Typical of Hudson Bay Lowland lakes, Rainey Lake is small, shallow, easily navigated and fished and an ideal fly-in destination for small groups (2-4 anglers). Seventy miles out, Rainey Lake is 1 mile x ½ mile with very little rock and scattered shoreline weed growth. The lake reaches a maximum depth of 32 feet, but depths of 8 to 18 are typical. Rainey Lake offers consistent walleye and northern pike fishing and, when spring water levels are normal-to-high, there is river access to brook trout fishing.
Shorelines at Rainey Lake quickly give way to 8-18 foot depths, so trolling parallel to shorelines with Rapalas or jigs & twistertails is a good approach for walleyes. The best fishing came just outside a huge point / flat, again working the irregular breakline and humps at the extreme end.
A 4-day, mid-August stay at Rainey Lake offered outstanding walleye fishing, both in terms of numbers and size. Most walleyes exceeded the 18+” release mandate; many were in the 25-28″ range. Catching a few smaller ones (under 18″) for dinner was a bit of a challenge, but a wonderful problem to have !
Northern pike abound in Rainey Lake, and we caught many small-to-midsize pike while fishing walleyes. While we did not target pike, the scattered shoreline weedbeds, shallow reed banks, small rocky points, and cabbage weedbeds on the flat hold the bigger fish. Go weedless – large spinnerbaits and topwater stuff. Or, troll the lake’s fast breaking shorelines and deeper water with large body baits and spoons.
For years now, at Cochrane Air outpost lakes, a “no-fish-out” policy has been in place to protect and enhance the fisheries at their remote lakes and that strategy has produced amazing results – numbers and trophy fish.