IRON MOUNTAIN - Angler numbers are dropping around the state as many are deer hunting or waiting for first ice.
Late fall and early winter is still a good time to fish especially for steelhead, whitefish, pike and bass. Walleye are usually in the shallows while panfish can be found in the backwaters.
Skim ice was being reported on small lakes and ponds, but it will be a few weeks yet before any fishable ice forms. Thin ice has also formed on the east end and around the edges of Lake Antoine, but nothing walkable yet.
Don Ciochetto at the Sport Shop in Iron River said fishermen hoping to spear whitefish were finding conditions challenging with the wind of the past week.
Firearm deer season concludes Nov. 30 in Michigan. Local success remains mixed, but the overall "vibe" is that is has been a slightly better season than last with regard to antler development on the buck population.
With the season drawing to a close, more hunters were targeting does.
In Florence County, Wis., hunters registered nearly 14 percent more bucks than in 2009, according to preliminary numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Wisconsin's nine-day gun season ends Sunday.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment reported the following fishing conditions in the Upper Peninsula:
Little Bay De Noc - Fewer anglers have been out since deer season opened. Catch rates for walleye were down a bit but fish were caught usually in the evening and on into the night when trolling crank baits in 10 to 25 feet of water along the First and Second Reefs. Those drifting minnows in the same area had mixed results. The bigger fish appear to be in the southern part of the bay between Portage Point and the Farmers Dock where anglers are trolling crank baits in 25 feet of water.