We are very happy with the ice growth from yesterday 12/11/17 to today 12/12/17. Because of that, we will be opening for the season this Friday, 12/15 at 9:30 am. Hours for now while we wait for the ice to thicken will be Monday thru Friday, 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, and Saturday & Sunday from 8 am to 5:30 pm. Winter Season Access Passes will be available for the same low price of $25.
We took a long walk on the ice today from the In Towne Marina access to Waconia Bay and “Under the Wires”, out past North Center Reef, west over Center Reef, on to Pillsbury Reef into Wagener’s Bay and off the Public Access. What we found was both good and bad. Please watch our video below!
I’ll start with the bad, because it is VERY important! There remain areas of OPEN WATER that still exist near and on North Center Reef, as well as north of Center Reef, because of geese keeping them open. If that sounds confusing, please stop in to our marina on Friday and we’ll show you where we are talking about. They are both long (100 yds and 200 yds long) and definitely wide enough to cause problems now and in the future as the ice around them continues to grow. They are currently unmarked. We could also see another flock of geese east of Keg’s Reef, so there is likely some open water in that general location as well (we did not make it over there to check it out). Keep in mind, we have NOT checked any of ice on the east-central or eastern side of the lake.
The GOOD news is that we found a lot of very nice ice in the 4.25 to 6 inch range that anglers will like walking on, as most of it has very good traction. The average hole we drilled was about 5 inches thick. We did come across a small 24’ x 36’ area that had as little as 3 inches, as it clearly froze over later than the ice around it. That is why we always caution to pay close attention wherever you go during early ice, as it rarely freezes uniformly. Another thing to keep an eye on is a very long 12” wide crack that runs from Center Reef all the way in front of Pillsbury and over to the west shoreline south of the Rock Dock. The ice around it looks good, but it should still be looked at if you plan on doing anything other than walking over it.
Overall, our message is always the same; ICE IS NEVER SAFE, especially early ice. While we feel VERY good about many of the early season locations anglers venture to, things can always change, so be diligent and check ahead of yourself.
We look forward to seeing you this Friday and beyond! Happy Fishing!