I am just nuts about ice fishing here in Muskoka. There are some great early season opportunities too! I'm talking early. Like first ice. I know, I know, its a sensitive subject but here is what I think: If your as eager and as dedicated to the sport as I am and need to get out there ASAP. BE CAREFUL. The ice will be here before we know it but many bodies of water freeze faster than others. Personally, for the earliest ice, I stick to pike fishing in December on small lakes, most often connected to larger lakes via a canal. These spots can be spring spawning areas, So the BIG ONES can be there in super shallow water which is also key should you end up swimming. Personally I like fishing about 5 feet or so. Gear up, with a nice warm floater suit and Ice Picks around the neck incase the unexpected should happen. Be familiar with depths you've checked or know prior to risking it if you have to like I do every year ;)
and P.s. , if you like Pike fishing, get your hands on some flutterfish from PK lures. Big lure, Big FISH ..... sometimes ;)
They come in tons of wicked sizes and patterns including copper, my favourite.
Tommy @ www.hookedyoung.com