WATERFORD — Ducks, honkers and specs finally showed up in good numbers at Modesto Reservoir on Thursday, but the only problem was that Waterford resident Joe Ryan and I could not hit them.
Honkers, specs, sprig, spoonies, mallards and teal came by, but few died. By 9 a.m. things started slowing down and we had managed to bag 2 honkers and 2 ducks. Joe had to leave at 9 a.m. and the way I was shooting, I decided that I might as well call it a day, too. We should of limited on sprig and knocked down more geese and ducks, but it was just one of those should of, would of, could of kind of days.
The irony of the whole day was that some of the other hunters who stuck it out hammered the ducks, honkers and specs that came in later that day.
The next day the wind was blowing at 14 miles per hour and there was a great chop on the water, but there was very few ducks flying. Joe and I teamed up on a few and managed to knock down 5 mallards and 2 widgeon. There must have been a couple thousand specs traveling over the big mud flat at the back of the lake. At Modesto reservoir the specs usually come to the lake about the middle of January, but like the weather, they were a little bit late this year
Saturday the morning fog killed us. When the fog rolls in, the ducks seem to leave the area. We managed to shoot a spec and a duck when the fog lifted and then the bright hot sky pushed the ducks up the channel to the trees where they pounded them pretty good as that’s where the ducks want to be when it gets hot, in the shade. They have their winter feathers on and just like us they head for shade when it gets hot.
Sunday was the end of our general waterfowl season and Joe and I were in the blind alone. The hunting was so bad that my other four partners did not want to waste their time, as the spot we have is mainly for shooting whistler ducks in the middle of the reservoir. We managed to kill a few ducks and a spec before calling it a day so I could get back home early and write a few words of wit before heading out for an afternoon spec hunt on private property.
Don’t forget we have a late spec and snow goose hunt this year in the central valley that runs from Feb. 18 to 22.