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The Boathouse, Clearwater Marina,

Lake Waconia, Minnesota

The Boathouse, Clearwater Marina, Waconia MN

Man, do we like this place too! Now here you don't get Kris, like at the Bridge Tavern. Here you get Chuck for a bartender. For reasons that we can only suspect but admire, Chuck gets a haircut and trims his beard twice a year, no more, no less.

That begins to give you the flavor of the place already. But you also get $1.50 bottles of Busch beer and lots of muskie advice from the bartenders. Plus, although Peters absolutely refuses to partake, you also get pickled Turkey Gizzards for a buck each. I've been known to make dinner out of that: five Turkey Gizzards, $5; five bottles of Busch, $7.50, and you have a feast that would make an Englishman cry with envy, or something.

The reason I throw in the Englishman bit is that Jerry and I took out Peter, from England, for an afternoon's Muskie fishing outing on Waconia one day last summer.

Peter had never been Muskie fishing before.

Peter had a follow....

He froze....

He pointed....

"JAWS!" he shouted....

We took him back to the Boathouse, knees still trembling, and fed him a Busch and a Turkey Gizzard. He cried. I don't know why....

The Boathouse Interior Bar

Enough on that. But it does bring up the point that the Boathouse is ever so conveniently right there, at the boat launch to Lake Waconia.

You can launch your boat, park your rig on the street – no problems – stop by and say hello to Chuck, have whatever you like at the bar, and go out for a day's fishing on Waconia.

The lake not only has Muskies – and we've seen some huge one's there – but it also has trophy bass, big walleyes, and countless bluegills and crappies.

It also has sheepshead, a fish of another ilk, but we won't get into that, except to say that if you've never heard a caught sheepshead "croak," you really have not fished.

The bar is also a hotbed of Minnesota Viking fandom, and in fact their Boathouse hats ($15) have "Big Vikings' Fan" in nice gold lettering on the back.

That brings up another interesting point, one that we have to report with at least a bit of circumspection....

Boathouse Vikes Fans cheering

Couple Viewing Vikes Game

It turns out that the bar has certain very unique customs, or perhaps it may even be rules. When the Vikings score a touchdown, at least in the early part of the season, the damsels viewing the game at the bar are required (???) to go run down the dock, and jump in the lake. And of course, it would be silly of them to jump in a lake wearing everything that they were wearing at the bar....

And then sometimes, after dark, when the waitresses at the restaurant there, Nancy's Landing, close up and stop by the bar for a beer, why they need to cool off too, don't they? And of course, if the female patrons of the bar behave in certain delightful ways, why then the female employees....

Okay. That's enough on that too. You'll have to go see for yourself.

The Boathouse Bar and Bait on Lake Waconia. Another one of our favorite "Fishing Bars."

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Date Created: January 20, 1999
Last Modified: March 27, 2004
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