Thursday, December 26, 2013

Lake Waconia Ice and Fishing Report 12/26/13

It's been a good start to the ice fishing season so far. As we approach the New Year, we continue to see more fishermen flock to the ice getting set up with permanent and portable fish houses.  Anglers are beginning to spread out to their favorite reefs, as the ice has incrementally thickened.  Our latest ice news is a similar story to what we've been preaching most of this season, albeit improved from our last report.  The key word is "varied".  While we've been comfortable driving in Waconia Bay and out to Cemetery Reef for almost 2 weeks, we have just started to head toward Center Reef with a plowed road.  The road fans out at the end just before the main group, but doesn't continue around the reef as of yet.  The reason for this is because of the variability of the ice. While you are sure to find plenty of ice ranging from 14 to 18 inches around Center, keep in mind there is also the potential to come across isolated patches of ice with as little as 7.5 inches (we found this just southeast of Center on 12/24).  If you're looking to go to Center with a big house, we suggest using our road to get near the area and do a check yourself beyond that point to get a feel for the ice in the area to plot your path.  We have not plowed toward Pillsbury Reef as of yet, due to a good-sized area of slush a couple hundred yards north and east of Harm's Point between Pillsbury and Center.  With the upcoming weekend ending with the start of another cold snap, we hope these areas will firm up so we can make it easier for you to get to your favorite honey holes.  As always, ice is never safe, but we'll do our best to inform you of the conditions so your experience can be safer.

As for the fishing, we continue to have good reports on panfish.  Waconia Bay has been producing some nice action yet, but the theme continues with a lot of little ones to sift through.  If you're looking for sunfish, 9 to 12 feet of water would be there range to find them.  Crappies are there too, but can also be found a touch deeper as well, up to 14 feet.  Northern pike have been biting on the more mild days, so get your tip-ups out this weekend before the cold comes later on Sunday.  For those going to Center Reef, we've been hearing of some good crappie action in 12 to 13 feet of water around weeds.  Between 3 to 6 pm has been the best bite for some who have been out lately.  Walleyes have still been producing action, although as expected, several reports have been of shorter walleyes under 16 inches that must be released.  Some of the reported recent keepers have been coming from Waconia Bay, Wagener's Bay and toward Pillsbury Reef in 12 to 15 feet of water.

We now have ALL 5 of our Rental Fish Houses out on the ice!  We're filling reservations during this holiday stretch, so call us now while we still have availability. 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.

We hope to see you at the lake!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Lake Waconia Ice & Fishing Update 12/14/13

Lake Waconia's ice continues to grow in thickness, but some areas are growing more than others.  We're finding the best, most consistent ice out from our marina in Waconia Bay, out between the 2 marinas, and to Cemetery Reef.  We're measuring ice between 10 to 14 inches, with the majority of it between 12 to 14 inches in these areas.  The reason the ice is better in these spots, is because when it snowed last Wednesday the 4th, the snow got saturated here and froze, rather than drifting.  Because it's more consistent here, we opened our access the latter part of this week for vehicle traffic to these areas only.  We suggest stopping in to our shop to learn more.

Some of the spots we've checked with the least ice include parts of Center, Pillsbury, Harm's Point and "Under the Wires".  These locations also have lots of very thick ice as well (up to 14 inches), but since some of the snow never got saturated, it caused a scattered range of snow drifts that kept the ice as little as 6.5 to 8 inches under those drifts. Because of this varied range of ice, we're suggesting to wait before driving vehicles to those areas.  If you were to drill numerous holes, you'd most likely find excellent ice, but it just takes one bad spot to ruin a day.  We will continue to monitor the ice, so please call us at (952) 442-2096 for the latest ice news.

As for fishing, the past few days we have seen more and more anglers taking to the ice to wet their lines.  The action has been good, with plenty of sunfish and crappie reports. Wax worms and crappie minnows have been the most popular bait choices. Expect to do some sorting if you're looking for keepers.  Walleyes have been decent as well, with some reports of keepers mixed in amongst under-sized walleyes.  Keep in mind, walleyes must be 16 inches or over to keep on Lake Waconia.  With the temps more conducive for tip-up fishing, there have been more reports of northern pike as well.  Small suckers have been working to get those to bite.

Since we're most pleased with the ice in Waconia Bay, we've begun our Fish House Rental season!  Currently we have 3 rental houses out in 10 to 11 feet of water.  We're focusing on action for sunfish and crappies, with the potential for northern pike or even walleye.  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.

We hope to see you at the lake!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Important Lake Waconia Ice Report 12/8/13

The ice in front of our marina to Waconia Bay, the walleye hole and over toward Cemetery Reef seems to have the best ice.  We measured ice between 6.5 to 12 inches, with the majority of it being around 10 inches (including cloudy frozen slush ice on the surface).  It's easier going in these areas, as there are less snow drifts.

We did a more extensive ice check today, expanding out "Under the Wires", and to Center, Pillsbury and Reefs.  The ice we found in these areas was extremely varied, dependent upon where snow drifts were. On the way to both Center and Pillsbury there are numerous large snow drifts spread all over that are holding back the ice growth.  I measured thicknesses ranging from 4.5 inches up to 13 inches.  The ice that was clear "black" ice and had no snow on it, was around 9 to 10 inches, but if it had drifted up, it was common to find averages between 5.5 to 6.5 inches.  Any areas that were above 10 inches had frozen slush as part of the measurement.

What does this all mean?  If you're looking to get on the ice and portable fish, conditions are very good for that.  Walking is comfortable and generally less slippery than normal.  If you're looking to use your ATV or snowmobile, we're feeling good about that, but use caution, as we have some active springs already in the same locations out from the Wagener's Bay access, and are expecting to find more when we get out for further ice checking.  We advise against using vehicles at this point.  Hopefully the continued cold weather will help build the ice, but it may take longer than we'd like in those drifted areas.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Lake Waconia Ice Update 12-07-13

It's time to get ice fishing!  The ice on Lake Waconia has been getting thicker and thicker by the day. Thanks to the sub-zero cold, we have better ice early than we've seen in many years.  Over 80% of the lake froze over last Wednesday, 11/27, which included parts of Waconia Bay and everything north and east of it. Wagener's Bay had been frozen a few days prior to that, and therefore has some thicker ice because of it.

We've drilled a number of holes checking ice in front of the marina to Waconia Bay and also by the walleye hole between the marinas.  We've found ice ranging from 7 to 10 inches.  The variance in ice thickness is due to the snow we received on Wednesday, 12/4. Thankfully, much of that snow got saturated by water, and froze to the existing ice adding inches to our measurements. The areas with 7 inches had little to no frozen slush and were generally good clear "black" ice.  The cloudier ice is still very good, but the extra top few inches are the frozen slush.

We haven't done a thorough lake-wide check yet, but hope to do so this upcoming week.  Since the ice is increasing by the day, we're starting to see some permanent houses make their way to the lake, and people starting to use ATV's and snowmobiles.  Since we haven't been all over the lake, we stress to still use caution and pay extra attention when venturing out.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Early Season Winter Hours


Lake Waconia is currently locked up with ice, and has been so for 6 days. We will be opening for the season on Thursday December, 5th. Our early season hours will be 9am-5:30pm. We will be checking Ice conditions out in front of us in Waconia Bay and the "Walleye Hole" between the two marinas the day we open. The predicted cold will mean conditions will be changing daily. As usual our hours will lengthen as conditions improve.

We look forward to seeing you on the ice soon!