How to Set Goose Decoy Spreads on Water

goose decoy spreads on water

Here are two examples of goose decoy spreads on water.  With these two spreads you will be able to effectively pull geese in for close shooting when you are goose hunting on open water.


2 Effective Goose Decoy Spreads on Water

Goose Decoy Spread on Water #1

Goose Decoy Spreads on Water

The “Triple Threat” setup is an effective way to place your decoys when goose hunting on open water water and is the first of the two goose decoy spreads on water I will show you.  This can be done on lakes and larger rivers and either from the shoreline with the open water in front of you or when hunting completely out in the open water.


With this goose decoy spread for open water you will place your decoys in several groups of 3-4 decoys depending on how many goose decoys you have.  Here you can see we have 5 groups of goose decoys but if you have more or less you simply adjust so each group has at least 3 decoys.


Next, place some groups closer to shore and have a few further out in the water.  When doing this you will want to leave an opening in the middle of the groups for the approaching geese to land.  You see you must leave some open pockets within this goose decoy spread or the geese will likely fee uncomfortable and either flare off your decoy spread or land outside of effective shotgun range.


When setting this this diagram along the shoreline you are recreating the effect of several smaller groups of geese are resting contently near the shoreline.   If you see this in the wild you will often notice geese sit this way with some of the geese swimming near the shoreline and some of them swimming further out.


These further out geese may also represent geese that have recently landed on the water and are now swimming into the group along shore.


“Triple Threat” Benefits:

  • Works on large bodies of open water such as lakes, large ponds and rivers
  • Several small groups of decoys creates a resting and content look for approaching geese
  • Can use natural cover from shore to conceal
  • Requires 1+ dozen decoys


Goose Decoy Spread on Water #2

goose decoy spread on water

The “Duck’n Day” is an excellent goose decoy spread to try when hunting open water with a boat blind or when you have some natural vegetation such as tall grass or reeds to cover up your boat.  As with any other goose decoy spread it is extremely important to make sure that you are well concealed from the sight of approaching geese.  If there is any way the geese are able to spot you they will never get close enough for you to shoot at.


In this setup we incorporate both goose and duck decoys with the intention of bagging either species.  We first start the spread by placing duck decoys up close to the boat consisting of 2-4 dozen decoys.  Here we are essentially creating a blob around the boat.


The next step is to make two groups of goose decoys on the outer edges of the spread of about 6 – 12 floating geese in each group.  Set them off to the side so that there is an opening in between the goose decoys and the duck decoys.  This way if either ducks or geese get wary as they approach your decoy spread they can fly through these openings.  If they do try and fly through these openings then you will have excellent pass shooting opportunities.


By sitting the decoys to the side you will also have a large landing zone out in front of the boat.  You may notice ducks come directly to the center to join the duck decoys while geese may tend to land on the sides of the spread with the floating geese.  Either way it is always important to leave a clear landing zone for the ducks and geese that is well withing your shotgun range.


“Duck’n Day” Benefits:

  • Opportunity to bag both ducks and geese
  • Works well with a boat blind
  • Can work from shoreline as well
  • Close shooting opportunities
  • Multiple landing options for approaching ducks and geese


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