I learn't a little trick many years ago that has caught me so many pike that I've lost count. I've written about it many times and yet, going by observations made on my travels, it does not seem widely practised at all. It simply involves twitching your deadbait to give it a little movement. Sometimes pike need to see movement in a potential meal to tempt them to attack it. Lets face it, a deadbait that moves does imitate a dying prey fish taking it's last gasps of life and is therefore a prime meal that might get away if the pike doesn't nailbest way of fishing a deadbait to make twitching easy is with a float rig. Leger rigs can be twitched, but you can never be sure whether you have pulled the bait into weed or snags. With a float set up, you can feel the bait pick up from the bottom and glide through the take is more obvious with a float rig too as you do not have the resistance of a heavy weight pulling back as with a leger rig. This ploy works just as well with a popped up deadbait. fact I think that the bait looks even more enticing when it's popped up and made to bounce along just off bottom.
Nowadays, it's my normal practice to twitch the float fished deadbaits by a couple of metres or so every ten minutes, re-casting them when I'm back to the rod. Actually, many of the takes come on the last part of the retrieve, and occasionally as I'm lifting the bait from the water. When you haven't got the option to use livebaits, this is a very good next choice. Don't take my word for it - try it and see for yourself!