Friday, January 29, 2016

"Bizarre Foods" Andrew Zimmern - Travel Channel celeb @ In Towne Marina!

We wanted to share our excitement about a special guest we had visit us for a day last week!  On one of the coldest days of the winter, Andrew Zimmern of his world-famous show “Bizarre Foods” (as seen on Travel Channel) warmed things up here at the In Towne Marina!

Thank you Andrew and your 20 person team for choosing our location to film shots from our bait shop and one of our rental fish houses to promote “Bizarre Foods” and your new show “Delicious Destinations”!

Lots of fun was had by all as he visited with us and our daily morning “coffee crew” to find out what’s happening in town and on beautiful Lake Waconia.  He chummed with locals, tasted our friend Ron Knutson’s smoked squirrel recipe, fished, and snowmobiled around Lake Waconia!

Andrew lives in Edina, and when in town, his film crew follows him to shoot Minnesota foods and destinations not to miss!  You and your crew are welcome here anytime!  Here are few pics to share...

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 1/26/16

*Just to clarify, the video today is showing just one of many areas on the lake you can find snow impacting the ice thickness. While there are numerous areas of mixed ice (frozen slush with clear ice) measuring 10 to 16 inches, you will also find scattered locations where the snow is hindering ice growth, with ice thicknesses between 7 to 8 inches. We are just as discouraged, if not more so, than most of you, as our business thrives with thicker ice, but we are being as forthcoming as we can to keep people safe.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

In Towne Marina Rental Fish Houses NOW AVAILABLE / New Shop Hours start Friday 1/22/16

Good news! Starting this Friday, 1/22/16, we will be extending our shop hours. Hours will be...Monday thru Friday from 8 am - 6 pm and on Saturday & Sunday from 7 am - 6 pm. We have 4 of our 5 Rental Fish Houses on the ice! They are a close, walkable distance from the marina in 11 to 12 feet of water in Waconia Bay. We'll have the heat on and the holes open, ready to fish! With your rental, you can also rent an underwater camera, extra jig sticks or rod combos. We have all the bait, tackle, licenses or snacks you'll need available for sale in our store. Call (952) 442-2096 to Reserve!

Monday, January 18, 2016

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 1/18/16

I went out to get an ice update this afternoon. I headed out on the ATV and drilled about 80 holes or so. First I checked “under the wires” and was still breaking through and finding slush under a crust of ice in some areas. In those spots I am now finding 5.5” – 6” of ice. Where there isn’t slush 7” to 14” of ice, depending on how much snow there is where I drilled. I headed out to Center reef and didn’t find slush, but found more 7” – 14” of ice, again depending on the snow cover. I drilled many holes on my way to Pillsbury Reef, continued to the Wagner’s Bay access, went back around the point and headed towards the Marina. I found 7” – 14” of Ice that whole stretch as well. When I came around the point towards “Under the Wires” again, I stayed closer to shore on the snowmobile paths. I broke through about a 1” skim of slush ice into liquid slush in that area also. The ice under those few areas was about 6” thick. Overall conditions are improving in this cold. We are going to continue to recommend ATV or snowmobile traffic at the most for the time being. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice & Fishing Report - 1/14/16

I went out for another Lake Waconia ice check today. For this report I’ll speak in generalities instead of specific locations, because of the variances of ice we’ve been finding all season. To be as basic as possible, I am still finding LOTS of areas of heavy snowpack that has ice measuring around 5 inches under it. Those heavy snow spots flood water up when you drill a hole. While there has definitely been improvement since our last report regarding slushy areas, I am still finding them. That’s the bad news. As for good news, we are finding lots of combination ice (mixed frozen slush with clear ice) that has been measuring around 8 to 11 inches. The key thing to continue to remember is that while it’s certainly nice to find lots of thicker ice, you WILL find areas mixed in with the snow that has ice measuring 5 inches under it. That is why we continue to preach checking ice yourself if you are looking to go to specific locations. If you do your due diligence and do a dry run, it might be possible to bring small fish houses out to certain spots with an ATV or Snowmobile.

As for the fishing, we have been hearing some good panfish reports. Sunfish have been biting well in Waconia Bay in the weeds around 10 to 13 feet of water. Perch have been active as usual, but we are starting to see some decent keepers mixed in. Crappies in the late afternoon/evening are biting decent as well. The deeper water of Wagener’s Bay and over toward Pillsbury Reef has been producing a nice mixed bag of panfish as well, with crappies starting to suspend off the bottom. Walleyes have been hit or miss, but there have been some successful keepers caught in the 16 to 20 inch range out front of our marina and outside the weeds of Waconia Bay.

Hopefully this weekend’s extreme cold continues to improve our ice. It’s been a slow, long frustrating process for all of us who want to enjoy the lake. We’ll continue to be here for your fishing needs if you’re heading out this weekend from 8 am to 5:30pm, and next week Monday thru Friday from 9:30am – 5:30pm. Happy Fishing!

Monday, January 11, 2016

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 1/11/16

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.

Friday, January 8, 2016

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 1/8/16

I’ll make this update as brief as possible, as not much has changed as far as ice thicknesses go compared to our previous reports.  Having said that, the milder weather and wet snow has created more wet slush on the surface of the ice or under the previously existing snow.  This weekend’s extreme cold we expect to greatly help freeze up those wet slush locations, but until that happens, pulling a sled or portable will be a tad more challenging in certain spots.  We are still VERY comfortable walking to all of the locations we have been to, but are not yet driving our 4-wheeler.

We more than likely will not be doing another ice check until Monday at the earliest, to give the slush on the surface a chance to hopefully freeze, so we can give a more detailed report.  If we change our minds, we’ll certainly update as best we can.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that the extreme cold this weekend and early next week will make some positive changes to the ice so we can hopefully bring heavier equipment out later next week.  Being patient has been difficult, but necessary this winter! In the meantime, we’ll continue to be here for your fishing needs this weekend from 8 am to 5:30pm, and next week Monday thru Friday from 9:30am – 5:30pm.  Happy Fishing!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 1/5/16

I just completed another ice check today to see if we made any gains the past 3 colder nights. So far it seems we gained another ¼ to ½ inch of ice, which is a step in the right direction. During the walk I continued to find snow depths of 2-5” of snow in most of the areas I drilled. I started my walk out towards the Walleye hole (between the In Towne Marina and Lola’s) and found 4 – 4.5 inches (4.5” is common) of ice where there is standing snow. I continued towards the S/E corner of the island, stopping shy of the island and was finding 3.5” of ice under the snow. I Turned and headed west towards the far North side of Waconia Bay, where I found 3.5” – 4.5” of ice under snow. The main part of Waconia Bay people have been fishing has 4.5” – 5” of ice under the snow.

It is important to remember that you can find more ice than this if you are drilling where there is less snow or where there is frozen slush (these areas are far less common). The ice thicknesses I am talking about are the common numbers found drilling holes randomly on spots without frozen slush or minimal snow. Most of lake is covered in snow, so I am reporting those numbers as usual. Thanks for checking our report! See you at the lake!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 1/2/16

I took a more extensive walk today, this time out from the Wagener’s Bay access to Pillsbury and Center Reefs. I found clear ice ranging from 4 to 5 inches out from that access and toward the deeper water of the bay. As I made my way toward Pillsbury, there was a decent amount of wet slush near and on the reef with a lot of the ice measuring 4 to 4.5 inches. As I headed east toward Center Reef, I continued to find 3.75 to 4.5 inches of ice, with less slush, but more snow (depths of 4 to 5 inches of snow common). A couple key reminders… 1. Where there is 4 to 5 inches of snow, we don’t expect much ice growth per day. 2. Where there is slush (randomly scattered around), when it freezes, ice thicknesses will be 6 to 8 inches, but there will be plenty of 4 to 4.5 inch ice surrounding it. All in all, I felt very comfortable walking to those areas. See you at the lake!

Friday, January 1, 2016

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 1/1/16

Happy New Year!  I took another ice walk today, but this time walked further out to Cemetery Reef.  I started out checking Waconia Bay and by the “walleye hole” between the marinas, which continues to range from 3.5 to 4.5 inches with an average of 4.  I am still seeing wet slush on the surface of the ice in small areas under snow.  Where the slush has frozen to the surface, you might find as much as 6 to 7 inches of ice, but don’t get too excited with those higher numbers, as there is way more of the 4 inch stuff surrounding it.   As I got to the north side of Waconia Bay, I was finding more of the 3.5 inch ice.  I continued my walk east in front of Coney Island and I found even less ice as I made my way to Cemetery Reef.  The majority of the holes drilled on my way there, and on the reef itself were between 3 to 3.5 inches of ice.  There isn’t as much slush over there, but still plenty of snow, with drifts as much as 4 to 5 inches of snow in spots.  We continue to recommend walking only, as we will not be using ATV’s for a bit yet.  Don’t forget, our store hours for now remain: Monday thru Friday (9:30 am to 5:30 pm) and on Saturday & Sunday (8 am to 5:30 pm).  We look forward to seeing you!