An Outdoorsman’s Journal
By: Mark Walters
Quality Time on Green Bay
Hello friends: Green Bay! Attempting to whack ducks. I love this place; since March I have fished it and caught my biggest walleye of 2021, fished it in my canoe twice and caught my second biggest walleye of the year and limited out. The computer melted in my 90 hsp Etec on June 7, I had to be towed in by the U.S. Coast Guard and went without a boat until Aug. 17 and now without money.
This week a trip I have been fantasizing about became reality, two days in a canoe chasing ducks near Suamico.
Monday, November 15 High 41, low 20
My busy season is into its 85th day and comes to an end the last day of deer gun season. I am running on empty and loving life. So, my mental alarm clock goes off at 2:45 a.m. and at 4:00 I am driving from Necedah to a public boat launch south of Suamico with a canoe on the racks and Ruby crashed in the back seat.
I arrive just before sunrise with a watchthe- skies plan before I decide where to hunt. There is a family consisting of a woman who is maybe in her mid-70s, a man who is in his mid-50s, and a young man who is about 30. They are going to take pictures of the sunrise and the woman has one of those little 5-pound dogs that I am not totally fond of. I guess the fur ball was cold so it goes in their minivan. The sunrise pics are taken and the next thing you know Muffy has locked the van doors and my new friends need a ride. I did not have room in my truck for two people, so I gave them my keys and said ‘git ‘er done.
My plan is to hunt until dark and this would include lots of exploring, and, I mean, by dark about six miles of paddling, with a main goal of getting into some quality diver shooting as in bufflehead, goldeneye, scaup, canvasback, etc.
I paddled maybe 900 yards, heard some quacking in the cattails, jumped a beautiful greenhead and sent it to the frying pan. I might add that all the backwaters were frozen over. I decided to set out decoys where I dropped the drake and had nothing happen as far as ducks in the air. For the next five hours I explored and set out decoys, and there simply was not ducks. The last two hours of daylight I returned to where I shot the drake and had some quality opportunities, but could not hit a thing.
Well after dark I returned to The Chevy Hotel for a quality night. The quality was lacking as my body seems to be growing too much to be able to stretch out and actually sleep and every kid from the area seems to like to play here. Perhaps some other things were happening because there was plenty of action parked next to me and no one knew I was in my truck because my windows were frosted over.
So about 5 a.m., I start my truck and here comes 32-year-old Adam Lewis, who I had met the day before. Adam hunts out of a skiff and had taken two weeks off from his job at Georgia Pacific to hunt ducks. Adam asked me if I would like to hunt with him and so Ruby and I made a friend who really understands divers and we spent the entire morning talking hunting and fishing. Adam just bought his first boat this June and has become very successful at catching walleye and musky on the bay. What I really liked to see also was that he paddles a skiff, which in reality there are very few of us left anymore.
So, like yesterday, there was not a ton of ducks, and we had some minor blunders, but Adam dropped a drake bufflehead and then a drake goldeneye and Ruby did an excellent job of retrieving a swimming duck in ice cold water.
A flock of lesser scaup flew by and, holy moly, I dropped a double and Ruby retrieved both of them. There was very little shooting on the entire bay, so we did quite well.
We hunted until well after noon and then paddled back to the landing and I realized that I now have a dyed-in-the-wool Green Bay outdoorsman for an informant and most likely occasional fishing or hunting partner.
Life is so cool if you just make it happen! Sunset
A fine sunrise on Green Bay!
A nice brace of ducks harvested on Green Bay!
Ruby retrieving a duck on Green Bay to Mark Walters.