How are you, Tim? Welcome to the NAFC Forums. If you're also a new NAFC member, welcome to the Club as well.
During the cold months, I slow down my presentations. I tend to leave the Mepp's, the Erie Dearies & other "active" baits in the Plano, & bring out the 6" & 9" Lunker City Slug-Gos. Fish that would never dream of chasing a spinner will absolutely murder an Arkansas Shiner or Alewife colored Slug-Go... or Slug-Go imitation... that's slowly acting like it's dying. You could also use minnows either on the bottom or under a bobber. In cold water, it seldom seems to matter whether or not the minnow is alive. Right after ice-out, northerns don't just hit live prey like they do in the warmer water. They'll also scavenge like a channel cat, & eat the dead fish suspended in the water column or lying on the bottom. So, switch to slower presentations in cooler waters, & your success rate should pick up. When the water heats up, so does the bite. That's the time for the Mepp's, the perch-colored Bucher Depth Raiders & Shallow Raiders, the jerkbaits, the 1 oz. Red Eye, Johnson Silver Minnow & Daredevle spoons, or the larger-sized Rat-L-Traps fished with some speed to them.
Hope I helped a little, & again, welcome.
If I'm not fishing, I'm thinking about it.
Keep the line fresh, the hooks sharp, and have fun fishing. God bless you. -Sonny, Life Member since 2002