When using a bobber for ice panfish, consider adding one 3- to 4-mm bead. For crappies and bluegills, put the bead on the line, then tie the hook on, so the bead slides up and down the line. With this tactic, we're adding some extra bulk and color to our offering.
As for color, pair opposites with the bead and hook. So with a gold hook, use a red bead. With a chartreuse hook, use a glow bead. Pair it with a size 12 hook with silver wigglers or waxies, maybe an even smaller size 14 hook.
Speaking of hooks, keep them sharp, and if an active bite kicks in, open the hook gap, or maybe even step up hook size. If you're missing fish, that's often a trick for securing more hook-sets.
Does adding a bead always work or boost action? No, but it can be the ticket to success on a given day. I find that it's a great second hole tactic where you're trying different methods, or a buddy application.
For whatever reason, beads often boost my success when a front comes through and little else is working. That splash of color and subtle movement helps produce!