What is a Dead Stick in Ice Fishing?

No matter if you have been ice fishing for years, or you have just taken up an interest in it, a term that you might have heard floating around is dead stick. If you have ever heard about this in conversation, you might be left wondering what it means.

Knowing all of the tips and tricks when it comes to ice fishing can help to make your trip more successful and increase the amount of fish that you are able to catch. This is why it can be helpful to learn as much information about ice fishing as you possibly can.

In this article, we are going to tell you what a dead stick is in ice fishing, what they are used for, and how you can use one yourself. This will allow you to try out a new method of fishing to see if you can get better results.

What is a Dead Stick in Ice Fishing?

When it comes to ice fishing, a dead stick is simply a term for a set line that runs a live minnow. Usually, this line will sit without you having to physically hold the rod, and the minnow will do most of the hard work for you. It is really simple to use yourself, and the presentation can help you to catch more fish. There are lots of different methods to experiment with.

Dead sticks will also work really well whenever you have moderate to heavy fishing pressure or lower densities of fish. They are often used to compliment jigging lures, and you can use a dead stick near the area where you are actively jigging to catch fish that are not aggressive enough to hit the jigged lure.

More often than not, you will attract fish below you by jigging, and these fish tend to go for the easier meal that is close by.

Is a Dead Stick Effective for Catching Walleyes?

Dead sticking walleyes will often be highly effective, especially when the bite gets tough.

There will often be numerous fish that will come off the set lines. This is a tactic that has been around for a long time and that has definitely been tried and tested thoroughly. If it didn’t work, people wouldn’t still be using it after all this time.

Sometimes, it is easier to just go back to basics and use dead sticks when the fish are not aggressive or active enough to bite lures. So, if you are struggling to get a bite, this could be an effective method for you to use.

How to Use a Dead Stick in Ice Fishing

When it comes to ice fishing, if you want to set a dead stick rod, you will need to position the bait anywhere from 3 to 12 inches off the bottom as this is the most effective method.

A dependable rod holder is the best way to start with dead sticking, as the best rod holders will be able to prevent aggressive fish from pulling the rod down the hole, and allowing anglers to quickly and easily remove the rod from the holder without being detected.

If you use a dead stick along with another method, you are pretty much doubling your chances of catching a fish.

Using Multiple Dead Stick Rods

If you want to run multiple dead stick rods at once, you will need to spread them out enough, so they do not get tangled with each other. This will also allow you to cover more of an area and increase your chances of a bite.

Again, having multiple dead sticks setup will only increase your chances of catching more fish, and there is no harm in doing so as long as you are strategic about it. You will also need to be mindful of the people around you.

Placement of Your Dead Stick

The depth that you should place your dead stick will depend on the specific conditions on the day and the water. Some people will tend to fish around 2 to 3 feet from the bottom of the water, and this is where you will find a lot of fish.

Something that can come in handy here is using multiple rods, as you can set them all at different heights to see what works best for the specific conditions that you are fishing in. If you find that there is a pattern, you know where the best place to set up your dead stick will be.

Ultimately, there are lots of different methods that you can use when it comes to setting up your own dead stick, and it is all about finding out which one works best for you. You might even find that different setups work better in different environments, and trial and error is key here.