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West Metro - Minnetonka, Waconia, Prior Lake Fishing Reports by Great Day on the Water Guide Service


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digmetrofishing

Hello Smuts,

Looks like a lot of fun! Thinking of hitting Waconia this weekend. What depth where you fishing? Were they suspended or near the bottom? In you opinion, what time was the best to be on the ice? Thanks!

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7/24/17     Got my son and one of my daughters out with Grandpa Smutka on Waconia this afternoon (I have football practice every morning this week). We targeted panfish alongside a weedy reef. Small j

6/9/15     On Waconia and Minnetonka the past few days. Caught mostly largemouth and panfish, but also a few pike and a couple walleyes. Bass, pike, and eyes are on the inside weed edges and especiall

6/23/18     Guided on Waconia on Saturday. Clients from Iowa looking for walleyes, northerns, and maybe a musky. No musky, but did catch walleyes, northerns, bass, and crappies, including some big one

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Troy Smutka

We were in about 21 to 22 feet of water (from the bottom of the hole). The best crappie fishing the last few weeks has been from about 4 to 7 pm. That may slide an hour later Sunday after the clock change. During this time, the crappies are all over the water column, as high up as 8 feet below the ice. Lots of sunnies in the bottom 6 feet also. Sunnies are mostly small, but you will get a few approaching 8 inches. They start slowing around 6 pm. The crappies are mostly 8-9 inches with a few approaching 10. After the peak bite, you will still see crappies on your flasher, but they are not as thick and they get much more finicky. However, it seems like we average a little bigger size after dark, with more of them around 10 inches. Good luck!

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For Waconia what is the best place to get on the lake if I want to fish Wagener’s Bay? Can you drive on right at the In Town Marina?

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Troy Smutka

You can drive on at the In Towne Marina. There is also a public access into Wageners Bay off of Lakeview Terrace Drive.

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Troy Smutka

Good showing at the Rapid Marine Group's Open House at R&R Marine in Shakopee today. About twenty-five people attended the four person fishing panel with Shane Raveling, Travis Frank, Tony Grosskreutz, and myself that lasted for three hours. Thanks to all who attended.

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Troy Smutka

3/15/15 Spring Fishing in MN at its finest!

We hit the Mississippi in St. Paul on Saturday and caught walleyes from 18 to 27 inches. Five-eighths ounce glow white or chartreuse jigs tipped with fatheads caught the fish. Fish are downriver of the dam yet collecting in deeper pools or where current from other streams or rivers is coming in. Water is not too dark and not moving too fast yet. Sunday we headed out on the ice on Prior and caught some nice bluegills up to 9 inches. Fish are transitioning shallower--we caught fish from 8 to 20 feet deep. Small VMC Tungsten jigs with waxies or Gulp! 1" Fish Fry worked best. There was 16 inches of ice, but it is not good ice. Auger went through it with ease. Some water and slush along the shoreline. Use caution. Good luck and I will see you out there somewhere.

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solocamzman

I'm new to Minnesota. Can you target walleye in the river even though the season is closed? If you're fishing a pool that's catch and release?

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I'm new to Minnesota. Can you target walleye in the river even though the season is closed? If you're fishing a pool that's catch and release?

Yes. Sounds like you understand what the pools are. Pool 4 (P4) you can catch and keep year round.

Link to the MN DNR site where the regs are for more details. http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fishing/index.html

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solocamzman

Thanks EBass. Should have looked at the regs first. Good to know. I don't own a boat but I'm definitely going to get out and try from shore. Unless someone has extra room in their boat.......

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Troy Smutka

The Mississippi walleye bite is just getting started. It should get really good over the next 2-3 weeks as the fish continue to migrate up river to the dams and really start feeding. Unless the weather changes drastically it should be good, easy fishing with reasonable water levels, water clarity, and current--unlike last spring! Good luck and be safe.

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Troy Smutka

3/30 and 31 Rainy River

Not exactly Metro Fishing, but river fishing all over including in the metro is going strong. Four of us slammed walleyes on the Rainy River Monday and Tuesday. Run is just starting, so mostly males and small females, but the big females will be running out of Lake of the Woods soon. We also caught saugers, pike, and a big sturgeon. The walleyes up to 25 inches were hammering jigs tipped with minnows in the deeper holes on the outside turns in the river. 3/8 ounce white/blue, white/chartreuse, and chatreuse/orange VMC Mooneye jigs and Northland Whistler Jigs were the best. Water is clear (as the Rainy goes), low, and current is slow--easy to locate fish and catch them. Back on the Mississippi now. Good luck and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

4/4/15 Mississippi River Pool 2

Headed out of St. Paul on the Miss today. Slow bite, and no big fish, but still managed 8 walleyes from 14-20 inches and had a couple come unbuttoned in a few hours. Fish we found were tight to the bottom in deeper holes hiding under the current. They weren't in a mood to chase a bait, so you had to use the troller to slow your drift. Slowly swam and fluttered a Fireball or Eyeball jig tipped with a minnow just inches off the bottom. Subtle action got bites. Good luck, stay safe, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

3/12/15 Still catching walleyes and an occasional sauger on Pool 2 of the Mississippi. Fish from 12 to 24 inches. See the video clip below for tips on catching spring walleyes on rivers. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

4/14/15 Crappies are up in the shallows and biting on area lakes. Three generations of Smutka men caught several dozen crappies on Waconia in a couple hours. Fish were suspended above weeds in 10 feet of water and were eager to grab a 2" Berkley Powerbait Minnow on a 1/16 ounce jig suspended under a slip float. Mostly small males active now--most fish were 7-9 inches but, at the urging of the youngest Smutka, we kept a meal of 9-10 inchers. Larger fish will be moving in as the 51 degree water continues to warm. Please take care not to overharvest, especially the larger fish, so enough eggs survive to keep the great crappie fishing going on area lakes for years, and generations, to come. Good luck, stay safe, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

4/26/15 West Metro

Crappies are moving shallow and starting to bite well on area lakes. Some sunfish are showing up too, as well as some small bass. Catching them on a 1/16 ounce VMC Moon Eye Jig tipped with a 2" Gulp! Minnow or 2" Fuzzy Grub under a slip float or on the same jig tipped with a 2" Gulp Minnow or Grub with a jig spinner slow rolled. Fish are suspended over weeds in 7-10 feet of water and starting to move shallower. Good luck, stay safe, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

5/20/15     Fish are biting on west metro area lakes. We are catching lots of bass, as well as pike and walleyes in six to twelve feet of water. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, jig-spinners, and leeches under slip-bobbers are all catching fish. Look for green cabbage weeds near rock or gravel. Milfoil is just starting to come up. Good luck and I will see you out there somewhere.

 

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Troy Smutka

5/25/15     Fished Lake Waconia with clients Tuesday evening, my kids Friday evening, and my Dad Saturday morning. Caught tons of largemouth, a couple walleyes, a couple pike, and several 10-12 inch crappies around and in cabbage weeds forming the inside weed edge out from hard bottom and the shoreline. Caught fish in five to eight feet of water on spinner baits, jerk baits, and jig-spinners with Powerbait. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

 

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Stick500

Hey Troy does Waconia look clear enough to do a little snorkeling in right now? Did you see any carp along the weeds or in the shallows?

Thanks in advance for any info.

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Troy Smutka

It has been clear enough on Waconia for snorkeling so far--about 5-6 foot visibility. As rain continues and the water warms, that will change soon.

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Troy Smutka

6/9/15     On Waconia and Minnetonka the past few days. Caught mostly largemouth and panfish, but also a few pike and a couple walleyes. Bass, pike, and eyes are on the inside weed edges and especially working any cabbage you can find that is in six to ten feet of water. Spinnerbaits and spoons through the tops of the weeds and crankbaits along the edges have been working well. Sunfish are starting to bed on firm bottom between the inside weed edge and the shore, and crappies are spawning in some of the same areas. Small jigs with soft plastics under a slip float are catching both in numbers and some big ones. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

 

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Troy Smutka

6/16/15     Guided all day on Minnetonka yesterday. Good company, good conversation, and good fishing. We fished sunfish on the beds for about 6.5 hours and caught hundreds of bluegills, pumpkinseeds, and a couple bluegill/pumpkinseed hybrids including a 9.5 incher (pictured below). Caught several bluegills and pumpkinseeds in the 8.5 to 9 inch range. Fished bass the last hour and a half and caught ten largemouth from 15 to 18 inches, a 17 inch smallmouth, and a small pike. Obviously, the sunnies are bedding on metro area lakes, and the bass, pike, and muskies are on or near the inside weed edges in spots where the bedding is happening, scarfing smaller female sunfish as they move from the weeds to and from the beds. Get out and take advantage of this opportunity to get kids fishing for the sunnies, or to catch some nice predatory fish feeding voraciously. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

6/19/15     Good morning on Tonka today. Caught seventeen largemouth from 14.5 to 18.5 inches, five pike, and a bunch of nice sunfish on the beds. Also had a musky in the low 40's follow a bait, and had a musky in the mid 40's grab onto a bass and pull for a minute or two before letting go. Did a little bit of everything, but spinnerbaits and waking minnows over the tops of cabbage on the inside weed edges were the most consistent for bass. Small jig and plastic under a slip float for the sunnies. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

 

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Troy Smutka

7/30/15     Guided and fished for recreation on Waconia and Prior this week. Clients caught nine largemouth from 16 to 19 inches, a bunch of 12-14 inch bass, a couple walleyes, the biggest sheephead I have ever seen, and a bunch of 8-10 inch crappies on Waconia. My Dad and I caught a ton of 14 to 17 inch largemouth on Prior, along with a couple pike and a 9.75 inch hybrid (bluegill and pumpkinseed) sunfish. Heading up to Mille Lacs this weekend, but will be back out around the metro next week. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

 

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Troy,

Were the fish on Prior on outside weedlines? Beautiful hybrid!!!

 

Mwal

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Troy Smutka

mwal,

     Yes, we caught most of the fish along outside weedlines along shore, and around reefs/humps. We were fishing over the top of them and they were coming up and slamming the baits--several grabbed the bait on the fall.

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Thanks for posting the reports with pictures Troy I always appreciate your efforts.

 

Mwal

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Troy Smutka

8/3/15     Fished Prior Lake this morning scouting for a guide trip. Slow rolled spinnerbaits and snapped Rippin' Raps over the tops of the weeds and down the deep weed edges of a couple reefs and points. Caught largemouth, pike, walleyes, crappies, and a big pumpkinseed sunfish. White 1/2 ounce Terminator spinnerbait and Chartreuse Shad Rippin' Rap were the best. Caught fish of all sizes, and lots of them. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

 

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Troy Smutka

8/11/15     Fished Waconia this morning. Beautiful, fall-like morning. Caught a bunch of mid-sized largemouth from 14 to 17 inches, and a bunch of smaller ones mixed in. Had a big muskie hit a bait right by the boat, but didn't get hooked up. Finished by pitching small jig spinners and catching quite a few crappies. Caught the bass on spinnerbaits, Senkos, and Rippin' Raps mostly on deep outside weed edges except a few on a reef top with rock, cabbage, and milfoil mixed in relatively shallow water. Crappies were suspended off of a deep weed edge. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

 

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • BrianF
      Due to all the the weeds, I’ve heard the name ‘Garbage Bay’ given to the bay just West of Niles Point - which bay actually has a name, Laura Bay - but I’ve not heard of Garbage Point.  Maybe it’s associated with Garbage Bay?  Dunno for sure...
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      I don't remember what kind of survey they did in the fall, but whatever it was showed very favorable walleye populations on Vermilion.   I did a quick search, and they were netted not shocked out of the water:  http://timberjay.com/stories/walleye-boom-time,17521
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      You got it, bro!   The secret spot is not so secret...    Usually the beach is empty in April but it wasn't this past weekend (we planned to try Sun before lunch and there was no room, so we took early lunch, came back and thankfully then the prime beach spot was open!  YES!)   The high water is one thing;  there's at least enough standing room and I could barely fit a folding chair.  (but action was hot--we weren't sitting much at all!) The bigger issue was casting room.  80% of the time I spent fishing and 20% untangling line from the brush/trees.  🤣
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      East end of Waconda Bay.  Our dock points N towards Niles Point, which you can see in the background there.  Been eight years now since we bought; every year better than the last.   
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