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Matt Fly

Southern Grass tip!

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I'm curious, in the south, we have mud hens or coots as we call them.    A coot will show you the greeniest grass on the lake in the winter.

Where you find good winter grass in the shallows, you should find prime areas for the jig.

Knowing this eliminates having to use the graph to find good grass.    I try to stay away from the hydrilla that has turned brownish for the winter.

The question/     Is the Coot present on the northern and central states waters as well?     If not, what types of birds do you have that might feed on grass or vegitation in the winter?

Matt

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Dude quit giving away all our secrets  ;)

coots.jpg

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Crap!!!!!!! Matt just lost some cool points. lol

From now untill April I will be using Coot to locate fish.

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Yes, Coots do find the grass and fish.

No, I do not like Coots because they find the grass and eat the fish.

They are a protected species so there is nothing we can do but chase them away.

I cringe everytime I see one diving down into the water.  There goes another baitfish or a small bass.

I wish the Bald Eagles would eat the Coots.

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Coots are a protected species??? :-?  There are more coots on my secret lakes near the red river than there are mosquitoes.  Those blasted things are everywhere.

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As far as I know you cannot hunt them.

Of course, maybe specific places around the country allow it.

I was told they are federally protected.

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Our DNR has a huge Coot Shoot every year.

A Coot's diet consists mostly of aquatic veg, algae; also fish, tadpoles, crustaceans, snails, worms, aquatic and terrestrial insects.

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By mid-November there are no bass small enough for coots to eat.  ;)

Texas COOT DAILY BAG LIMIT: 15

Louisiana COOT DAILY BAG LIMIT: 15

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North American Coot: It is a member of the rail family, a vegetation eater primarily, and winters in the south. There are certain species that are protected under the Migratory Bird Act.

During the winter of 2002 we had an estimated population wintering on the Stick Marsh of 70,000.

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Great Tip, Matt!

In the north, any Puddle Duck (AKA: puddler & dipper) will lead you directly to good weeds (like coot & gallinule).

Unlike "diving" ducks, which can dive several yards underwater, puddle ducks merely tip-over without leaving the water surface.

In waterfowling jargon, a "tip-up decoy" mimicks that little pyramid you see poking above the surface (the business end) :)

Plant life topping out deeper than ~18" is out of the reach of puddle ducks, who are limited to the distance between their feet & bill.

Puddle ducks include the mallard, wood duck, black duck, baldpate (widgeon), green-winged teal, blue-winged teal, shoveler, etc.

"Diving" ducks like scaup (broadbills) and canvasbacks feed essentially on fish and snails rather than vegetation.

All the same, the presence of forage fish, mollusks and crustaceans is frequently associated with good weedbeds.

Furthermore, diving ducks can reach depths of 15 feet or more, so they're better indicators of offshore holding sites.

I should also point out, that once the freshwater inland lakes and ponds freeze-up, all ducks (puddlers and divers alike)

are forced to the saltwater marshlands along the coast (when gunning on Barnegat and Brigantine really heated up).

Mucking up the situation is the fact that puddle ducks under the stressors of winter will often switch to a piscivorous diet.

On a number of occasions, I've had puddlers in my boat that spewed killifish (saltwater killies) on the deck.

Bottom Line: During lean times, the presence of any water bird might be worthy of investigation.

Roger

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When the coots arrive, it signals shallow fall bassin!  8-)

In all my years, I have NEVER seen a flock of coots flying. They just seem to "show up". Such carpy take offs, we decided they walk down from the north.

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Nothing like blasting some scuba chickens.  

federally protected yes, its a migratory bird, but does have hunting seasons.

Around here almost all of the places I fish the weeds completely die off.  Winter time its usally better to fish laydowns, or rocky points in about 10-15 fow.  But if you can find grass you can pick up a few feesh.

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By mid-November there are no bass small enough for coots to eat. ;)

Texas COOT DAILY BAG LIMIT: 15

Louisiana COOT DAILY BAG LIMIT: 15

Q:  So, what do you do with them?

A:  Give them away to someone you don't like.   ::)

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The cormorants are the ones I'd like to blast. Lake Fork has huge flocks of these "protected" birds. They are fish eating machines, probably catch more bass in a day than KVD. I've caught bass up to 3lbs. with bill marks on them so it's not just the little ones. And then there's the pelicans in the winter time too. Coots are great indicators as stated above.  Find coots to put you on green hydrilla in the winter.  Couple that with a few warm days and you have the recipe for some BIG fish.

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Coot, Gallinule.poule or in Cajun POULE D'EAU; Marsh Hen

Breast them out and make a jambalaya or Gumbo; me I don't waste time with dem I prefer Pintails or Speckle Belly Geese  

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I have never hunted them either.     I just always thought they wouldn't be very good to eat.

Good point about migration.    I have never seen a coot fly 5 feet off the water, that I can remember,    Water walkers, or runners.

Commorants are the bigger issues.   We have had TEXAS legislation passed on controlling them.    At this time, i can't give exacts off the top of my head.

Matt

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Matt,

Comorants can be hunted on private waters as long as TPW has determined they are a nuisance on that particular water. Permit is required.

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I have never hunted them either. I just always thought they wouldn't be very good to eat.

Good point about migration. Matt

Like catt said its mostly a jumbalia meal.  

Anyway,  reason they dont fly much is if they leave texas in the winter they would the fly north to the frozen land where they just left because it was froze up.

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