IRON MOUNTAIN - Ice has formed on some lakes and is starting to appear on others, but there was no safe ice to report yet. This would be a good time for ice anglers to start getting their gear ready to go.
Most local bait shops are stocked up on ice fishing bait and supplies.
"Ice is pretty dicey yet," said Tom Bean at Crystal Bait in Crystal Falls. "Most places have one to two inches if that. It is not recommended anyone go out yet."
"We had a couple of fishermen getting bait, but I think they were waiting to go out," said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost.
Don Ciochetto at the Sport Shop in Iron River said little was forming yet out his way.
"There were some guys going out for walleye on Way Dam," said Dean Lindblom at Country Bait and Tackle in Iron Mountain. "I'm not sure where out there other than maybe a small inlet or bay. Everyone is getting excited for ice fishing, but safety has to be stressed. Lake Antoine is iced over but it was still cracking under foot about 10-15 feet away from the boat launch."
Pattie Teske at Florence Sport and Bait reported thin ice on some smaller lakes.
"I did sell some wax worms, but I'm not sure if they went out or were just stocking up," she said. "It's been quiet."
Local accounts on the recently concluded firearm deer season indicate better bucks, but low numbers.
Bean mentioned hunters getting a number of eight- and 10-pointers, calling the season "pretty good."
"The bucks that were taken were of better racks, but the success rate was not all that better compared to last year," Ciochetto said.
"It seems like the bucks that were taken were bigger than normal," Grier added.
After Tuesday's close of the season, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment check station in Marquette had posted an overall 20 percent gain over last year.
Mackinac Bridge Authority workers reported a 4 percent increase in the number of deer counted on vehicles headed southbound across the bridge this year.
Michigan's muzzleloading season opened Friday in the U.P. and runs for 10 days.
Wisconsin's muzzleloading season goes through Dec. 8.
Michigan DNRE reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:
Little Bay De Noc - Skim ice was starting to form with the cold weather. Most anglers are heading out on the weekend only. Those seeking walleye are staying north of the Narrows and fishing between the Second Reef and the flats at Kipling. Some are trolling crank baits in 10 to 35 feet of water during the day but night anglers caught more fish using the same method. Bigger fish were caught along the southern section of the Black Bottom and over near the lighthouse when trolling crank baits in 14 to 35 feet of water in the evening. Perch fishing was good out by Butler Island when using minnows or crawlers in 10 to 17 feet of water.
St. Mary's River - Is still producing some walleye for those trolling or casting deep diving crank baits. Those fishing in Munuscong Bay have caught a few walleye near Moon Island.