The big surprise so far this winter has been the tremendous northern pike bite. Again, fishing in similar areas to the panfish on the weedlines or above the weeds in 11 to 15 feet of water has been very good. We’ve had several stories of anglers getting some impressive catches of pike on panfish equipment. That’s always fun and interesting to hear! Of course it’s best to use heavier line with a small to medium sucker minnow if you’re going with live bait. We’ve had a variety of sizes of pike brought into the marina which is always good to see. We’ve also had some reports of pike being caught in the 40 to 42 inch range and released.
As for walleye, it has been fun to hear the reports and see some of the nice fish caught this winter. A lot of times in past years, anglers had been frustrated with catching too many undersized walleyes that don’t quite get to the Lake Waconia legal size limit of 16 inches. However, this winter has been different! There have been plenty of catches of legal fish between 16 to 20 inches, with some reported last weekend in the 27 to 28 inch range that were released! Many have used fathead minnows on jigging spoons or small to medium shiners on a rattle reels or tip ups. The best chance to harvest some Lake Waconia walleye is to spend the evening on the ice or overnight. Getting away from the larger crowds to lessen the noise/activity is a good idea too, although we have definitely had good reports amongst some of the most actively fished locations like Wagener’s Bay, Pillsbury and Center Reef. Waconia Bay has pumped out a few walleye as well. To get away from the crowd on ice we have checked thoroughly, it can be good between the marinas in what we call the “walleye hole” or “hump” depending on what part of the area you’re on. Also, Cemetery Reef can be a quality reef to hit if the conditions are right! 14 to 22 feet of water would be a common depth range to target them depending on your location.
Lake Waconia ice held up pretty well during that warm period last weekend and early in the week! Thankfully the cooler temps came and helped freeze most of the water up before higher winds came. Now that things are settled, we hope to see many of you out for this upcoming weekend of good weather! We are glad many of you kept a close eye on our reports, and are thankful we don’t have any bad news to report!
We spent a good portion of the day on the ice today, Thursday 1/10/19. The ice is back in GREAT shape. We drilled a bunch of holes in many of the areas people are driving to and found thicknesses between 13 to 17 inches. Many of the holes we drilled were between 15 to 16 inches. The ice that was 13 inches was between the island and Lakeview Terrace in the area we called “under the wires”, which is on the way from Waconia Bay to Center Reef. We also found 13 inches on the south side of Coney Island. We also drilled in the marked off area on the shallow side of Center Reef (that froze last because of birds) and that ice is catching up nicely. We will continue to leave it marked, as we did find as little as 11 inches there. Again, we focused our checks where the majority of anglers go, which is Wagener’s Bay, Pillsbury Reef, Center Reef, Waconia Bay and out to Cemetery Reef. We have not done any checking on Keg’s, North, Red’s or Anderson’s Reefs. If you plan to go to the areas we haven’t checked, stop inside to talk to us about the small active springs we have found and marked with lath board and flagging tape that lead out to those reefs.
Don’t forget, we RENT FISH HOUSES! This is still plenty of availability on upcoming weekends (including a few openings yet this weekend). We do our best to make it easy and comfortable for you, as we make sure the heat is on and the holes are open. All the houses have plenty of lighting, with 4 of the 5 having hole lights too! We have them set up in Waconia Bay in 12.5 to 13 feet of water in good sunfish and pike area for daytime, with a good chance at crappies in the evening. Call (952) 442-2096 to reserve. Click on the following link for more info… http://intownemarina.com/FishHouseRental.htm
Take advantage of the upcoming nice weekend and get on Lake Waconia. We’ll see you on the lake!