I’ve saved dead/dying suckers before. Pull them as soon as you can and freeze em. I’ve sprinkled them with salt before bagging and freezing. Fish them on the bottom.
There was a time I targeted big pike with big minnows and would actually kill a minnow before sinking it to the bottom with one of my lines.
As with everything, it’ll work better some places at some times, not as much as a live minnow other times. Later season when pike cruise just below the ice scooping up the dead loss of the winter, suspending your dead sucker a foot below the ice can be your big fish ticket.
What lake? I'm in Moundsview so I like hearing about visibility nearby. Struggling to find clear water this year. Poor visibility on Forest, Clear, Centerville so far. WBL has good visibility. But I hate spearing on muskie lakes. Plus, WBL doesn't have big pike per surveys.