Dead sticking is a do-nothing technique where you don’t move your bait. Some anglers think of wacky worms as a dead sticking technique, but it really isn’t because the bait is moving through the water column as you are sitting there doing nothing. This is a technique that works very well with a variety of baits such as soft plastics, some hard baits and flies. When using topwater lures, give your lure a couple twitches and then just pause it for 20 to 30 seconds. This would be a dead sticking technique. Use a jig and soft plastic bait and just hold it over the side of the boat over deeper water for smallmouth bass. This is another dead sticking technique that works. When using topwater lures and hard jerkbaits, you can use a twitch and pause technique and pause the bait for much longer when the bite is finicky. This will usually result in some of the bigger bass of your day if you are patient enough to fish this way.
When using soft plastics, the worms, creature baits and lizards are best if they are loaded with scent or float just off the bottom. With largemouth bass, you can get a lot of quality bites by working your bait along a productive area and then just killing the bait (stopping it). Just wait there and see what happens. Most anglers don’t have the patience to fish this way, but once you get bit by a 4, 5, 6 or even 7 pound largemouth bass or bigger, you may try this technique a little more often.
The reason why dead sticking works well is that there are good amounts of bass that aren’t in an aggressive mood and if they get a chance to look at the bait for a while and it looks like something they would eat, there’s a good chance they will eat it. At times, anglers are pulling their baits out of the strike zone way too quickly so they miss a lot of fish. Dead sticking will pick up many of those inactive fish, but the problem is that you’re not going to cover much water, which may result in less fish overall on the day. Pick your spots and times for dead sticking and it can be a nice way to catch a few more big largemouth bass.