Jump to content
  • GUESTS

    If You  want access  to member only forums on FM, You will need to Sign-in or  Sign-Up now .

    This box will disappear once you are signed in as a member.

  • Connect, BE BRAVE - We Share Fishing Reports & Outdoor Information Here


      Fishing Report Clubs - Make Your Own "Post Your Thoughts" - Leave YOUR mark, make each place you visit "a little better"!

      Join the Minnesota Fishing Report Club, where only club members see detailed info that is shared. CLICK HERE to join.

      Have Fun!!!

Troy Smutka

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

Recommended Posts

Troy Smutka

icon_rss.gif - Subscribe to this fishing report. smile

Ice conditions still vary greatly from lake to lake. While seven to ten iches of pretty good ice, due to our lack of snow cover, is common, still use caution.

 

Channel areas on Minnetonka, for example, may have much less ice than that. Walking, with or without a portable house like a Clam Fish Trap is a safe bet on Prior and Waconia, and many areas of Minnetonka. ATVs should be cautious, and I would wait to put out wheel houses, especially with another four day stretch of near-record to record temps that is upon us.

 

Panfish are biting on Waconia and Prior. They are working deep water already, 18 to 23 feet, probably due to no snow cover on top of relatively thin ice for this time of year.

 

Try the center of deep bays or coves, or the deep basin areas not too far from bays or shoreline points. We are catching bluegills all day, with peak time being early in the morning, and AFTER DARK.

 

Crappies are getting nocturnal, so try staying out after dark. Small jigs with waxies or micro-sized Gulp! are catching both, and a crappie minow under a float is catching crappies and even some waleyes and pike in these same areas. Good luck, and be safe!

  • Thumbs Up 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

January 15th Prior Lake Ice Fishing Report

About 10.5 to 11 inches of ice on Prior this weekend. Good late afternoon and early evening bite on Saturday. Lots of 8 to 9" bluegills on Fatboys and Gill Pills tipped with live waxies and Bekley Gulp! 1" Fish Fry. Several 9 to 11" crappies taken jigging same combo. Red and white was best color combo. Several crappies also caught on second line with crappie minnow on glow Creep Worm hung under a float. Fish active in 21 to 22 feet of water. Saturday morning was just bluegills. Good bite, but more small ones mixed in with the larger ones. Cold snap coming this week should make some good ice with no snow on top. Stay safe and see you out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hooksetter

Thanks for the report Troy. Understanding that it is never safe, are there ATV's out on the lake now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fishin4fun85

there were atv's and sleds where I was on prior....we didn't have much luck anywhere we tried....we were right where upper and lower come together....any hint on where were u fishin smuts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

Hooksetter,

There are ATV's and snowmobiles on the lake. A few wheelhouses out, but mostly portables. Did see a pickup pull a wheel house out to drop it off and then leave on Saturday. The truck might be pushing it, but plenty of ice for the ATV's and sleds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

Fishin4fun85,

I have been fishing the NE portion of Lower Prior. Deep water near a reef, and deep center of a bay/cove are holding fish. Bite varies with the weather.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pigeonator

I've been fishing areas lake between Waconia, NYA and Chanhassen. Majority lake there are about 7-8in ice.. You gotta love those lakes in the SW area. Caught alot of decent size 6-10in crappies in chanhassen lakes. Hydes been pretty good, with decent size panfish. Tiger is just a boom or bust. But all fish i caught yesterday are still swimming today. goodluck, b-safe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
arrow

We are in that same area of Prior and are having good success as well though of my four neighbors who all have permanent houses in this area we have yet to see a sunfish over 7". Three are retired and fish every day. Crappies slightly larger but for every crappie we have been picking up 20 sunfish. We are set up in 20' to 21' feet of water. Plenty of ATV's on the ice but be careful in the channel areas as there is some very sketchy ice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hooksetter

My lower back would like to say it is plenty excited about using the ATV for the first time this season. I can't remember a time when I dragged that tub over dirt and rocks more than this year. Thanks for the reports!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jay83196

Looking for suggestions on where to tip up on minnetonka, had poor luck so far...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ackrite78

Did you try Parley at all? If so how was it? Want to give it a try but not sure if its worth the drive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
muskiemanHunter

wondering about going to either spring lake, (near prior lake) or would lake waconia be a better option for this coming weekend? Want to catch walleye, crappie and possibly northerns on some tips ups? any info would greatly be appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

ackrite78,

Sorry--I have not been to Parley, and I haven't heard any reports about it this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

muskiemanHunter

The evening and night crappie bite has started on Waconia. Set up over the deep water adjacent to several of the shallower reefs on Waconia, such as Pilsbury, Cemetery, or Anderson's. Have one set-line per angler, with a crappie minnow under a float, set four to six feet off the bottom. Then each angler can jig closer to the bottom with a small jig like a Gill Pill, Fat Boy, or Frostee, tipped with a live waxie or a 1" Berkley Gulp! Fish Fry. A small jigging spoon like a Frostee Jig tippped with a minnow head will work, too. Start fishing about an hour before sunset, and be willing to stay out well after dark. Watch your electronics closely. The crappies will usually pass through in groups, and they can be near the bottom, just a few feet below the ice, or anywhere in between. When you see high fish on your electronics, believe it and slowly reel your jigging presentation up above the fish. Jig to attract fish, but crappies usually like the bait still to bite it. Watch your rod tip carefully (a spring bobber can help)because a crappie bite after dark can be very subtle. Make sure you can see the float on your set line as crappies will grab this at the same time you are watching another fish on your electronics. It can get very busy when a pack of crappies swims through. I was up at Mille Lacs this past weekend, but I got a report of 12 to 13 inches of ice on Waconia. Check before you drive a vehicle out. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

jay83196,

I haven't been out to Minnetonka in a few weeks--have been on Prior, Waconia, and Mille Lacs, so I don't have any recent reports for tipping out there. Main lake reefs are usually the best bet for tipping pike or walleyes on Tonka by this time of year. Shallower early and late in the day, and then off the reef in deep water during the day. One tip for pike--dead bait. Pike get to be scavengers by February, and a frozen smelt or shiner, or even a Berkley Gulp! or Power Bait 4 to 6" minnow laying on the bottom is often more attractive than a struggling sucker. Best bet is to try both live and dead bait on multiple sets, and let the fish tell you what they want. If I have suckers die in the bucket, I will freeze them in a ziploc to use for this dead bait approach. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
muskiemanHunter

Thankyou Smuts for the crappie info. Any other info related to walleyes on waconia. Anyone having luck out there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PFUNK

Smuts,

Are the reefs out on Waconia crowded now or not quite yet? Was thinking about fishing off of Anderson's some time soon. Have you been targeting a certain bottom content or sticking to certain depths? Were there any deep weeds still green out there anywhere that you know of? Sorry for the barrage of questions. Thanks for any advice you are willing to share!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

muskiemanHunter,

Walleyes have been sporadic. Some are being caught around the deep edges of the reefs, right at the weedline. That has been early, late, and at night. I have heard of a few accidental fish on tipups set for pike on the weededge outside of Waconia Bay, again late in the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

PFUNK,

The reefs just started getting busy this past weekend. I don't know of any deep green weeds out at Waconia. For crappies, I have been fishing in the low 20's over soft bottom near shallower reefs. That deeper water is the warmest water now, and has the most dissolved oxygen. The deep, soft bottoms are where the larvae/insect activity will be for another four to six weeks, so that is where many of the minnows and panfish, especially crappies, will congregate. Good luck--may see you out there this weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chuckwagon

I fished around center reef today ... the west side produced only perch. the east side got me into some blue gills and a couple crapies. The east side I was in about 10 FOW and left just after sundown due to the wind. I was planning on moving deeper off the reef but never got to. Should i be looking in anouther part of the lake for crappies? or did I just not stay out long enough?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mjk

I fished the west side of Wayzata bay Friday afternoon. Measured 13" of ice over there. Saw a few trucks on the ice. I would imagine that tomorrow will bring more vehicles out there, with the colder night/day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
muskiemanHunter

thanks again smuts.....we had good luck with the crappies and took home a couple dozen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

chuckwagon,

The deep basin areas off of Cemetery, Pilsbury, and Anderson Reefs are often the best spots for mid-winter crappies on Waconia. Look for water depths in the low to mid 20's, and you will usually have to stay out after dark. Make sure you have a sonar to watch for crappies swimming through suspended. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

muskiemanHunter,

Fantastic! Headed up to Mille Lacs again this weekend, but then hoping to do some evenings for crappies out on Waconia. Good luck this weekend:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chuckwagon

Does anyone have any current ice conditions for Waconia?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SouperStar22

Hows the report doin in the Browns Bay was thinkin maybe I could head that way sometime this week

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

chuckwagon,

I haven't ventured out to Waconia lately. Reports are of varying ice conditions. I have heard of 14 inches, but someone who lives on the lake has also reported a small area of open water near the west end just over a week ago! I know some vehicles are driving out there, but I would be very careful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troy Smutka

We were our on Prior this weekend. 15 inches of O.K. ice where we fished. About half of the people were driving out, the other half (including us) were walking or riding ATVs. After looking over the ice and hearing and feeling the cracking when trucks drove by, I am glad we walked. Saturday the fishing was slow, Sunday things improved some. The fish were showing up in much better numbers Sunday, but they still had to be coaxed to bite. We used very small Gill Pills and Fatboys with a small, single waxie. Had to hold it still once a fish approached, and give him a lot of time to look it over. Most of the bluegills we caught were very nice ones. A few smallish crappies and a couple small bass filled out the bag. We were fishing over the soft basin in 21 feet of water near a shallow weedy reef. Good luck, and be careful on the ice. Remember that Hennepin County lakes are off limits to cars, trucks, and SUVs, and an ATV went through on Sarah on Saturday. All metro area lakes should be approached with extreme caution when thinking of driving out. Safest bet is to walk--we all can use the exercise:) If you want to drive out, maybe head north. We were on Mille Lacs two of the past three weekends, and the ice is much better. The walleyes are committing suicide--we iced fish from 14 to 29 inches, and a lot of them. Several big perch mixed in as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mjk

Was out on Wayzata bay this afternoon. Wow - pull the plug on vehicle traffic, and it becomes incredibly quiet out there. I guess walking is too much work these days. Did not see another fisherman out there all afternoon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cavalierowner

I was out on Carsons Bay yesterday morning and there was just one other person I could see on the entire bay. But then it was a weekday. I was surprised at how much the fishing had slowed down compared to last Tuesday when I was out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




  • Similar Content

    • DavidA
      By DavidA
      I’ll be on Birch Lake - Ely - in late July. Anyone familiar with good spots? 
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      By LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  Lots of limits of nice walleyes this week with plenty of larger slot fish (19.5" - 28") and trophy walleyes (over 28").  Schools of fish all around the lake.  From the Lighthouse and Morris Point Gap area which is adjacent to Pine Island to Zippel Bay to reefs and mud near Long Point and Rocky Point all producing.  Garden Island area also holds nice schools of walleyes.  The go to presentation is pulling spinners with crawlers or leeches at 1.0 - 1.3 mph.  Some anglers are doing well trolling crankbaits as well on lead core line or downriggers.  Nice schools of walleyes also staged over deep mud.  Some fish are shallow, 7- 15', other fish holding in 23 - 31'.  Hammered gold, gold/glow, pink, and orange hot colors this week.      
      On the Rainy River...   Sturgeon anglers catching some good fish as the season opened on July 1st.  Fishing holes in the river with a 3 ounce no roll sinker and sturgeon rig loaded with crawlers and/or frozen shiners.   Nice smallies in rocky areas.  Pike are also active cruising weedy bays, bay mouths and current breaks.  Walleyes hanging out on flats and can be caught with crawler harnesses or trolling crankbaits.
      Up at the NW Angle...  Until the US / Canada border opens, guests can travel across the lake staying and fishing in MN waters.  There are shuttle services available and fishing for multi species has been excellent.  Check with your favorite NW Angle resort for options.  
      Excellent fishing for walleyes, pike and bass continue.  Schools of walleyes on structure, over sand and on mud.  Nice walleyes 8 - 17' on the sand or 25 - 28' around structure.  The best presentation is drifting and trolling spinners with crawlers or a minnow.  Pike and smallmouth bass active in weedy bays.  Bucktails for pike retrieved slow working well.  


    • Sunset Lodge
      By Sunset Lodge
      7.6.20 Sunset Lodge Fishing Report
       
      Minnesota Lake of the Woods Walleye action continues in less than 10’ casting Rapala’s, floating leeches or pulling crawlers in rocks and sand bays. Walleye are also showing back up on classic structure including points and main lake reefs. Trolling deep diving Rapala’s has been producing very large pike and slot walleye in 12 to 18 ft. of water.
       
      Lake of the Woods Musky opener was successful in shallow, weeded areas. With one over 50” boated and the rare 49.5” as well as many mid 40” fish.
       
      With water temps increasing into the high 70’s this week, Rock areas are heating up. Smaller bass sized baits and blades have been favored by these toothy critters. Current musky anglers are seeing up to 10 fish a day!

    • Little Blueberry
      By Little Blueberry
      any current musky info?  Looking for new water since can’t get to LOW.
    • tacklejunkie
      By tacklejunkie
      I haven't seen any reports locally this year. The other forums all have updated reports. 
    • Bryan P
      By Bryan P
      Got out on Fathers day with the Kayak down the Mississippi River for some good ole Smallmouth Bass action. River was low which made a great float and the smallies were hungry! They just couldn't resist the wacky worm once again. We have such an amazing fishery here in MN, glad to call this state home.  Enjoy. 
       
       
    • Joe
      By Joe
      The Leech Lake walleyes are on the move and our guides have been chasing them! With a recent fly hatch and some heat moving in this week has been a grind but we are still finding limits. A few keys to putting fish in the boat have been the location, the presentation and the wind.
       
      Most of our fish have been on Sucker bay and the main lake. Duck point, Ottertail point and Stoney point have all been good and putting out fish. We have been focusing on the 11-14 feet of water and covering ground has been important. Both Duck and Ottertail points have nice break lines that top out around 8 and bottom at 20, which, is what we have been focusing on. Try to run your boat along the break line and make note of where the fish tend to be. If they are on the top of the break fish there and likewise for the deeper water.
       
      Our presentation of choice, when the wind allows it, has been bottom bouncers with spinners. Gold, pink and white, and green have all been getting the Leech Lake walleye guide fish in the boat. Try to run these at 1.3-1.8 mph with just enough line out to “bounce off the bottom.”
       
      The wind has been a nice advantage the past few days. Use the wind to push your boat along the desired path for a nice easy drift. As stated above the places we have been focusing on are actually in the same area but with different layouts. this allows you to make sure you are fishing in the waves and not in flat calm water. As you may know, leech is very clear so on a flat calm and sunny day it can be tough. Find the waves and find the action.
       
      We do still have some openings for July yet. Give us a call to see what we have open. https://leechlakeguideservice.com

      Dennis Carlson with his Biggest walleye 27 inches. Caught on a green spinner rig
    • MNredneck
      By MNredneck
      I was looking to go sturgeon fishing on the st croix river, what parts of the river hold a fish-able population of sturgeon. i was hoping to be near st croix or wild river state parks.
    • Bmiller1981
      By Bmiller1981
      Hey everyone,
      Normally I don’t ask for help but I’ve been skunked last three summers on Side lake / Sturgeon Lake Chain for walleye.  I’ve spent most time on Big Sturgeon and Side for eyes but have come up short. I’m heading up for a long weekend and hoping to change my luck with some advice.  I’d appreciate anything as it’s been a grind... thanks !!
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      By LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  The lake just keeps producing walleyes.  Good fishing in numerous spots across the south shore, near the Lighthouse and Morris Point Gaps in 8-10' and around Garden Island.  Big numbers of walleyes also staged over deep mud in 25 - 31'.  Most anglers drifting or trolling harnesses (spinners) with crawlers or leeches.  Hammered gold is hard to beat but glow, pink, chartreuse and orange are also popular in the stained water.  Some fish are still being caught jigging on structure or rock to mud transitions.  Anglers catching plenty of eater walleyes along with good numbers of saugers.  Larger slot fish (19.5-28") along with trophy walleyes over 28" being caught often.    
      On the Rainy River...   Sturgeon anglers looking forward to sturgeon fishing reopening on July 1st.  Big numbers of sturgeon await.   No roll sinkers and sturgeon rigs along with crawlers and frozen shiners available locally.  Smallmouth bass in rocky areas, around bridges and current breaks.  Pike are also active cruising weedy bays, bay mouths and current breaks.  Both species don't get much attention and are present in good numbers.  Walleyes hanging out in 20-25'.
      Up at the NW Angle...  Until the US / Canada border opens, guests can travel across the lake and stay in MN waters.  Check with your favorite NW Angle resort for options.  
      Walleye fishing is worth the trip.  Schools of walleyes on structure, over sand and on mud.  Most fish showing up in 8 - 14' or 26 - 28'.  The best presentation is drifting and trolling spinners with crawlers or a minnow.  Pike and smallmouth bass active in weedy bays.  There are hundreds around the Angle.  Try a spinnerbait or spoon. 


  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • monstermoose78
      I don’t know many who reload 
    • DavidA
      I’ll be on Birch Lake - Ely - in late July. Anyone familiar with good spots? 
    • Poutwhacker
      We bring a weather and an FM radio. Cell phone coverage is sporadic, but you can find a signal almost anywhere (but usually it originates from Canada). Bad weather can come in a hurry, so it is nice to be able to know what is coming in advance.
    • Grainbelt
      Do you know anyone who reloads? Ammo has been bought up with the civil unrest currently going on.
    • BirchPtMike
      I would agree with James about tough bite. The last few days have been tough. You wont see those mayflies in Big Bay, because they all hatched last week. We have had high heat no wind to go with mayflies,then fish flies so I think that explains the problem. It will get better soon as minnows become primary food source for eyes. Wont see you out there for a while as I have to leave for a week. Good Luck !!
    • monstermoose78
      Lots of people looking just no posts
    • Wishin4Walleyes
      Unfortunately this forum has gone really quiet. All lake superior users moved to the Facebook group:(
    • Muskies
    • ManBearPig
      I may not get a chance to fish Leech before this fall, but I still really liked reading your report Joe.  Thank you for posting.
    • ManBearPig
      One more question about communication and weather alerts on eastern Rainy Lake.   We could occasionally get  an AT&T signal, especially after we had signed up for the Canadian signal.  We were about 16 miles east of the visitor center, and at the Kemp Channel entrance.  The signal strength kinda depended on weather conditions and time of day.   I am looking at the possibility of getting a weather alert radio.  It states:  Public Alert Certified Weather Radio, Receives all 7 NOAA Weather Channel and Reports.  It is also an AM/FM radio.  Does this actually work in the mid-lake area, or would you recommend something different?
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.