Ha. I used to really hate those things too
, but even when I was at my spread on Sunday morning I was watching the gulls and terns work about a half mile away and considered scrapping the duck hunt to go chase tails instead. Honestly, I probably only stayed put as long as I did because it was prime shooting time and I didn't want to risk paddling out and possibly flaring anybody's birds.
Set up in a little opening about 30 yards North/South, and 40 yards East/West. I like to set up so that if a duck is over water it's in range. Makes it easier, and beyond 100 feet the likelihood of a cripple, for me, really goes up. NE wind at 8 or so, partly cloudy. Dekes in groups of 3 with a little landing spot in the middle, me on the yak tucked back behind a little peninsula just 10 yards from the dekes, sun at my back. As I was getting ready at the yak 4 teal landed in the spread, then left. 15 minutes later a group of 3 made a little circle and came in cupped. Popped one at 20 yards, another at 25 yards, and was just behind on the 3rd at about 35 yards. Got too excited and lost focus. Had some single teal and merganser zip by at awkward angles, so didn't take the shots. Missed another teal later. Did have one nice drake merganser zip by real close. I'm not against shooting them, but I hadn't been hunting in the Texas marsh in a while and at that moment it seemed like more fun to just watch him fly. He was real low and close, straight right to left, with that big crest and yellow eyes.
I caught reds on Morning Glory Cocahoe, but I think they would have hit just about anything. Caught the first speck on a Chickenboy Shrimp of the same color. Later I threw the castnet out and got a couple of mullet. The reds were still on the move but the tide has risen so that birds gave up trying to find the bottom-feeding reds. Went to where I could see trout popping here and there. Was throwing different plastics, but in the meantime tossed a big chunk of cut mullet under a popping cork and caught a 21" trout. That really surprised me because I just had a bias that specks go for live fish, plastic/live/dead shrimp, and moving artificials. Now I know better.
Later I moved back into the channels working my way back to the launch. Got some smaller drum on castnet shrimp. Reeled in some blue crab on cut mullet. Quartered the crab, and got some more small drum and then the big one.
The hen bluewing was young and pretty typical of the teal I've shot. The drake, however, was older, and he was FAT. Bright white fat, bright liver and organ fat. So I skinned the hen but plucked the drake and will maybe roast him. The trout, "Costa Rican-style" ceviche with one, fish and chips with the other after I get a couple more.