Internet reports.
In Buras, Capt. Cody Obiol with Cajun Fishing Adventures said the action was solid.
“We had lots of birds with lots of limits. The ducks are here, and we killed a bunch,” Obiol said. “There’s a lot of pintail down here, with lots of teal. We killed a bunch of redheads this weekend, and some widgeon and gadwall.
“There’s lots of green-wings and blue-wings still left here.”
Obiol said the number of hunters in the area was off the charts.
“I think Venice Marina launched 167 mudboats alone on Saturday,” he said. “It was a ton of people, but it was a really good opening weekend.”
Over in the rice fields of Welsh, David Faul with Bin There Hunting said the action was better than he anticipated, but he’s seen better opening days.
“We’re opening too freaking early. It wasn’t a total wash, but it’s not the opening weekend we’re used to,” said Faul, whose hunters did limit out Monday morning. “It was a pretty good mix of birds.
“We had teal — blues and a few greens — spoonies, one or two pintail, one or two wood ducks, a few grays, three redheads and quite a few black mallards.”
Faul said 16 hunters on Saturday shot 63 ducks, and the same group shot 61 on Sunday.
“I think we’er still shooting the same birds we’ve been holding — they just jumped around from pond to pond,” he said. “There were a lot of high birds that did come in with that front, but they hadn’t really hit us yet. I think they’re in the marsh.”
But online comments from LouisianaSportsman.com’s Reports section indicated lots of hunters had a tough weekend.
“Opening day was the worst hunting day of my 56 years of hunting,” wrote Speckle Searcher, who said he hunted around Larose and didn’t see a duck to shoot.
Greenhead1, however, knew of several more successful outings.
“I myself went to the Delta Refuge and me and my buddy shot six grays and three teal and finished by 9:30,” Greenhead1 wrote. “My brother went to the Biloxi Marsh and said they shot one teal, and my daughter and her boyfriend went to his lease in Lafitte and didn't even fire a shot, but his parents managed to shoot 12 birds in another location on their lease.”
Capt. Nick Poe, with Big Lake Guide Service, said his groups shot plenty of ducks this weekend in the marshes near Sweet Lake in Cameron Parish.
“Opening day we had a lot of teal, with a few big birds, a few gray ducks and a few widgeon,” Poe said. “Sunday we had less teal, but we killed pretty much all big birds. I think we had six teal and the rest were grays, a few mottled ducks and a couple of widgeon.”
In Caernarvon, Sportsman TV producer Jared Serigné said teal were a big part of a solid opening weekend.
“On Saturday, we had 11 hunters and 66 birds, all limits. About half green-winged and half blue-winged. That was it really, no big ducks,” he said. “All told, we had 103 birds over the weekend.
“It seemed like all those teal I saw during scouting stayed, and everyone did pretty good. Everyone got limits at the boat launch, so thank goodness for teal, I guess.”
Despite mixed reports across the state this weekend, Serigné is confident hunting conditions will improve with time.
“I think it will be a better season than normal, personally,” he said. “It’s just going to take some time for them to get here.”