Ice fishing catfish can be a challenge because they are notoriously light biters in cold water. A great way to catch them during the winter months is by deadsticking for catfish.
Ice Fishing Catfish: Deadsticking
Classic deadbait rods and tactics entice them into nibbling their way up the bait and onto your hook.
Today ice fishing rods come in a really wide form and shaped just like they do for open water. You have the a lot of choices on rods for very specific situation.
When it comes to deadsticking, and especially deadsticking for catfish, the rod I like to go with is the St. Croix Avid Glass 30 inch rod .
It has a very moderate action that allows the catfish to take the bait, without feeling any weight from the rod itself. It also has a highlight florescent orange tip that allows you to detect the bite without using a bobber.
I like to see my dead stick rig pretty simple. I have a spilt shot about 12 inches away from my hook and for my hook I like to use the VMC Glo Resin hook to give it alittle added attractant.
The hook size depends on the size of bait and fish I am targeting but for catfish I general use a size 4 or 2.
I like using a cut a shiner in half and use it for bait. The reason I cut it in half is to put more scent in the water helping the sluggish catfish find the bait.
I like to set it up pretty close to the bottom, usually within 12 inches of it.
Once my dead stick is set I am actively hole hopping and jigging aggressive baits trying to call fish in.
Even if I don’t catch any fish on my jigging rod, by actively jigging around my deadstick I am effectively calling in Channel Catfish that may be in the area.
Deadsticking is a popular technique used by ice fishermen to catch catfish. In this article, we will explore the concept of deadsticking and how it can be effectively used to target catfish in ice fishing. We will also discuss the specific equipment needed for deadsticking and the advantages it offers. So, let’s dive in and learn more about this technique!
Deadsticking is a technique where a fishing rod is set up with bait and left stationary in the water. The idea behind deadsticking is to present the bait in a natural and enticing manner to attract fish, especially when they are inactive or not actively feeding. This technique is particularly effective during the cold water period when fish tend to be less active.
The Right Equipment for Deadsticking
To effectively deadstick for catfish, you need the right equipment. One such rod that is commonly used for deadsticking is the St. Croix Avid Glass 30-inch rod. This rod is specifically designed for deadsticking and features a very light action. The light action allows for a sensitive tip that can detect even the slightest nibble from a fish. The St. Croix Avid Glass rod is also known for its durability and reliability, making it a popular choice among ice fishermen.
Using the St. Croix Avid Glass Rod for Deadsticking
To set up the St. Croix Avid Glass rod for deadsticking, you will need to attach a split shot about 12 inches away from the hook. For catfish, a cut shiner can be used as bait. However, if you are targeting other fish species like walleye or perch, a tail hook minnow can be used instead.
Once the bait is attached, you can drop the rod down to the bottom of the water. It is important to set it up close to the bottom, as inactive fish tend to stay near the bottom. To enhance the deadsticking effect, you can even set up the rod in a bucket, almost like a trap or a tip-up. The sensitive tip of the St. Croix Avid Glass rod will allow you to detect any movement or bite from the fish.
Advantages of Deadsticking
Deadsticking offers several advantages for ice fishermen. Firstly, it allows you to present the bait in a natural and enticing manner, increasing the chances of attracting fish, especially when they are inactive. This technique is particularly effective during the cold water period when fish tend to be less active.
Secondly, deadsticking allows you to cover multiple fishing spots simultaneously. While the St. Croix Avid Glass rod is set up for deadsticking, you can move around and actively jig with your Hummingbird depth finder and a Jigging Rap. This active approach can help you target the active biters. However, it is important to note that even during the cold water period, some fish may still be active and willing to bite. Therefore, having a deadstick rod set up in one spot can increase your chances of catching fish that may not be attracted to the active jigging.
Additionally, deadsticking is a low-effort technique that allows you to fish multiple holes at once. By setting up the St. Croix Avid Glass rod in a bucket or using a tip-up, you can leave it unattended while you move around and explore other fishing spots. This way, you can cover more ground and increase your chances of finding active fish.
The sensitive tip of the St. Croix Avid Glass rod is another advantage of deadsticking. The soft and sensitive tip allows you to detect even the slightest movement or bite from the fish. This is crucial when the fish are inactive and not aggressively biting. The sensitive tip ensures that you don’t miss any potential bites and increases your chances of hooking the fish.
In conclusion, deadsticking is a highly effective technique for targeting catfish during ice fishing. The St. Croix Avid Glass rod is specifically designed for deadsticking and offers a light action and sensitive tip, making it perfect for detecting subtle bites. By setting up the rod with the right bait and leaving it stationary near the bottom, you can attract inactive fish and increase your chances of catching them. Deadsticking also allows you to cover multiple fishing spots simultaneously and is a low-effort technique that can yield great results. So, next time you’re out ice fishing for catfish, give deadsticking a try and see the difference it can make!