IRON MOUNTAIN - More than one area bait shop reported active walleye fishing, with some large fish caught this past week.
And while caution is still urged and vehicle traffic not recommended, most lakes were near or exceeding double digits ice-inch thickness as the week came to a close.
"It's been pretty active out there," said Tom Bean at Crystal Bait, reporting around 10 inches of ice on most lakes. "Lot of walleye being caught. There's been some 30 inchers, some in the 26-27-inch range and a lot of 16-18 inchers."
Nine-plus inches of ice was reported by John Grier's Whispering Pines Outpost.
"There's a lot of guys going out fishing now," Grier's shop said. "Lot of walleye, still some northern and some perch. Shiners and suckers are selling, along with wigglers."
Dean Lindblom at Country Bait and Tackle in Iron Mountain said some pretty big walleye came out last weekend.
"Fish in the 25-27 inch range," he said. "Walleye are still hitting. "We're selling a lot of suckers, fatheads and wax worms. Panfishing was shaky at best just yet."
With plenty of ice, Don Ciochetto at The Sport Shop in Iron River said fishermen have begun to put shacks out.
"It's been kind of spotty fishing," he said. "Couple of big northern and some panfish."
Bob Kennard at Channing's Midtown Bait and Tackle said panfishermen were targeting Sawyer Lake, while walleye anglers were hitting the Michigamme.
"Gene's pond was starting to pick up too," he said, reporting anywhere from eight to 12 inches of ice.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reported 7-10 inches of ice on northern lakes, but reminded anglers that there are still many areas that have thinner ice, especially near inlets, outlets and springs or other moving water.
Anglers venturing out in the northern part of the state reported some good early action for northern pike and walleye, mostly on suckers and shiners. There was also some good action for bluegills and crappies.
Michigan spring turkey applications go on sale Jan. 1.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources, in its weekly report, said borderline temperatures with freezing and thawing are not a good combination when it comes to ice formation. There is ice in the Upper Peninsula but it is still too early to call it safe ice, the agency said.
Chocolay River: A few folks are bank-fishing for brown trout and steelhead at the M-28 roadside rest-stop and downstream from the park.
Two-Hearted River: Had reports of good steelhead action by those wading in the open waters between High Bridge and the mouth.