Well gang, I wish I had better news. As I write this, I am watching the weatherman tell me there's a chance for snow again this weekend.
The cold nights have really put a damper on fishing in our area. Water in some places is back into the high 40's...and that's going to make for a tough bite for the opener next week.
For this last week before gamefish season, concentrate your efforts on the warmest water you can find. It is worth the effort to do a little searching, a few degree temperature difference can be critical. Areas with current are secondary options, but until we get a couple of warmer, sunny afternoons (expected for late next week) fish activity will be slow.
This doesn't mean fish can't be caught, just that you have to work for them. Remember when you were a kid and fishing was all about patience? It's like that again.
Fish tight to green weeds, wood laydowns or other visible cover. Steep drops close to shore will concentrate fish, especially if there is cover nearby. Some panfish will be shallow, but most will be in green weeds in 6-12 fow. Live bait is probably your best approach, but tipped plastics could be the ticket later in the afternoon. Either way, keep your presentation tight to the cover you are fishing, and be ready to wait them out.
I'd stick to the smaller lakes, especially the darker bottom ones for the weekend. Sometimes with tough conditions like we have right now, they can really produce.
PS. One last reminder, I'll be speaking at Musky Mikes on Saturday the 28th, at 11am.