Rugby Lake is one of the great Walleye fisheries that you can drive to in Northwestern Ontario. Some of our guests have told us they have found better Walleye fishing in our lake than fly-in trips of the past, which cost three times as much. Much of the great Walleye fishing on Rugby Lake, both in numbers and size, can be contributed to a number of environmental factors and conservation measures.
Rugby Lake's deepest spot is only 25 feet deep. The average depth is only 11 feet. Rugby Lake has many feeder streams bringing clean nutrient-rich water into the lake, which feeds the feeder fish such as Chub, Sucker, Darts and Cisco and in turn supplies an abundance of food for Walleyes. The largest creeks being Ladysmith Creek, Twenty Mile Creek, Fenn Creek and Lorne Creek. All this means lots of food for the Walleyes to grow fat on and a high winter survival rate, which keeps numbers high.
The next reason why Rugby Lake is stuffed with Walleyes is because of the fish sanctuary at the north end of the lake. Ladysmith Creek and Twenty Mile creeks flow into the most northern arm of Rugby Lake. This most northern portion of the lake is a designated fish sanctuary and closed to all angling from April 1 to June 14.
This protects the big spawning females and leaves them undisturbed to drop their eggs in the right place at the right time. As a result Rugby Lake is just stuffed with Walleyes of every size.
In the spring the Walleyes are right close to shore in the 4 to 10-foot range. In the heat of late spring and early summer on a bright sunny day they may go deeper to 12 feet. Rugby Lake has the stained Walleye Wine water so there is less light penetration so they don't have to go deep in the summer like they do on clear lakes. The lack of light penetration also keeps the water cooler at depths past 8 feet. On an average day you should be able to catch 30 Walleyes. On really good days a person can catch up to 60 Walleyes. The difference between average and good days is usually the weather.
If it's hot with little of no wind the Walleyes will be a little deeper and not as active. You usually have to fish right off bottom. On overcast or rainy days the Walleye will be in a feeding frenzy and move right close to shore and will be at multiple depths. Walleyes are most common in the 15-inch to 24-inch range but there are plenty of bigger fish up to 30 inches. In a week of fishing you should catch a couple of Walleyes in the 5 or 6-pound range. Throughout the year a few lucky guests will catch trophies exceeding 30 inches and 10 pounds but Walleyes like that are rare, which is why they are considered trophies.
Being a shallow lake means it's very easy to fish and find the Walleyes. This is not one of those lakes where the Walleyes disappear into depths of the lake half way through July. In the spring and early summer all the Walleyes are close to shore. Later in the heat of the summer most stay close to shore but a couple of feet deeper. In late summer and early fall the bigger Walleyes tend to move to the rocky points and shoals where there are nice drop-offs. It is speculated that bigger Walleyes need more oxygen and wave action on the rocks provide them with this. In this scenario guest catch them anywhere from 10 to 20 feet deep.
The Walleye fishing is great all season. Live bait is available. No-matter how much Walleye fishing experience you have had; prior to your fishing trip we recommend reading our fishing tips to see what colors, lures and methods work best on Rugby Lake.