Here’s our ice update for 1/11/16…There is still a WIDE range of ice thicknesses despite the brutal cold this past weekend. I had numerous holes that were as little as 4 inches and as thick as 10 inches depending on where there was snow, wet slush or frozen slush. There continue to be scattered areas of drifted snow 4-5 inches deep that cover random large areas of ice and are holding back the ice from thickening. Under those drifted spots are generally 4.5 to 5.25 inches of ice. Certain parts of Waconia Bay, where a lot of people have been fishing tend to be the more consistently thick ice. There is a lot more gray ice with little snow, which was 6 to 10 inches of mixed ice (ice that is partially clear ice with partially frozen slush). While those thicknesses sound good, because they are mixed, it is noticeably not as strong when you auger through it. As you go further into the bay, there are areas of heavier snow, with 4.5 to 5 inches of ice.
Unfortunately, I was still finding some rather large areas of wet slush that had 4 to 5 inches of ice under it in front of Coney Island and west of Cemetery Reef, as well as the north side of Waconia Bay. Because of the wet slush, we did not go further than the areas described above. If you are thinking of heading to Wagener’s Bay, Pillsbury or Center Reefs we expect just as much variance in those locations, so be careful if you’re heading out with anything heavy. Also, there was someone who parked their F150 out from the Wagener’s Bay access on the ice and unfortunately broke through the ice in shallow water. It would be a good idea to avoid parking vehicles on the ice.
Basically, this isn’t what we wanted to report today. We were hoping for better news. If you are thinking of bringing a fish house out, we suggest doing a dry run without the house to where you intend to fish and get a feel for the ice yourself. It’s impossible for us to describe all of the ice, as it is probably the most varied ice we’ve seen on Lake Waconia in years.