Ice Fishing Tips -Check your local regulations! > Bluegill

deadsticking for bluegills

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Not sure why you're wanting to dead stick Bluegill but why not just drill 2 holes side by side. Jig out of one and put the other in a rod holder and let it sit?

i grew up deadsticking, it's not the most effective technique for bluegills, but it does work, and is a great way to increase your odds while you jig.

first off, rigging; i always use at least 2 hooks (where legal) to cover a bit more of the water column.
i seldom use bobbers on the rods i set further from me nowadays i'll set those in a jawjacker, but i'll also just use a rodholder that's larger than my holes, and tether the rod to it to prevent lost gear. a bobber stop helps me mark depth so i can reset or adjust my depth quick and easy.
i always set a dead rod in a hole next to the hole i'm jigging in, and that rod will always be rigged with a slip bobber. this lets me keep an eye for bites and gives me extra reaction time; a brightly colored bobber is a lot easier to keep an eye on than a rod tip, and the bobber lets me leave some slack in the line, so when it gets bit i have time to set my jigging rod down to reach over and grab the deadstick.

my go-to deadsticking lures are either small spoons like the lindy frostee spoon, or small teardrop jigs. i also like the football jigs from jammin jigs. weight doesn't matter a ton for me, i'm not gonna be moving this at all, and live minnows aren't legal in idaho, so i'm trying to make a small, low effort, high protein offering. a plain hook tipped with a piece of worm, some maggots, or a waxworm would all probably work as well, but i have more confidence in the jigs and spoons.

lastly; if you're on fish, but the deadsticks just aren't working, mess with the depth. i've found that if i'm getting a lot of fish that come up and peck at the lure but never commit, i can set the lures up higher above where the fish are coming through, and this seems to make them want to swim up and grab it before darting back down towards their comfort zone. conversely, if i'm noticing a lot of fish either looking at the deadstick lures from a distance, or swimming right on past, then dropping the lures almost to the bottom, and even sometimes resting on the bottom, i can get a few more bites.


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