Fly-In Smallmouth

A Northern Ontario fishing trip to Hastie Lake

This Fish’n Canada episode was by far Pete’s most anticipated I can’t wait for it trip of the year.

No, it wasn’t about humongous, heavy current white sturgeon. It wasn’t about giant fly-in pike and lake trout. It wasn’t a shot at a late fall massive striper. And it wasn’t a crack at a 1000-pound tuna that he was looking forward to.

Believe it or not, it was about a tiny little bass lake that's kinda hard to get to.

Since largemouth and smallmouth bass are Pete’s absolute favourite fish to target… this was the perfect trip for him!

The lake is called Hastie and we’ve been here before… and that’s the reason for Pete’s excitement.

During our past shoots here, we’ve always come up with tons of fish and some absolute tanks.

Joining Pete on this shoot was a good buddy and Fish’n Canada co-host Steve Niedzwiecki. He too is a bass nut, so collectively our boys planned on having a blast.

largemouth
Here’s an example of what we’ve pulled out of Hastie Lake in the past. As you can see, Ang loves this lake as well!

Flying In

de havilland beaver

The iconic De Havilland Beaver

One of the reasons that we believe Hastie Lake is so good is because it’s a fly-in destination, accessed only by Lauzon Aviation. That helps a small lake from being over-pressured. The beauty of this particular fly-in is, it’s only about a 5-6 minute flight. 

Up, over, and down… no wasted time!

Once you arrive, it’s simply, unpack your gear and food, set up in camp, tie on some baits, and fire up the outboards.

It’s a no-frills, hardcore fishing trip… exactly what Stevie and I live for!

FISHING

Listen: Returning to the Unknown

So right off the hop once we were prepped to go fishing, Pete went through a strong bout of Dejavu!

Steve snuck down to the dock and was firing out long bomb casts with a topwater, which is VERY reminiscent of Ang many years ago…

Steve is always chomping at the bit to hit the water!

smallmouth bass
Steve Niedzwiecki with his first Hastie Lake smallmouth… before he even left the dock!

Although Pete was REALLY hoping for a big largemouth on this trip, the reality of this water is that there are WAY more smallies here than largies. That’s pretty much been the way since our first trip to this bass mecca. That said, there are giants of both species swimming in these waters.

Another primary goal was to do their best to try and capitalize on the array of hard baits they hauled in. Let's be honest, the thrill of a topwater strike or the sudden crush of a crankbait is second to none.

As luck would have it, as soon as we hit the water, the skies immediately closed in and the rain started. This is a scenario that we simply cannot pull the broadcast camera out for…

Fortunately, we all carry around phones with great video recording capabilities, so Pete and Steve quickly became fishermen and camera operators…

pencil popper
Pete with a great Smallmouth that hit a
Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil Popper in the teeming rain!

As fast as the rain came in, the weather started to clear up. Once the sun rose high in the sky, Steve and Pete knew that the hard-bait bite, especially the topwater bite, might slow down.

As well, with such a small lake, it’s inevitable that they would repeatedly hit areas two, three and even four times throughout the trip. This makes the fish very skittish, pushing the boys to resort to more finesse-style techniques as time went on.

For such a small lake, Hastie has some great bass structure

Hastie is the type of lake that a group of anglers can venture into and most certainly expect “a lot” of fish. Seriously, if Pete and Steve had stayed in any of their productive areas that were loaded up with numbers of smallies, they say they could have easily boated a hundred bass in a day. 

On a three or four-day trip, that’s a pretty good sack of fish!

rattln vibe lure
The boys did really well with a
Yo-Zuri Rattl’n Vibe fished almost vertically in deep water for numbers of smallmouth bass. No giants but it kept them plenty busy!

STEVIE HAD AN EPIPHANY

aerial of hastie lake boat
Typical Northern Ontario

While we were hitting a gorgeous back-bay, Steve made a suggestion to move shallower… it’s funny how a simple move like that can make all the difference in the world…

“We were fishing a back bay, by staying out and casting in,” says Pete “and our casts were hitting all the good spots…or so I thought. Steve’s suggestion to move shallow seemed almost redundant to me…until we did and I quickly smacked a couple of beauty Smallies on a Jig & Chunk”.

“Just when you think you’re knowledgeable,” continues Pete “a wise man like Steve pushes you forth, and fresh new things start to happen…thanks bud!”

CONCLUSION

This trip didn’t disappoint at all. No, the boys didn’t catch the complete "hawgs" that they were after, however, they caught so many fish (including a couple of lake trout) that there’s no way they could have kept count.

“Actually,” says Pete “that’s a great premise for a return visit to Hastie Lake, counting each and every bass”.

Somebody's gonna be busy!”

LAUZON AVIATION IN ONTARIO’S ALGOMA REGION

hastie lake outpost cabin

Fly in and experience a step back in time. A simple rustic outpost cabin, a peaceful Northern Ontario lake. The opportunity is there for fun, fishing, hunting solitude, and amazing outdoor scenery. Lauzon Aviation offers timeless experiences that will long be remembered!

A nice remote fishing cabin awaits your arrival by float plane. They look forward to helping you have your ideal wilderness adventure!

ABOUT A HASTIE TRIP

  • Trophy bass await you on this lake after a very short flight!​​
  • At the foothills of the Hastie Lake Mountains, our camp is situated on a small pine point.
  • Fabulous fishing and magnificent scenery and a sandy beach at the east end of the lake. 
  • The cabin features two bedrooms, and a kitchen-dining-sitting area all combined in an open-concept fashion. Sit on the deck out front that overlooks the water.
  • Fish Species: Trophy-size smallmouth and largemouth bass, whitefish and lake trout. 
  • Accommodations:  Large or small groups up to 8 persons.
  • Camp equipment includes an oil heating stove, propane fridge and countertop stove, dishes, pots, pans, utensils, rustic furniture, boats, gasoline, and an outside wood-fired sauna. Also available is an outside propane BBQ.
  • Flight Time: Only 5-6 Minutes!

bushplane hastie lake

EPISODE HOTSPOT BROUGHT TO YOU BY GARMIN

Want to see where Pete and Steve were fishing? Head over to fishncanada.com to see all their Hotspots and get the waypoints that will put you right on the fish!

GETTIN’ THERE BROUGHT TO YOU BY RAM TRUCKS

map

To get to our Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass fishing, we first drove north on Hwy 400 to Hwy 69.

We then headed west on Hwy 17 until we hit Algoma Mills, and then we went north on Air Service Road until we reached the Lauzon Aviation Airbase. From there it’s just a short flight from Lake Lauzon into Hastie Lake. 

The camp at Hastie is an outpost-style cabin where you bring your own groceries, drinks, sleeping bags, etc. It conveniently has a propane stove and a propane fridge.
This truly is an isolated Bass fishing adventure.

OTHER LINKS

About Fish'n Canada

As one of the original pioneers of Canadian adventure television, the Fish'n Canada Show has been broadcasting their pursuit of the ultimate adventure for over 30 years. Hosts Angelo Viola and Pete Bowman educate and entertain audiences with their passion and enthusiasm for fishing. Both are inductees in the Canadian Anglers Hall of Fame. Check out their episodes and video on the Fish'n Canada YouTube Channel and like them on Facebook!

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