Northern Pike are the top predators in Rugby Lake. They have perfect habitat with lots of food so they can be found in good numbers and can get big.
Every bay in Rugby Lake is weedy. Because the lake is only 25 feet at the deepest and averaging 11 feet deep there are many places where you can target Northern Pike and be very successful. There are weedy plateaus and sunken ridges where pike ambush bait-fish. In the back bays there is Pickerel Grass and Musky Cabbage, while along the shore there are Bulrushes, patches of Lily Pads, all these places produce Northern Pike. It's not hard to a find a hotspot. Our Northern Pike fishery is outstanding due to conservation efforts and the availability of prime spawning grounds such as sandy shorelines and the many feeder creeks that run into the lake.
On an average day you will catch 10 to 20 Northern Pike while fishing for other species. On a good day if you are targeting Northern Pike you should be able to catch 40 or more. The average size Northern Pike in the lake is around 24 inches, which is larger than most lakes. Rugby Lake is known for its Walleye fishing and that's what 90% of guests come for. With this in mind many of the big pike get caught and released by guests fishing for Walleye. Several times a week Northern Pike around 10 pounds get caught. A few lucky guests will catch Northern Pike in the 15 to 20 pound range during the summer season. We feel if more guests targeted Northern Pike the numbers above would be even more impressive.
As we said before, the lake averages 11 feet deep. The problem with deep lakes is the Northern Pike disappear into the depths and are very hard to catch by mid-August until the lake is covered with ice. We don't have that problem on Rugby Lake. All summer and fall you can catch Northern Pike in the 2 to 10-foot range.
Some of the monster-size pike follow fall Walleyes to the drop-offs and ridges near rocky points and off shoals and islands. Northern Pike are ambush predators and tend to stay around structure or hide in weeds when feeding but occasionally the really big pike will go down to the deepest part of the lake to feed on Suckers but generally they stay close to the schools of Walleyes.
Rugby Lake is a conservation lake. All Northern Pike over 27.5 inches need to be let go. Since this regulation was implemented the availability of Trophy Northern Pike over 15 pounds has noticeably grown and we know this trend will continue. Fishing on Rugby Lake means you have 2440 acres to explore and the Northern Pike are found everywhere. If you really enjoy casting spoons and spinnerbaits while weaving in-&-out of weedy bays looking to hunt down that special trophy; then you will have a great time at Rugby Lake Lodge.