Saturday, December 29, 2018

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 12/29/18 - Pay Access open for Snowmobiles, ATVs, Side by Sides and Single-Axle Wheel Houses

First things first we are allowing Snowmobiles, ATV’s, Side by Sides, and Single-Axle Wheel Houses to use our pay access again! Lake Waconia survived the rain/snow event late this week! Despite a few inches of snow and lots of rain, the lake is in good shape! Most of the water and slush that was left behind at storm’s end has now frozen to the existing ice. We were hoping the cold after the storm would completely heal the ice, but there are still some areas scattered all over that have some layered ice (usually under the white drifted areas). Since we had good ice pre-storm, the layered ice isn’t as dangerous as it sounds. As we mentioned in our last report on Wednesday, aside from springs or previous late-freezing spots (which are few and far between), the minimums we had found on the most popular locations like Waconia Bay, Center and Pillsbury Reef was 9 inches. Today we checked a couple of those locations and found 10.5 to 11 inches. As for conditions on the ice, there is minimal snow left, so with continued cold we should gain ice thickness more quickly! However, because we didn’t gain as much ice as we hoped so far, we have decided that we are not allowing car and truck traffic at this point in time. Check back here for continued updates. We’ll see you on the ice!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 12/27/18: Access temporarily closed to Snowmobiles, ATV's and Wheel Houses!

We are temporarily closing our access to Snowmobiles, ATV’s and Wheel Houses until Saturday morning in hopes it will firm up when we get single digit temps on Friday night. Thankfully we have missed extreme snow totals so far, but with the rain, it is very slushy/soupy on the lake, and especially our access. We apologize for the inconvenience but feel it’s best to allow it to freeze without extreme ruts. We hope to report improved lake conditions this weekend!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 12/26/18

We took a pre-storm ice check today, 12/26/18. Santa brought us enough cold weather to help increase ice thicknesses lakewide since our last check. Because there is so much info to report, we are presenting it to you differently than most reports. We hope the impending storm doesn’t turn into a bunch of snow. We will be monitoring lake conditions once the storm has passed and will update when we know more. At this time, we are still only allowing ATV’s through our pay access.

Keep in mind, all of the below ice thicknesses are what we found today. We are unable to check every portion of every area/reef, even areas/reefs we are reporting on below. We always advise to check your own ice.

-Waconia Bay: 9 to 14 inches (9 inches where there is still snow. Most ice is between 10 to 12 inches, with a little mixed in 14)

-Under the Wires: 9 to 12 (We did find a somewhat large area of 9 inches in newer, clear ice, but most of it was 10 to 11 inches)

-Center Reef (where a lot of people fish): 9 to 11 inches

-Shallow part of Center Reef (in the duck/goose area that was open about 2 weeks ago): As little as 3.5 inches to 5.5 inches, with ice on the perimeter between 7 to 8.

-Pillsbury Reef: 9 to 11.5 inches

-West of Pillsbury as it drops off: We found a mildly active spring with as little as 3.5 inches in a small location. We marked it with lath board and flagging tape. Pay attention to this area in case it becomes more active.

-Western Part of Wagener’s Bay/Rock Dock: 10 to 13 inches

-Wagener’s Bay Deep Hole: 9 to 13 inches (9 under leftover snow, with a lot of it between 10 to 12 inches with a little mixed in 13)

-Harms Point: 9 to 12 inches

-South and West of Keg’s Reef: We stopped and marked with lath board and flagging tape 2 active springs that had as little as 1 inch of ice on top. These are generally small in size, but both areas need to be avoided. We haven’t made it to Keg’s Reef yet.

-East of Coney Island: We marked with lath board and flagging tape an active spring with less than 1 inch of ice coating it. Avoid that marked area.

-South of Red’s Reef: We marked 1 active and 1 mildly active spring with lath board and flagging tape. Avoid both areas we marked. We have not been on Red’s Reef yet, as we had to stop short and head back.

-Cemetery Reef: 9 to 12 inches

-Walleye Hole/Hump between the marinas: 9 to 12 inches

Keep your fingers crossed that we get minimal snow so we can keep making ice and get around on the lake easier! We’ll update conditions when we know more this weekend.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 12/20/18

Hi everyone! First and foremost we are extending our hours beginning this Saturday, 12/22. Our hours will be Saturday and Sunday from 7 am to 6 pm. Monday, Christmas Eve we will be open from 8 am to 4 pm, and CLOSED on Christmas Day. After Christmas our weekday hours will be Monday through Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. Stop on in for your last minute Christmas Shopping! Grab a gift certificate or check out our supply of good stocking stuffers as well as Rod and Reel combos! We also have a great big-ticket item such a new Strikemaster Lithium 40 volt 8 inch Lazer Auger for $549.99 for your favorite fisherperson!

On 12/19 and 12/20 we spent a good amount of time on the ice doing another thickness check and to look for historic springs that have been active in the past. We drilled a bunch of holes from Waconia Bay to Center Reef, and east of the marina to Cemetery Reef. We did not do any drilling in the other locations we’ve checked in the past. We generally found that the ice has grown from our previous report on 12/14 by typically around 1 inch to sometimes as much as 2 inches. It has obviously been a mild stretch of weather this past week which has definitely hampered ice growth. The good news is, a lot of the snow has melted, so if we can get some cold, it should help the ice grow quicker. Where there remain snow drifts, you can expect a lot of slush underneath at this time. Since the warm-up, there was a little water on the surface that will freeze and make it very slippery, so be prepared with a good set of ice cleats.

As for our search for historically springs, we definitely saw what we expected. We found two major springs located between Cemetery Reef and Anderson’s Reef. Both springs have been active in the past and are active again and dangerous. We marked them both with lath board and flagging tape. Despite our markings, we still suggest paying extra attention on that side of the lake. While looking for the springs today, we walked around a lot of the ice beyond Cemetery and toward Anderson’s. We never took our ATV on that ice, as we just didn’t ever feel comfortable enough with the quality of the ice there yet. Lots of variability.

If you’re heading our way with a wheel-house this weekend, you are still welcome to use our pay access. If you plan to leave your house on the ice for more than a day or two, pay attention to the weather forecast for after Christmas as there are predictions for significant snowfall. For us Ice Fishing enthusiasts, keep your fingers crossed that the forecasts are wrong so we can keep building quality ice with cold weather and little snow.

Stay safe and we’ll see you on the lake!

Friday, December 14, 2018

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 12/14/18

We went for another ice check today, 12/14/18 and continue to see improved ice thicknesses! To cover more ground, we took our ATV on the ice today over ice that we have thoroughly checked in the past. If we go anywhere new, we walk to those locations and test the ice before driving the ATV on it.

It’s important to remember our last report when we talked about the effect snow has on ice growth and why the lower numbers are what they are. Cemetery Reef had the most inconsistent ice that we found today. We found some ice as thin as 3.5 inches that was wet with slush, or 5 inches under snow. Most of the common ice near Cemetery was 7 to 8 inches. The ice in Waconia Bay is now in the 6.5 to 10.5 inch range. In the area people fish around Center Reef, we measured 6 to 8 inches. Keep in mind, there is still a large area of open water on top of Center Reef (the shallower part of the reef most people don’t fish). Pillsbury Reef has a lot of newer ice too and is around 6 to 8 inches as well. Wagener’s Bay has older ice and is thicker because of it, but also still affected by snow drifts. You can see a video we posted on our Facebook page that gives a good description by Ben of why that area varies from 6.5 to 11 inches. This video was done earlier in the day before Ben had seen the lesser ice near Cemetery Reef.

If you’re thinking of coming out with ATV’s and smaller houses this weekend, you are welcome to use our pay access. Being that the ice is variable, we always recommend doing some of your own thorough checking ahead of where you plan to go. We do our best to provide accurate ice reports, but cannot check everything! It’s still a good idea to avoid areas we have marked with lath board and caution tape unless you check them well. We have not ventured beyond the areas mentioned above, so there are no reports by us from Kegs, Red’s, North or Anderson’s Reefs. Definitely check ahead if you wish to head with anything heavy to those locations.

We likely won’t make much ice this weekend with the mild weather, but it will make for some comfortable fishing on the ice! We look forward to seeing you!

Monday, December 10, 2018

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 12/10/18

We went for another ice check yesterday afternoon (12/9/18) and today (12/10/18). The cold weather over the weekend has definitely helped gain us some more ice and slowly started to thicken up some areas that are covered in snow. When we are talking about thicknesses, generally the lesser ice will be under snow or wet slush (that insulates the ice, hampering growth) and where it’s thicker it usually is clear ice, but potentially combination ice (mostly good ice with frozen slush on the surface).

Yesterday we walked to Waconia Bay, past “Under the wires” (between Coney Island and Lakeview Terrace) and out to Center Reef. Waconia Bay now has between 5.5 to 10 inches, with a lot of it between 7 to 9 inches. “Under the wires” was between 6 to 9 inches. North of “Under the wires” is where the transition from older to new ice is, which encompasses Center Reef and areas to the east that we have not checked yet. There is a very large area of very thin ice or open-water near the shallow part of Center Reef. This bad area is near where many anglers like to fish. As you get a little further away from there to other locations people fish on Center, you’ll find thicknesses between 3.5 to 7 inches, with a lot of it around 5 to 7 inches as there is less snow on that ice.

Today, we headed out from the marina and to the east. Between the marinas in the “walleye hole” we have ice in the 5 to 9 inch range. With the ice thickening, we were able to get to Cemetery Reef where it is between 3 and 7 inches. However, a lot of Cemetery is closer to the 7 inch range, as there aren’t many snow-packed areas there either.

We also did a short walk in Wagener’s Bay today as well. Again, it varies depending on where the snow is or isn’t, but we found between 6 to 11 inches. We’ve had people ask us what the wood lath board with flagging tape was marking out from the access. Those are marking small springs we found last week and continue to be areas to watch out for.

It’s certainly exciting that we are seeing increased ice thicknesses! As usual, we always caution to do thorough checking yourself if you intend to go out with anything heavy. We do our best to get accurate info for you, but we cannot cover everything!

We look forward to seeing you!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 12/5/18

We look forward to seeing you this Friday when we open at 9:30 am. We wanted to give another Lake Waconia ice update, so we took another ice walk today.

This time we went to Wagener’s Bay, Harm’s Point and Pillsbury Reef. Where we checked in Wagener’s Bay, there was anywhere from 4 to 6.5 inches and was thicker due to being older ice from before Thanksgiving. Where it was 4 inches, it was under snow. Out from the Wagener’s Bay access, we marked several small active springs again, similar to year’s past. We also marked a weak spot that had been open a week ago north of that access as well. Definitely pay attention if you’re going out that way as we can’t mark everything.

As we headed toward Harm’s Point and Pillsbury Reef, we marked a slushy crack just north of the point. It became apparent the ice was changing and we were getting into “newer” ice. There were obvious transition lines. Again, where the ice was older, it was thicker in the 5 to 6 inch range because there was less snow that far out. Some of the newer ice is clear, smooth, black ice, and was about 3 inches thick, with 2.5 inches under snow. This newer ice seems to be riding a little lower than the surrounding thicker ice.

We started seeing variances with less ice than we were comfortable with, so we did not continue further today. Check out our video on Facebook to get a little bit of an idea of what we found. We’ll see you Friday!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 12/4/18 - Opening for the Season on Friday, 12/7 at 9:30 am!

We will be opening for the season this FRIDAY, December 7th at 9:30 am! Early season hours will be Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 5:30 pm and Monday thru Friday from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.

We did a quick ice walk in front of the marina to check some of the bad areas we had marked last week and they are slowly improving. To the left in Waconia Bay the ice is thicker than most areas as it’s some of the first ice that formed on the lake. We measured between 5 to 8 inches, but nearby in the bad stuff it was still as little as 1.5 inches. Toward the “walleye hole” between the marinas, there was 5.5 to 6 inches with as little as 1.5 inches in the bad stuff. The wind blew the snow around causing bare ice spots, but also heavy drifts as well, which will hold back ice growth in random spots. We hope to do a more extensive check in the coming days and will update then!