Decoy Rigging Info and Tips...?

MeCrankMate

TheLegendOfTheLuckyScale
Sep 4, 2006
489
14
Meridian, Id
Name
Scott
Boat
Float Tube "Shark Dougnut"
I just bought my first set of decoys and deployed them on the Payette river yesterday... had a few things working against me to start, mainly the # of other hunters in close proximity calling their fool heads off to any bird they say in the air. It was also a crystal clear day, not too cold, and a little windy as the day progressed. Never hunted this spot on a clear day, only overcast and cold. Regardless, I set my small spread out in nesting pairs and in smaller groups due to the time of year. Rigged them with camo paracord, which I thought would be a good idea, however I think the birds could see the rigging. I don't know if it was due to the hunting pressure (there were at least 8 other hunters close to me and I heard shots in lots of other directions) or if the decoys were not rigged right, but only called in a couple mallards to the spread that were interested. Me and a buddy got all birds that came into range, but I thought it would have been more significant. Any rigging tips or suggestions from the veterans that know how to rig a decoy? This is my first time going at it this way. I was thinking 60# mono to hide the rigging from the birds... I have plenty of mono and dropshot lead in my offshore box. Any info would be appreciated. I'm sure if I went in the middle of the week when less pressure was on the birds will be a suggestion, but I work so... here is a pic of the spread we put out. NOTE: There were a TON of birds in the air. They were on the move, either being pushed or migrating, just had a real hard time calling them in. In the past, this has not been the case. About 5 mins before shooting hours there were about 100 birds in the air. Go figure.

1213140839.jpg
 
Upvote 0

surfgoose

active geezer
  • Jul 29, 2010
    3,080
    4,861
    Long Beach, CA, USA
    Name
    Gary
    Boat
    whichever has the longest bunk
    That's a pretty place to hunt! You could certainly get all obsessive about details regarding your decoys, it's very common, but I doubt very much that the ducks would notice your camo paracord any more than mono. And the paracord will last longer than mono, I've used both. Just ask yourself, "Why would a duck land here?" as you are deciding about decoy placement. Is it a place to eat? To get gravel for their digestion? To rest from the wind and sleep? And if your spot is no different than a hundred others within a mile, then at least make the decoys visible from the air. Ducks are curious, and when they look down and see spots on the water that could be other ducks, sometimes they wonder "What's going on down there?" and circle by for a look. I think your decoys look fine, and if the bend you set up on is where two streams meet then you are in a good traffic area. I see them in quieter water than further offshore, and that is good.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: MeCrankMate
    Upvote 0

    Ali

    Master of Nothing
    Admin
    Apr 24, 2003
    22,736
    7,624
    10
    San Diego
    Name
    That Guy
    Boat
    SeaVee 340Z
    I wouldn't sweat the decoy cord. Sounds like you were hunting in a crowd. That puts the bird on high alert and makes them spooky.

    In situations like this it can be a lot better to hunt over 2-4 decoys instead of several dozen and don't call.

    If you can sneak off a ways that helps too.

    Someday you just aren't going to get them to work and you have to pass shoot. Just part of the game.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: MeCrankMate
    Upvote 0

    Carl

    Bridesmaid,,,,,,,Again
  • Nov 29, 2004
    20,574
    4,257
    53
    San Diego
    Name
    Carl
    Boat
    everyone elses
    if you want to land em, be where they want to land.
     
    Upvote 0

    Bendo28

    Member
    Jan 29, 2009
    330
    77
    Rancho Santa Margarita/CA/USA
    Name
    Ben
    Boat
    NA
    I grew up hunting black ducks and clear mono was a must instead of any of the standard decoy cord you can buy. Over the years I've found that light mono, under 100# tangles easy in the decoy bag and at zero dark thirty when you're trying to set up, the last thing you want to be doing is cursing out a mess of tangled mono and decoys. Basspro.com has 100 yard coils of mono up to 400# in clear. I buy the crimps and the 300# leader material from there and I buy 4 oz lead egg sinkers in bulk on eBay for a lot less than you'll find in a store. The heavy mono doesn't tange easy and if it does it doesn't knot up so you can untangle things real quick. I use Texas rigs so I'm not sure how they'd fair on the river but I find that I can build them for less than I can get them pre-rigged and i think the clear mono gives me a slight advantage when trying to fool weary ducks.
     
    Upvote 0

    Bendo28

    Member
    Jan 29, 2009
    330
    77
    Rancho Santa Margarita/CA/USA
    Name
    Ben
    Boat
    NA
    On a side note, I relaced the black cord on my jerk rig with clear heavy mono as well. I found that the black cord leading back to my blind would stick out like a sore thumb and I am positive it has resulted in ducks flaring more than once. This year I've used the mono on my jerk rig and I swear I've seen an improvement. Others say don't worry about the cord, I say I'll take any edge I can get no matter how small, especially when you have to compete with other hunters.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: MeCrankMate
    Upvote 0

    MeCrankMate

    TheLegendOfTheLuckyScale
    Sep 4, 2006
    489
    14
    Meridian, Id
    Name
    Scott
    Boat
    Float Tube "Shark Dougnut"
    Awesome!!! Thanks for the info guys... it's a learning curve for sure, but I wanted to ask anyways. All of my family lives down in So Cal and I never did any waterfowl hunting with them when I was young, just deer and upland game. My dad has MS and is now confined to a wheel chair, and as much as I would like to go hunting with him so he could show me a few things, that just isn't going to happen. So I have to learn by doing, and ask you guys questions to fill in the blanks. I appreciate the info
     
    Upvote 0

    nmbrinkman

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Mar 18, 2006
    2,437
    57
    San Diego
    Name
    Nathan
    Boat
    12 oz frosty mug
    Try daisy changing the decoys. When I hunted Idaho on the snake we had the 3-6 decoys attached to one anchor. The last decoy had a loop at the bottom of the cord slid over the cord of the decoy in front of it. They hang in the current in a row weaving individually adding good movement. Like Carl said, you still gotta be where they want to land. We hunted a spot that had birds working and decoying while the guys down river did a ton of pass shooting. You may of been the guys pass shooting at birds others would otherwise get to land. Scout the area. Good looking wife and a nice house don't matter if you're in a shitty neighborhood.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: MeCrankMate
    Upvote 0

    MeCrankMate

    TheLegendOfTheLuckyScale
    Sep 4, 2006
    489
    14
    Meridian, Id
    Name
    Scott
    Boat
    Float Tube "Shark Dougnut"
    I had them daisy chained in groups of 4... two hens and two drakes per set. The first set looked a lot more natural than the second due to less current, the second set of 4 were more in-line because the current was a little swifter. However, the moved around a little and looked like they were swimming up to the first group so that was cool.
     
    Upvote 0

    surfgoose

    active geezer
  • Jul 29, 2010
    3,080
    4,861
    Long Beach, CA, USA
    Name
    Gary
    Boat
    whichever has the longest bunk
    Scott, sorry about your dad having MS and being in a wheelchair. I have a young nephew who has always had trouble with his legs, multiple operations during twenty years and now he is able to walk, sort of, without braces or support for short distances. He has taught me a lot about patience and quiet perseverance and true courage. I have taught him to shoot .22 pistols, and I'm working on getting him into hunting. If you check with Idaho Fish & Game, I'll bet that they have special sites available for mobility disabled hunters, most states have them, and if your dad was able to be in the field at all, even in a chair, you and he could hunt together especially for waterfowl. I have never hunted Idaho, but if there are any Federal or State Wildlife Areas that allow seasonal hunting up there, they almost certainly have special access blind locations reserved for people like you and your dad.
     
    Upvote 0

    Carl

    Bridesmaid,,,,,,,Again
  • Nov 29, 2004
    20,574
    4,257
    53
    San Diego
    Name
    Carl
    Boat
    everyone elses
    I had them daisy chained in groups of 4... two hens and two drakes per set. The first set looked a lot more natural than the second due to less current, the second set of 4 were more in-line because the current was a little swifter. However, the moved around a little and looked like they were swimming up to the first group so that was cool.
    Being anal about a 1:1 hen to drake ratio at this point in the season prolly isn't necessary. Not necessarily harmful either.

    I tend to run more drakes than hens in my spread(particularly after the first couple weeks of the season when the birds have more plumage). Reason being that the drakes are more colorful and are more of an attention getter. Also, particularly with pintail, the flocks I observe have way more drakes than hens in them. If you're not where birds are naturally diving into, often a large spread is necessary to get a third look. I mean like 8 dozen or more as opposed to 8 decoys. Thus starts the decoy, robo duck, flippy, flappy, splashy, twirly buying in the search for the magic pill that works when you're not on the Alpha spot.

    The next post will be about quality decoys over quantity being the key if I don't cover it. You shouldn't have shitty decoys in your spread regardless of quantity. A few minutes with some paint and a brush is time well spent and kinda fun.
    Also, if you hunt where it's muddy don't drag your decoys in the bag and throw them out. Carry them, take them out one at a time, unwrap them and set them on the water. I hate watching birds flare off of muddy decoys with cord over their necks and back. Even decoys with clean water is a bad thing, can't do much about rain though. The sun comes up and reflects off of the water on the decoy like a mirror. That doesn't happen on real ducks.
     
    Upvote 0

    Blackfish

    Marble collector.
    Sep 20, 2005
    6,303
    4,717
    My Backyard
    Name
    .
    Boat
    toy
    This is pretty cool jerk system for deeper water

     
    Upvote 0

    Sluester

    I kill stuff
    Jul 22, 2003
    11,640
    213
    56
    Lakeside
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    Killin time, Bill Collector
    I've shot ducks over Clorox bottles painted half black. Shot them over ugly deks, pretty deks and every combination. Shot them with no deks and and 1-50 deks.
    Most water I hunt is pretty clear. Some water "turns". Hate that.

    Looks like you hunt moving moving water. I don't hunt directly over the deks over moving water or still water for that matter. I'll hunt the where I expect them to land. Sometimes they land in the deks sometimes not. Either above or below them by 20-30 yds depending on wind and direction they come from. Look for eddies in bends of the river. I've found that they like those areas. Try stringing more deks together and maybe put a pretty one on the end. I'll put more drakes in most of the time.
    Mix in coot decoys and maybe an egret or blue heron if they are in your area. Confidence thing. Don't do what everyone else is doing. Maybe mix some weighted and non weighted keel deks. Whatever you can do to create movement.

    I'll glass an area and see how the birds are grouped and try to imitate same.

    Bottom line imo there is no one way that will work every time but its fun to figure it out.

    Good luck and keep the reports coming.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Blackfish
    Upvote 0

    Carl

    Bridesmaid,,,,,,,Again
  • Nov 29, 2004
    20,574
    4,257
    53
    San Diego
    Name
    Carl
    Boat
    everyone elses
    Here's sluester after an epic hunt over Clorox bottles and chunks of old tires

    upload_2014-12-16_5-59-11.jpeg
    images
     
    Last edited:
    Upvote 0

    tunakid4321

    Member
    May 17, 2004
    513
    45
    Malibu/San Diego/Boise
    Name
    Travis
    Boat
    None
    Dont worry about the rigging color. If the birds were flaring, I assure you it had abosulutely nothing to do with the camo paracord.
     
    Upvote 0