Top 3 Ice Fishing Lakes in the Twin Cities


Photo courtesy of John Porisch

Ice Fishing: After drilling a hole and getting set up, it’s all about the waiting.

Seton Lake (located in Lake Minnetonka)

Seton Lake is a little bay within Lake Minnetonka by Mound. Seton Lake offers very good panfish fishing experiences. A panfish jig with a waxworm or small soft plastic lure seems to do the trick.

Usually, focus on 15-25 feet of water and jig a couple of inches to a couple of feet of the bottom. Many schools of bluegill and crappie will pass by, and you will end up having many bursts of action as the schools move through. If the fishing seems to slow down for an hour or more, move a couple of hundred feet from your previous hole and drill another hole and begin to jig. Oftentimes moving around on the ice, following the schools of panfish, can be very successful. While you are doing your jigging, setting up a tip-up with a shiner minnow in 3-6 feet of water can offer a chance to catch bass and northern pike.

Saint Albans Bay (located in Lake Minnetonka)

This is still another spot on Lake Minnetonka; it is its own bay and is quite far away from Seton Lake. On the southeast corner of Lake Minnetonka, Saint Albans Bay also offers very good ice fishing for panfish.
With crappies and bluegills oftentimes being a little bigger than those in Seton Lake. The fishing might not grant as many fish as Seton Lake; it does have some more quality fish like crappies averaging 11-13 inches and bluegills averaging 7-9 inches long. Focusing on a bit shallower water than Seaton Lake, you can find fish at depths in the ballpark of 12-16 feet.

Jigging for panfish just the same as in Seton Lake will work in Saint Albans Bay as well. Tip-ups for bass and northern pike in shallower water of 3-6 feet of water can also be successful here, and even the rare catch of a muskie on a tip-up here is possible.

Lake Waconia

Lake Waconia offers great crappie and walleye fishing. Recently crappie fishing on Lake Waconia has seemed to pick up and many people are sprawling to get a line in the water and pull some nice crappies through the ice. The crappies here are not only abundant but also sizable. Many of these fish will be average sizes, but it is very possible to pull a couple of really nice sized crappies around 12-14 inches out of this lake. Ice fishing walleye out on Lake Waconia also seems to be successful as well, making it one of the better lakes to ice fish for walleyes in the area.

Lake Waconia is much like a small lake Mille Lacs; there is even an underwater structure in the middle of the lake. There seem to be fish just about everywhere in the lake, and they tend to move around quite a bit. Fishing just about anywhere will eventually be successful because the fish will move to you. Constantly moving to find those walleye and crappie also works. Jigging Rapala’s around reefs works very well for walleye; also jigging a spoon with a minnow or even a jig with a minnow will work for both walleye and crappies. Focus on the reefs and the underwater structure in the middle of the lake.