Sun Fish Decoy

Sun Fish Decoy

By L. S. Irish

We have been asked several times for an ‘In the Round’ carving project suitable for Cub Scout and Boy Scout Troops. So we would like to offer you this woodworking/woodcarving project based on a historic reproduction of a Sunfish fish decoy. This is a very basic beginner’s project.

Note to our Den Leaders

If you are not an experienced woodworker or wood carver there is help available in your own community.

Many areas have wood carving clubs that can offer you both help and guidance throughout your Scout’s work. Senior Citizen Centers are also excellent sources for experienced woodworker and carvers. You can locate either organization in your area through your Chamber of Commerce, local county library, and even over the Internet.

It is possible, with advanced planning to schedule one or two dual meetings with your scouts and these fine organizations, where each of your boys will have individual attention. In our experience, working within the local community, that you will even be able to find someone in these groups that can cut and sand the basic fish decoy parts for you.

It is our suggestion that you, the Den Leader, carve a fish decoy in advance of your troupe. This will help you to understand the carving procedures and order of the work.

From our own experiences most Cub Scouts have problems with this scout requirement because the chosen project is simply too small for them the hold securely while carving or to complicated for a beginner. We hope that this fish decoy will avoid both of these situations.

Click below for larger images:
Full Sized Pattern
Front View of Decoy
Back View of Decoy
Side View of Decoy


  1. Wood:
    • 3/4″ thick x 5″ high x 8 1/2″ long basswood blank
    • 1/4″ thick x 6″ high x 6″ long plywood
    • 1 1/2″ thick x 4-5″ diameter slice from a log or branch
  2. Carving Tools:
    • bench knife or your Scout knife (properly sharpened)
  3. Woodworking Equipment:
    • table saw
    • bandsaw
    • drill and 1/8″ wood bit
  4. Miscellaneous Supplies:
    • sandpaper
    • gesso, acrylic paint, and assorted small brushes
    • brass wire for the fishing line
    • hot glue gun
  5. Assorted Accents:
    • 1/2″ basket reeds, about six per fish 12″ long
    • round river pebbles or pea gravel
    • old fishing bobbers, lures, or plastic worms.


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