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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pigging back on another thread in the same forum to ask a question that has been on my mind about etiquette between fly fishers and duck hunters.

A former hunter, my passion is flyfishing exclusively now. I respect the fact that duck hunters have a small window of opportunity to enjoy the season at a time during the year when fishing is at its best in my opinion.

So asking folks who undoubtedly do both, any suggestions on managing a shared environment during that period of time?
 

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If your fairly familiar with the bay systems you fish then you should know where the majority of the hunting occurs. I’ll avoid getting to deep in the marsh, coves around those areas and stick more to the open bay, flats and venture in a little more as the day goes on and the shooting slows down.

There’s always the random people who decide to setup on oddball spots that I have to be mindful of though. I don’t plan around those guys but just keep my distance as I come across them.
 

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This will be a multi page thread...
I’m not going to avoid fishing my favorite fall and winter back lake areas and shorelines any more than a duck hunter will avoid setting up blinds every hundred yards on the entire south shoreline of a bay. If I see a spread I will give it a wide berth if possible and continue poling and fishing.
 

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This will be a multi page thread...
I’m not going to avoid fishing my favorite fall and winter back lake areas and shorelines any more than a duck hunter will avoid setting up blinds every hundred yards on the entire south shoreline of a bay. If I see a spread I will give it a wide berth if possible and continue poling and fishing.
You won’t make it around the heavily hunted areas on the weekends without poling past spreads. Plenty of areas here that don’t get that kind of pressure to fish.

I will say the heavy hunted areas aren’t my favorite places to fish though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You won’t make it around the heavily hunted areas on the weekends without poling past spreads. Plenty of areas here that don’t get that kind of pressure to fish.

I will say the heavy hunted areas aren’t my favorite places to fish though.
Bay systems I fish are unfortunately heavily hunted both back lakes and bay side on the flats. And I like these areas A LOT. So number of blinds * wide berth (beyond gun range as ducks have a good eye sight ) needed means no fishing before 10 at the earliest.

Agree with Smack that I am compromising my best time of the year on the water. Does not sit quite right!

While I realize there is no right answer here, I am looking for experiences or best practices.

One key take away so far is to find no/limited hunting zones. Wildlife Preserves? Others?
 

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How’d I grow up duck hunting and fishing in the same public land and avoid all these hunter vs. fisherman problems? Give everyone as much space as you can and keep your damn mouth shut if you can’t be pleasant. Nothing good ever came from two pricks cussing at each other in the marsh despite their mutual conviction that being huge metaphorical pricks actually increases literal penile size.

If a hunter sets up in a highly traveled creek mouth, the best you may be able to do is carefully idle through his dekes. If the damn fool cusses, just say “sorry” and keep moving. You’re just as dumb as him if you flip the bird and cuss back at armed idiots. For Christ’s sake, don’t fish through his dekes! If you blow through his dekes on plane out of spite, you deserve to spend a few hours unwrapping decoy lines from your prop shaft; I hope it destroys something expensive.

Anybody who hunts must behave ABOVE REPROACH when they are carrying a weapon. We are held to a higher standard. When you act like a prick, you make every other hunter look like a prick. Remember that our access privileges will always be more tenuous than the folks who aren’t carrying guns. If you set up on a highly trafficked area, just chill out when boats move through; you did it to yourself. If you shoot in the direction of another boat to ”teach them a lesson”, I sincerely hope it burns when you pee. I’ll call your hull number in myself if I see that crap.

Nate
 

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As a general rule, stay 200 yards from blinds unless you can’t avoid them, then announce yourself and move through with purpose (no wake). I really don’t care if this doesn’t sit right. It is a safety concern. No fish is worth losing your life or an eye because you were too close to some damn fool who shoots in the wrong direction. They will be at fault, but you will still be dead or blind.

I frequently limited out on reds in the afternoon after hunting in the morning, so I know the fish will still be there when the hunters aren’t.

Nate
 

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Here in Texas it’s a different story. I know there are a few of you that duck hunt here so don’t be offended.
Some of the back lakes I frequent are only a hundred or so yards wide and one is 7 miles long and the other 5 miles long and there are blinds from one end to the other so that rules out fishing inside the entire lake and also the outside shoreline because the barrier island is only a hundred feet wide at it’s widest. This is just an example, most of the other back lakes and main bay shorelines are the same. Another huge bay is over 20 miles long and there’s a blind every hundred yards or so down the south shoreline and during duck season almost all of them are occupied. Down here it’s nothing but blinds everywhere you go and lots of guide outfits drop guys off in the mangroves all over the place like a taxi service. I’ve been poling and come across dudes laying in the salt grass with no dog, decoy spread or anything and they talk shit because I was supposed to somehow know they were there. One guide outfit in Port O’Connor claims to have over 100 blinds and they only hunt ten or so any given morning. That’s just one lodge! Has anyone been to Lighthouse Lakes or Brown & Root Flats during duck season? Airboat guides taxiing 10-15 groups out To blinds from one airboat. They park their vehicles on the side of the road between Aransas Pass and Port Aransas and the guide picks them up. Good luck fishing anywhere around there. What I’m saying is if you want to make the duck hunters happy you might as well stay off the water until 10am or so. I’m not doing that, I’m going to fish and give the hunters the widest berth I can. I can post maps of these areas and you can see all the blinds, it’s silly. Not just one bay either, it’s pretty much everywhere on the coast. Duck hunters are so thick they burn each other’s blinds and shoot at anyone that comes near them, I’ve had to call game wardens because dudes shot over my head with my son in the boat for getting what they thought was too close. It’s ridiculous. I know not all duck hunters are bad, it’s just like everything else, a few bad apples ruin the whole basket.
 

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Pigging back on another thread in the same forum to ask a question that has been on my mind about etiquette between fly fishers and duck hunters.

A former hunter, my passion is flyfishing exclusively now. I respect the fact that duck hunters have a small window of opportunity to enjoy the season at a time during the year when fishing is at its best in my opinion.

So asking folks who undoubtedly do both, any suggestions on managing a shared environment during that period of time?[/QUOTES]

Stay 200-300 yards away from the duck hunters and if they complain, they're being petty.
The Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean has plenty of room.
 

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How’d I grow up duck hunting and fishing in the same public land and avoid all these hunter vs. fisherman problems? Give everyone as much space as you can and keep your damn mouth shut if you can’t be pleasant. Nothing good ever came from two pricks cussing at each other in the marsh despite their mutual conviction that being huge metaphorical pricks actually increases literal penile size.

If a hunter sets up in a highly traveled creek mouth, the best you may be able to do is carefully idle through his dekes. If the damn fool cusses, just say “sorry” and keep moving. You’re just as dumb as him if you flip the bird and cuss back at armed idiots. For Christ’s sake, don’t fish through his dekes! If you blow through his dekes on plane out of spite, you deserve to spend a few hours unwrapping decoy lines from your prop shaft; I hope it destroys something expensive.

Anybody who hunts must behave ABOVE REPROACH when they are carrying a weapon. We are held to a higher standard. When you act like a prick, you make every other hunter look like a prick. Remember that our access privileges will always be more tenuous than the folks who aren’t carrying guns. If you set up on a highly trafficked area, just chill out when boats move through; you did it to yourself. If you shoot in the direction of another boat to ”teach them a lesson”, I sincerely hope it burns when you pee. I’ll call your hull number in myself if I see that crap.

Nate
Agree -- in the same way that fishermen put up with skiers, boat riders, or people that own houses on the river put with fishermen being 3 ft off their docks, duck hunters need to also know its public water. Shooting in someone'd direction is a crazy thing to do.

Last year rode through our hunting club on a dirt road at 4:30 in the morning -- opening day of turkey season. Wasn't paying a lot of attention just going to my lease. Saw a turkey in the road, then heard a young man cursing. I turned to look at him and swerved the truck to miss the 1st turkey (decoy) and drove over 3 others they had set up. I could hear thumps on the truck as they hit the underside of my truck. I just kept going, they never shot or anything, just cursed.
 

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Here in Texas it’s a different story. I know there are a few of you that duck hunt here so don’t be offended.
Some of the back lakes I frequent are only a hundred or so yards wide and one is 7 miles long and the other 5 miles long and there are blinds from one end to the other so that rules out fishing inside the entire lake and also the outside shoreline because the barrier island is only a hundred feet wide at it’s widest. This is just an example, most of the other back lakes and main bay shorelines are the same. Another huge bay is over 20 miles long and there’s a blind every hundred yards or so down the south shoreline and during duck season almost all of them are occupied. Down here it’s nothing but blinds everywhere you go and lots of guide outfits drop guys off in the mangroves all over the place like a taxi service. I’ve been poling and come across dudes laying in the salt grass with no dog, decoy spread or anything and they talk shit because I was supposed to somehow know they were there. One guide outfit in Port O’Connor claims to have over 100 blinds and they only hunt ten or so any given morning. That’s just one lodge! Has anyone been to Lighthouse Lakes or Brown & Root Flats during duck season? Airboat guides taxiing 10-15 groups out To blinds from one airboat. They park their vehicles on the side of the road between Aransas Pass and Port Aransas and the guide picks them up. Good luck fishing anywhere around there. What I’m saying is if you want to make the duck hunters happy you might as well stay off the water until 10am or so. I’m not doing that, I’m going to fish and give the hunters the widest berth I can. I can post maps of these areas and you can see all the blinds, it’s silly. Not just one bay either, it’s pretty much everywhere on the coast. Duck hunters are so thick they burn each other’s blinds and shoot at anyone that comes near them, I’ve had to call game wardens because dudes shot over my head with my son in the boat for getting what they thought was too close. It’s ridiculous. I know not all duck hunters are bad, it’s just like everything else, a few bad apples ruin the whole basket.
Not going to argue one bit with any of that. I think it’s bullshit how the guides down that way do it. And don’t you dare hunt one of “their” blinds. If I usually fished down your way and had favorite ponds I’d probably sneak around the duck hunters the best I could and fish them(and I was in the duck marsh long before I was on a poling platform). Luckily I don’t have to deal with that much up here. My “favorite” spots dont really get hunted or can’t be hunted.

There’s asshats on both sides of the line with this one. Always has been.
 

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Agree -- in the same way that fishermen put up with skiers, boat riders, or people that own houses on the river put with fishermen being 3 ft off their docks, duck hunters need to also know its public water. Shooting in someone'd direction is a crazy thing to do.

Last year rode through our hunting club on a dirt road at 4:30 in the morning -- opening day of turkey season. Wasn't paying a lot of attention just going to my lease. Saw a turkey in the road, then heard a young man cursing. I turned to look at him and swerved the truck to miss the 1st turkey (decoy) and drove over 3 others they had set up. I could hear thumps on the truck as they hit the underside of my truck. I just kept going, they never shot or anything, just cursed.
Who sets up for turkey at 430 in the mourning? Lol
 

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And don’t you dare hunt one of “their” blinds.
I have been tempted to burn some blinds on public land back home due to that crap. However, up here, an open water blind site is yours for the season. No one else can hunt within 200 yards of it, even if you aren’t there.

Nate
 

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I have been tempted to burn some blinds on public land back home due to that crap. However, up here, an open water blind site is yours for the season. No one else can hunt within 200 yards of it, even if you aren’t there.

Nate
Here in Tejas no one owns the blinds so anyone can hunt them even if they didn’t build it. Lots of fights, blinds getting burned down etc due to this. Once they get torn up by hurricanes there will be 4x4 posts barely sticking out of the water and dudes hit them and tear up lower units, props, hulls etc on the unmarked obstructions.
I am aware of the ignorant and also the selfish on the water, it goes far beyond duck blinds and poling skiffs!

The turkeys here are so dumb you can drive by them on the road and kill them with a stick to the back of the head. I walk up to them all the time out here at work and video them walking ten feet in front of me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok ... great feedback from all! My key take always so far for fishing during duck season:

We all share the same waters so let’s be as respectful as we can of everyone
Try to keep a distance between what is possible and 200 yards or more
Find spots that are less likely to be hunting grounds (maybe a good opportunity to prospect new areas
When it makes sense, fish after 10
Have the game warden on speed dial for “I can’t deal with stupid!”
 
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There are idiots and a$$holes on both sides. One thing to keep in mind though, once the water temps drop the bite ain't over at 0 sunrise:30. I generally give the hunted areas until 9:30 or 10 before I venture in, if that's feasible. I've spent my time on both sides of this fence, and from what I've learned about human behavior, duck hunters and inshore anglers will always be in conflict. Some will be mature about it. Some won't. And for those of you who aren't aware: The TPWD website lists cellular numbers for the GWs assigned to the various counties. It wouldn't hurt to have those numbers handy if someone gets a little out of hand. Those GWs are busy as hell during hunting season, but even if they are unable to respond they need to know where -- and what kind of -- problems are occurring. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. And Karma's a bitch........
 
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