Duck hunting frozen water

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on how to hunt shallow ponds under freezing conditions. I've tried breaking out sections of water on a frozen pond but the all the shattered pices of ice soon set up and never seem very enticing to the ducks. I've read about breaking large sections out and then sliding them beneath the remaining ice. Much easier said than done. Decoy keels limit my option of just setting them on the ice.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


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I remember somebody last year reporting that they got to their 'spot' and encountered ice and simply placed their deeks on top that had keels. Needless to say even though they were lop sided this person had no problem with a huge flock of greenheads wanting down and out of the weather.

Last year I broke ice on a frozen was only 18" or so deep, and the ice was maybe 1.5" thick...all I didn't slide the ice underneath, nor did I pull it out...just simply stepped on it and got some water over the top of it...was enough for the ducks we convinced that day!
I once shot a pair of mallards on a buddies farm over the frozen pond using a dark slate gray tarp I cut into a small puddle shaped circle about ten feet wide. It was pretty nutty. Anyways, if you get some full bodies and place em' on the ice, you can certainly work birds in, or just scout for some moving water.


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totally depends on the size of the pond, thickness of ice and depth of the pond.
I always try to break it in big sections and slide under if possible. On bigger iced up water, a spread of goose decoys, shells and fullbodies, along with spinners have been good.
:thumb:Thanks for your comments. I have never really tried setting floating decoys on ice. I just assumed that they would look odd because of the keels, but maybe it is just the silhouette that matters, I'll give it a try. As far as sliding ice under frozen ice is concerned, I have only crudely broken out sections with my boots, which shatters most of the larger pieces. I'm going to try using an ax to cut out a nice clean section. I saw something in Sports Afield that sounded interesting, take along a net and seine out all the shattered pieces so that you have a really clean piece of open water to work with.


Active Member
you can take a net but I have found it is much more hassel than it is worth. with 2 or more guys you should be able to get a good piece of water opened up by breaking large sheets of ice.
I think floaters on the ice look bad, but i have shot ducks over them. fullbodies and shells are where its at. Especially the GHG sleeper goose shells. A flock of those with a few fullbodies mixed in can be very deadly.

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