Tuesday, January 24, 2017

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice and Fishing Report - 1/24/17

We got through another January warm-up mostly unscathed.  Lake conditions remain surprisingly good. While we lost almost all our snow and a little ice off the top, we are still finding between 14.5 to 18 inches of ice on Lake Waconia.  Last weekend there was 2-3 inches of water scattered on the low spots of ice, but now it has mostly either drained off or frozen back to the surface.  Our previous road has some water on it yet and is bumpy, so we recommend going off road for now.

If you notice anything marked with lath board sticks or pine boughs, it is marking a drain hole that is more of a walking hazard, but worth avoiding with a vehicle as well.  Those should heal up soon with the colder temps. We also marked a small pressure ridge between Center and North Center Reefs as well.  The active spring we’ve mentioned in the past, remains open still and is marked well.  All in all, we continue to be happy with the overall ice conditions.  As we always say, we cannot guarantee ice and it is never 100% safe, but we continue to keep our access open for those like us who want to drive.

There are variable forecasts for snow the next day and half.  Reports are saying we may get anywhere from 2 up to 8 inches.  Depending on the amount of snow and potential high winds on Wednesday, if necessary we likely will not be plowing until later in the week when winds settle down.

As for fishing, it has been a very good bite for sunfish during the day on Pillsbury and Center Reefs as well as Waconia Bay.  12 to 14 feet of water has been working well.  Plenty have been caught on wax worms and small jigs.  Crappies have been caught in some of those same areas in the early evening.  They have also been found in the deep water of Wagener’s Bay in 20 to 24 feet of water, although biting less consistent than the previous winters.

The surprise this winter has been the northern pike bite.  We’ve had plenty of activity reported on tip-ups with small to medium sucker minnows.   Some anglers have caught them on their panfish rods as well, using good skill to finesse them up the hole.

We have seen a nice walleye bite this winter as well.  The best bite has come during the overnight hours on set-lines with shiners, but jigging with fatheads has been productive as well during the evening.  A variety of sizes have been caught with several mid-to-upper-20 inch size fish, many released.  Most walleye anglers are having their best success getting away from the larger groups to avoid the crowd noise.

It should be a busy, fun lake this weekend with the Midwest Vintage Snowmobile “Waconia Ride-In” event that starts Friday 1/27 and runs through Sunday 1/29/17.  The Sno Jet and Kawasaki are the featured snowmobiles this year!  It’s always fun watching the vintage snowmobiles from different eras parade around Lake Waconia.  With cooler temps and impending snowfall, it should be a good weekend to check it out!  Stop in to the marina to warm up, have a hot chocolate or coffee and shoot the breeze.

See you on the lake!

p.s. here's the link to the Vintage Snowmobile site...

Friday, January 20, 2017

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 1/20/17

The warmer temps this week have made conditions on the ice wet and slippery.  Bring your ice cleats! The ice itself has been holding up quite well so far.  The majority of the water on the ice is due to snow melt.  We are still seeing between 15 to 19 inches of ice as of this writing today, 1/20/17.  The access remains in good condition as well.

If you have a permanent fish house on Lake Waconia, we suggest keeping an eye on it the next several days.  Weather forecasters predict some light rain the next day or two, but thankfully the winds are supposed to be minimal through the weekend.  We don’t expect any major problems regarding the ice or fish houses in the near future, but it’s best to pay attention.  If you were hoping to bring a house out and leave it out for several days without checking on it, it may be best to move it off the holes or bring it to shore or home with you.

If you choose to move it off the holes, leave it cranked down as close to the ice as you can without freezing it in, to minimize air flow under the house (as wind mixed with water can created a whirlwind effect that erodes the ice under the house).  Keep in mind, we anticipate some snow by Tuesday or Wednesday that could make things slushy too. 

Again, it’s no time to panic regarding the conditions, but it’s best to remain diligent and watchful.  Pay attention to other’s houses too and report anything that concerns you to us so we can inform.

See you at the lake!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 1/8/17

We were on the ice for another check today.  Ice continues to build with the cold.  We found a range between 12.5 to 15 inches, with it averaging about 14.  If you watch the video, we mistakenly said January 7th, but it was taken today on the 8th. Lots of nice fish have been brought in this weekend, including some big northerns and nice walleyes.  The crappie and sunfish action has been good as well!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 1/5/17

The cold snap this week is already helping thicken up the ice on Lake Waconia! We’ve gained 3+ inches of thickness since last week. We have checked the usual, well-fished areas, such as Waconia Bay, Center Reef, Pillsbury Reef and the deep hole of Wagener’s Bay. We also checked behind the island to Kegs, North, Reds and over to Anderson’s Reef. From what we’ve seen, the ice is ranging between 10-3/4 to 12-1/2 inches.
We have OPENED up our access for cars and lighter trucks TODAY, 1/5/17! Our Access Fees are $1 per person for walking on, $2 per ATV or Vehicle, or $25 for a Season Pass. Keep in mind, we still have at least 1 active spring on the east central part of the lake (between Cemetery and Anderson’s Reefs). Because of that and the fact that we can’t cover every spot on the lake, we have to caution that ice is never safe and to DRIVE AT YOUR OWN RISK. We suggest if you are headed to areas that are less populated with fishermen, to do your own checking before driving out with heavy equipment. We look forward to seeing you!