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


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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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anchor man

Might be time to try to deep rocks on Tonka huh? I usually struggle to catch many 'eyes out there this time of year. Maybe no vehicle traffic will help the bite a bit.

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Yea it is pretty crazy how lazy people are these days! Get some friggin exercise... And if ur one of those paranoid people who think ur gonna fall in walking on the lake, live a little!

Its not hard to tell safe ice from unsafe ice. Keep your eyes down and in front of you and keep your ears open! Pay attention, just be prepared for anything, use safety equipment! Don't go where your not familiar with, or to areas that are known to have troublesome ice. Ie current areas inlets/outlets, shallow weedy areas, dark bottom shallow lakes, etc.

Enough preaching it not even Sunday :P

I got out on a west metro area lake yesterday afternoon, walked out left the house at home. Punched about 20 holes, in 5-9 FOW. Hole hopped all afternoon for panfish. Must have caught about 50 sunfish, ended up keeping 12 decent metro fish. Mixed in were a few crappies, got a handful of them, kept 2. Plus a bonus largemouth.

The fishing is hot right now, just put in some time and effort and you should have a good day on the ice! Best of luck everyone, stay safe.

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Troy Smutka

February 19th, 2012 Prior Lake

Crappie bite was slow the past two nights--had to really be patient and pay close attention for very subtle strikes, but caught some nice ones. Bluegills biting very well morning and evening--we caught a couple hundred in two evenings and one morning with the majority over seven inches. We walked out, but others were driving. Fourteen to fifteen inches of O.K. ice. Did see someone in a white suburban with dual exhaust that was spinning his tires and doing high speed circles right in front of the drive onto the lake where people come onto eastern Prior. He succeeded in slushing up and breaking up the ice right in front of the approach and took off when a couple of us walked towards him. There are cones marking this hole, basically, in front of the lake approach, so use caution there. Get out and enjoy the good fishing right now. The way this winter has gone, ice out could be close at hand. Good luck and stay safe!

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Troy Smutka

2/26/12 Prior Lake

We had a great bluegill bite Saturday afternoon and evening. Caught over fifty, and most of them were 7.5 to 8 inches. Caught a half dozen that were nearing the nine-inch mark--just short of it. Caught one 31-inch pike on a tip-up. Did get a brief crappie bite right after sunset, catching seven nice ones, but it dried up after a half-hour and did not start up again. Fourteen inches of ice. Don't give up on fishing just because the houses have to be off and walleyes and pike are closed. As long as slushy spring snow and rain don't beat up the ice too badly, walk out with a portable and enjoy some great panfishing without the crowds and noise. Good luck!

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Troy Smutka

3/3/12 Lake Waconia

Gret bluegill bite this morning on Waconia. We were fishing in 22 feet of water off the edge of a shallow reef. No crappies this morning--a little surprising--but the gills were mostly nice ones, and we caught a lot of them. Fifteen inches of ice where we fished, but ice is getting suspect along the shoreline. Warmer temps and the chance of rain this week could make the shoreline ice even worse. Panfish should start moving shallower soon. Almost no one else out early this morning--activity started picking up around 9 a.m. Good luck, and stay safe.

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Troy Smutka

3/11/12

Large area of open water in the middle of Lake Waconia. Shoreline ice starting to erode on area lakes. With rain, wind, and more 60's and/or even 70's coming this week, that may be it for safe ice conditions. Area experts are predicting ice-out on Waconia Friday or Saturday. We'll see, but I would start getting the boats ready:)

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Troy Smutka

3/25/12

Metro area lakes are open and the crappies have moved into the shallows and are biting. We have caught crappies up to 16.5 inches on west Metro area lakes, with bluegills and bass mixed in. Try to avoid crowds if you can as the fish will eventually be spooked. Use a small Berkley Powerbait or Gulp! Minnow on a 1/16 ounce jig hung under a float. Fish above the crappies for the best bite. Get out and enjoy this early season open water fishing. A year ago, we were still ice fishing! Call or email if you would like to get out for some of this great early season crappie fishing, and check out my website (www.greatdayonthewater.com) for reports and a photo of the 16.5 inch slab. Good luck!

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Troy Smutka

Lake Waconia 4/15

Crappies are still biting on Waconia and other west Metro area lakes. A couple weeks of cold weather and overnight freezes actually cooled the water three degrees on Waconia from late March. Crappies are moving between shallows along the shore during warm, sunny, stable weather and deeper weeds (7 to 9 feet) during cool or unstable weather. Once you locate the fish, suspend a jig and plastic above the fish under a float for the best results. Good luck.

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Getting some on Waconia but pretty small. A keeper here and there. Guess I wouldn’t recommend fishing up close by the Marina the person putting out the dock this year doesn’t seem to like you in there fishing. Well I did happen to get hooked up on the dock (My Bad) went in the slot to retrieve my hook and he got a bit pi$$y (Mind you there are no boats in there yet). Never had a problem before maybe they just don’t want us in there (As I can see that when they have boats in they are completely empty). I’m not real sure as to how the laws apply here but as far as I know they do not own the water but I guess I could be mistaken. I now know not to go there, for the fishing, nor for the winter pass (I’ll just cut across like everyone else), launch, or bait (Go to Cabin Fever or the Holiday in St Boni). Sure I’ll get some nasty post back from this but oh well everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

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People always get cranky when you fish near their dock. I'm not sure what people are doing to make them wary of everyone but that's how it goes. I'd just tell the guy to shut it. I'd actually say something else, but this is a family forum. Really though who cares what he has to say. That said if you're close enough to the docks to get hooked you're too close in for the good fish. You gotta get out into the boat city. I'll see you guys out there.

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WALLEYENUTZ

Getting some on Waconia but pretty small. A keeper here and there. Guess I wouldn’t recommend fishing up close by the Marina the person putting out the dock this year doesn’t seem to like you in there fishing. Well I did happen to get hooked up on the dock (My Bad) went in the slot to retrieve my hook and he got a bit pi$$y (Mind you there are no boats in there yet). Never had a problem before maybe they just don’t want us in there (As I can see that when they have boats in they are completely empty). I’m not real sure as to how the laws apply here but as far as I know they do not own the water but I guess I could be mistaken. I now know not to go there, for the fishing, nor for the winter pass (I’ll just cut across like everyone else), launch, or bait (Go to Cabin Fever or the Holiday in St Boni). Sure I’ll get some nasty post back from this but oh well everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Seriously??? you pulled your boat into there docks and they asked you not to and you react like that.

The boys at InTowne are the best you'll find.

BTW - Lots of fish to be had on Waconia. 100 fish days are possible. Size is the problem.

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Wish-I-Were-Fishn

Was out there today and yes, size was the problem. Great day to be on the water though!

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Troy Smutka

Lake Waconia 5/26/12

The bass season has opened! We got out for about three hours before the rain. Tough east wind, but the fish were biting. We go six bass from 15 to 17 inches, and one 32 inch pike. Nothing big, but aggressive strikes and some jumping to make it fun. We were targeting shallow firm bottom areas with pencil reeds, where fish would have bedded. Caught some little bass on spinnerbaits and chased by bluegills in those areas. Moved to inside weed edges of cabbage and culy leaf out from pencil reeds and caught the nicer male bass and the pike there, also on spinnerbaits. Good luck and stay dry.

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Troy Smutka

6/15/12 Lake Waconia

Fish are on their June feed! We caught numerous bass (lost count) from 16 to just under 19 inches, and four pike from 26 to 30 inches. Two more bass came off while jumping. We were casting spinnerbaits into cabbage beds in six to nine feet of water, and running the baits one to two feet down through the tops of the cabbage. Lots of small female bluegills staging in the area were attracting the predators. After a couple of hours, we went looking for bluegills on the beds. We found them! The bedding is just getting started, and we caught probably a hundred or so in a couple of hours in three to four feet of water on a Berkley Micro Power Tube on a 1/16 ounce jig suspended under a float. Caught many bulls in the 8 to 8.5 inch range, and a couple at about 9 inches. Also had a mid-40's musky chase a gill up to the boat, and had another musky grab a gill for a few seconds before letting go. Fishing should continue to be good--contact me if you want to get out for some great multi-species action. Good luck, I'll see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

6/20/12 Lakes Minnetonka and Waconia

Fished Tonka Tuesday and Waconia Wednesday. Ten bass and nine pike on Tonka. Bass were small, from 14 to 17 inches, but were biting well. Pike ranged from a couple of hammerhandles, to several in the three to five pound range, to a 35 incher at about 12 pounds. Bluegills are still bedding--will be over in a few days so get out quick for that. We got the bass and pike on inside weed edges where gills were bedding using spinnerbaits and shallow cranks.

Six bass from 16 to 18 inches on Waconia, as well as one 32 inch pike, three walleyes (one 23 incher and two 14 inchers--no fish fry) and about thirty crappies after the gamefish slowed. Bass, walleyes, and pike were along outside weed edges taken on crankbaits. Crappies were suspended along and into a weedline on a point. We got them slow-rolling jig spinners with Powerbait and Gulp! grubs and minnows.

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Troy Smutka

6/24/12 Minnetonka and Waconia

Fished Tonka on Friday and Waconia on Saturday. Caught lots of bass on Tonka, plus several pike, on inside weed edges with rock or gravel present in 5 to 8 feet of water. Bass were from 15 to 18 inches, including two 17 inch smallies. Pike were mostly 24 to 29 inches. Bluegills are still bedding in many areas, which are keeping some of the bass and pike on the inside edge. Caught bass and pike on spinnerbaits and crankbaits, and caught some bass, including the smallies, on topwater (Rapala Skitter Prop) baits. Pounded bluegills on the beds when it got HOT.

Caught maybe twenty largemouth on Waconia on Saturday--no pike this time. Worked topwater baits early, then switched to spinnerbaits and crankbaits later. Anywhere there is cabbage in six to nine feet of water, there are fish. Finished catching thirty or so crappies in the same cabbage areas casting jig spinners with Berkley Powerbait 2" Minnows. Got a gide trip on Thursday--hopefully the boat traffic doesn't spook the fish too much over the next few days. I usually spend the day after the 4th scooping up garbage and shredded weeds off the surface with my landing net. Can't do much about the weeds, but hopefully people have a little more class and self-respect than to leave garbage floating everywhere this year. If not, I guess they have me to clean up after them. Good luck and stay safe.

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Troy Smutka

7/12 Bass and pike are still biting on Minnetonka and Waconia. Having 10 to 20 fish days, with a few large ones (bass up to 19 inches and pike up to 35 inches so far). Panfish are schooling up along weedlines--large catches of nice bluegills and crappies are an option. Depending on depth and cover, we are catching the bass and pike on spinnerbaits, spoons, and crankbaits, and are catching bass on topwater on calmer days. Panfish are chasing down small jig spinners with Gulp! or Powerbait minnows. Good luck, and see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

7/20/12 Minnetonka and Waconia

Thursday guiding on Minnetonka we got nine largemouth up to 18 inches and one pike in the middle of the day. Some fish on spinnerbaits in cabbage beds in 7 to 9 feet of water, and some on crankbaits (DT 10's) on outside weed edges around reefs. Fishing is better in the morning.

Friday guiding on Waconia we got seven largemouth up to 18.5 inches, and two nice pike. Caught some on spinnerbaits in a cabbage bed on a reef in 5 to 8 feet of water, and some on an 8-foot weed edge on crankbaits. One crappie hit a crankbait as well. Fish are spending more time in deep water (80 to 85 degree water surface temps depending on the day) and the lakes are getting busier with people trying to stay cool, so early morning is the way to go. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

7/30/12 Waconia and Minnetonka

We are still catching bass, pike, and crappies on west metro area lakes in good numbers with some nice-sized ones in the mix. We are catching bass and pike in cabbage and curly-leaf beds in six to ten feet of water on spinnerbaits and topwater baits. We are also catching bass and pike along deep weed edges on points and reefs on crankbaits. Crappies are suspended on weedy points and reefs, and we are catching them on jig spinners with Gulp! or Powerbait minnows. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

8/20/12

Bass, pike, and crappies are still biting on Tonka and Waconia. Saturday on Tonka we got 10 bass and 8 pike on spinnerbaits in a cabbage bed in 8 to 10 feet of water on spinnerbaits and weedless spoons early. Moved to deep milfoil edges on points later in the morning and caught four more bass on a tube and a worm. Monday on Waconia got six bass and two pike early in a mix of weeds (foil, cabbage, coontail, and curly leaf) on a reef in 5 to 8 feet of water. Caught two bass on topwater, the rest of the fish on spinnerbaits. Had a musky around 40" hit the topwater, completely breeching, but didn't get hooked. Caught two more bass and a 38" musky on crankbaits later in the morning along a deeper weed edge of a reef. Also caught several crappies on small spinnerbaits suspended off the deep weed edge on the same reef. Surface temp. down to 72 degrees on both lakes. Waconia is getting green and the water level has dropped some. Good luck and see you out there somewhere.

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Moose-Hunter

Hey Troy...

I haven't had a decent meal of crappies since the spring. Point me in the right direction, will ya? Would Waconia be a good bet or are there better options for a few eaters?

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Troy Smutka

Dan,

I haven't been on Waconia in a couple of weeks, but we caught a bunch the last time out. Mostly 6 to 9 inchers, but could weed out a meal of 8's and 9's. Try suspended along the weed edges of most of the reefs and points. Best spots this summer have been the point that separates Waconia and Wagner's Bays, Anderson's Reef, and Cemetery Reef. Also the cabbage bed in 6 to 9 feet of water on the north side near Nelson's flat has held crappies this summer. Cast a small jig spinner (1/16 oz. jig tipped with a gulp or powerbait minnow with a jig spinner attached or a 1/16 oz. hair or maribou jig with the spinner attached) in a white or silver color along the weed edges and even through the weed tops into the weed edge a ways and slow roll it back to the boat. Experiment with speed/depth until you find the depth the fish are at. If the crappies are there and feeding, they should show themselves pretty quickly. Good luck, and let me know if they are still going on Waconia.

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Moose-Hunter

Thanks Troy!!

I have more prop testing to do so I may give it a shot this evening. The deep fryer is all ready to go... IF I can do my part. LOL!! If you're out on Wacky and see a old guy in a new Pro-V, stop on by and say HOWDY!

See ya on the water!!

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Moose-Hunter

The pannies were just that... Pannies!! And yummy too!! Found'em suspended over deeper basins close to weeds... Nailed a few over 12" but most in the 9" to 11" range. A limit followed me home and jumped in the deep fryer. Gotta love fresh fish!!

Now... Troy, old buddy, old pal... How about a little direction for Tonka eyes? I'm locked in the city this week and thought it may be a good chance to do some "night stalking".

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Troy Smutka

Dan,

Depending on water temp, eyes could be in a lot of different places on Tonka this time of year. If you are going to try at night, try shallow to mid-depth in channel areas. Best channels would be ones that drop to deep water fairly quickly, and have a decent-sized "flat" in shallow to mid-depth water, preferably with rock or scattered weed cover. Try casting crankbaits in shallow water, or trolling them if the flat area is large enough. Could also fish with a lighted slip bobber in shallow or mid-depth areas, and a jig or live bait rig in the mid-depth areas. As fall moves on and the water temp drops, the eyes will get awfully shallow at night in these channel areas. Stay off of them then and cast to them--lighted bobber, crankbait, or jig. Good luck, and let me know how it goes. Haven't actually chased eyes in the fall on Tonka in a while. Have been duck hunting or trolling cranks shallow on Mille Lacs the last few falls.

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Troy Smutka

12/27/12 Prior Lake

Ice fishing is off and running in the West Metro. Normal to below normal temps and not much snow are combining to make some decent ice. Out on Prior a couple times this week and fished on about 6 to 7" of ice in a few different spots. Haven't tried for eyes yet, but bluegills and crappies are biting well. Fishing jigs with Gulp! or eurolarvae or waxies over 20 to 21 feet of water for both bluegills and crappies. Suspending a crappie minnow under a dead stick for crappies 4 to 8 feet up from bottom as well. Half the bluegills were keepers, and caught several around 9" both days. Crappies have all been from 8 to 12 inches. Have caught several pike on a small live sucker under a tip-up along the weeds near the top of the break adjacent to the deep basin area where we are catching the panfish. Good luck and stay safe.

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Troy Smutka

1/6/13

There is 12 to 15 inches of ice in most spots on Prior and Waconia now. Wheel houses are abundant, and many people are driving vehicles on both lakes. Be careful if we do get a bunch of rain following several days of warm temps.--could have an effect on the ice in some spots. Bluegills and crappies are still biting over deep basin areas. Bite is best early and late for gills, and after dark for crappies now that the ice is getting busy and noisy. Small jigs with eurolarvae or waxies are working well. Pike are biting along the weed edges early and late in the day--small to medium suckers under a tip-up is the way to go for them. Good luck and watch those ice conditions late in the week and this coming weekend if you are driving out.

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    • smurfy
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      I went out of the Federal Dam landing yesterday on Gull.  It was in good shape and we had 22 inches of ice where we fished.  I thought about going out again this afternoon but wind gusts to 25 don’t thrill me on bigger lakes with no real snow cover.
    • Wanderer
      I’ve only fished Kab once but I can imagine it behaves a lot like other shield lakes.  Try to spend time near current and use large baits; either live or artificial.  I’d never go pike fishing in that area without some F18 Rapalas.  The good old Original Floater in silver/black back being a top color choice.
    • knoppers
      well nothing is biting, I did catch 2 very small perch in 15 FOW, had all kinds of activity in deeper water, but no takers. my locator would lite up with fish, but nothing bites.
    • IceHawk
      It's just about go time smurf 😀 I didn't wish for this weather but there won't b any complaints about it for sure. Been a great ice season but honestly ready for it to be over. I  plan on picking up the boat soon getting it ready and doing a little pool 4 fishing and maybe a rainy river run yet. Probably got a couple ice outings left next week maybe some last minute runs to ottertail county. Had a epic day with some buds today locally, fish were right under the ice was a blast 👍
    • smurfy
      rumor has it an ATV went thru on Pokegama by grand rapids..........sounds like the guy made it out ok. not sure how accurate it is?????
    • PSU
    • FrazerBay
      let me know if you get a hold of them.Maybe they can can come back and finish the job they started 4 years ago on my boathouse after getting half the money upfront
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