The Hole Shot
Guide puddle ducks into the open water. The simplest rig for puddle ducks consists of two blobs of decoys with a landing hole between them. I make a gap 10 or 15 yards across, optimistically leaving plenty of room for a whole flock to drop in. You can throw out as few as a dozen decoys, although two or three dozen often works better. Set individual dekes 6 to 8 feet apart because puddle ducks usually sit in a loose group on the water. Be sure, too, that the farthest decoy is no more than 30 yards from the blind, in case birds alight at the outer edge or swing over the spread without setting down. Puddle ducks dislike flying over birds on the water, so leave a clear path to the landing hole. Just about any puddle species will be drawn to mallard blocks, but you can mix in high-contrast dark or light decoys such as black ducks, pintails, or even a few Canada geese off to the side to increase visibility.