As you might expect, weather this time of year is a big factor on fish and fishing.
The temperature might reach 60 degrees one day, then switch to snow and 30 degrees the next, and then be about 50 degrees the next. This season of unstable weather causes some fish, like crappie and bass, to relocate and become inactive at times.
The best situation is to have several days on a gradual warming trend and to fish during those days. The fish will position on more normal areas and feed in more normal feeding patterns. This is when you want to be on the water and in a prime spot. Unfortunately, you are not going to find this idea situation much this time of year, so you just have to go when the weather is best.
Do what you can to put the odds in your favor. Watch the weather days in advance, check online fishing reports concerning the lake where you plan to fish, and make sure all of your gear is ready to go.
Fish such as crappie are very fun to catch in winter and are available at most lakes in our region. They will feed in fairly shallow water in the cooler months and are great to eat.
As you know, the king of winter fish is the smallmouth bass. These fish can be very aggressive in cooler water and really make it worth the time to get out. Whatever you are after, be safe and have fun.