I have a lake about 12 miles north of town that finally saw the ice peel away from a time proven dock. There was still ice in a bay immediately off the dock's side that I decided to stand on and across a channel. The dock is situated right at the edge of an incoming flow of river melt water. The water wasn't dirty, dirty but it had some color from recent high water and continual melt water run-off. It was a bit damp and a bit chilly but hey, its still fishing. The water temp at 5 feet was running right at 37 degrees.
For today......1 11" crappie early on and a few white bass. 2 Nice, nice sunfish....9"-9 1/2" maybe. No smallie action yet so we are early. That's good. The water is not high and not yet at summer pool which is good also. Both the purple/chartreuse tail and bluegill/chartreuse tail in minnow imitation plastic got the fish. A transparent purple was the head color. I did not have any bait along other than Gulp and the Gulp drew a blank in every color and shape I tried....which too is good. It means the plastics will be a strong bait from here on out unless we get a super, super shot of cold and re-turning ice and I don't see that happening.
I fished in steady rain this morning with a temp of 38 degrees. I started fishing shallow [down three feet] on the first three casts and then went real deep...8 feet.... and on the first deep cast got the crappie. Withe the leading edge of a cold front is down on us now so the deep presentation doesn't surprise me at all. In the two hours that I fished the air temp sunk two degrees and the fish could not be found higher up than the 8 foot mark and that alone is right at about the bottom in that spot. All of the fish were caught right at the outside edge of sunken structure too. When they hit, they hit real well. None were lost at the hit.
I quit fishing when I noticed snow being mixed in with the rain. The wind really picked up while I was there and that too helped me decide that warmer places were in order. Once we get thru this little gurp in the spring weather we'll be seeing things take off fairly fast I think.