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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

SouperStar,

Sorry I just got to this. Walleyes are on inside weed edges near harder bottom shoreline areas right now, and some are setting up on deeper weed edges on reefs. I like to fish the shallower fish early and late with slip bobbers or casting crankbaits. The deeper fish can be had vertical fishing a heavy jig or a slip-shot rig with live bait or soft plastics. You can also troll the deep weed edges on the main lake reefs with a bottom bouncer and a Gulp! minnow or crawler. Crappies are suspended over and alongside the weeds on many of the reefs close to shore or shoreline points right now. Hard to beat a small "spinnerbait" consisting of a 1/16 ounce jig tipped with a small Gulp! or Powerbait minnow or grub attached to a small jig spinner. Slow roll it over the weeds and you should connect often. Good luck!

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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

6/7/14 Lake Waconia

Bass are near the inside weed edges near shore, as are many walleyes, pike, and a few muskies. They are feeding on spawning bluegills. The bull bluegills are on the beds, and the gamefish are ambushing the female bluegills as they swim from staging over the weedlines to the beds closer to shore. We located bedding gills last night (had fun catching them for a while), then casted small crankbaits along the inside weed edge just out from the beds and caught largemouth, walleyes, and pike with one musky follow. Also caught some crappies out over the weeds, before lightning chased us off the lake earlier than planned. No pics cause didn't want to take the camera out in the rain. Good time to be fishing. I have some openings left in June and a few in July. Give me a call if you want some help. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

6/8/14 Lake Waconia

All day guide trip for three kids and their Dad/uncle today. Clients caught walleyes, bass, crappies, and sunfish. Walleyes and bass early on crankbaits and leeches under a slip bobber on inside weed edges near firmer bottom. Bluegills on the beds later in the day, and crappies suspended over weedy reefs in the afternoon as well. Great fishing going on right now. Headed to Tonka this week to see how quiet it is for fishing with the no wake restrictions. Waconia is unusually busy with overflow from Tonka. See you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

6/10/11 West Metro

Fished Waconia on Tuesday and Prior on Wednesday. Took my Dad and kids out to Waconia for panfish on Tuesday. Slayed bluegills on the beds and crappies schooled up over the weeds. Added a few small bass for a bonus. All had a blast.

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Fished bass on Prior Lake on Wednesday. The lake is a total no-wake zone, like Tonka, but is small enough to allow getting to a lot of good fishing spots from the landing without having to pack a luch first. Caught dozens of small male bass up to about 2 pounds in weed beds close to shore in 5-8 feet of water.

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Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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digmetrofishing

Great to see all the hot action. Just wondering what you used for the crappies and how deep the weed beds were that they were hanging over. I was thinking of getting some minnows with slip bobbers to make it easy for them with little hassle for me. Heading to Spring Lake tonight to bring a couple of newbies out fishing and hoping to hook them on to some fun!

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Troy Smutka

digmetrofishing,

The crappies we found were suspended over and alongside a weedy reef. The weeds came up to within 3-5 feet of the surface in 8-12 feet of water. The fish were from the tops of the weeds up to two feet from the surface over the weeds, and at the same level off the edge of the weeds. The kids were fishing with a 1/16 ounce jig tipped with a 1" or 1.5" Gulp! or Powerbait tube, Fish Fry, or minnow under a slip float set at about three feet. Color did't seem to matter much, they caught fish on pink/white, white, and orange/chartreuse. My Dad caught them slow-rolling a small spinnerbait. 1/16 ounce jig tipped with a 2" minnow(silver/gray) or grub (white) with a small jig spinner attached to the jig. Lots of small crappies from 7-9" with an occasional 10-11" mixed in. We kept a few larger ones to eat with some sunfish, and some of them were females with eggs yet. Didn't expect to see that.

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digmetrofishing

Thanks for the info Smuts. I went down to Spring Lake and mostly slip bobber fished with the two newbies to make it easy for them. I tried using minnows and leaches but couldn't get anything to bite. Then they decided to let me do some trolling while they enjoyed kicking back relaxing and picked up 1 eye (14.5") just before sundown in 11-12 FOW. Was a great night to be on the lake and I'm glad that I could at least pick up one eye since I was bragging how I almost never get skunked. I look forward to going out on Spring Lake again and explore a few more spots. One thing I saw a lot of though was crappies floating not an overly excessive amount but definitely more than I would normally see.

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Troy Smutka

6/24/14 Lake Waconia

Guiding trip this morning. Waconia has joined the list of lakes in the metro that are no wake. We were able to hit a couple spots during a half-day trip. Targeting walleyes and bass. Caught one small (12") and one big (25") walleye, about a half dozen bass, and a half dozen crappies. Spent a lot of time moving between spots. Metal ramps from shore to the docks at the launch are under water, so be prepared. Same thing for one dock at Prior, and the other dock at prior (non-floating) is totally submerged. Little more work to launch a boat and get around, but the lakes are quiet. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

6/25/14 Prior Lake

Guided for bass this morning on Prior. Cool, cloudy, and sometimes foggy and misty. Caught a bunch of largemouth from 12 to 17 inches--no big ones. One 32 inch pike as well. Caught most bass on spinnerbaits slow rolled over weed tops in 7 to 12 feet of water. Also caught some on crankbaits along deep weed edges, and on a jig and worm hopped along deep weed edges. Water is four feet deep over the ramp to the floating dock at the landing, and a foot over the fixed dock. Be prepared for some work to launch. One dock, and steps from a deck floating on the lake this morning. Yikes! With more rain on the way this weekend we will be looking at no wake restrictions for quite some time yet, I am afraid. I saw some terrible flooding of yards, docks, and homes today. What a shame. Rain, rain, go away. See you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

6/26/14 Lake Waconia

Fished Waconia this morning. Alone today, and forgot the tripod, so no photos. Six bass, two walleyes, and a bunch of crappies. Crappies and walleyes chased down "beetle spins," 1/4 ounce jighead with a 3" Power Grub and a jig spinner. Bass came on crankbaits. Fished two reefs--tough to run and gun for scattered fish right now with the no wake restriction. Ramps to the docks at the landing are under some water, but no too bad. Keep your fingers crossed that we get less rain than is forecasted for the next few days. See you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

7/7/14 Prior Lake

Fished Prior this morning. A little slow--between cold fronts had them sluggish. We caught six largemouth, one pike, and a few crappies and sunnies. Had to fish small and slow to get bit. Water has not gone down at all. Warning, landing is tricky. Fixed dock has been removed. Floating dock has moved and the metal ramp attached to it does not come down to the concrete ramp next to the boat ramp--it is off to the side on soft bottom and in water about three feet deep. Good luck, stay safe, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

7/9/14 Lake Waconia

Still a no wake zone, but lake levels are getting back down to normal. Docks are not wet at the landing anymore. Saw a couple boats on plane at full throttle obviously not concerned about the no wake restriction. Clients caught several mid-size largemouth, one walleye, and then a few dozen crappies. Everything came on crankbaits and mid-sized jig spinners fished along the weed edges on a couple reefs. See you out there somewhere.

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Has anyone fished odowd in shakopee? I fished it the other day and caught some really small bass. I tried shallow in Lilly pads as well as deep over rock piles. Just couldn't get anything with any size. Does this lake have anything with size or should I move on to a different lake? Any advice would be great!

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I've fished O'Dowd pretty heavily for the last 12 years or so and this year has been far the worst. I missed some nice ones early in the season but have had trouble catching anything over a couple pounds this year. It's amazing how much pressure this lake has received in the last 5-7 years and I think it's finally catching up. Early in the year I saw a few folks with stringer fulls of 15-19" bass who were keeping 'em for tablefare. I figured with the no wake restrictions in place that it would help alleviate some of the pleasure boaters but it is still packed on the weekends and evenings during the week after 5pm. I had some good spots that would consistently get me bass in the 4-5 pound range but I've come to the point that that I'd be happy with a solid 3 pounder at this point. Last time I was out I talked to a few other fisherman who I've seen out there a few times this year and they too were disappointed with only catching smaller ones. I'm sure there are still plenty of big bass in the lake but it may take a few more casts to find and catch them. I've thrown anything from tubes (my go-to bait on that lake for the last 10 years), frogs, jigs and crankbaits over the drop-off over the old rope swing (no longer there) but with minimal success. I think there may have been a club tourney there last week and I wasn't able to make it over there as I was fishing the lake across the road which has been more dead than O'Dowd this year. I would've really liked to see the weigh-in in order to confirm my suspicions that the O'Dowd honeymoon is officially over.

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Troy Smutka

7/23/14 Lake Waconia

Scouting today for a guide trip tomorrow. Lake is now a no wake zone within 300 feet of the shore, otherwise no restrictions. Water is back close to normal levels. Caught lots of 1-2 pound bass this morning, with only one big one (19 inches). Also caught lots of crappies, some nice ones. Caught bass on jigs tipped with a 6 inch worm, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and weedless spoons. Crappies came on plastics on jig spinners and on jigs suspended under floats. Fished one point and several reefs. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

7/24/14 Lake Waconia

Guided three people on Waconia this morning. Caught nine largemouth from 14-19 inches, four smaller bass, one small musky, and several nice crappies. Two clients each had a big musky hit spinnerbaits near the boat, but both fish, unfortunately, were too much for the light bass tackle and bit/broke the line during runs. Fished weedy reefs up in the weeds as well as along the deep edges. Have fun and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Slab_Supper

Caught my limit of slabs in deep water today. 13 inch plus fish. Minnow and flu flu were the ticket!12-14 ft on a saddle.

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DrJuice1980

When you woke up from that dream were you disappointed? Was "fish" singular or plural?

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Troy Smutka

7/28/14 Lake Waconia

Fished Waconia this morning prepping for an upcoming guide trip. Cool, fall-like morning with a north wind. Cold front had bass a little slow, we caught five from 14-16 inches. Pike and muskies were active, though. We caught seven pike from 30-36 inches and one small musky. A much bigger musky hit my bait right at the boat but came unbuttoned as he turned to run. We were casting spinnerbaits over the top of cabbage and curlyleaf in 6-10 feet of water for the pike and muskies. The small bass were caught on jigs off deep weed edges. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

8/1/14 Lake Waconia

Still catching bass, pike, and crappies on west metro lakes. Spinnnerbaits, crankbaits, and topwater are working. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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Troy Smutka

8/20/14 Lake Waconia

Beautiful morning on Waconia today. Caught a dozen pike, ten of them were from 33-36 inches. Caught one 29.5 inch walleye, one 18.5 inch largemouth, and one crappie. Had four pike come unbuttoned by the boat, one big bass jump and throw the bait, one musky on briefly right by the boat, one musky follow, and one walleye follow. Caught all fish on bass or musky-sized spinnerbaits in five to eight feet of water in a spot where weeds transition to hard bottom. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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cruiseforever

Nice catch Troy. I was starting to think there were no more Northerns in Waconia. I used to get a few fishing Bass. But the last couple of years I see more Muskies than Northerns.

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Troy Smutka

We only caught a couple northerns on Waconia the first part of the season while fishing for bass, but the last month or so we have found them cruising a couple of inside weed edges where the weeds meet hard bottom, mostly sand and clay. We see a musky or two each time in these spots, and have caught a couple nice ones, and we usually stick a few nice bass and a walleye once in a while as well. Bass or musky-sized spinnerbaits are working the best, but we have a caught a few fish on crankbaits. All the pike we have caught in these spots have ranged from 27 to 36 inches--nice average size. Not a big fan of hammer handles, but love catching pike this size. Putting them all back, so hopefully they will grow and continue to thrive in the lake.

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Troy Smutka

12/29/14 West Metro

Battling the sickness the past couple weeks, but finally better and able to get out on the ice. Found ten inches of ice on Waconia and six inches on Prior the last two days. Lots of small sunfish with a couple big ones mixed in on Waconia. No crappies, a couple pike. Caught tons of sunfish of all sizes up to 9.5 inches on Prior. Couple of crappies mixed in. More snow on Waconia than Prior, definitely easier walking on Prior, but much less ice as well. Be careful. This cold snap should help, but there is enough snow for some insulating effect.

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Troy Smutka

1/3/15 West Metro

Got some good panfishing in before the next round of arctic air arrives tonight. 10 inches of ice on the west metro lake--lots of people pulling out wheel houses behind ATVs today. Should make lots of ice this week, people will undoubtedly be driving on west metro lakes next weekend. Fish were soft, finicky biters, but managed a couple dozen bluegills from 8 to 8.5 inches along with several smaller ones. Also caught about a dozen crappies this morning from 8-10 inches. Needed a small Gill Pill tipped with a red Eurolarvae fished on a rod with a spring bobber to get bites and detect them. Some work, but well worth it. Alone this morning and didn't keep anything, so no pics. Stay warm this week, and see you out there somewhere next weekend.

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david_vang

whats the latest ice report on Prior Lake if anyone has it. Planning on going there this weekend for some panfish. Im not looking forward to walking and pulling the sled. With this cold weather we've been having I was hoping the ice has gotten thick enough to drive on.

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Troy Smutka

There was ten inches of good ice on Saturday. Lots of wheel houses brought out by ATVs. The lake went from six inches last Monday to ten inches last Saturday, so it will make a lot of ice this week with the arctic visiting us most of the week and very little snow on the lake. I would bet there will be sixteen inches minimum by this weekend. Sunfish and crappies have been biting well during warm-ups, and slower during cold snaps, but they are nice fish. Good luck, and be safe.

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david_vang

awesome. thanks for the report Smuts. Will post a report for this weekend if I make my way to Prior Lake. Good Luck all.

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david_vang

Oh one more thing. is the only access for Prior Lake the one on the south west end of the lake? Was planning on fishing the north east part of the lake.

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Troy Smutka

David,

There is the Sand Point public access on the NE corner. Turn south on Crest Avenue off of County 42 by the water tower. There is a county park and a public access next to one another off of Crest. You can also get onto the NE part of the lake via a small access off of Shady Beach Road. This goes south off of Cty 42 east of Crest Avenue.

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      Sturgeon fishing continues to be excellent with big numbers of sturgeon being caught.  Sturgeon catch and release season through 4/23/21.  Keep season 4/24/21 - 5/7/21, (45-50", or over 75")  Catch and release 5/8/21 - 5/15/21.
      With lower current, a 3 ounce no-roll sinker combined with a sturgeon rig (18" snell of 60 lb test with a 4/0 or 5/0 circle hook) with a glob of crawlers, frozen emerald shiners or both is the ticket.  Local bait shops have rigs available.
      Up at the NW Angle...  Looking ahead to open water, there are various ways to travel to the NW Angle this summer without crossing the border.  If you have the right boat and expertise, boating across is an option.  There is also the Lake of the Woods Passenger Service (charter boat shuttle to Angle).  And finally, Lake Country Air flying service, a float plane service out of Baudette and other locations.  
       


    • eyeguy 54
      By eyeguy 54
      White suckers are on the move in some of the local rivers. Night crawler on a #6 hook and a 1/4 oz slip sinker brought many to shore the last two days. Crazy light biters. 





  • 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...
    • Skibo
      Skunked - I've always been Lowrance.  A friend suggested buying one smaller Humminbird to connect to the Minnkota.  I did just that with a 9" and have since upgraded to a 12", and have been very happy with the setup.  I prefer the Lowrance/Navionics for navigation, and the Humminbird with their Side Imaging for fishing.
    • SkunkedAgain
      That's a beautiful part of the lake. Great pictures.   Forgive my ignorance as this is more of a map question. Is "Garbage Point" right next to Niles Point? I've heard the name over the years and believe that it is right around there on the north side.
    • SkunkedAgain
      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
    • DonkeyHodey
      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.  🤣
    • BrianF
      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.   
    • gunner55
      Still there today, 2 boats in the water along with at least 2 vehicles. Usually they're done in 2-3 days so I'm not sure if the weather delayed them or if since it didn't happen last season they are taking more.
    • Sorgy
      Nice view, Where on the lake is that?
    • FishinCT
      I assume they also didn’t do the fall electrofishing survey to assess young of the year walleye?
    • Rick G
      Nice job @DonkeyHodey   The old "secret" spot produces again😏  Hard time finding a place to stand with the high water?  
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