Our area of Alaska has an absolute ton of freshwater. We are situated on a big river and all around are oxbow lakes and small marshy potholes all over the tundra making for ideal breading and summer habitat for all kinds of waterfowl. All summer long as we are running the river, we see an exuberant number of waterfowl. Because we are on the river all summer, we have been able to pay attention to where ducks like to be.
The last week of fishing we save for our cast and blast. Yes, catch fish and shoot ducks in the same week. Alaska is a wonderful place to duck hunt. As a matter of fact, the majority of the birds that end up in the Gulf area for the winter are birds that were born right here in our water system. We shoot a TON of Teal in the early season but also Mallards, Gadwall, Widgeon, Shovelers, Pintail, and Goldeneye. We have several locations that we hunt from. Some are on local lakes and some are on the river itself.
During this past seasons cast & blast, we had a full camp but only four duck hunters. The first few days were spent fishing for Silver Salmon, Pike, and Sheefish. The silver salmon were still showing up in good numbers for sure and guests were easily landing limits and then some. The best of all was the Sheefish. We have a very great run of Sheefish every year and this year guests were easily landing double digits of fish. The Pike fishing is always good and everyone at the lodge landed pike over 40”.
September 1st is when Duck season opens, and you can bet opening day guides and guests were in the duck blind waiting on the first flights of the season to come into the decoys. The first day was a little slow but the second really picked up. The limit in our area is 10 birds per hunter per day. Guys were easily pulling the trigger on limits.
Once ducks are harvested, they are cleaned, and some are frozen for guests to take home however some are also prepared by our chef. I’ve heard it said that a lot of folks won’t eat duck because of how it tastes. To that, I say you haven’t had it prepared right. In my opinion, duck is one of those things you can either make really great or you can really mess it up. Knowing the difference in how to prepare either takes a great chef or an experienced duck hunter. Luckily at the lodge, we have both and I can guarantee you that whatever came out of the kitchen never made it to the leftover plate. Yes, duck prepared that good can be great!
Guests that come all year can take home boxes of fish (25lbs). The cast and blast week is by far the best time of the year to take home a great variety of what Alaska has to offer. Salmon, Sheefish, and a mixed bag of ducks. This week is also one of the best ways to not only experience a great variety of Alaska, but our garden is in full harvest so whatever meals are prepared are 100% fresh Alaskan. The weather is perfect, and the bugs are for the most part gone. For those of us that live at the lodge, it’s our most favorite time of the year.
For more information on Booking your Cast & Blast Alaskan Adventure, contact us here