We've had a gamut of weather since the last report. Last week's extreme cold added several more inches of thickness to the ice. As of this report, expect to find 19 to 20 inches of good ice on a lot of the lake. There is a major pressure ridge/ice heave up in the far North East corner of Lake Waconia to report. It is in Reinke's Bay, and is quite treacherous. The area is not used by many people, so it is a good spot for a major pressure ridge if we have to have one. There have been a few more springs found on the lake in the deep water west of Kegs Reef. Please stop in the bait shop to have a look at our map for locations of these small problem areas.
The action during the cold was decent. Then, with the more recent warm-up, we've seen the action of certain species pick up, notably the northern pike bite, with some occasional largemouth bass. We continue to see solid panfish action out on or around Center Reef. We're still finding them in 10 to 14 feet of water. Sorting needs to be done to get keeper sunnies. We've even seen a few good sized perch, although those are generally too small. Crappies are still best after 5 pm. Despite the calendar nearing the end of January, we have yet to see the bite pick up too much in deeper water. Now that we've got some snow cover (that hopefully sticks around), we may just see the Panfish bite shift a little deeper as we get into February.
Pike are biting best on smaller sucker minnows in those same 10 to 14 foot depths that we have been talking about a lot of the winter. With the lack of snow for most of the winter, fish have stayed near the weeds in the shallows. The weeds have been getting sunlight all winter, thus putting out enough oxygen to keep the fish in the shallows. Remember, the fish go where oxygen is best in the winter months.
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Thanks for reading, and see you on the Ice!