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


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Troy Smutka

1/14/13 West Metro

Cold weather (really cold) is helping thicken up and solidify the ice again. Not much snow left on the ice so watch your step. Fishing is slowing, predictable as mid-winter arrives, with best bites early and late, as well as after dark for crappies and eyes. Will be on Prior on Sunday. If you're dreaming of spring, check out the Rapid Marine Group Open House and Boat Show at their four locations this weekend. Free food, free parking, seminars, and lots of boats. I'll be at the Shakopee location (R & R Marine) all day Saturday, with a seminar at 11 am. Say hi if you stop in. Good luck out on the ice.

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Troy Smutka

mrklean,

Water quality isn't bad. Can see a fair distance on the underwater camera at 21 feet deep.

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Troy Smutka

2/9/13

Panfish are biting well on West Metro lakes. There is 22-25 inches of good ice. We are catching nice bluegills, and lots of them, on Fat Boys and Gill Pills with waxies, eurolarvae, and Gulp! Fish Fry in 12-22 feet of water in mid morning and late afternoon. Crappies are taking crappie minnows under a float, waxies on Fat Boys, and small Frostee Spoons tipped with a minnow head over deep basin areas after dark. Good luck and stay safe.

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Troy Smutka

2/17/13

Good fishing Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning on Prior. We caught probably close to 150 sunfish (vast majority of them from 7.5 to 8.5 inches), a dozen crappies up to 11 inches, two 14 inch largemouth bass, and one 16 inch walleye. Sunfish and some of the crappies came on Gill Pills and Diamond Cutter jigs tipped with waxies and eurolarvae. Rest of the crappies, the bass, and the walleye came on crappie minnows suspended under a float. Caught everything in 21 feet of water close to much shallower spots. Good ice--22 inches thick. Good luck.

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Troy Smutka

3/9/13

My favorite ice fishing of the year has arrived. The lakes are nearly empty, and are very quiet, and the fish are biting. Many panfish are still deep, but some are starting to move towards shallower water. We found bluegills and crappies over 21 feet of water, but at the edge of the basin getting closer to the shallow shoreline flat. Caught dozens of bluegills up to 9 inches in the afternoon, and caught several crappies up to 11 inches after dark. Even got a 3 pound bass up to the hole on an ultralight with 2 pound test line, but the tiny jig popped out as the fish started up the hole. Twenty-three inches of ice, but deep snow in spots--walk ahead and be sure of where you are driving. We saw a car get stuck and have to get pushed out by several people. Have fun and stay safe.

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Sunnies Boy

Was out on prior this morning. Started out in a 24ft flat fishing was slow. I moved into 17- to 21ft. Kept 13 sunnies 8+ in and 1 crappie. Hole hopping to stay on the aggressive fish worked the best. The fish seemed to shut down some what around 10ish.

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Troy Smutka

3/23/13

Good ice fishing still going in the west Metro. There are 21-24 inches of ice, and not much traffic on the lakes. Some snow drifts that could be a problem in places, so drive a 4WD on the lakes and follow paths when you can. We caught dozens of nice bluegills up to 9" on Prior in the morning, and about 30 crappies up to 12" on Waconia after dark. Sunnies on Prior were in 21 feet and we caught them on Fat Boys and Gill Pills with waxies and Gulp! 1" Fish Fry. Crappies on Waconia were in 18 feet, and we caught them on crappie minnows under a float and small jigging spoons like Frostee Spoons tipped with waxies or minnow heads. Crappies were after dark, and anywhere from six to 12 feet off the bottom. Keep an eye on the slush situation as it gets warmer this next week, but get out and enjoy some great fishing. I have dates available the next couple of weeks if you want some help getting in on this great fishing.

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Troy Smutka

3/28/13

The night crappie bite is going strong on Lake Waconia. Fish are in 15 to 22 feet of water around the main lake points and reefs. Deadstick a live crappie minnow, and jig with a small vertical jig or jigging spoon tipped with waxies, Gulp!, or a minnow head. Watch your electronics--we are catching fish from three feet off the bottom to two feet below the hole. Plenty of ice--26 inches! We were catching crappies in open water on Waconia at this time last year! Starting to get slushy on the ice, and very rough by the shoreline drive-on spots, so be careful. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

3/29/13 Lake Waconia

Got out for the afternoon, possibly my last ice fishing of the year, on Friday. There was 25 inches of ice on Waconia, but it was getting pretty slushy around the shoreline, and there was a lot of standing water on the ice. Saturday's rain may make it difficult or even impossible to get from the shore to the ice on many area lakes. From 3 to 7 pm we caught close to two hundred gills and a couple dozen crappies in 10 feet of water near the weedy top of a reef. We ran out of waxies, but it didn't matter. The fish were plenty aggressive to hit Gulp! 1" Fish Fry on a Fat Boy, and we nearly emptied the jar of those! Many of the sunnies were in the six to seven inch range, but we could have kept our forty sunfish from 7.5 to 8.5 inches, and the crappies ranged from seven to nine inches, so we could have kept a bunch of those as well if we were keeping fish. I also had what must have been a large walleye or pike grab the Fat Boy with Gulp! and break my 2 lb. test after about ten seconds. What a great, and strange end to the ice fishing season. There were trucks, ATVs, portable fish houses, and people fishing outside, with sea gulls swimming in the standing water sitting on top of 25 inches of ice! Be safe if you venture out on the ice yet--I am busy the next two weekends and will hopefully be out in the boat after that. I will be up at Cabela's in Rogers for the Walleye Classic in two weeks, stop up and say "hi." I will start open water reports for the west Metro, Hutchinson area, and Mille Lacs as soon as possible.

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Troy Smutka

5/7/13 Lake Waconia

Got out to start up the boat and make sure everything was working for the opener. Found 52 degree water temps, so went looking for crappies. Took some looking, where most of the boats were not, but we found crappies suspended two to four feet down in seven to eight feet of water over some newly developing weeds. Caught quite a few, with most of the fish from nine to thirteen inches. Peak crappie bite on most West Metro lakes is just about to start. If the Friday night cold front has the walleyes turned off, try some crappie fishing this weekend. With ice still on Mille Lacs, we will open out in the Hutchinson area--check my reports on the Hutchinson area page after opening weekend. Good luck and be safe.

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Crappies have been feeding great on some south west metro lakes. Can't wait till bass opener as they are hungry too. Water yesterday was mid 60s in a nw bay and had cooled a little for this afternoon's outing. All the crappies came from less than 5' on the windy shore. I was not expecting the water skiers yesterday, but they kept their distance. Props to them for hitting the cold water.

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Troy Smutka

5/25/13 West Metro

The MN bass opener and Memorial Day weekend was greeted by cold weather, gusty winds, scattered showers, and cold water temps. No sign of summer yet. The bass on the lake we fished had not spawned yet, with water temp. about 57 degrees. Fish were staging in developing weeds in five to nine feet of water adjacent to bedding areas. Despite the weather, the fish were biting, and we caught 40 largemouth from 12 to 19 inches, a dozen smaller bass, and four nice pike over two mornings of fishing. The females were full of eggs, and all fish were gently released. The bass fishing on West Metro lakes should get better and better as the water warms. Bluegill bedding should begin, as well, once the water gets into the mid 60's.

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Troy Smutka

6/2/13

Bass and pike are still biting well on west Metro area lakes. We boated about 30 largemouth up to 18.5 inches and fourteen pike up to 34 inches on Tonka and Waconia this weekend. Had three follows from large muskies as well. Sunfish are about to start bedding, crappies are moving to the inside weed edges, and bass, pike, and muskies are cruising these same areas looking for a meal of panfish, though quite a few of them had to settle for a spinner bait or small crankbait this weekend. Some of the best fishing on West Metro lakes is about to happen--contact me if you need some help getting in on it. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

6/11/13

We were on Waconia on Monday, and the water temp was 63 degrees. Bass and pike biting well on the inside weed edges on spinnerbaits on Waconia. Saw a couple of muskies on Monday. Sunfish have started bedding, and crappies are moving to the inside edge near cabbage weeds. Same sitution on Minnetonka on Tuesday, with 63 degree water temps. Also found a couple walleyes on inside weed edges near cabbage. Great time to catch multiple species up shallow on West Metro lakes. Stay safe, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

6/25/13 Lake Waconia

We are still catching multiple species in good numbers and with some size on the weed edges on west Metro lakes. Topwater, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and jigs are all producing. We caught a dozen largemouth from fourteen to eighteen inches, several smaller bass, a couple of thirty-two inch pike, a couple of walleyes from fourteen to sixteen inches, and about sixty crappies up to ten inches on Waconia this morning. The pre-summer peak period is in full effect as the water is warming into the 70's. Take advantage now, and contact me if you need any help. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

6/27/13 Lake Waconia

A guiding trip for walleyes on Wacaonia Thursday evening netted the two guys five walleyes from 15.5 to 24.5 inches. Also caught six bonus bass and six crappies. Were casting crankbaits along a deep weedline. Fed one crankbait to a large pike or musky also. Fishing for all species is going strong on west Metro lakes--contact me if you want some help getting in on it. Good luck, and stay safe.

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Troy Smutka

7/1/13

Still catching lots of nice bass and tons of crappies on west Metro lakes. Spinnerbaits through the tops of cabbage beds, topwater baits over cabbage beds, and crankbaits along deep weed edges are catchin bass of all sizes.

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Troy Smutka

7/3/13

Got out with a buddy and his son on Waconia this morning. Caught twelve bass from 14 to 19.5 inches, and three smaller bass. Caught six walleyes from 12 to 15.5 inches. Caught two large sheephead, and over a hundred crappies and bluegills of all sizes with most being "keepers" if we were keeping any fish. Most of the fish came on #7 Flicker Shads or #7 Jointed Shad Raps. Some of the panfish were on #4 Glass Shad Raps. Cast cranks along the inside weed edges on a couple of reefs. Gamefish were more active early, panfish later on a beautiful day. Will leave the lakes to the sailboats, waverunners, and waterskiers the next few days, so won't have another report until next week. Happy 4th, and be safe and courteous out on the lakes the next few days. The lakes will be busy, so please don't drink and boat, don't litter in the lakes or at the access, and be respectful of everyone's right to use our public lakes. See you out there next week.

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Troy Smutka

7/8/13 West Metro

We are catching lots of nice bass, pike, walleyes, crappies, and even large sunfish casting crankbaits along deep weed edges on west Metro area lakes. Largemouth up to 20 inches, walleyes up to 26, 8-12 inch crappies, and 8-9 inch sunfish are agressively slamming crankbaits, especially early and late in the day. Check out my website for photos of some of the fish. This pattern will continue into mid-August depending on water temps. I have a few dates left, so contact me if you would like to get in on this fast and exciting multi-species action.

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Troy Smutka

7/11/13 West Metro

Took four kids out to Waconia for panfish Wednesday. Wind was a little tough for kids with ultralight line and tackle, but they still caught 6-70 sunfish and crappies in less than two hours. Caught three walleyes, twelve largemouth, and a couple dozen nice crappies today on Waconia casting crankbaits along some deep weed edges. Let me know if you want to get in on some good multi species action in the west Metro.

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Avid Angler

Hey smuts,

What kind of cranks do you like to cast along the deep weedlines?

Avid

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Troy Smutka

Avid,

If I am fishing an edge ten feet deep or less, and am targeting walleyes and pike as well as bass, I like a #8 Shad Rap, and #7 Jointed Shad Rap, or a #7 Flicker Shad. If I am targeting mainly bass, then I like the Rapala DT series, tailored to the depth I am fishing. The Clackin' Crank and new Scatter Rap Crank work well for bass along the weed edges as well. I am making an effort to work the Rapala Ripin' Rap lipless crankbait along and over the weeds more this year, and it is catching all species. A swimbait, like the Storm Swim Shad works well for swimming into the weeds a bit as well. The fish will have to tell you what color they want, but always have something in a minnow color for all species. The Rapala bluegill pattern is a good bass bait, and firetiger catches everything, but is especially effective if you have walleyes or pike in the area. Good luck.

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Avid Angler

Troy,

Thank you very much!! That was very helpful.I will have to give it a try.

Avid

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Troy Smutka

7/30/13

We are still catching bass and pike on spinnerbaits in cabbage standing in 7 to 10 feet of water on Waconia and Tonka. Also catching bass, pike, and an occasional walleye and musky on crankbaits along deep weed edges on both lakes. Crappies and bluegills are suspended off the edges of weed covered reefs and points--try small crankbaits or small jig-spinners tipped with Gulp! or Powerbait. Soft plastics on a jig under a slip float will work for the pannies as well. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

8/7/13

Took a father and two kids out on Waconia for panfish on Monday. Beautiful post-cold front day. Caught hundreds of sunfish and crappies. About half the crappies would have been keepers (9-11 inches) and maybe one out of every four or five bluegills could have been filleted (7.5 to 8.5 inches). The dad had a musky grab a bluegill and run with it for a while as he tore it up, and a musky nailed a panfish at the surface pretty close to us. Caught a few bass and pike this morning on Waconia, but slow after another cold front. Felt like fall this morning with low sixties and gusty NW wind. Panfish saved the day after the bass and pike totally shut down on us.

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Troy Smutka

8/9/13 Prior Lake

Another post-cold front day with high 50's in the a.m and gusty NW winds later in the day in August? Fish were a little touchy on Prior this morning, but we managed nine largemouth from 12 to 18 inches and four pike up to 30 inches. Beautiful, fall-like morning on the lake with mallards and geese everywhere, and a some loons singing to boot. Picturesque morning with steam rising off the lake early--gotta enjoy the simple things in life. Caught our fish in nine to sixteen feet of water, in cabbage and curlyleaf and along the edge of milfoil on points extending into the main lake. Several sunnies and crappies nipped at our baits or followed them to the boat, so could have caught pannies in these areas as well. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Spent a beautiful day on Waconia on Saturday. Fishing newbie, but practicing so maybe someday can take future grandchildren out. Targeting panfish right now. Fished in 6-10' on SE side of island and got lots of small sunnies. Kept a few of the bigger ones to give me practice cleaning. Using wax worms and small ice-fishing type jigheads. No crappies. Open for suggestions to try to bring a crappie or two into the boat.

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