We still have open water in my neck of the woods. Surface temps were in the 40's yesterday.
I took a couple guys out fishing yesterday. The low water temps and passing of a pretty severe cold front made things a little tough on the clear water lake we fished.
It seemed every fish in the watershed had retreated to the main lake deep water basin for shelter...and I mean it seemed EVERY fish...crappie, walleye, muskies, shad, smallmouth..EVERYTHING..never saw a fish, minnow, NOTHING at under 15-20 feet deep..not even on the graph.
So...we loaded up some heavy weights and made trolling runs through the main lake basin. The largest concentrations of fish were at between 40-50 feet down. However, there were lots of fish at anywhere from 40-80 feet.
We had to troll slowly...at about 1/2 to 1 mile per hour. However, if you trolled at that speed in 40-60 feet of water you would get bit. We ended the day catching lot's of white bass. The best producers were either a plain minnow on a hook or a minnow on a walleye spinner rig. These were tied to a 3 way connector with the weights on the bottom rung. The spinner rigs were most effective with chartreuse/orange stripes. Little Cleo spoons were the most effective artificial option we tried. Chrome/blue was the top spoon color we tried.
We had to use very heavy weightings to keep the offerings down that deep..especially with the howling wind we had. Jigging was pointless as we had such heavy winds...deep jigging and heavy winds are a bad combination!
Interesting time of year on that body of water.. deep trolling is about the only ticket for the moment...but it is one that can produce lots of fish if you stay with it.