I haven't been out on the water as much as I'd like to be (are we ever??). but I have hit a few of the local ponds recently and have a few observations.
The weather continues to delay springtime conditions to our local, northern Illinois waters. Last week we had a string of beautiful 70 degree + days, but just as quickly, the rainy 50's are back. Nighttime lows have been really low. We need an above temp day with some warm rain to jump start the fishing here. The areas the fish ought to be - inflowing streams, shallow mud bottomed flats - have been hit or miss. Some days you get a few, othertimes - nothing. Yesterday I was out for an hour and got 4 small (12-13") largemouth and 2 nice crappies. No 'gills. The day before, I was at a favorite local pond where the largemouth stack up along the rocks in the spring. NOTHING! Not a hit. And this pond is loaded with bass to 4-1/2 pounds.
One thing I keep meaning to do, and keep forgetting, is to take along a thermometer and record water temps in my diary. I've been keeping a fishing diary of one form or another since 1984. Originally, when I was initially just fun fishing the Susquehanna River in PA, and later doing some guiding there, I recorded the river levels in the area I was fishing. After a few years of recordings, I could better gauge my potential for success based on these levels, or change plans and fish different sections of river based on the levels. I always recorded water temps when fly fishing for trout, but have fallen out the habit recently. I believe, based on the temp of the fish I've been catching, that the water temps are just lagging behind this year, and the fishing along with it.
BUT - when it finally breaks loose, it ought to be "lights-out". And I plan to be there for it!