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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My buddies and me are all new to setting up a spread for diver ducks. We just purchased 2 dozen bluebills and have a dozen ringbills. I have hunted over diver decoys once before with another buddy from school. We set them up in a long straight string off of a point. Is this how you should set them up all the time or what other patterns would you use?? If you do set them up in a long string how far apart do you space them (And also how would you rig them together)? Do Mojos and and other puddle decoys help the spread out (We have plenty of puddle duck decoys and 3 mojos)?

Would be great if we could get some advice. Thanks alot.
 

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I just returned from ND and we hunted mostly divers since there were not too many other options (and we both love hunting divers)

I have found that most divers respond very well to decoys and how you set them is not generally too critical. I like to to set the farthest one still within shooting range since divers often fly over the top of the spread before coming in. Just a circle with an open landing area in the center worked well for us and we had hundreds of birds well within range.

The area we were in was overrun with bluebills which you can only shoot 2 of so we spent a lot of time watching them come and go while waiting for other ducks to show up. Eventually we had to move to a different area just to find ducks other than bluebills. It seemed like where there were bluebills there was not much else but once we got away from all of the BBs we were able to shoot a great mixed bag of divers and puddle ducks.

If you are going to hunt in the Devils Lake area feel free to send me a PM and I will provide you a more detailed description of where and how we did.
 

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The only reason I set a line out a ways is to catch their eye, and get them to swing into the main spread. Most of the time my shots are when they come swinging along the outside of the decoys. I just set a line going downwind about 40 yards with each decoy about 6 feet apart. Then I just spread the rest of the decoys randomly out in front with the outside being within 20 to 30 yards. If there are puddle ducks around I'll throw some mallard dekes close to shore.
 

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About 90% of the time I set my divers out in a J. Long line is the shank of the J and I set divers and mallards in the hook. I set up a long line using tangle free decoy cord with a loop in the cord about 6-10 feet apart. I use the old style metal fish stringers, the ones with the big clasp that opens and closes and tie them to the decoys. Simply clip the decoy to the loops.

For an anchor I made a modified H from PVC to look like one of those kite string winders we had as kids. Fill it with sand an attach the line to it. Makes it much easier to wind up the line when you are done.

I like to put cans on the long line with bills and other species in the J. I also put 6 bufflehead decoys on the outside of the shank, i.e. J with bufflehead decoys on the opposite side of the hook. Keeps the birds from landing on the outside of the hook.

Depending on where I am hunting I usually use 12-18 cans in the shank and a couple dozen bluebills and mallards in the hook. I also like to use some floating goose decoyys at the end of the hook or next to it and swan decoys work especially well.

The birds like to come down the long line and land in the hook.
 

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When we hunt big water for divers we make a staggered long line (36-48)usually on the side going out to big water (if your hunting on a point), then make a landing pocket in the middle, and on the other side just scatter some to look like feeders (12-16).

They usually, but not always, will follow the long line in to look at the other group of decoys and hopefully decide to land in the pocket.

This bill hunting is alot of fun, but sometimes wonder if it is worth the work to shoot 2 (or like the idiot DNR in MN decide to allow 1), hopefully you get other birds if they are moving in the area, we also get mallards, reds and ringbills in using this.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Alright thanks fo all the great advice everyone. Give it a try is about all we can do to learn anything.

Limited out on bluebills and shot a few buffleheads between 3 of us this past sunday hunting over puddle duck decoys almost makes me wonder if the line would be worth it haha.
 

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I set 4 lines when the divers are in full force, less when they aren't as plentiful. It really works having lines out there and single decoys set around the lines. Good luck if you end up trying it
 
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