Friday, January 29, 2021

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 1/29/21

We did another check today in hopes of finding ice thick enough to get past Waconia Bay and Wagener’s Bay with trucks and bigger Wheelhouses and we did not find it. Ice in the areas that have remained thinner all season, such as Center Reef and beyond is 11 to 13 inches. We won’t drive our plow trucks on less than 12 inches so we will only being plowing from the marina to Waconia Bay if there is any measurable snow this weekend. Wagener’s Bay and Waconia Bay still has the thickest ice ranging from 15 to 19 inches at this time.

We’ll see you on the ice!

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 1/26/21

 We spent some time bombing around parts of Lake Waconia today to get an Ice thickness update. We again focused on areas of the main Lake that people have been patiently waiting for to grow thicker. In general we were finding areas that blew open around Christmas time to be in the neighborhood of 10 inches to 13 ½ inches of ice now. The areas we checked were on The Walleye Hump between the Marinas, Harms Point, North of Pillsbury Reef and portions of Center Reef. We were very disappointed to find as many of the 10 to 11 inches readings as we did. The 2-3” of snow blanketing the lake are certainly slowing down ice growth, despite the cold nights we have had. The next few nights are supposed to be good and cold so we should pack on some more thickness by later in the week. Lake Waconia is sure taking its sweet time this year in the ice growth department!

Getting around in the few inches of snow on Lake Waconia is pretty easy at the moment. The people that are driving in Wagener’s Bay and Waconia Bay generally don’t need four wheel drive at this time. On the main lake walking and ATVs etc will have little trouble. We will update you again in two or three days after these upcoming cold nights do their job.

See you on the Ice!

Saturday, January 23, 2021

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 1/23/21

We did some more ice checking today. This time we focused on areas with lesser ice that we’ve reported on all season. Thankfully the cold is doing its’ job! We drilled some holes on Center Reef on spots we’ve been keeping track of, and we found a minimum of 10 inches and up to 12 inches of ice. Similar story as we drilled on the “hump” east of the marina and Cemetery Reef. We are still only driving to Waconia Bay from our access at this time. It's good news that things are catching up, but we aren’t comfortable venturing out further with the heavy stuff yet.

We’ll see you on the ice!

Friday, January 22, 2021

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia - 1/22/21 - We are extending our store hours!

We are extending our store hours starting this weekend. Saturdays and Sundays we are open from 7 am to 6 pm, and Monday thru Friday we are open from 8 am to 6 pm.

For those of you looking for 1# propane cylinders, we have a good quantity for sale, but are limiting it to 4 per customer. Price is $5.99 per cylinder.

We'll see you on the ice!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report #2 from 1/21/21 - Access will be open to cars and trucks to Waconia Bay beginning Friday 1/22/21

Despite the mild mid-week temps, we have gained about an inch of ice since our last report on 1/18/21 thanks to some colder overnight temps. With another cold night tonight, we expect a little more growth. Because things are improving, we will be opening our access tomorrow (Friday, 1/22/21) to cars and trucks (up to 1-ton in size) and tandem wheel houses for use to Waconia Bay. Those not wanting to drive out can park on the ice, but if you do please spread out. As always drive at your own risk. Access rates are $5 per vehicle on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and $3 per vehicle on Monday thru Thursday. If you plan to park and walk, it is $2 per person every day. A winter season pass is $35.

Current conditions in the bay are between 13 to 18 inches. We are not recommending going further than Waconia Bay with cars or trucks at this time due to lesser ice still existing past the bay heading north towards Center Reef or behind the island. East of the marina on the “hump” and out to Cemetery Reef and beyond is also less and not advisable for driving. Most of those lesser ice areas still have between 8.5 to 11 inches of ice. Wagener’s Bay has similar ice to Waconia Bay, but if you’re driving in that bay, we still advise to not drive out of the bay itself as the ice around parts of Pillsbury Reef and east towards Center Reef is still not thick enough in our opinion.

We feel very good about side-by-side, ATV and snowmobile use all over the lake (aside from the active springs we marked and reported earlier today).

As always, ice is NEVER safe. We report what we find, but also cannot cover every area on the lake, so we advise those of you looking to go to areas less-traveled to check ahead of yourself.

With predicted measurable snow on Saturday afternoon, if a road needs to be plowed, we will only be plowing (when the snow/wind is done) to Waconia Bay at this time due to ice thickness beyond.

We’ll see you on the ice!

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report #1 - 1/21/21 - Active Springs found and marked

We set aside a good portion of today to look for and find any active springs that we often find on Lake Waconia. In general, we had a much harder time finding them due to the current conditions of frozen slush and a little snow on top. We ended up marking 5 active spring locations (that have less than 1 inch of ice covering them) with lath board and flagging tape. 2 of the springs are between Cemetery Reef and Anderson’s Reef. 2 are between Red’s Reef and Reinke’s Bay on the NE side of the lake. Another one we marked is south and west of Keg’s Reef in deep water. The springs we found today aren’t affecting as large of an area as past year’s, but you will definitely want to avoid them. If you come across anything similar, we ask that you mark it with whatever you can and let us know.

If you aren’t familiar with these springs from past years, we are happy to show you in our bait shop where they are located. Watch the video below for the largest one we found east of Cemetery Reef in over 30 feet of water.

Monday, January 18, 2021

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 1/18/2021

Things have firmed up nicely on the ice the past 2 days. Over the weekend it went from wet and slushy to crisp and solid, increasing ice thicknesses everywhere! Many anglers have been fishing in Wagener’s Bay and a lesser extent in Waconia Bay as the ice is thicker in those areas. Those locations are now in the 13 to 17 inch range. To get a better feel for areas many have stayed away from due to lesser ice, we drilled a number of holes today, 1/18/21. Starting from Harm’s Point, we found 7 to 9 inches of ice extending along the transition of older ice and newer ice to Pillsbury Reef. The Center Reef area ranges from 7.5 to 10 inches of ice in the areas we checked. From the “hump” by the marina to Cemetery Reef, we found 8.5 to 10 inches with some 12” mixed in. Behind the island towards Kegs Reef we were finding 8–10 inches of ice. There is a pressure ridge that starts on the east side of Center reef, runs over the North side of Keg’s Reef and heads towards Red’s Reef. The pressure ridge is definitely crossable by wheeler in areas, but you might not want to pull a wheel house over it.

We know many of you have been waiting for word on when we intend to open our access for driving cars and trucks. If overnight temps get as cold as predicted Monday night and Tuesday night, and we don’t get a lengthy warm-up in the forecast past Thursday, we hope to open the access up by Friday or Saturday. It all depends on ice growth with the varying temps this week. Until then, we continue to urge caution and patience with anything heavy in the locations described above that we hope thicken up soon. We will do another ice update later in the week and post any news on when we plan to open our access to cars and trucks.

We’ll see you on the ice!

Friday, January 15, 2021

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 1/15/21 - Good News!

Good news! The blizzard that never was came through last night and conditions on the lake today, 1/15/21 are much better than expected. All areas will have wet slush from last night’s precipitation, but most anglers that are set up on ice with thicknesses over 12 inches should be in good shape without much standing water. If you are set up on less than 12 inches with a heavier house, there might be a little standing water around. If you haven’t been out to your fish house lately it’s still a good idea to check on it.

We are still only allowing side by sides and ATV’s with single-axle wheel houses through our access. With the current wetness on the ice and not too much snow, we are hopeful that when the cold comes it will build thickness quicker so we can eventually open our access to cars and trucks, possibly later next week. We’ll see. We’ll also be getting our rental houses back on the lake soon and will update when they become available to rent again!

Thursday, January 14, 2021

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 1/14/2021

With the predicted weather tonight and blizzard conditions for Friday, 1/15/21, and the fact the marina has not been driving trucks on the ice yet, we have decided to pull the 4 rental fish houses we had out in Waconia Bay off the ice for the short term. The ice isn’t as thick as it normally is for mid-January. If the predictions of the snow and strong winds come true we expect heavy drifts around fish houses potentially causing some flooding around them. The recipe of standing water and high winds swirling the water around fish houses has been a cause for problems twice in the past 25 years with houses falling into expanded holes in the ice. If you’ve got a house on the lake and won’t be fishing in it this weekend, we suggest removing it from the ice (not leave on shore or snow will drift around it just as bad or worse). If you’re not removing your house, at the very least, check on it Friday.

Currently, the areas that had slush ice on top (most of the lake) has gotten soft. Thicknesses haven’t changed much if at all yet. There is not excessive standing water where we’ve checked in Waconia Bay, so conditions aren’t bad at the moment. If we luck out and get minimal snow, we are much less concerned. When the storm is over and we can assess what the ice conditions will be going forward into next week, we will hopefully be putting our rentals back on the ice. Stay safe!

Sunday, January 10, 2021

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice & Fishing Report - 1/10/2021

We went out for another ice check this morning, 1/10/21, looking to see if conditions improved with the colder temps at the end of last week. Waconia Bay and Wagener’s Bay now have 10-15 inches of ice, with most of it being in the 12-15 inch range. Keep in mind that the top few inches is still the hardened “slush”, so it is not as strong as clear black ice. We continued our check out to Center Reef, where we found 6-8 inches of ice with some hardened slush on top. This area was wet with slush several days ago, so we were happy to find it had frozen and hardened. The walleye hump in front of the marina had as little as 5 inches on it, with the majority of it being 6-7. The ice stayed similar out to Cemetery Reef, where it ranged from 6-8 inches. Keep in mind; we haven’t done any extended ice checks out to other areas of the lake such as Anderson’s, Keg’s, or North Reef. As always, use caution and check ahead of yourself if you are venturing to any areas with less traffic. The forecast for early in the week looks to be mild, so we won’t be updating ice conditions until later in the week when we hope the cold weather comes. We remain patient and won’t be allowing cars or trucks from our access until the ice thickens up more.

The bite has been less active than normal to start our ice fishing season on Lake Waconia. Hopefully things pick up with the change in weather. Most anglers are staying on the thicker ice on Wagener’s Bay or Waconia Bay. Sunfish have bit during the day in as little as 8 feet of water, with some biting a little deeper out to 14 feet. Crappies have been a little more hit or miss so far, but action can be had in similar depths as the sunfish, but later in the afternoon or early evening. Some have tried the deeper hole of Wagener’s Bay too and had some success with crappies too, but the bite hasn’t been as strong as normal. Walleyes have been picking up in the evening hours as well, with nothing too deep. This week would be a good week to set up some tip-ups with sucker minnow for northern pike with the milder temps earlier in the week.

We’ll see you on the ice!

Friday, January 8, 2021

In Towne Marina Lake Waconia Ice Report - 1/8/2020 - Now Renting our NEW 8' x 16' Ice Castle fish houses

We have our NEW Ice Castle rental houses within walking distance on Waconia Bay ready for fishing this weekend! Both are 8’ x 16’ 8 hole fish houses, nicely equipped with a 32 inch TV to hook up your underwater camera or watch the big NFL Playoff games this weekend while fishing. Check out the video about the houses here…

The generally mild week of weather hasn’t helped increase ice thicknesses like we all hoped. On our recent check 1/7/21 we went out to Center Reef and found where a lot of fishermen like to set up shop has not improved a whole lot in the last week. We are still finding areas as little as 4.75 inches and up to 7 inches of ice. As we were out walking around on these areas, it’s very noticeable that there are a lot of places with slush. There are a few guys adventuring out to parts of Pillsbury Reef. In the deeper part of the reef it is 10 to 13 inches but not far away to the north from the transition in the shallower part of the reef where you will find 5 to 7 inches. From the Hump by the marina and beyond to Cemetery Reef we remain at 5-8 inches of ice. The ice in Waconia Bay and Wagener’s Bay continues to be the best ice on the lake. We are finding 10 to 14 inches (again, with that ice having frozen slush as part of those numbers).

For the upcoming weekend we will still only be allowing fish houses pulled out by ATV’s and Side by Sides from our access into the Waconia Bay. As the week goes on we have been seeing larger fish houses and some vehicle traffic over in Wagener’s Bay. Keep in mind the larger fish houses are only being pulled out by a dollied ATV. We continue to strongly recommend checking ahead of yourself if you are bringing anything heavy onto the ice. We are still only driving with our side by side at this point. This year is not a year to make assumptions about the ice. Outside of Waconia Bay and Wagener’s Bay, the ice varies greatly.

See you on the ice!