Many people relate ice out to the spring, but there are times throughout the winter when lakes and ponds will freeze over and then ice out repeatedly. If you like pond hoping, finding open water can sometimes tell you exactly where bass are in the winter. I big misconception about bass is that they go deep in the winter and stay deep until the spring. That is not always the case. These types of conditions offer anglers the opportunity to catch bass that will gravitate towards slightly warmer (or warming) water. Many times rain can cause a lake or pond to partially thaw and rain brings food via runoff. Worms get washed out of the ground and even into the water when it rains. In turn, bass will move into the shallow water to take advantage of an easy meal. You can take advantage of this opportunity too. Try searching for ponds that are thawing out from a warming trend and especially right after it rains during the winter.