The abnormal warm weather we’re currently experiencing this holiday season provides a great chance to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Most ponds have warmed enough to lose ice and the slight rise in water temperature is triggering increased feeding in fish. Other pond natives such as turtles and frogs can also be seen enjoying this rare opportunity before getting chased away by the next cold front. Typical pond species such as largemouth bass, bluegill (panfish) and catfish may still be sluggish but can provide better catch rates than traditionally seen in late December. Ponds stocked with species that prefer colder water such as smallmouth bass, trout, walleye, perch and northern pike can be especially productive during this time. Shallow flats and rock/rip-rap shorelines are great places to target as these areas will warm the quickest from sunlight and increased air temps. Whether you’re going outdoors to fish or simply appreciate the nice weather, opportunities like this aren’t guaranteed; enjoy them while you can! Happy fishing!