Anglers often feel obligated to impart some sort of action on the lure they are using. There are some baits which require the fisherman to move them. For example, a buzzbait needs to be reeled in quickly in order for it to remain on the surface of the water. Likewise, a floating crankbait will not dive under the water if an angler does not reel the bait in.
The action of the bait is one key factor into what triggers a fish into biting. The erratic side-to-side movements of a jerkbait will draw ferocious strikes from bass. A lipless crankbait burned over a grass flat can trigger bass into hitting the bait so hard it can pull the rod right from the angler’s hands.
However, regarding the action of a lure, sometimes less really is more. In fact, there are times when doing nothing at all is the best option. This is what fishermen refer to as deadsticking.
Deadsticking a bait involves letting a bait sit in its exact location and not moving it at all. Generally this method is used with soft plastic baits or a jig, but it can be done with suspending lures as well.
When deadsticking, the lure is cast to a specific location and is allowed to drop on slack line. This ensures the bait falls straight to the bottom. Once it reaches the bottom the bait itself can sit for upwards of a full minute before a bass decides to strike. This is sometimes referred to as “letting the bait soak.”
Deadsticking is a magnificent technique to utilize during the winter months and can be a particularly effective method for spawning bass in the warmer months of spring.