Rock Lake is a few miles west of Pilot Mound, Manitoba. It was made by damming off the Pembina River.
Coincidentally, you can also fish at the dam. The dam isn’t large, but it’s a beautiful little spot. Most of the fish caught there are bullheads, but they can provide some fun. Rock Lake itself has two public launches. One can be found at the east end of the lake and the other at the west end of the lake. The launch at the east end is fairly shallow. There is no dock – you back your boat into the water. The area around this launch is also pretty good for fishing from shore. Most of what is caught from the shore is pike, and the lake boasts some fairly large and feisty ones. Because the lake is surrounded by large rocks, it is possible to walk along the shore to find a good fishing spot. The other launch is at the west end of the lake. The west end has a summer community of cabins, but it is fairly small. The launch itself gets deeper faster than the one at the east end, but the backing in is pretty steep as well. Pretty much straight across from the launch on the west end is a camp. There is a real boat launch there, but you have to endure many miles of gravel road to get there, and for those of us who try to keep the paint on our boats, this is not the best place to go with a boat you value.
Fishing from a boat provides you with the best chance of catching walleye on Rock Lake. Trolling near the shoreline, particularly on the south side can be rewarding. Of course, every day is different. You can go out one day and catch your limit, and the next day the only thing you’ll get is frustrated. For those of us who enjoy fishing, this is par for the course. Fishing is as much about relaxing and being out in the great outdoors as it is about catching fish. The downside to Rock Lake is that it is not a deep lake. What this means is that by the end of June until into September/October, there is a lot of algae in the water. This stuff gets caught in the outboard, and attaches itself to your hook. With patience, there are spots that have a minimum of algae and the fishing can still be quite good even when the water reaches a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. There are also a lot of dead trees in the water, so hooking onto a branch is not uncommon. We have broken very few lines even when caught on a tree or branch. It is usually possible to free the line without breaking it. There is, at this time, not that much development on the lake as far as cabins goes, but this is changing.
When we fish at Rock Lake, we will usually take some salted minnows with us, mostly out of habit. What works best at this lake, at least for us, are plastics. Yellow and black, greens, or an orange/yellow/green combination seem to produce the greatest success. We have never caught any huge pike or walleye at this lake, but a walleye in the 18 to 21 inch range is a good eating fish, and the lake abounds in this size.
Rock Lake does have some pleasure boat traffic – water skiers, jet skis, etc. Most of these people stay more in the middle of the lake, and for the most part, fellow boaters try to respect each other as far as speed and wake is concerned.