How to “dead stick” more walleyes top side

The most simple and oldest form of fishing, the “Dead stick” can have many different alterations. It is nothing fancy but a method that could put more fish in the bucket. Sometimes a dead stick is the difference of a decent fishing day to a great one or even having to eat hot dogs for dinner or fresh fish. There are times where the fish just do not respond to jigging but will only bite a dead stick. What a dead stick is is basically a bait down near the bottom not being jigged. The only movement would be from a live minnow or sometimes having a dead minnow on and no movement is whats needed. Here are the ways we use a dead stick on Lake of the Woods.

  1. Using a bobber – The most popular of methods is to use a bobber on a ice rod. Either a plain hook with a split shot sinker or using a spoon or another jig tipped with a minnow can be productive. Sometimes fish will prefer a dead minnow to a live one depending on the day. Using a bobber allows the fish to take some line before noticing it may be hooked.
  2. Using just a rod – Some anglers will set a rod just over the hole with either a sensitive rod tip or a spring bobber. When a fish is on the rod tip will bounce up and down or have a constant bend down into the hole. Careful as a big fish could rob you of a fishing pole.
  3. Tip up – Some anglers will set up a tip up either in the house with them or just outside the house to cover a little bigger area. Many will place a dead cisco or smelt right near bottom for larger fish. Big bait equals big fish. Tip ups are a popular tool for northern pike fishing, espesially in March or late February.
  4. Rattle Reels – This method is usually for permanent shacks but some anglers utilize these in portables as well by attaching them to buckets or stands. What they are is heavy line spooled around a wheel filled with bells or other noise making balls. When it rotates with a fish pulling line, noise is made for the angler to go over and catch the fish hand over hand.


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