The purpose of a decoy spread is to attract the attention of passing ducks and assure them that everything is as it should be. A key factor in achieving both goals is imparting movement to the decoys and the water on which they are floating.
To up your decoying game, begin by watching ducks at ease, but don’t just focus on individual birds. Look at the flock as a whole. Look at the water and their surroundings as part of the ‘big picture.’ One thing you’ll notice is that there’s nearly constant movement – lots of it. Some birds are stretching their wings. Others are swimming. Some are tipped up feeding or diving. Some are preening. Some are squabbling with other ducks.
All of this movement by the birds also imparts motion to the water – ripples, splashes, flashes and more. From a distance, all this movement is attention-getting. It’s also reassuringly natural.
There are lots of devices and systems which will create movement of decoys and water. Often a combination of several is most effective. However, the most basic of them all is a jerk rig which puts you in direct control of the movement of a group of decoys and the water. The movement of the water impacts the natural appearance of your entire decoy spread.
Preparing your own jerk rig is inexpensive and fast. It’s fun because it’s one of those quick, out-of-season projects that ties you back to duck hunting and it will have a direct, positive impact on your success when you’re back in the blind.
Here’s how to build your own jerk rig: