Through the 1st week of the New Year, the fishing action has been very good. Despite sub-zero temps, we've been pleasantly surprised with the bite. Most of the activity on the ice has come from 3 main areas. Waconia Bay, Center Reef and Pillsbury Reef have been the most populated spots with anglers, and a lot of the reported fish have been coming from there.
We've had a run of really good Northern Pike fishing. We've had numerous pike weighed in between 4 to 12 pounds. Small to medium sucker minnows have been working best, generally between 10 to 14 feet of water. With the temps warming this upcoming weekend, it would be a good idea to get your tip-ups ready to take advantage of the best pike bite in years. Walleyes are still biting, although the majority of the reported catches are fish under the legal size limit of 16 inches.
Sunfish and Crappies continue to be plentiful. Again, 10 to 14 feet of water is the depth range you'll have the best success. While it's still common to do a lot of sorting to get keepers, we have been seeing a better ratio of bigger ones since the new year. Sunnies are biting well on wax worms and larva, while the crappies are doing best on crappie minnows. While the best time of day for the crappies continues to be after 3 pm, we are still getting a daytime bite that has made plenty of people happy.
The ice has been building daily during this arctic stretch of weather. While we're seeing the majority of thicknesses ranging between 18 to 24 inches of ice, we have still seen some small areas with as little as 10 inches. We have yet to venture to North, Reds, Kegs or Anderson's to do a thorough ice check, so if you're looking to get away from the large groups, we still suggest to do some checking ahead of yourself before driving a vehicle to an untraveled location.
Don't forget about our FREE Ice and Dice game. If you weigh in a qualifying fish (sunfish, crappie, walleye or northern are eligible) that meets the weight or length requirements, you will have a chance to win a prize up to $100 if you're really lucky! Bring your Lake Waconia catch in during business hours (we're here until 6 pm every night) to weigh and qualify your fish, and get your picture taken.
Our fish house rental season has been off to a good start. If you're looking to get on the ice, and want it to be an easy, pleasant experience, try us out. We drill the holes, and the heat is on! All you need is a license, rods, and bait. If you don't have some of the equipment, we rent jig sticks either individually, or in buckets for a group. Underwater cameras are also available to rent! We also sell licenses, bait, tackle and snacks! Call (952) 442-2096 to reserve.
Winter Season Pass holders, pay attention in the coming days! We will be having a fishing contest this weekend in appreciation for your business. All you need to be qualified for the contest is your season pass. We'll give out more details later in the week. Watch signs by the access.
We look forward to seeing you on the lake as the weather gets a little warmer!