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Dead Stickin' for Spring Pike & Tigers


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Hey guys,

 

Went out fishing with the pregnant wife and my brother last two days and thought I would share a little technique that has worked good for us for the last couple years – DEAD STICKIN’.  The idea is simply an alternative to the figure-8 that is so pounded home to all ESOX anglers.  The key variable here is water temp.  It’s been my experience in fishing spring time Pike/Tigers that if the water temp are in the low 50’s or cooler, this technique has for us has outperformed the figure-8 by 5:1 ratio in getting boat side strikes. 

 

The technique works well with jerkbaits, glidebaits, crankbaits, tubes and other baits that you can stop boat side and get to suspend near the boat but still twitch to get a little movement/action on them.   It's easy enough to do - upon retrieval stop the bait 5 to 10 feet from the boat and just twitch it, barely moving the bait forward (almost like the bait is confused to see a boat here and is getting pinned up against it).  I give it a 10 second count (sometimes as much as 30 seconds).  The resulting strikes can be some of the most memorable images ever ingrained into your mind!  Here are a couple of pictures of some of the bigger pike we boated yesterday – ALL OF THEM came on deadstick technique ;)

 

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Even the wife got in on the action..... she would cast out, reel in and pull lure out of water.  I told her to just let it sit there for a couple seconds as it got near the boat.  On her very next cast, right at the boat......

 

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That boat side strike scared her half to death and she had enough "fun" for one evening after that.  Didn’ t get any fish on the figure 8 as water temps (45 - 48 degrees) were too cold to warrant them aggressively chasing around boat side meals yet.  This doesn’t mean you can’t get them using figure 8 but deadstick technique has boat MANY more fish for us in cooler water temps. 

 

Same was true when I was down on Conesus last weekend – We had water temps in the 40’s on south end and I had several boat side strikes deadstickin’.  Fishing partner who did figure 8’s each cast ended day with zero hits – I’d bet money if he would have tried deadstickin, some of those follows would have turned into boat side blowups!  So next time someone tells you to figure-8, figure-8, figure-8…….. keep in mind WATER TEMPS!  Deadstickin’ is a great alternative and one that I know many of my casting buddies would attest too.  I’ve seen them catch TOO MANY fish boat side doing this ;)

 

Hope to see some of you this Saturday at the tournament!

Cheers,

Chad

 

 

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Great Post Chad!  I couldn't agree more with your recommended technique for spring time DEAD Stickin'. They need it real slow in spring where the water temps are lower. I think of the figure-8 as more a summertime technique when the fish are more aggressive and mobile. The figure 8 is a very swift action, which doesn't really pair well with when you are moving the bait slower with little taps and pauses. At the boat, all you need is that one last little quick movement to make instinct kick in, as it thinks the bait is attempting to escape as it's pinned against the boat...IMHO

 

I was in my boat about 100 yds. from you guys last night and can attest to effectiveness of the technique.  I was running jerk/glide baits in a very similar fashion. I was using slow taps and pauses and dead stops a few yds from the boat.  That last tap is when they would strike. I caught a few beauties utilizing this technique.  As a reminder though to all, boat-side strikes should be free spooled immediately following hook set, as the fish is so close to the boat and she has all her energy for the fight.  Otherwise the fish will thrash violently and many times get tangled in the leader/line. And many times this can break the line and potentially damages the fish. And lastly and more importantly, we can't have these beautiful fish swimming around with large lures embedded in their jaws for who knows how long. I learned that one the hard way on Conesus last year with a decent sized Tiger lost after a boat-side strike and broken line. Made me sick!

 

Keep up the good work Chad! Season is heating up....see you on the water

 

p.s. Loved the pic of Katie 7 mos. pregnant holding a beauty! I'm hoping that will be hung in baby Lapa's Nursery next to the crib! :)

 

Cheers,

 

Tim

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Chad,That is great that you have a program that is working for those toothycritters! I'm not sure if I can get out Sunday or not yet,will be back on Conesus Lake on Saturday for sure.Off to Muskies Canada Meeting in Hamilton,Ontario tonight.

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Steve, Tim, Larry - thanks for kind words!  Good luck on Saturday Larry - I'm watching weather closely.  Doesn't look too promising.  Good news for wives & girlfriends, bad news for fisherman :lol:  

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i've witnessed this work several times in my boat (all from Chad as well haha). I don't even bother with a figure 8 with northerns or tigers as 99% of the times i've gone into an 8 they've either stopped dead in their tracks or do the "flash and disappear" move....from what i've experienced (and i may be the only one) they just aren't as likely to respond like pures do. Small twitches and dead sticking work the best techniques that ive seen to convert the picky followers

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99% of the times i've gone into an 8 they've either stopped dead in their tracks or do the "flash and disappear" move....from what i've experienced (and i may be the only one) they just aren't as likely to respond like pures do. Small twitches and dead sticking work the best techniques that ive seen to convert the picky followers

 

Spot on Mike!  How many times have you used that technique with your tubes and got boat side strikes??  I've lost count now fishing with you...  :yes:  

 

I think you may be onto something with pures vs. tigers/pike as well.  We had 60 degree water down on the cave and were able to hookup on our practice day on a figure-8's no problem.  Cooler water temps up north here and skiddish pike/tigers is different story.  I can only speak from my own personal experiences but I think you are spot on with that!

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Mothers Day Sunday,if I go fishing that day I will be a Dead Stick!I will try the deadstick approach on following pike this Saturday and will let you know how I do.

Capt. Larry

Edited by mostlymuskies
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Hahaha..... yeah tread carefully on Mother's day my friends ;)  Good luck Saturday Larry.  I will be fishing OTISCO with brother and my other buddy out of our little tin boat that day - close eye on weather right now. 

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Tried Conesus today after reading the "dead sticking" report.  I normally do this all the time but with a shorter hesitation between twitches.  I tried waiting and counting to ten a number of times today.  The Pike I caught though hit after short stops and then a twitch. No hits on the long wait and twitch today, but I have been around a long enough time to know that every day is different.  Had a lot of fun out there today and now I am wondering why I don't Pike fish more often!

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